Bowling Green defeated Akron 74-61 in the Zips return trip to the Stroh Center, exacting revenge on a rare Akron victory over the Falcons earlier this season.
It wasn't until Akron beat Bowling Green last month that I realized just how lopsided the all-time series was. The Falcons entered that game having won 48 of 50 matches, which is unreal. Jennifer Roos was undefeated against Akron as a BG assistant, but suddenly 0-1 as a coach. Could Roos' one weakness be the Roo?
Never fear, I suppose!
The Falcons are back to their old ways of beating Akron in women's basketball. But it's not as easy as it used to be, despite the final score. Akron jumped out to a quick lead, 20-13, before six minutes had passed. BGSU then flipped the script using a 16-2 run and taking a 37-31 lead into half. But the Zips controlled the glass in the first half, a big reason they won the first matchup.
The second half was a completely different story. Alexis Rogers turned it up, scoring a double-double in the final 20 minutes along with 14 points and 10 rebounds (five offensive). On the night she had 16 and 12, and this wipes away some bad feelings from that inconsistent showing at Akron, scoring 11 points, four rebounds and fouling out.
Chrissy Steffen was the game-high scorer with 17 points on 5-for-12 shooting, adding nine rebounds and three steals for a pretty righteous night. Jillian Halfhill had a nice 7-1 A/TO ratio to go with seven points, and Danielle Havel sank a couple threes to end up with 13 points on the night.
For Akron, Anna Luburgh, who had the game of her life against BG last time with 25 points and 15 rebounds, was limited to just 9 and 4. Sina King led the way with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Rachel Tecca scored 13 points to go with her seven boards. And despite the loss and weak field goal shooting, they are still the only MAC team to get at least 60 points on them — and now they've done it twice. And don't let that score fool you: Akron gave it everything they had, even into the final minutes, when they cut the lead to seven with less than two minutes to play. They just needed one more stop but Steffen drew the foul and made the ensuing shots.
So this puts the Zips and Falcons in an interesting battle for the MAC East. Both are 8-4 in the conference, one ahead of Miami and two ahead of Buffalo. Both schools have the same opponents left: Miami, Buffalo, Kent State, Ohio. Not to borrow a dreaded jinxsy phrase, but If both of them win out then Akron wins the tiebreak. But if Miami can manage to beat both the Zips and Falcons one more time, then they would be in great position to clinch a MAC East share and possibly out-tiebreak the two of them. SO MANY SCENARIOS, but only one reality: this division is a mess.