The Bowling Green Falcons celebrated Senior Day at the Stroh Center by cruising past the Ohio Bobcats 63-39 on Sunday afternoon in Bowling Green, Ohio. The final home victory in the careers of Alexis Rogers, Jillian Halfhill and Jill Stein completed a perfect 13-0 season for the Falcons at the Stroh Center.
The Falcons won those 13 home games by an average of 24 points and never by fewer than 12. They also held opponents to an average of just 52 points per game at the Stroh Center during the 2013-2014 season. Opponents failed to score 50 points in five of the 13 games, including the final two, where BGSU allowed a combined 77 points.
Bowling Green took control of the game from the very outset. They opened with 3-pointers by Halfhill and Jasmine Matthews, and they opened an 8-1 lead after five minutes. Ohio finally sank their first field goal of the game at the 5:03 mark of the period, but the Falcons fought back with an 11-0 run over the next five minutes. Rogers scored seven of the team's points during the burst, and BGSU held a 19-3 lead halfway through the period.
The Falcons struggled on the offensive end for the remainder of the half and scored only nine points during the final ten minutes of the half. Ohio did not do much better, but they were able to stay on the fringes of competitiveness. At halftime, BGSU led 28-16.
During the first ten minutes, BGSU made eight of 18 shots and turned the ball over just once, but after that, they made only three of 11 and committed six turnovers. They also missed their final seven 3-pointers of the half. However, Ohio found it even more difficult to get the ball in the basket. They shot just 5-of-26 (19.2%) and only 2-of-14 from beyond the arc. The Bobcats also turned the ball over nine times and got into some foul trouble -- Quiera Lampkins ended the half with more fouls (three) than points (two).
The second half began much as the first did. Bowling Green began the frame on a 17-4 run during the first five minutes. The run effectively ended the game, as it provided the Falcons with a 25-point lead (45-20). That was as large as BGSU's lead would get, but the Bobcats never got closer than 18 points for the rest of the game.
Beginning with three minutes to go, Falcons' head coach Jennifer Roos provided individual exits for each of her three seniors, each of which was met by standing ovations. The last to leave was Rogers with 1:28 left. Shortly after, Rogers' fellow ACC transfer teammate Erica Donovan scored the game's final points in the 63-39 victory.
BGSU finished the game with a 46.3 shooting percentage after making 56 percent of their shots in the second half. However, they'll want to do better beyond the arc (6-of-21, 28.6%) and at the free throw line (7-of-12, 58.3%) in the MAC tournament. Ohio also shot better in the second half, but not by much. The Bobcats shot 22.4 percent for the game and made only 11 total field goals. They were just 4-of-28 from 3-point range. Bowling Green ended the game with a 45-31 rebounding edge.
The three Falcon seniors each scored in double figures. Halfhill led the way with 12 points, and Rogers added 11. Stein posted a double-double with 11 points and a game-best 13 rebounds. Donovan came very close to a double-double of her own with nine points and nine rebounds. Jasmine Matthews, who started in place of Miriam Justinger, also scored nine points. Justinger missed the game due to an undisclosed ailment.
Yamonie Jenkins led Ohio with 12 points in 29 minutes off the bench. Mariah Byard added eight points. Like BGSU, the Bobcats were without a starter on Sunday. Kiyanna Black missed the game due to injury.
The Falcons are now 25-3 overall and 15-1 in the MAC with road games at Miami and Akron remaining. They have clinched no worse than the #2 seed in the MAC tournament and will play in one of the tournament semifinals on Friday, March 14th. Ohio drops to 9-18 overall and 4-12 in the MAC with the loss. They complete their regular season with a home game against Kent State and a road game at Miami.