It's been a rough start for the Falcons in MAC play. They were bottled up at Toledo, got edged at home by Miami and fell to Akron for the first time in 12 years. You don't often see BGSU start the MAC with a 4-3 mark. Hosting Central Michigan looked like they could fall to .500 at the halfway mark. It's not the Falcons way, but it happens sometimes.
CMU not only began 7-0, beginning with a road victory at Toledo, but their last six games have been won by an average of 27 points — the closest decision being a 14-point win against WMU. Crystal Bradford has been the focal point of this success, totaling four double-doubles and getting about 20 points per contest.
But, as runs in sports are want to happen, the good vibrations finally ended in the Stroh Center as a woeful second half shooting performance helped Bowling Green pull away to the tune of a 50-29 second half.
This was also, inexplicably, BGSU's highest point total of the season. They hit 79 twice, but everybody got in on the fun, led by Chrissy Steffen's 19 points on 11 shots. Jillian Halfhill and Bailey Cairnduff both had 14 while Alexis Rogers muscled her way in with 13. As a team they shot over 50 percent both inside and outside the 3-point line. And as much as they kept piling on their lead in the second half, their defense kept the high-octane Chippewas under 60 points, snapping a 13-game streak in which CMU scored at least seventy points.
Even though it was a close 34-30 contest at halftime, Central never found an offensive rhythm, hoisting up contested shots and relying on perimeter baskets and second chances to remain in the game. They had just six assists all game. Crystal Bradford managed 14 points, nine rebounds and three steals and Brandie Baker added 14 points but the rest of the team battled through turnovers and didn't seem to take smart shots down the stretch. Plus, a few of their easy shots just rolled off the rim. It wasn't their day.
I'm not sure which game was better: the time BGSU pounced on Dayton (also by 25), or this one. Let's call it a tie.