Bowling Green picked up its third straight win and a trip to the NIT quarterfinals with a 73–60 victory over Memphis Thursday night at the Stroh Center. The difference in the contest came down to shooting, as the Falcons used a big third quarter to give themselves an insurmountable second-half lead.
The two teams traded buckets in the first quarter, with Bowling Green taking a 15-14 lead at the end of the period. Forward Allison Day got her night started off well, hitting three layups in the opening frame to give her six of her game-high 18 points.
In the second, the Falcons’ good defense combined with poor shooting from the Tigers, helped them stretch their lead. Memphis went just 4-of-14 from the field in the quarter which summed up a night in which they shot 29.1 percent. Two big threes from guard Lexi Fleming helped Bowling Green take a 30–23 lead into the break.
Robyn Fralick’s squad came out of the half firing on all cylinders to kill Memphis’ hopes of keeping it close. The defense continued to force the Tigers into tough shots while the offense got hot. Elissa Brett hit four threes and 13 of her 15 total points in the quarter to propel her squad to a 27-point lead entering the final period.
Despite being down big, Memphis put everything forward in what would be the final quarter of its season. The Tigers outscored the Falcons 29–14 in the fourth and shot 50 percent from the field with a number of their makes coming off of misses. Memphis finished with 20 offensive boards compared to Bowling Green’s eight.
Although the Falcons would have liked to appear in the NCAA Tournament, they are making the most out of their opportunity in the NIT as they’ll get a chance to play a fourth game in the competition. Thursday night’s victory was the Falcons’ 30th win of the season — their second-highest win total in team history.
Bowling Green will look to pick up a 31st victory against the Florida Gators on Monday at 6 p.m. Eastern time in a home contest at the Stroh Center, with a chance to clinch a trip to the NIT semifinals on the line.