Nothing seemed to be going right for Central Michigan in Saturday's game against Bowling Green at McGuirk Arena. The Falcons were controlling the tempo by moving up and down the court in a slow and methodical manner. Central had played almost the entire game from behind. Niki DiGuilio, CMU's three point sniper was stone cold. She was even missing bunnies and puppies in the paint. BG was well ahead in every statistical category. With three minutes to play in regulation, the television announcers had awarded the game to the Falcons. BG was ready to coast home with a hard fought road victory.
Enter Da'Jouie Turner, whose 11 points in the second half stole the game away from the Falcons. It wasn't only Turner's scoring that made the difference. Her presence on the court energized her teammates and enabled CMU to shut the Falcons down over the final 2:22 of regulation. Bowling Green's scoring leaders, Alexis Rogers and Jillian Halfhill, disappeared in the last 2:22 of regulation. Rogers and Halfhill finished with 20 and 18 points respectively. Erica Donovan added 16 points for BG.
CMU had only four second half turnovers. By taking care of the ball down the stretch, CMU was able to go on an improbable 10-0 run to tie the game at 70-70 and force overtime.
In OT, CMU jumped out to a four point lead only to surrender it to the BG's plodding strategy. Perhaps the most crucial event in OT occurred when Jillian Halfhill fouled out with 2:32 left. This put the star of the game at the foul line. Da'Jourie Turner calmly hit two free throws to give CMU a 79-77 lead.
With five seconds left and CMU up by three, BG had one last chance. A sloppy inbounds pass ended the last hope for the Falcons.
The game was a benchmark for the MAC's divisional leaders. They will meet again on Wednesday, February 19 at Bowling Green, Ohio for what certainly will be a beautiful rematch.
The Chippewas improve to 5-0 in the MAC with the thrilling OT win. They become road warriors again for a Wednesday evening matchup against Kent State at Kent, Ohio. BG will will be smarting from this game until Thursday night, when they can take their frustrations out on the Eastern Michigan Eagles in Bowling Green. The loss drops the Falcons to 4-1 in MAC play.