Close game one of many between teams

Last night, the BGSU women’s basketball team took on archrival Toledo in a very close game.

The teams were tied 12 times, and swapped leads five times. After being down by 12 points at halftime, the Falcons came back with strength on the offensive end and pulled ahead to win 71-65 to improve to 18-2 overall and 9-0 in the Mid-American Conference.

The trend of narrow wins is certainly common throughout the history of this rivalry. When the Falcons played at UT on Jan. 15, 2005, they trailed by four points in overtime, but came back to beat the Rockets 69-66. On Feb. 26, 2005, at Anderson Arena, the Rockets led by six with under two minutes remaining, but Kelly Kapferer’s 3-pointer with 9.1 seconds left allowed the Falcons to sneak off with a 72-71 victory on Senior Day.

Although the statistics are always close, the preparation never changes for the Falcons.

‘We’ve had really close games with [Toledo] over the past couple years,’ said junior Liz Honegger, who had game highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds. ‘They always will be fired up just as we should be fired up to play them as well. We prepare for every team the same way.’

Although the Falcons prepare similarly for every game, there is always added incentive to play hard against the Rockets.

‘It was our No. 1 goal to match Toledo’s intensity,’ said BG coach Curt Miller. ‘I think that’s rivalry – you can throw records out the window. You can play great, come in and play bad. You can play bad and come in and play great. It’s just what the rivalry brings.’

As with past games in the rivalry, BG trailed early on but was able to regroup defensively and come up with critical shots on offense. The Falcons wasted little time in erasing Toledo’s lead as Ali Mann hit a 3 with 8:07 remaining to give her team a 48-46 advantage.

‘We were playing our best,’ said junior Carin Horne, who scored all 14 of her points in the second half. ‘We came out great the second half.’

The Rockets wouldn’t go away, though, as a Danielle Bishop jumper tied the game at 55 with 4:46 remaining. But Casey McDowell responded at the other end with an open 3 from the right wing, and the Falcons outscored UT 13-10 the rest of the game.

‘We kept our composure,’ Honegger said. ‘I think we did a great job of that as well.’

Even though yesterday’s game was against their chief rival, the Falcons insist on playing hard regardless of their opponent. Of course, there will always be a competitive vibe between BG and UT – that will cease to change.

‘They’re a competitive group,’ Miller said. ‘I say it over and over again, and they hate to lose.’