Falcons fall in South Bend

It’s not the start of a game that matters, it’s the finish. BGSU women’s basketball found that out the hard way Monday night against Notre Dame.

In a test of wills, the Falcons dropped an exciting 85-81 overtime decision to the persistent Fighting Irish. BG coach Curt Miller was proud of the way his team played though.

“Both teams made big play after big play, and for as early as it is in the season, that was high-quality basketball,” Miller said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our kids. Despite the tough overtime loss, it was a pleasure to be a part of this game.”

BG came out a little flat, trailing 6-0 early, and did not make their first field goal until three minutes into the game. The Falcons immediately followed that run with one of their own though. Kate Achter started a 16-2 run, making it 16-8. The Falcons held the lead for a long time, but not long enough.

A seven-point halftime lead had Falcon fans excited. BG had a chance to make a national statement in just its second game of the season.

After Amber Flynn’s lay-up made the score 44-33 with 16:22 left in the second half, the Irish started to chip away at the lead.

The Irish finally tied the game at 68-68 with 5:03 left on a Crystal Erwin free throw.

They took the lead with just 26 second left. The last time they had a lead was less than five minutes into the game.

Before the Falcons knew it, the score was 78-75 and there were seven seconds left on the clock. BG got the ball down to Liz Honegger and she hit her fourth 3-pointer of the night as time expired, sending the game into overtime.

The Falcons’ fatigue showed in the extra session. They were outscored 7-3, making just one field goal.

BG fought hard, but Notre Dame fought a little harder and made shots when they mattered most.

The Falcons early lead came from the hot shooting hands of Megan Thorburn, Achter and Carin Horne. The three combined for 31 of the Falcons 38 first half points.

Thorburn was 5 of 6 from long range and Honegger ended up 4 of 6. The Falcons were 11-for-20 as a team.

Achter had a very good game, scoring 20 points, to go with nine assists and five rebounds. Achter, who was 12-for-14 from the free-throw line, admittedly shot the ball more than she would have liked though.

“I normally don’t like to shoot the ball all that much,” Achter said. “I like to take care of it, despite what my stat line showed tonight.”

BG’s starters were all in double figures. Thorburn’s hot shooting night gave her 17 points.

“I was just shooting with confidence, I think,” Thorburn said. “Once you make one, once you have that under your belt, it is a lot easier to make the second and the third.”

BG’s starters all played at least 36 minutes. The bench only produced two points in the game. Three players came off the bench for a total of 41 minutes.

“We got tired in overtime, and it showed with about two-and-a-half minutes left,” Miller said. “And, after the game I apologized to the team. That’s my fault. I believe in our bench.”

Charel Allen and Tulyah Gaines led the way for Notre Dame. The two combined for 46 points. Their second half performance gave the Falcons more than they could handle.

Ashley Barlow was important for Notre Dame too. She went 11-for-12 from the line to finish with 19 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.