Womens basketball loses to W. Michigan

By Elias Faneuff and By Elias Faneuff

Too many turnovers throughout the night doomed the Falcons womens basketball team as they fell to the Western Michigan Broncos by a score of 74-53 on Wednesday night at the Stroh Center. The Falcons’ overall record stands at 6-19, and are 2-11 against Mid-American Conference opponents.

Leading the Falcons was sophomore Carly Santoro with 11 points and seven rebounds. Also chipping in was senior Ashley Tunstall with 10 points and three rebounds. Tunstall and Santoro were the lone double-digit scorers of the night.

“Offensively they were hitting their shots,” Santoro said. “They were really locked down on defense, which led to their offense; got into foul trouble, and we couldn’t really get it going. We weren’t getting what we wanted as far as open looks.”

In the first, The Falcons got off to a hot start offensively as they spreaded the floor providing good ball movement that led to open threes. This led to a 15-4 lead for the Falcons in the first six minutes of the quarter. However, The Falcons would give up five straight turnovers that led to nine points as they quickly got back into the game. Freshman forward Andrea Cecil and sophomore forward Maddie Cole would both hit late free throws to give the Falcons a 19-13 lead in the first.

In the second, Western Michigan turned up the defense as they kept getting easy steals whenever a Falcons player would drive to the lane. Western Michigan was slowly coming back until Santoro caught fire, offensively scoring three straight layups to keep the lead at 28-21 for the Falcons.

Once again, turnovers plagued the Falcons as Western Michigan got back in the game on easy steals leading to fast break points for the rest of the half. The Falcons would lead at half 32-30, but the momentum was shifting toward Western Michigan as they would find success to cut the lead to just two. Western Michigan would shoot 46 percent from the field in the first half, while the Falcons shot 38 percent from the field.

In the third, Western Michigan set the tone early as Western Michigan’s Deja Wimby got going offensively with six straight points that led to an 11-5 run for the Broncos in the first six minutes. The Falcons struggled heavily on offense as shots weren’t falling for them, and Western Michigan’s Wimby aggressively got to the free throw line often late in the third. Wimby would score 10 of her 23 points in the third as the Falcons could not stop her on defense. The Falcons would only score seven points in the third and Western Michigan led 50-39 going into the final quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Western Michigan was determined to put the Falcons away around the 7:34 minute mark as Western Michigan’s Meredith Shipman would knock down three straight three pointers from the left wing over a two minute span that catapulted the Western Michigan lead to 22 points.

The Falcons would try a late 7-0 run as freshman guard Caterrion Thompson would hit two jump shots, along with Tunstall, attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line that cut the lead to 15 points as Western Michigan still led 63-48. However, time was running out as Wimby and Shipman kept knocking down shots late and The Falcons head coach Jennifer Roos cleared the bench in what was an inevitable defeat at home.

“I’m proud of our effort in the first half,” Roos said. “We started to lose momentum toward halftime. Our rhythm was very off in the second half, and they caught fire and those seven points in the third was the big difference in the game.”

The Falcon’s next game will be on the road against the Miami RedHawks on Saturday with tipoff beginning at 2 p.m.