Women hold off IPFW

Zach Baker and Zach Baker

With the women’s basketball team holding a 29-20 lead over IPFW at halftime of Wednesday’s game, coach Curt Miller said he was conflicted. He was happy the team was leading, but wanted more offense.

“I wanted to get the game more up-tempo and push more offensively,” Miller said. “I wanted to keep good ball pressure on [IPFW] throughout the game.”

The pressure wore down the Mastodons, as the Falcons exploded with 47 second half points and beat IPFW 76-58.

The Falcons shot 51.5 percent from the field in the second half, after shooting 36.4% in the first. Lindsay Austin led the team with 20 points. Miller said it was encouraging to see her play that well.

“I felt like Lindsay had a decided advantage on the floor with her speed on the floor,” Miller said. “It was great to see her back at full strength. She really was a catalyst for us.”

Stefanie Wenzel scored 14 points for the Falcons, and Francine Miller had nine. Miller said the only part of the game that disappointed him was BG’s rebounding. IPFW out-rebounded the Falcons 45-41. Pam Brown led the Falcons with seven rebounds.

“We didn’t rebound the ball as well as we could have,” Miller said. “Had we rebounded the ball better, I think we could have really pushed the lead out. But to [IPFW’s] credit, they really worked on the boards.”

The Mastadons were without starting guard and leading scorer Amy Geralds, who had a separated shoulder. They were also missing Courtney Nicley, their other starting guard, who was also out with an injury.

The injuries forced coach Bruce Patterson to rely more on his post players. IPFW center Verea Bibbs led the Mastadons with 12 points, and also had six rebounds. All but one of the Mastadons’ players had at least two rebounds.

The Falcons were 5-19 from three-point range, led by Stefanie Wenzel, who was 3-5. BG was also 13-19 from the free throw line.

The win moves BG to 3-3 on the season. The Falcons next test will come Saturday afternoon, when BG travels to Cleveland State for a 4:30 game. Miller said the Vikings are a team with high expectations for this season, after returning all five of last years starters. CSU will not have played in 11 days, and Miller expects them to come in ready to play.

“We have got our work cut out for us,” Miller said. “But I think if we can keep doing what we do, and keep improving every day, it’s going to be a team we can compete with.”