Women post 68-60 win over Central

The Bowling Green women’s basketball team put everything together midway through the second half to overcome an 11-point deficit and beat Central Michigan.

Led by Ali Mann’s career-high 24 points, BG rallied and won 68-60 Saturday in Anderson Arena. The Falcons’ defense smothered the Chippewas’ offense down the stretch, holding them to only six points in the final eight minutes of the game.

Senior co-captains Lindsay Austin and Stefanie Wenzel each scored 14 points and were clutch late in the game.

“We are fighters … in tough situations we can pull through,” Austin said.

With 13:03 left in the second half, BG head coach Curt Miller received a technical foul for arguing with an official. After two free throws by CMU increased the lead to 11, the Falcons seemed inspired by their coach’s intensity and began their push to victory.

“It fires us up to see him get so into it,” Mann said.

The Falcon’s defense then tightened up and forced the Chippewas to settle for several outside shots. The offense picked up the tempo from then on, pushing the ball up the court quickly after rebounds and attacking the hoop, leading to free throw attempts. For the game, BG shot 22-of-23 from the stripe.

“In the second half, we knew we needed to get to the foul line or we couldn’t beat this team,” Miller said.

After CMU’s Ann Skufca scored to give CMU a 60-59 lead, Megan Thorburn hit two free throws to put the Falcons up one and give them the lead for good.

Skufca, a freshman for the Chippewas, had a career-high 19 points. She led a group of reserves that played big roles. The CMU bench outscored the Falcons bench 34-7, but their inexperience proved to be costly at the end of the game. BG was able to force several turnovers late and score at the other end. Mann scored the Falcons first eight points of the game, including two 3-pointers. Her 16-point second half was key for BG, which struggled offensively early and trailed 29-28 at the half.

The team now begins a difficult two-game road trip, starting against Toledo Wednesday night in UT’s Savage Hall. That game will have a special meaning for the seniors.

“Since I’ve been here, we’ve never beat Toledo at their place,” Austin said.

“Going to Savage Hall, it will tell us where we are at as a team,” Miller said.

The Falcons will then play Eastern Michigan Jan. 27, before coming home to play Buffalo Jan. 31.