Falcons take round one of Battle of I-75, defeat Rockets 88-76

Steve Iwanek, Sports Content Director


Jack RIntamaa, Falcon Media

Nyla Hampton drives to the basket in the first half

Artie Abrego, Sports Reporter, FMSN

  Bowling Green Women’s Basketball defeated the Toledo Rockets 88-76 in a long-anticipated matchup in one of the year’s most physical and gritty games. 

  The rivalry featured six lead changes, injuries for the orange and brown, 49 total fouls, and a home crowd for the Falcons that had over 2,700 people in attendance.

  BG got off to a hot start in the first quarter, with senior guard Elissa Brett, who recently hit the milestone of a thousand career points, driving to the basket for a layup to kick things off. The rest of the first quarter was a back-and-forth defensive battle, with both teams ending the quarter tied 15-15. Both teams accounted for 12 turnovers in total in just the first quarter. 

  In the second quarter, things began to heat up for both teams, but especially for one player, Allison Day, who became an absolute monster in the paint, dominating the inside near the basket to help extend a Bowling Green lead, ending the quarter with 19 points.

  Nyla Hampton also had two steals, solidifying the Falcon’s defensive pressure. Unfortunately, Morgan Sharps suffered a knee injury three minutes into the quarter and was out for the rest of the game; there is no word on the severity of her injury. After a tightly contested quarter, Toledo’s Nan Garcia hit a three to cut the BG lead to three, 38-35, going into halftime. 

  The third quarter had nearly everything going the orange and brown’s way. After Jocelyn Tate recorded her third steal of the night, she found Lexi Fleming for Bowling Green’s first three-pointer just seconds later. Fleming scored another three the very next play to extend the Falcon lead, forcing another Toledo timeout. The rest of the quarter was heavily contested, filled with physical defense, turnovers, and many fouls. 

  BG started the fourth quarter with the lead at 59-49 and would extend that lead less than thirty seconds into the quarter after a big corner three from Kadie Hempfling. After struggling in the third quarter, Day again took over the game for the Falcons, dominating in the paint once more. Due to some clutch defensive play and free throws, particularly from Hampton, Bowling Green held on to defeat the Rockets, 88-76. 

   Day had a career performance, recording a career-high 31 points on 13-21 shooting while also collecting seven rebounds. Tate picked pockets all night with four steals and added 13 points of her own.

   The Falcon defense forced 22 Toledo turnovers, 10 over the season average of 12 turnovers per game.   

   In front of an electric atmosphere, the night was a display of talent and tough competition.

 “Tonight’s game was a great example of what high-level women’s basketball looks like,” head coach Robyn Fralick said. “It was a great environment with two good teams, and we’re really grateful to come out on the victorious side. It was a battle all night. Our kids did a great job of being ready and stepping up, even through some adversity, and we made enough plays to win.” 

  The Falcons improve to 15-2 on the year, while the Rockets fall to 12-4. Bowling Green looks to extend their winning streak to five straight games as they battle the Kent State Golden Flashes this Saturday, Jan. 19, at 1 p.m.  

For more information about the team, visit the athletics webpage.