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February 22, 2024

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Five Hawkeyes crack double-figures en route to #4 Iowa’s blowout win over BGSU

Five+Hawkeyes+crack+double-figures+en+route+to+%234+Iowas+blowout+win+over+BGSU
Drake Harlett

Regardless of how passionate you are for Bowling Green women’s basketball, Falcon fans knew that going into Saturday, the task of defeating #4 Iowa was going to be a tough one to say the least.

Well folks, the anticipated reality came true.

“We actually did a good job of putting together some good, short stretches of play,” said assistant coach Nick DiPillo. “But we do have to piece those small stretches of good play against a team like this into longer stretches because if you make too many repeated mistakes, they’ll capitalize on them.”

Despite Lexi Fleming matching reigning national player of the year Caitlin Clark in points (24), as well as winning the turnover battle and knocking down more threes, the efforts were not enough as the Hawkeyes (8-1) defeated the Falcons (5-2) earlier Saturday afternoon at a sold-out, celebrity-filled Carver Hawkeye Arena 99-65.

Why do I say celebrity-filled? Well for starters, you have Clark, who is always on our televisions screens for State Farm commercials. But the venue also played host to actor Jason Sudeikis, (star of hit TV series “Ted Lasso”), as well as 4x WNBA champion Sue Bird.

So yeah, no pressure for the mid-major team.

The first half though was a half to certainly be proud of, as the Falcons kept themselves within striking distance at 15-16 points, with the team trailing 48-32 at halftime.

But the Iowa offense was elite the entire night, finishing the game shooting 66.7%, a mark really difficult to overcome for a heavy underdog.

“We let them have 29 points in the first quarter, so we cannot let those kinds of quarters up,” said Fleming postgame. “Coach (Fred Chmiel) was talking to us the whole game about tightening up our defense and to get back on transition, and we have to get back to that.”

For Iowa, five players registered double-figures, with the aforementioned Clark leading the charge with 24 points, as well as a team-high 11 assists. Following in her footsteps were Kate Martin (17), Sydney Affolter (14), Sharon Goodman (12), and Addison O’Grady (10).

How did Iowa get so many faces to create and make shots? The paint, as Iowa finished with a dominant +44 margin in the points in the paint battle (72-28).

Meanwhile for BGSU, following up in Fleming’s footsteps, who with her 24 points also added a team-high seven rebounds and three steals, was Amy Velasco, the only other double-digit scorer for the orange and brown (11). Velasco also had a team-high six assists.

Off the bench for BG, seniors Morgan Sharps and Sophie Dziekan each added nine points apiece, while freshman Paige Kohler had seven.

“From a game plan perspective, we actually accomplished a lot of goals that we wanted to,” said DiPillo. “We limited the impact of (Caitlin) Clark early on, I think we did an OK job defending some of the actions we keyed on defending. But we did a terrible job in transition defense and taking away their second-chance points and points in the paint.”

BG now has a stretch of 10 days off before their next contest, which is set to be played on Dec. 12 at 10 AM down in Dayton against the Wright State Raiders. Join Brandon Loe on the call of that game starting at 9:45 a.m. for the Falcon Media Sports Network pregame show on 88.1 FM WBGU.

For more stories related to BGSU Athletics, follow Falcon Media Sports Network on X (@bg_fmsn).

 

 

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