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September 21, 2023

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Falcons’ 34 turnovers contributed to 81-48 blowout loss to Central Michigan


Pondering on the sidelines in a game earlier this season is coach Jennifer Roos. This was Roos’ first year coaching the Falcons.

The BG women’s basketball season ended in heartbreak at the hands of the Central Michigan Chippewas, 81-48, just as it had at the end of the previous season.

“Anytime you turn the ball over 34 times,” said Jennifer Roos, coach. “The opponent uses that to their advantage of scoring 40 points, which was half of their point total, it’s not going to favor your team very well.”

Just a day after getting revenge on Western Michigan for a defeat earlier this season, the Falcons would fall to a Central Michigan team they beat 84-59 in early February.

BG was not on its game in the first half, going almost eight minutes without scoring. After a Bailey Cairndruff three-pointer with 12:47 minutes to go, the Falcons would remain scoreless for more than eight minutes until the 4:25 mark of the first half. The Falcons went on a 14-3 run to end the half.

BG trailed the Chippewas 40-24 at the break.

Although BG had closed the gap going into the half, the second half was much of the same. Central Michigan would almost double the Falcons’ scoring in the second half, outscoring BG, 41-24.

BG would continue to see shot after shot rattle in and out, never warming up against CMU. The Falcons were 19-of-55 from the field which accumulated to a 35 percent field goal percentage. A main issue was the lack of three-point production, despite the Falcons taking a lot of threes that simply struck iron.

“We got a little three-ball happy in the first half,” Roos said. “But honestly we needed a spark and we would continue to shoot it because we needed a way to get back into the game.”

BG attempted 33 three-point shots, five more than its opponent. BG made 24 percent (8 of 33) to Central’s 35 percent (10 of 28). The Falcons had five players on the roster who attempted a three and failed to make one.

The day went to Central Michigan. The Chippewas were 27 of 62 for a 44 percent field goal percentage. Unlike BG, almost all of its players that attempted a three made.

“It’s a bitter pill to swallow when you lose like we did today,” Roos said.

The Chippewas had three players score in double digits. The team was led by sophomore Crystal Bradford, who scored 23 on 9-of-20 shooting. Bradford also added six rebounds and four steals.

CMU senior guard Brandie Baker was two assists shy of a double-double as she finished with 14 points and eight assists. The Falcons managed to outrebound Central 41-30, but its poor shooting would not let them forge any type of comeback. BG also committed 34 turnovers to just 13 from the Chippewas.

The Falcons fell to the Chippewas in the tournament for the second season in a row. Bradford had BG’s number then as a freshman, leading CMU with 20 points, much like she lead them on Thursday.

“We played 32 games, and this is one game of those 32. Our record is 22-10 [and] we had a fantastic year,” Roos said. “I believe we are a lock for a WNIT bid.”

This season marks the first time in eight years the Falcons did not win either the MAC outright or the MAC Tournament. If the Falcons make the Women’s National Invite Tournament it will be the 9th consecutive year in postseason play according to Roos and the 10th season above 20 wins.

Sports Editor Ethan Easterwood

contributed to this story

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