BGSU women’s basketball team earns two wins, suffers one loss during weekend tournament in Columbus

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Miriam Justinger defends a Niagara University player during the Falcons’ 90-58 victory against the Purple Eagles on Nov. 15.

Tara Jones and Tara Jones

The BG women’s basketball team went 2-1 during the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge this weekend in Columbus, Ohio, with wins against host Ohio State University on Sunday and Old Dominion on Saturday.

BG also came away with its first loss of the season, being defeated by Marist College on Friday [Nov. 22]. The Falcons move to 6-1 on the season.

Marist defeated the Falcons 74-60 on Friday night. The Red Foxes claimed their first win of the season and handed the Falcons their first loss on Friday night. The game was close for most of the night, with 11 lead changes between the two teams. The major difference in the game came at the free throw line.

Marist shot 78.3 percent from the line and went 18-23 on the game. BG converted on 5 of 12 free throw attempts, shooting 41.7 percent.

On Saturday, the Falcons got a 77-58 victory against Old Dominion. BG took the lead over the Monarchs within the first minute and never trailed.

Senior Jill Stein and redshirt sophomore Erica Donovan each recorded a double-double on the night, both posting career-high rebounds. Stein finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Donovan had a game-high 18 points and added 12 rebounds.

Bowling Green went 19-for-31 from the free throw line while ODU finished with six makes on 10 attempts. The Falcons also out-shot the Monarchs from both inside and outside the arc. BG also held a 44 to 30 advantage on the boards.

The Falcons defeated host Ohio State University on Sunday by a score of 64-52. BG went 12-of-21 from three point range compared to OSU’s 4-of-12. Despite BG out-shooting the Buckeyes, OSU stayed in the game at the free throw line.

The Buckeyes shot 92.3 percent from the line and converted on 24 of 26 attempts. The Falcons reached their highest lead of the game at 14 points with about nine minutes left in the second half. OSU cut the lead to nine with 3:30 left, but Miriam Justinger hit two three-pointers followed by one from Jasmine Matthews to seal the game for the Falcons.

Senior Jillian Halfhill said her team was looking forward to the Ohio State matchup the most in the challenge. She added that it was a great feeling to hear the Bowling Green fans chant at the conclusion of the game.

“It was good to hear them,” Halfhill said. “They stayed the whole game [and] they’re great fans. We feed off of them. They’re like our sixth man, so having them is awesome.”

Head coach Jennifer Roos said her team can benefit from this tournament-style challenge come time for the Mid-American Conference Tournament in March.

“This tournament was extremely difficult because all three teams are extremely talented [and] extremely well-coached.”

The Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge will continue for the Falcons as they travel to Massachusetts next weekend. BG will take on Monmouth on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 10 a.m.

Monmouth comes into the game at 0-6. Monmouth competed in the Challenge at the Connecticut site, and went 0-3. The Hawks were defeated by St. Bonaventure, Connecticut and Boston University in the Challenge. Monmouth also has losses at home to Yale and Wagner, and a loss to Delaware on the road.

The Hawks return eight letterwinners, including just one starter, from a 2012-13 team that finished 15-15 overall and 12-6 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.