BG women’s basketball team heads to Butler after winning home opener 90-58 against Niagara University at Stroh Center during Friday Doubleheader

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Steven W. Echard Photo Editor

Jill Stein looks for a teammate to pass to during BG’s 90-58 win against Niagara University.

Tara Jones and Tara Jones

The BG women’s basketball team improved its record to 3-0 on the year with a 90-58 win over Niagara University Friday night.

Redshirt sophomore Erica Donovan led the Falcons to their win over the Purple Eagles with a career-high and game-high 20 points. Four other BG players also landed in double-digit figures and junior Deborah Hoekstra set her new career high with 15 points, along with freshman Rachel Konieczki with 11 points.

Senior Jillian Halfhill added 13 points and junior Jasmine Matthews scored 10 points.

The Falcons broke an early 2-2 tie with an 8-0 run and never trailed in the game. Niagara had 21 turnovers in the match, 15 of which came in the first half.

Niagara received several traveling calls early in the game, so the Purple Eagles were unable to get much offense going. A total of 48 fouls were called between the two teams. The Falcons went 30 of 41 from the line and Niagara went 18-of-21.

BG pulled down a total of 49 rebounds to Niagara’s 23. Twenty of those 49 rebounds for the Falcons came from offensive rebounds. Niagara totaled just four offensive rebounds. Donovan, who grabbed six offensive rebounds, said those second-chance opportunities provide momentum for her team.

“For any team, you can’t do it individually,” Donovan said. “By me crashing, for example, and getting that offensive rebound is helping another teammate get open, even if I don’t get the rebound.”

Head coach Jennifer Roos said her team came into Friday’s game shooting 50 percent from the foul line. She said with the new rule changes, she knew her team had to work on its free-throw percentage.

“Making foul shots and getting to the foul line was the big difference in the game in my opinion,” Roos said. “If we shoot 50 percent, this is a ball game all the way down to the last media timeout.”

The Falcons will travel to Indianapolis to play Butler on Monday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. Butler is 1-2 on the year so far, with both losses coming in overtime. BU has averaged 82.3 points per game on the young season and allowed 80.0 points per game. The Bulldogs return nine letterwinners, including three starters, from last year’s team that finished 17-14 overall and 8-6 in Atlantic 10 Conference play. Butler is now a part of the Big East Conference.

Bowling Green leads Butler 4-3 in the overall series between the two teams. The Falcons have won the last three meetings. The last meeting between the two teams was last season, in which the Falcons won 67-47 at the Stroh Center.

Following the Butler game, the Falcons will head to Columbus this weekend to take part in the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge. BG will take on Marist College on Nov. 22, Old Dominion University on Nov. 23 and the host Ohio State University on Nov. 24.