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September 21, 2023

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BGSU women’s basketball wins Iona Tipoff Tournament

The BG women’s basketball team captured the Iona Tip-Off Tournament title this past weekend and advanced to 2-0 on the season.

The Falcons defeated the University of Michigan 63-52 on Friday, Nov. 8. They then beat the host team of the tournament, Iona College, Saturday afternoon by a score of 51-50 winning the entire tournament.

The Falcons scored the first seven points of the game and never trailed. The Wolverines made a late first-half comeback and found themselves within two points, but that is as close as they would get to BG.

Senior Jillian Halfhill led the Falcons to the victory over the Wolverines with a game-high 18 points and five assists. Halfhill went 4-of-8 from three-point range as the Falcons totaled nine three-pointers on the day. In her BG debut, redshirt sophomore Erica Donovan finished with 15 points. Senior Katrina Salinas did not play for the Falcons after suffering a serious knee injury in practice before the trip. Head Coach Jennifer Roos said it was a season-ending injury.

Roos said the “true turning point” of the game was the first four minutes for the Falcons. They were able to jump out with an early lead and get contributions from several players.

“We were really excited, and I felt our first four minutes out of the gate made the biggest difference in the game because we jumped out to a double-digit lead and put Michigan on their heels from the beginning,” Roos said.

In Saturday’s game, the Falcons held the lead against host Iona College most of the afternoon, but Iona was able to cut down the lead to 47-46 with 2:38 minutes remaining in the game. The Gaels took the lead at the 1:22 mark, and the teams traded baskets the rest of the way. Halfhill made a layup with 16.8 seconds remaining for the Falcons. Iona was unable to convert on a jumper with seven seconds left and BG came up with the rebound, sealing the game for the Falcons. The score was tied six times and there were six lead changes throughout the game. Senior Alexis Rogers led the Falcons with a double-double of 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Halfhill scored 10 points on the day.

Roos said her team struggled last year with finishing games after losing the lead. The Falcons lost the lead to Iona late in this game, but were able to come back and win the game this time. Roos added that the way her team responded in the situation showed a lot of “resiliency.”

“We got three big plays with under 30 seconds to go by seniors, and that makes a big difference,” Roos said. “They wanted to win. We had talked about in huddles that, you know what, Iona was a team of destiny yesterday forcing that overtime and then winning in overtime against Arizona, but we wanted to be that team of destiny today.”

The Falcons’ next match will be their home opener on Friday, Nov. 15. BG will take on Niagara University with tipoff set for 6 p.m. at the Stroh Center.

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