BGSU women’s basketball team triumphs in tourney finale

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Deborah Hoekstra goes for the rebound in the game against Niagra on November 15.

Tara Jones and Tara Jones

The BG women’s basketball team defeated Monmouth University 71-48 on Sunday afternoon in its final match of the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge. 

The Falcons took control of the game right out of the gate in the second half and never looked back. 

Monmouth managed to hang in with the Falcons in the first half.

In the middle of the half, both teams hit a scoring drought, neither scoring for nearly seven minutes. The Falcons ended the drought with a Deborah Hoekstra three-pointer and Monmouth answered back with a made triple of their own.

From that point on, both teams got the offense flowing again. BG scored 15 points and Monmouth scored 12 in the final six minutes of the half. The Hawks pulled within two points of BG a few times throughout the half, but never claimed the lead.

BG entered the half leading Monmouth 30-24. 

The Falcons began the second half by scoring the first eight points of the half, and that’s when they began to pull away. Monmouth went on another drought early in the second half, going six-plus minutes without scoring.

With about 17 minutes left to play, the Falcons reached their largest lead of the game thus far at 10 points. BG maintained a commanding lead for the remainder of the game.

BG head coach Jennifer Roos said that despite Monmouth’s winless record, they are a talented and tough team. She said the Hawks have played close games with many talented teams so far this season.  

“They’ve played a lot of talented mid-major programs but haven’t been able to finish,” Roos said. “Their opponents have always needed a late surge, and I’m glad we got that surge at the beginning of halftime.”

With a littlemore than six minutes left in the game, freshman Leah Bolton checked in the game for the Falcons. Bolton was previously sidelined with a knee injury, but was able to make her BG debut Sunday.

Bolton is a “very talented player” whose minutes should continue to grow as she returns to full strength, Roos said.

BG guard Hoekstra led the way for the Falcons with a career-high 18 points. She made went 7-of-8 from the floor, including 3-for-4 from behind the arc. Miriam Justinger added 16 points for the Falcons, which was also a career-high for her. 

Redshirt Erica Donovan recorded 11 points to round out the double-digit scorers for the Falcons. 

Roos said Hoekstra did a little bit of everything for the Falcons Sunday. She said Hoekstra made many big shots, got a few assists and steals and got the opportunity to defend Monmouth’s leading scorer. 

“She has turned herself into a primetime contributor off the bench, and I could not be happier for that kid,” Roos said. “Honestly, the shot that she missed, she could’ve made, so she had a chance to shoot a perfect percentage today.”

The Falcons will return to the Stroh Center for their next game. BG will take on UW-Milwaukee on Dec. 8 at 2 p.m.