Falcons defeat Michigan 63-53, move on to quarterfinals of WNIT

Tara Jones and Tara Jones

The Falcons shot their way past Michigan to advance another round in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.

Michigan entered the match fifth in country in three-point field goal percentage and the Falcons came in third in three-point field goal percentage defense. However, it was BG’s sharp shooting that elevated them.

Falcon head coach Jennifer Roos said the key to their success was as simple as making their shots. The Falcons shot 55.8 percent from the field and 56.3 percent from the three. Michigan finished 40.4 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from behind the arc.

“You’ve got to make shots to win,” Roos said. “Anytime I see a T-shirt that says ‘defense wins championships,’ I always giggle inside because if you can’t score you’re not going to win many championships either.”

With the win, the Falcons advance to 30-4 on the season, becoming just the second team in the program do so. Senior Jill Stein said that earning this accolade is huge for her.

“It’s something that we don’t really talk about at times,” Stein said. “We kind of just go one game at a time. When that time would pass, we would let it go and focus on the next one because, what does it matter when you win in November if you’re not winning in March? I think once we are finished with this season and we have that opportunity to look back, that’ll be something that we’re very proud of.”

The Falcons were able to earn that 30 victory in front of 2,403 fans who showed up to the Stroh Center to show their support for either team.

Senior Jillian Halfhill said the Falcons’ home crowd was a key to their success.

“Tonight was amazing. You can’t ask for better fans, a better crowd than that,” Halfhill said. “There’s no better way to get it against Michigan here at home court of a WNIT matchup.”

Stein said her team is charging through the WNIT with a full head of steam, knowing they have a great opportunity ahead of them with the chance to keep continuing on in the postseason tournament.

“I think that getting to this point and realizing when you beat a Big Ten team for the second time in the same season that this isn’t just a fluke,” Stein said. “This is a legitimate, good team that’s coming together at the right time and just staying together through that adversity.”

With the victory against Michigan, the Falcons will return to the Stroh yet again and face Rutgers University in the quarterfinal round of the WNIT.