Falcons to play Rutgers Monday night, looking to stay undefeated at the Stroh

Tara Jones and Tara Jones

The BG women’s basketball team has advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament for the first time in school history.

With their win against Michigan on Thursday, the 30-4 Falcons won yet another bid to host the next round at the Stroh Center. The Falcons will now face Rutgers University on Monday at 7 p.m. in the Elite Eight of the postseason tournament.

During senior Jill Stein’s post-game press conference following BG’s victory over Michigan, it was announced that the Falcons clinched another home game. Stein said it was an amazing feeling.

“At this point traveling is not something that we really enjoy doing, and we have a really good flow going here, and to know we have that home-court advantage is just phenomenal,” Stein said. “It’s incredible to make a shot or get a stop and just have the crowd roar. Anderson [Arena] was called the ‘House That Roars’ … and I feel like [the Stroh] is there now.”

Prior to the Michigan game, Roos said she told her players and staff to enjoy the atmosphere of hosting a postseason match at home.

“I told the team in the huddle before the game started, I said, ‘listen, I’m going to tell you what to run offensively and I’m going to tell you what to run defensively, but just take a moment and absorb this,’” Roos said. “A lot of college programs don’t play in front of an atmosphere like this, and we’re fortunate enough to do that. I told our staff right after the national anthem, ‘hey, this is one reason why you came here— because you wanted to play late in the season and you wanted to play in front of crowds like this,’ and it gave everybody goose bumps.”

The Falcons will get the chance to play in that atmosphere again against Rutgers. Monday marks the first meeting between BG and Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights have an overall record of 25-9 entering into Monday’s matchup. Rutgers defeated Seton Hall Thursday 91-79 in double overtime. The team also defeated Delaware and Harvard in earlier rounds of the WNIT to advance to the Elite Eight.

Rutgers, out of the American Athletic Conference, went 16-14 overall in the 2012-13 season. The Scarlet Knights returned eight letter-winners, including two starters, from that team.

The Scarlet Knights rank 343 of the 343 NCAA Division I teams in three-point field goals made per game. Rutgers averages 1.3 triples per game, attempting just 150 and making 43 on the season. In comparison, the Falcons have made 260 total three-pointers to date. BG’s Jillian Halfhill, Deborah Hoekstra and Jasmine Matthews all have over 40 three-pointers individually this season.

The winner of the game will face the winner of Sunday’s game between Mississippi State and South Florida.