Falcons Alexis Rogers, Erica Donovan make great combination on and off the court

Tara Jones and Tara Jones

Despite playing for two Atlantic Coast Conference inner-state rivaled teams, head coach Jennifer Roos said that Alexis Rogers and Erica Donovan make a good combination.

The two Ohio-grown women basketball players returned to play for Bowling Green after each playing a year in the ACC.

Rogers, a redshirt senior, joined the Falcons after one year of play at Duke University. Erica Donovan, a redshirt sophomore, transferred to BG after a year at North Carolina State University.

Rogers, from West Chester, Ohio, was attracted to BG after signing her release from Duke because her friend’s mother is a BG alumna who played for the Falcons and remained close with the coaching staff. She suggested playing for the Falcons to Rogers, who then visited BG and made the decision to transfer.

After her year at North Carolina State, Donovan wanted to find a program closer to home. The Toledo native originally looked at playing for University of Toledo, but said the Falcons reached her first.

“I knew I wanted to play basketball, but the question was where,” Donovan said. “So it was kind of like a first-come, first-serve basis and Bowling Green wanted me first.”

Donovan said the biggest difference between the ACC and the Mid-American Conference is the style of play. She said the ACC typically has bigger girls, along with a different environment surrounding the game. However, she said that does not take away from the game itself.

“No matter what conference you’re in, there’s always going to be a different style of play, but there’s always going to be competition where you’re at,” Donovan said. “Basketball is basketball; it doesn’t matter where you are.”

The biggest adjustment from the two conferences is the speed of the game Rogers said.

“I think the ACC is a lot quicker, it’s like quick and finesse,” Rogers said. “You have a lot more players who like to be finesse with how they play, whereas in the MAC you know you just want to win. It’s not about being a finesse player I think we have to grind it out and there’s a lot more muscle play than there is in the ACC.”

Rogers added that the venues are different, and typically larger in the ACC, but said the atmosphere that women’s basketball at BG attracts is “wilder” than what she experienced in the ACC and at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

“I don’t think I would trade the BG fans for a Cameron Crazie,” Rogers said. “For a normal, like Duke/NC State game, which is [a] close and local [game] right down the street, you wouldn’t have as big a turnout as we have normally here.”

Teammate senior Jillian Halfhill said Rogers is fun to play with because she is easy to find on the court to pass to and also returns the favor when she is not open herself. Halfhill said Donovan is a unique player for the team because she can score from both the post and the guard position, a great asset to a team with a roster of 12 players.

“When they came, they made a big impact, so I guess you can say it’s from their bigger schools or what not, but them playing here has been huge for us and it’s made us real successful,” Halfhill said.

Roos said Bowling Green is very fortunate to have both Rogers and Donovan in the program. The two have “really changed our program,” both being eligible for the 2013-14 season. She said the best thing about having both players on the court is that when one is being double teamed, they can look to the other to make a good play, she said.

Roos said off of the court, Rogers and Donovan are two very emotional kids who work hard and are very hard on themselves. She said they both have the ability to talk to just about anybody, a trait many people don’t possess.

“Both of them have a rigorous academic schedule and they’ve got a lot on their plates academically as well as athletically because they want nothing but the best for this program so they’re going to do whatever they can,” Roos said.