Women’s basketball triumphs in rivalry game against Rockets

Tara Jones and Tara Jones

The BG women’s basketball team defeated the University of Toledo in true rivalry fashion.

The Falcons came out of the Battle of I-75 victorious in a fight to the finish. BG defeated the Rockets by a score of 66-59 Sunday afternoon. The Falcons now sit at an overall record of 18-3 and a Mid-American Conference record of 8-1.

The first half was back and forth between the two teams as they traded the lead a total of seven times in the half, including three ties. Despite the back and forth action, the score was just 21-20 going into the half, with BG having the advantage. The Falcons shot just 24.1 percent from the field, going 7-of-29. The Rockets went slightly better at 30.8 percent, making 8-of-26.

The Falcons heated up from both the three-point line and the free-throw line in the second half. Despite BG’s increase in offense, the Rockets still kept fighting for the lead. At the 7:12 mark, redshirt sophomore Erica Donovan hit a three for her first points of the afternoon to tie the score at 40 and shift momentum to the Falcons. Junior Deborah Hoekstra sank a triple from behind the arc to give BG the lead. Then, redshirt senior Alexis Rogers took a charge on the other end, immediately followed by another Hoekstra three-pointer to give the Falcons the lead for good.

BG reached its largest lead of 10 points from the free-throw line in the closing minutes. Senior Jillian Halfhill finished 9-for-9 from the charity stripe, including four straight that gave BG the 10 point lead.

Rogers led all scorers with a double-double of 22 points and 12 rebounds on the night. Hoekstra finished with 12 points after a 4-of-7 attempt from behind the arc. Halfhill finished with 11, 9 of which came from the free-throw line.

Rogers said she expected the intensity Toledo came out with because the team was defending its home court in a rivalry game. She said she is happy to come out with her first win against Toledo in her last year at BG

“I don’t think we ever come out wanting to prove anything more just because we’re playing, you know, a rivalry game,” Rogers said. “We just wanted to come out and play within ourselves and play BG basketball, and that’s what we come out to prove every game.”

Head coach Jennifer Roos said she knew the match would come down to the wire, and she was hoping her team would make foul shots the way they did at the end.

“I knew that the effort that we were going to get today from Toledo would be strong,” Roos said. “We knew exactly what we were going to get today, and as I told the team … you’re naive if you didn’t expect this type of effort from Toledo.”

The Falcons will return to the Stroh Center next week as they welcome Western Michigan on Feb. 5. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.