BGSU women’s basketball loses in overtime battle of MAC unbeatens

Tara Jones and Tara Jones

The BG women’s basketball team fell to Central Michigan in an overtime Mid-American Conference battle after the Chippewas made a late second-half surge.

In a matchup between two undefeated teams in the MAC, much of the game was back and forth, tallying 10 lead changes and six ties for the lead. However, the Chippewas faced an early scoring drought of over eight minutes midway through the first half that allowed the Falcons to jump to the lead. BG finished the half on a 7-0 run and went into halftime with a 32-24 lead.

In the second half, the Falcons were able to clench a double-digit lead, but Central Michigan continued chipping away at the lead with small runs. After forcing BG to turn the ball over and the Falcons going just 1-of-7 from the free-throw line late in the game, momentum shifted entirely to the Chippewas. Central Michigan closed the second half on a 12-1 run to tie the game up at 70 and force the game into overtime.

The Chippewas continued their momentum into overtime, but the Falcons were not going away easily. BG forced two ties in overtime. The Falcons were unable to hit two shot attempts that would give them the lead with just over a minute left to play and were forced to foul CMU. The Chippewas began to pull away from the free-throw line.

Senior Jill Stein’s inbounds pass was just out of reach for the Falcons’ last effort, and a jump ball was forced, giving the ball back to CMU with just over a second left. Central Michigan inbounded the ball and ran out the clock, claiming the overtime victory.

Redshirt senior Alexis Rogers finished with a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Falcons. Fellow senior Jillian Halfhill fouled out in overtime and finished with 18 points. Redshirt sophomore Erica Donovan finished the day with 16 points and seven rebounds.

Rogers said a lot of positives came from today’s game, despite the result. She said they learned what they need to work on for further games.

“We weren’t supposed to come in here and win today,” Rogers said. “That’s not what people thought, but the fact that we played a game and they had to take us into overtime, that proves a lot and . . . we still have a really long season. We’ll see them again and we’ll play just as hard as we did today.”

Head Coach Jennifer Roos said that the combination of miscues on their part and missed free throws hurt the Falcons in the end of regulation. However, she said that she is very calm following the loss because she is proud of her team’s effort and proud of how the Falcons played in a very challenging week for them. She added that this game is just game five of their MAC slate.

“We went 2-1 this week,” Roos said. “Two out of the three games [were] on the road. Ball State’s extremely talented, we beat a very talented Akron team at home, and now we play in front of you know 2,000 people at a very tough McGuirk Arena at Central, against a team that’s favored to win both the West, the overall and the tournament.”

The Falcons now return to the Stroh Center for their next MAC contests. First, BG will host Eastern Michigan on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. Then, Northern Illinois will come to town on Sunday, Jan 26 at 2 p.m.