Scoring droughts haunt BG women’s basketball team

Deploying a high-energy zone defense, the Bowling Green women’s basketball team caused Buffalo plenty of fits on Wednesday night.

But the Falcons had fits of their own, struggling against the length of Buffalo causing two notable scoring droughts in a loss to Buffalo, 55-47.

“We have emphasized in practice, ‘get comfortable being uncomfortable,’” said head coach Jennifer Roos. “Unfortunately we had too many droughts. The first four minutes we didn’t score and the eight-minute mark to the four-minute mark in the second half they went on a 7-2 run and I thought that was the difference in the game.”

The Falcons’ first bucket came at 15:16 on a Miriam Justinger 3-pointer. This sparked a 22-16 run to end the half, tied 22-22 at halftime.

Then, from 8:03 to 3:53, the Falcons scored just two Deborah Hoekstra free throws, falling behind 45-38.

BG finished with just 47 points, its second lowest total at home this season. Buffalo finished with 55 points, its second lowest point total during a road win this season.

“At the end of the day, we were getting exactly what we were looking for, it’s just on us to knock it down,” said Deborah Hoekstra, who finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds. “[We] have to keep on taking them and believe that the next one is going to fall.”

The shot weren’t falling, but they were good shots, she said.

“If a couple more shots fall, if we shoot 33 percent instead of 31, it’s a last possession game,” Roos said.

Despite the poor shooting, the defense did help keep the Falcons close late into the second half.

Using its typical man-defense in the first meeting, BG lost 66-45 at Buffalo on Feb. 7. This time, the Falcons used a 2-3 zone defense which helped keep the score close.

“I didn’t think Buffalo would be prepared for us to play 40 minutes of zone coming into it and it disrupted their momentum some,” Roos said. “It was a night-and-day difference from the first and second time playing this team and that’s all you want is growth. We held them to 33 percent [from the field], but [Buffalo] made the plays they needed down the stretch in the last

four minutes.”

The zone turned Buffalo, shooting 25.2 percent from the arc, into a jump shooting team finishing with 19 3-point attempt, making just three [15.8 percent].

The zone allowed BG to collect its first rebounding win since its last win, against Miami at home on Jan. 24. The Falcons gathered 40 rebounds to the much taller Bulls’ 38 rebounds.

“The 2-3 [zone] did a good job at forcing them to take outside shots, so we knew there were going to be long rebounds, so [we] just [had to] box hard, find anybody to box and grab the rebound,”

Hoekstra said.

While the zone scheme allowed the Falcons to be in position for a multitude of boards, their resilient effort helped limit extra opportunities for Buffalo.

“If you had to grade us on effort, ‘A,’” Roos said. “We outrebounded a

taller team.”

“What we lack in height we make up for in heart. That’s a testament to the work ethic of everyone on the team,” Hoekstra said.

Despite the now 10-game losing streak, the Falcons have not strayed from their hard work and relentless style of play. Throughout this process, the team, especially the young group of players, have made significant strides.

“There were times when the freshmen would miss a shot and they wouldn’t shoot again the whole entire game. Now, it’s ‘I’ve got the next one,’ so that’s all you can ask for,” Hoekstra said.