Bye week helps prepare Falcons for season’s final stretch

Brandon Shrider and Brandon Shrider

Looking to right the ship, the Bowling Green women’s basketball team will attempt to jump back into the win column this weekend.

With the noted struggles for the Falcons this season, they meet a similarly struggling Mid-American Conference opponent this weekend.

BG [9-15, 2-11 MAC] takes on Kent State [4-20, 2-11] at home in a game that poses multiple favorable matchups for the Falcons.

The Golden Flashes have lost nine of their last 10 wile struggling to score.

KSU shoots just 60.2 percent as a team from the line while the Falcons shoot a nation’s third-best 78.0 percent from the charity stripe. The Golden Flashes are near even with the Falcons in rebounding while scoring just under 55 points per game.

However, with just nine free throws in the first game, BG needs to do a better job of winning the free throw battle, said head coach Jennifer Roos.

The Flashes do have inside presence that could be problematic for BG.

Shortly after the injury bug hit the Falcons earlier in the season, preparing to play their first game without starting center Abby Siefker, they traveled to a 2-11 [at the time] Kent State team. KSU used its notable size to defeat BG, 55-48, which left the Falcons on a 5-game losing streak.

Center CiCi Shannon and forward Jordan Korinek combined for 29 points and 26 rebounds while shooting 12-for-18 [66.7 percent] from the field in the early-season game. Their combined season averages however, are just 16.8 points, 13.3 rebounds while shooting 49.5 percent from the field.

This is something that BG is cognizant of and will look to limit in its game on Saturday.

“We want to limit the point differential in the paint obviously, but we’re not going to stop it due to the size difference,” Roos said. “It’s difficult to guard against kids with that size, so we’re going to have to be creative.”

While creativity will help the Falcons, having energy around the basket will be key for them too.

“It’s all effort-based, working really hard to box out, guards coming in and swooping rebounds and trying to deny high-post passes,” said senior guard Deborah Hoekstra. “The biggest thing is effort and trying to be in good position to counter them and limit second chance points.”

The Falcons have had an extended period of time to prepare for this inside presence both mentally and physically.

The first game after the bye week, BG has not played since last Saturday in which their losing extended to six straight.

“I think the bye week definitely served its purpose for us,” Hoekstra said. “It’s definitely been a little bit of a rejuvenation, we needed it mentally and physically.”

Now, with six days off and limited practice time, the Falcons are looking forward to getting back on the court without dead legs.

“We limped into the bye week literally and figuratively, so it was good to have a solid 72 hours off,” Roos said. “I hope the break gives us energy as opposed to being stagnant. I’m hoping that we’ll have a little bit fresher legs and a little bit more bounce in our step.”