BG women’s basketball edged out late at home

Brandon Shrider and Brandon Shrider

An early second half run by Kent State was too much for the Bowling Green women’s basketball team to overcome.

Trailing by five at halftime, the Falcons [9-16, 2-12] couldn’t find a way to get a stop out of the break. The Golden Flashes went on a 14-4 run en route to a 62-58 win over the Falcons. This included eight straight points from Larissa Lurken on back-to-back 3s and two free throws.

“Kudos to them, they hit some nice shots,” said Miriam Justinger, who led all scorers with 19 points for the Falcons. “Lurken had a real good game on the outside.”

Lurken led the Flashes with 16 points, shooting 4-for-7 from behind the arc.

It was this run that stretched the KSU lead to 46-31 at the 15:11 mark.

BG answered with a couple small runs of its own, but the deficit remained in double-figures. That was until it strung together a couple baskets to form a 12-0 run.

Kennedy Kirkpatrick drove hard to the basket for a layup to begin the stretch.

Both teams remained scoreless over the next minute-and-a-half before Deborah Hoekstra hit a jumper followed by a Miriam Justinger triple.

Justinger capped off the run with a layup with 1:18 remaining to cut the deficit to two, 60-58.

“I thought we did a good job of executing,” said head coach Jennifer Roos in regard to the key for the 12-0 second half run. “We had shots and we executed well down the stretch.”

The Falcons stumbled in the final minute, however.

A missed jumper by the Flashes with 46 seconds left gave BG the ball, but as Hoekstra slid along the three-point arc, catching the pass, she was called for a traveling violation, turning the ball back over to KSU.

BG quickly fouled but was seemingly bailed out as Jordan Korinek missed both shots from the line.

However, in transition the other way, the Falcons hit Sarah Baer over the top, but while gathering herself, help came and forced into her a miss under the basket.

Again, the Falcons fouled.

McKenna Stephens stepped to the line this time, knocking down the second of two free throws to bring Kent State’s lead to 61-58 with 13 seconds left.

Rachel Konieczki, bringing the ball up the floor, was guarded tightly along the far sideline forcing her to lose the ball out of bounds.

The nail was put in the coffin as Mikell Chinn hit one of two free throws at the other end.

“It was a comeback. I think we did a great job in not getting down on ourselves when we were down, [we] kept fighting,” Justinger said. “It was a good comeback, we just came up a little short.”

BG threw up and missed a desperation-3 as time expired.

Kirkpatrick helped pace the Falcons in the first half, leading all scorers with 11 points and scoring twice to cut 7-point deficits to five. She finished with 13 points.

However, the lack of second chance point opportunities hindered the Falcons.

Playing with a height disadvantage again, the Flashes managed 10 second chance points while holding the Falcons to just two. KSU also scored 26 points in the paint, to BG’s 16.

Despite the 70.6 percent [12-for-17] from the line for the Flashes, they outshot the Falcons on the floor with an even 50 percent from the field as well as beyond the arc. BG finished 17-for-38 [44.7 percent] from the field including 7-for-17 [41.2 percent] from deep.

BG shot just 2-for-8 from behind the arc in the second half after shooting 5-for-9 in the first half.

With Miami’s win over Buffalo, Bowling Green falls into a last-place tie in the Mid-American Conference standings with the Redhawks.