Womens basketball open at the Stroh


Womens basketball

Evan Hayes and Evan Hayes

The Bowling Green State University womens basketball team will open their 2015-2016 season this weekend with two home matchups, first on Friday night against Illinois State University then again on Sunday afternoon against Bradley University. After last season saw them succumb to multiple injuries and finish with a 9-21 record, the Falcons will look to start their season off strong.

“We’ll be playing against a different style of play in Illinois State, they’re going to change up their defensive pressure and show us five to seven different defensive pressures or situations, where when we played them last year that’s what they did to us as well,” Head Coach Jennifer Roos said. “But it’s going to be a tough weekend with a short turnaround, with a late Friday night game and an early Sunday afternoon tip.”

The Falcons were able to win against both teams last year on the road, and will look to do the same at home this season. Illinois State is a team rebuilding, but with successful recruiting classes the past few years are looking to pay back the Falcons for their home loss last season.

“This is a team that because they have more newcomers than we do, their coach may have the opportunity to run a new system than what they did last year,” Roos said. “She’s inherited a program where she’s looking to rebuild, but they’ve had successes in the recruiting front and they’re starting to pay off already for them. We’ve got to be ready for a tough opponent that we beat last year, that is looking to pay us back this year at our place.”

The team is noticeably different than last years, with five new players, three freshmen and two transfers, being incorporated into the program for the Falcons. The team also gets back forward Erica Donovan, who was selected to the Preseason All-MAC team. Coming together as a cohesive unit will be crucial to BG’s success this season.

“Playing together will take some time, and I know that will come,” Roos said. “But this team got better in the days leading up to our Illinois State game, and we’re looking forward to playing someone else.”

Injuries proved to be the Falcons’ Achilles heal last season, which saw them lose five players to injuries, two of which were career ending. In order to gel as a group and make a run in the MAC, staying healthy will be imperative for the Falcons.

“We want to come out of each game and out of each practice healthy, first and foremost, after last year. That is our primary goal. Also, the more time that our kids can play together in game situations is going to help us,” Roos said. “So we’re looking forward to getting better each day and staying healthy, and we’ve got to focus on that. Our kids have bought into that because we’ve talked about it in practice and team meetings. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Both games will take place this weekend at the Stroh Center, with Illinois State tipping off at 7 p.m. Friday night. Sunday afternoon’s game against Bradley will start at 2 p.m.