Women’s basketball to seek home season record in first round of WNIT in Stroh Center


Jillian Halfhill, BG guard, passes the ball while playing against Central Michigan. The Falcons recently fell to the Chippewas in the MAC semifinals.

Back to the Stroh we go.

The women’s basketball team will be making another appearance in the Stroh Center, not in the NCAA tournament, but for the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.

The Falcons found out late Monday night, after BG got the announcement that they would be hosting Baylor vs. UC Santa Barbara and Ohio St. vs. Florida in the Stroh, that their season had not yet come to an end.

Thursday the Falcons will host Virginia Commonwealth University to begin their postseason play.

Head coach Curt Miller was grateful they would be able to have a home game, despite playing host to the NCAA tournament.

“We’ve had our fingers crossed since our loss in Cleveland we would get a home game on Thursday and have an opportunity to play in front of our home crowd,” Miller said.

BG earned an automatic berth into the WNIT by winning the Mid-American Conference season title.

VCU is 17-14 overall and is making its fifth straight postseason appearance. This past year VCU ended its run early in the WNIT with a loss to St. Joseph in the first round.

Despite both teams’ familiarity with the WNIT, this is the first meeting between BG and VCU.

Senior Jessica Slagle said the Falcons aren’t certain about their opponent’s offense, but she feels they have an understanding when it comes to their defense and what they do.

“I think we are really going to learn as we go, coaches and players as a whole,” she said.

Slagle, the only uniformed senior, said it was especially hard for her to lose so early in the MAC tournament.

“Personally, being a senior, it’s always going to sting,” Slagle said. “Feeling like we worked all year and being disappointed like that, I think it stung everyone.”

After having the weekend off, the team was back to practice on Monday in preparation for the WNIT.

Slagle was excited to reach postseason play for the eighth year in a row, and she wants to enjoy the rest of her time on the team, leaving the “right way,” she said.

“No one wants to leave on a loss and you better believe were going to try like heck to take this as far as we can,” Slagle said.

She has taken a step back and tried to remember that any game could be her last — last shot, last time on the floor.

“I think if you approach it like that I think it becomes so much more enjoyable,” Slagle said.

Although she will graduate from BG this year, she has the chance to become part of history.

A win against VCU not only means another game in the tournament, but it will be the best home season record in BG women’s basketball history.

“This is not the best team that Bowling Green has ever had, but they have the chance to be in the record books as the best home team ever,” Miller said.

The Falcons tied last year’s home record of 14-1 with their final regular season game in the Stroh Center against Miami University.

Winning against VCU would make the Falcons’ home record 15-1, and Miller said that would be a great way to start in the Stroh Center.

“We’re definitely going in it to win it — don’t believe any differently,” Slagle said.