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Bowling Green blasts Kent St.

02/28/2014, 12:27am EST
By JOHN WAGNER BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Decisive victory is 100th win for Falcons’ senior class

BOWLING GREEN — The Bowling Green State University women’s basketball team’s win over Kent State Thursday eventually may be little more than a postscript to an unforgettable season.

Don’t expect the program’s three seniors to ever forget the Falcons’ 82-38 victory, as it was their 100th win since joining the BG program.

Alexis Rogers scored 18 points, while Jillian Halfhill contributed 15, and Jill Stein added six points, six rebounds, and three blocks as the seniors led Bowling Green to its 10th straight win.

“They have played extremely well, and they are an extremely loyal group,” BG coach Jennifer Roos said of the seniors. “I am extremely proud of them. They are being rewarded for all of their hard work. … They have really stepped up to the plate and risen to the challenge.”

Jasmine Matthews also had 13 points and Erica Donovan 11 for the Falcons (24-3, 14-1 Mid-American Conference) to help the seniors become the eighth consecutive senior class with at least 100 career wins.

Halfhill said having that string of successful senior classes has not put any added pressure on this year’s group.

“You don’t think about that — you just go out and play Bowling Green basketball,” she said. “That’s what we’ve been taught since our freshman year.

“From being a freshman until now, I’ve learned so much about winning defense, offense.”

CiCi Shannon scored 10 points to lead Kent State (6-20, 3-12), which failed to score 40 points against the Falcons for the third consecutive game.

That streak looked to be in doubt in the first half as KSU made 12-of-17 shots from the field (70.6 percent) and scored 26 points.

BG led by as many as 14 points in that period but saw its lead sliced to eight late. Halfhill made a 3-pointer with nine seconds left, was fouled, and missed a free throw — only to see Rogers tap in a rebound just before the halftime buzzer to give the Falcons a 41-26 advantage.

Bowling Green dominated the second half, scoring the first eight points of the period and outscoring the Flashes 41-12.

The Falcons forced Kent State to make 4-of-26 second-half shots (15.4 percent) and nine turnovers.

“I thought the defense led to our offense,” Halfhill said. “When we got a stop, we got a lot of transition points in the second half that came off steals and rebounds.”

The large margin allowed the Falcons to use younger players extensively in the second half, and the bench scored 20 of its 26 points in that period.

“I was pleased that we got good minutes from everybody,” Roos said. “We had balanced minutes and balanced scoring.”

It also allowed this year’s seniors to watch the group that is expected to lead starting next season.

“It was cool to see — here comes the new group,” Halfhill said. “Seeing them try to do things we’ve been doing is cool — it’s great to see them rise to the occasion.”

NOTES: Matthews tied her career high by making four 3-pointers. … Abby Siefker sang the national anthem before the contest. She finished with seven points and four rebounds, both career highs.

Contact John Wagner at: jwagner@theblade.com, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.

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