BOWLING GREEN - The Bowling Green State University women's basketball team used a dominant defensive performance in the second half to pull away from the nationally-ranked University of Dayton Sunday afternoon (Dec. 30). The Falcons topped the Flyers, 65-40, at the Stroh Center.
With the win, the Falcons improve to 9-3 on the season, and BGSU has won six consecutive games. UD loses for the first time this year, dropping to 12-1. The Flyers entered the game ranked No. 14 in the nation in the latest USA Today Sports Top 25 poll, and 15th in the Associated Press poll.
The win was just the fifth against a nationally-ranked team in program history.
BGSU allowed Dayton to make a total of just four second-half field goals, and forced the Flyers into 21 turnovers on the afternoon.
Redshirt junior Alexis Rogers led the way in a multitude of categories for the Falcons, with 20 points, 10 rebounds and six steals. She posted game-high totals in all three categories.
Senior Chrissy Steffen and junior Jillian Halfhill scored 16 and 15 points, respectively. Steffen surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her career during a key second-half run. Halfhill pulled down nine rebounds and Steffen seven as the Falcons had a 43-39 margin on the glass.
No UD player reached double figures in the scoring column. Samantha MacKay and Kelley Austria had eight points apiece for the Flyers.
The game featured seven ties and three lead changes, all in the opening half. Neither team led by more than four points in the opening period, and a layup by fifth-year senior Danielle Havel just before the halftime buzzer gave the Falcons a 28-25 lead at the intermission.
The Falcons' lead was a single point, 31-30, after a pair of free throws by UD's Andrea Hoover with 16:39 left. From that point on, however, the Falcons outscored the Flyers by a 34-10 count.
Steffen scored five-straight points, reaching the 1,000-point mark for her career in the process, to give the Falcons a 36-30 advantage. Then, after UD's Brittany Wilson hit a three-point field goal to cut that lead in half, the Brown and Orange proceeded to score the game's next 12 points.
BG held the Flyers scoreless for just under eight minutes during that 12-0 run, taking a 48-33 lead on a Halfhill jumper. UD finally broke the scoring drought on a layup by Olivia Applewhite with 6:55 remaining, but the home team responded with a 7-0 run to take a 20-point lead with just over five minutes left.
BGSU is now 5-30 in games vs. nationally-ranked teams in program history. The Falcons have a 4-11 mark in such games since Jennifer Roos arrived in Northwest Ohio. BGSU is now 3-4 in home games vs. top-25 opponents, including a 1-1 mark at the Stroh Center.
The Falcons' last win vs. a ranked opponent came two years ago at venerable Anderson Arena. BGSU downed Vanderbilt, 69-58, at "The House That Roars" on Dec. 1, 2010.
BG's only previous game vs. a nationally-ranked team at the Stroh Center came in the first-ever regular-season women's basketball contest in the building, as Purdue escaped with a 54-53 win last season (Nov. 17, 2011).
In addition to the 2010 Vanderbilt game and Sunday's Dayton contest, BGSU's only other home win over a ranked team came on Nov. 23, 1991. On that day, the Falcons downed 10th-ranked Purdue in Jaci Clark's head-coaching debut.
The 2012-13 Falcons will continue a season-long five-game homestand on Friday night (Jan. 4), hosting UCF in a 7:00 p.m. start at the Stroh.