ATHENS - Nine different members of the Bowling Green State University women's basketball team scored at least five points, as the Falcons rolled to a 67-41 win over Ohio University. The Mid-American Conference game was held at the Convocation Center.
With the victory, the Falcons improve to 12-5 on the season, and BGSU is now 3-1 in MAC play. The Bobcats drop to 5-11 and 0-4, respectively.
Freshman Miriam Justinger led the Falcons with 13 points, including eight-straight points as part of an early 10-0 run that gave the Brown and Orange the lead for good.
Sunday's win was truly a team effort, as all 10 players in uniform for the game scored at least two points and had at least one assist. As mentioned, nine of those 10 Falcons had at least five points, and the 10th -- fifth-year senior Danielle Havel -- attempted just one shot in the game.
Nine BGSU players saw action in the first half, and all nine scored before the break as the Brown and Orange took a 36-17 lead into the intermission. BG shot 58.3 percent in that half and 48.1% for the game.
At the other end of the court, the BGSU defense limited Ohio to just six first-half field goals and a 29.4% shooting rate for the game. BG has held each of this year's four MAC opponents to fewer than 50 points, and the Falcons' conference opponents have averaged just 41.0 points per game and shot only 28.2% from the floor in those four games.
In addition to Justinger's 13 points on Sunday, seniors Allison Papenfuss and Chrissy Steffen scored nine points apiece, while junior Katrina Salinas added eight. Redshirt junior Alexis Rogers had six points, while four Falcons had five points each. That list included juniors Jillian Halfhill and Jill Stein, sophomore Deborah Hoekstra and freshman Bailey Cairnduff.
The Bobcats had three players score in double digits, led by Kiyanna Black with 14. Black, Symone Lyles (11) and Erin Bailes (10) combined for 35 of Ohio's 41 points.
The Falcons scored on each of the first two possessions of the game, as Halfhill hit a driving layup just 19 seconds into the game, and Rogers threw the ball inside to Havel for a wide-open layup. The latter bucket, which came after a three-pointer by Black, gave BG a 4-3 lead, and the visitors would not trail again.
Moments later, Havel found Justinger behind the arc, and the freshman drained a three-pointer from the right elbow. Justinger got open on the other side of the court, knocking down a triple from the left corner, and the Sylvania native then drove the lane and banked home a floater. The 10-0 run gave the Falcons a 12-3 lead, and the Bobcats took a timeout with less than six minutes gone.
Bailes scored just before the shot-clock buzzer to stop BG's run, and several minutes later, Lyles converted a three-point play to get the home team within three points at 13-10. But, a triple by Steffen began a 12-0 run for the Brown and Orange.
Steffen's three-ball, off of a pass from Papenfuss, came at the 11:50 mark. Just over a minute later, Stein found Hoekstra open in the right corner, and the sophomore buried a long-distance try -- BG's fourth triple in five attempts -- for a 19-20 lead.
After an Ohio miss, Salinas knocked down a pull-up jumper on the break. Justinger assisted on back-to-back baskets, throwing the ball inside for layups by Papenfuss and Stein, respectively. With just over 11 minutes gone, BGSU's lead was 25-10, and the Bobcats called another timeout.
Black hit a free throw for Ohio's first point in four-and-a-half minutes, but Rogers blew by her would-be defender for a layup and a 27-11 BG lead.
After Lyles scored four consecutive points to get the Bobcats back within 12 points, the Falcons went on another run, with seven points in just 55 seconds. Halfhill hit a three, and Hoekstra drained a jumper on the break, then came up with a steal and fed Papenfuss for a layup and a 36-17 lead. The teams went scoreless over the final 2:15 of the half.
Nine players saw action for the Falcons in the first half, with every one of those players making at least one field goal before the break. Seven of the nine players had at least one first-half assist.
Tina Fisher scored inside on the first Ohio possession of the second half, but Steffen answered with a jumper. After Lyles scored at the other end, Steffen hit a pair of charity tosses and Rogers backed her defender down for a layup and a 42-21 lead.
Moments later, Justinger went left-to-right across the paint and hit a pull-up jumper. When Rogers hit another layup, the Falcons were ahead by a 46-23 count with 14:38 remaining.
The Bobcats went on a mini-run, with four consecutive points, but Papenfuss found Salinas for a three-pointer, and Hoekstra lobbed the ball inside to Stein for a layup. Then, a Papenfuss rebound led to a Falcon fast-break, and Salinas whipped a long pass ahead to Justinger for an 'and-one' layup with 9:38 on the clock. Justinger's ensuing free throw was good, and the Falcons had a 25-point lead.
Cairnduff, who checked into the game at that 9:38 mark, proceeded to hit a three-pointer from the left side on BG's next offensive possession. Several minutes later, when the freshman's pass led to a patented turnaround fadeaway banker by Papenfuss, the Falcons' lead was 60-33.
Salinas hit her second trey of the game, and Cairnduff and Papenfuss each scored to give the Brown and Orange a 32-point lead with just over three minutes remaining. The Bobcats scored the final six points of the game to surpass the 40-point mark.
BGSU went 8-of-17 from three-point range on the afternoon, with six different Falcons connecting from beyond the arc. Ohio hit just one triple in 14 tries.
The Falcons had a 28-16 advantage in points in the paint and a whopping 32-2 margin in bench scoring.
The Falcons now prepare for a Thursday (Jan. 24) game vs. Miami University. BGSU was picked to finish second behind the RedHawks in the MAC's East Division in the league's preseason coaches' poll. Tipoff for Thursday's contest is 7:00 p.m. at the Stroh Center.