The Bowling Green State University women's basketball team outperformed host Purdue University in a number of statistical categories on Sunday afternoon (Dec. 22), but the Falcons could not overcome a poor shooting day. The result was a 57-48 loss to the nationally-ranked Boilermakers at Mackey Arena.
The result leaves with teams with identical 9-2 records heading into the holidays.
BGSU held a rebounding advantage, committed fewer fouls and forced the Boilermakers into nearly twice as many turnovers as the Falcons. But, Purdue held BG to just a 17-of-65 (26.2%) day from the field, and BG hit just two three-point field goals in 19 attempts.
The Boilermakers shot 38.3 percent from the floor, going 18-of-47 on the afternoon.
Senior Jillian Halfhill had a double-double, with 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds as BG held a 39-36 advantage on the boards. Halfhill hit both of the Falcons' long-distance shots on the day. Alexis Rogers led the Brown and Orange with 16 points.
April Wilson had a game-high 18 points to pace four double-figure scorers for the Boilermakers. KK Houser scored 13 points, while Liza Clemons and Courtney Moses had 10 apiece.
The teams were tied, 23-23, at the half, but the Falcons got off to a slow second-half start. BG held the hosts off the scoreboard for over two minutes to start the period, but a pair of Clemons free throws gave the Boilermakers the lead for good.
Wilson got free for a corner three to give PU a five-point advantage. Junior Jasmine Matthews threw an entry pass to senior Jill Stein for a layup at the 16:41 mark, but Moses knocked down a three-pointer from the corner for a 31-25 Purdue lead.
Rogers hit a tough layup, but after a steal by Stein, the Falcons missed a pair of short layups, and Wilson hit another trey. The home team's lead was seven, 34-27, and the Falcons used a timeout with 14:27 on the clock.
After a Moses three-point try went in and out, the Falcons got the rebound and Halfhill was fouled on a drive. She converted a pair of free throws to cut the Purdue lead to five.
Houser answered with a pair of charity tosses, however, beginning a 6-0 run. The Falcons were scratching and clawing at the offensive end of the court, but couldn't get a shot to drop. Meanwhile, Houser threw in a wacky, two-handed overhead shot, and a jumper by Whitney Bays gave the Boilermakers an 11-point advantage, the largest of the game, with just over eight minutes remaining.
Matthews, however, helped the Falcons to a 6-1 run over the next several minutes. The Chicago native hit a pair of free throws, then sank a nifty floater to cut Purdue's lead to 40-33. After Wilson split two tosses from the stripe, Matthews knocked down a foul-line jumper, cutting BG's deficit to six points at the six-minute mark.
Moments later, however, a three-pointer by Houser gave Purdue a 46-37 lead. That shot came after a Matthews field-goal try went halfway down and came back out.
Halfhill answered the Houser trey, though, with one of her own, off of a give-and-go play with Rogers, cutting the Purdue lead to 46-40 with 4:14 left. Then, Halfhill converted a pull-up jumper in the paint, cutting the margin to just four points.
After Houser's layup with 3:28 left, sophomore Miriam Justinger eluded a defender with a shot fake and sank a long two-pointer.
BG forced a miss, and Halfhill was fouled and split two tries from the line. A Rogers steal gave BG the ball back with 1:40 to go, and Matthews hit a free throw with 1:30 remaining. Purdue's lead was just two points, 48-46.
But, Wilson threw up a crazy layup in traffic, getting the shot to drop while drawing a foul. She completed the three-point play to give her team a five-point advantage with 1:10 left.
Rogers hit a layup with 57.6 seconds to go, but Moses answered with 30.3 seconds remaining. The Falcons missed a shot the next time down the floor, and the home team closed out the game with four free throws in the final 21 seconds.
The Boilermakers had taken an early lead on Sunday, scoring the first six points of the game. Wilson hit a corner three, then found Clemons for an easy layup. But, Halfhill dribbled around a would-be defender at the top of the arc and knocked down a three-ball to cut the hosts' lead in half, and Rogers took a pass from redshirt sophomore Erica Donovan and hit a long two-pointer.
Moments later, Justinger's contested layup cut Purdue's lead to 8-7, and Rogers made a shot inside for a 9-8 BG advantage.
Moses scored for the Boilers, but junior Deborah Hoekstra came right back with a layup, and Donovan's putback gave the Falcons a three-point lead. A Rogers step-back jumper put the Brown and Orange up by a 15-10 count.
Purdue scored four-straight points before a Halfhill running one-hander gave BG a 17-14 lead. After Wilson scored an up-and-under layup, Moses was fouled on a three-point try and hit all three free throws. Halfhill's nifty spin move and pull-up J tied the score, but Clemons hit a pair of short shots to give her team a 23-19 lead. Four Rogers foul shots, however, tied the score, and BG got a steal in the final seconds, but missed a pair of layups as the first half came to a frenetic finish.
The Falcons' next game will be next Sunday afternoon, Dec. 29, as the Brown and Orange will face Saint Francis (Pa.) at the Stroh Center. Tipoff is set for 2:00 p.m.