BOWLING GREEN - The plan all along was for the Bowling Green State University women's basketball team to turn its exhibition opener into an endurance test.
Eventually, that approach paid off as the Falcons pulled away in the closing minutes for an 87-77 win over the Premier All-Stars last night at Anderson Arena.
Bowling Green was down by two points with four minutes left in the game, but Premier, which featured six former Ohio State Buckeyes and former Toledo standout Angela Drake, ran out of gas against BG's pressing defense and three-point attack.
“I thought we would be able to run them off the floor a little bit quicker than we did,” Bowling Green coach Dee Knoblauch said. “They hung in there. But we're not in as good a shape as we're going to be in when Nov. 18 gets here.”
The Falcons will open the regular season that night at home against Youngstown State. They will play a Slovenian team in their final exhibition contest next week.
“I told the kids before the game that we're playing this game to win,” Knoblauch said. “I pretty much played everyone I wanted to play. I was hoping we might have a little bit of a lead at the end so I could get everybody in the game, but hopefully that will happen next Wednesday.”
The Falcons led 25-20 after freshman Emily Pohl hit a three from the wing with six minutes left in the opening half, and the margin was 41-37 at the break.
Premier took the lead in the early stages of the second half, and was on top 52-50 with about 13 minutes to play following a basket inside by Drake.
“I thought they tested our defense with their passing ability and their court vision, because they were so smart,” Knoblauch said. “I thought it was a good test for us. We just toughed it out at the end.”
Angie Farmer gave BG the lead for good with a three from the wing with 3:33 left that made it 75-74.
After a steal, Farmer added another three from the corner, then freshman Lindsay Austin converted her second steal in the final four minutes into a breakaway basket to give the Falcons some breathing room.
Francine Miller led Bowling Green with 20 points, while Dana Western had 18 and Farmer scored 11.
Lisa Cline, an All-Big Ten player at Ohio State in the 1989 season, led Premier with 18 points.