BOWLING GREEN - When Lindsay Austin injured her ankle in practice on Thursday, the Bowling Green State University women's basketball team lost the player it relies on most to make its offense go. The junior point guard was on the bench in street clothes as the Falcons dropped their season-opener to Youngstown State 70-64 last night at Anderson Arena.
Bowling Green, already without starter Pam Brown who was sidelined with a knee injury, could not match Youngstown State's shooting. The Penguins hit 52 percent from 3-point range, while BG managed just 28 percent.
“It's like cards - you have to play the hand you are dealt,'' BG coach Curt Miller said. “Lindsay creates a ton of shots for us on offense, and when she gets hurt at practice on Thursday, there's not a lot of time to adjust. When she's out, it's tough.''
Youngstown State shot 60 percent from long range in the first half and led most of the way to intermission. BG's biggest lead of the half was 28-24 with about seven minutes left, but the Penguins knocked in a trio of 3-pointers and led 37-36 at the break.
Youngstown quickly jumped on top by nine to start the second half, and the Falcons did not get back even until about 10 minutes remained. Karen Stocz scored for BG with two minutes left to tie it at 64.
The Falcons missed three times in the final 1:16 however, and Youngtown State got a 3-pointer from Jessica Olmstead and three free throws to ice it.
“I'm pleased with the effort - we gave ourselves a chance to win it down the stretch,'' Miller said. “They made the big play.''
Francine Miller led BG with 16 points. Kim Griech had 11 and Stefanie Wenzel added 10. The Falcons shot just 34 percent.
Freshman Molly Martin, who started at the point in Austin's absence, was one of four BG freshmen to play.
Bowling Green hosts Iona tomorrow at 1 p.m.