BOWLING GREEN — Allison Papenfuss admitted that she and her Bowling Green State University women’s basketball teammates had a goal for the team’s exhibition opener against Slippery Rock on Saturday.
“We really, really wanted to start out strong and make a statement,” said Papenfuss, an Anthony Wayne graduate. “We wanted to prove that we’re still Bowling Green.
“Just because coach [Curt] Miller left, we’re still Bowling Green — and not that much has changed.”
Consider the statement made as the Falcons rolled to an easy 105-39 win at the Stroh Center. Papenfuss led four BG players in double figures with 29 points and tied Jill Stein with a game-high eight rebounds. Alexis Rogers scored 18 points, Bailey Cairnduff 12, and Jillian Halfhill 11.
Slippery Rock, which lost to Michigan 106-35 on Friday night, had three players — Christa Wodarczyk, Alexis Mayo, and Danielle Garroute — score six points.
Saturday’s game turned into a rout early, with Bowling Green scoring 16 unanswered points during a six-minute span midway through the first half to build a 31-8 lead, then scoring 19 straight late in the period to lead 55-14 at the break. The Falcons led by as many as 69 points in the second half before settling on the final margin.
“I was happy with our performance overall,” BG coach Jennifer Roos said. “[Slippery Rock] played Michigan last night and came in tired, and I think they are a better team than they showed.
“I’m pleased in particular with the post play. We have a four-player rotation with Alexis Rogers and Danielle Havel … and any time you can bring two upperclassmen off the bench like Jill Stein and Allison Papenfuss, that’s a plus.”
That quartet combined to make 22 of 30 shots from the floor (73.3 percent), grabbed 26 of BG’s 43 rebounds, and helped the Falcons score 64 points in the paint.
“We’ve got a really veteran post group, and we’re looking to make all of us more of a [scoring] option,” Papenfuss said. “Hopefully when we get the ball down low, it will free up people like Chrissy Steffen … and get her more shots.”
All three newcomers to the program had strong debuts. Cairnduff, a freshman, started and had five rebounds and three steals to go with her 12 points, while Northview product Miriam Justinger, also a freshman, came off the bench to contribute nine points, five boards, and three steals. Junior-college transfer point guard Katrina Salinas added five points, five assists, and four steals.
“This is a little like Christmas Day when you’re a fresh face in any program,” Roos said. “I was very happy with their performance.
“They can improve, don’t get me wrong, but I remember my first collegiate game, and they did much better than I my first time out. So I was happy with their effort overall.”
NOTES: Sophomore guard Jasmine Matthews was in uniform but did not play, while sophomore guard Deborah Hoekstra was not in uniform. Roos did not disclose the nature of the injuries but said she expects both to return to action soon. ... The Falcons open the regular season on Saturday by hosting Madonna at the Stroh Center, starting at 1 p.m.
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