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BOWLING GREEN — The Bowling Green State University women’s basketball team wanted to get off to a fast start Saturday against Colorado State.
The Falcons did exactly that, scoring 15 points in the first six minutes — and before the Rams could tally a single point. BG rode that fast start to a 71-49 win at the Stroh Center.
“We felt the first few minutes of the game would be a good indication of how the game went,” Falcons coach Jennifer Roos said. “We came out strong, and I thought our start really propelled us.”
Bowling Green (4-3) were led by Mirian Justinger’s 12 second-half points in just 10 minutes. Jill Stein came off the bench to score 11, while Jasmine Matthews and Jillian Halfhill each had 10.
Caitlin Duffy had 15 points in a reserve role to lead Colorado State (2-4).
Bowling Green made four 3-pointers in the first six minutes — two by Halfhill, one by Matthews and one by Chrissy Steffen — while forcing the Rams to miss their first eight shots.
Colorado State made just 4-of-19 shots in the first half and BG forced the Rams to turn the ball over 11 times in the period. The result was a first-half Bowling Green lead that was as great at 19 points at one time and eventually became 31-14 at the break.
“We wanted to come out strong in the first half,” said Matthews who had all 10 of her points in that period. “We wanted to come out really aggressively, and that’s how we were able to put the game away earlier than we expected.”
The key to the victory wasn’t the offense — BG shot 37.1 percent from the field — but the defense. Colorado State turned the ball over 18 times, which led ty 20 points for the Falcons off turnovers, and the Rams shot just 35.3 percent from the floor in the game.
“We haven’t been shooting the ball as well as we hoped,” Matthews said. “But we know we have to work harder on defense if our shots aren’t falling.”
Halfhill had an inspired game, connecting on 4-of-6 and making both of her 3-pointers. The Falcons’ 5-foot-6 point guard also had a career-high 13 rebounds for her first career double-double while dishing out four assists and no turnovers.
“She went to the glass well,” Roos said of Halfhill. “I’ll also tell her she had a couple [rebounds] fall into her lap. I was excited to see her knock down both of her 3’s, although we need her to get to the foul line more."