BOWLING GREEN — It would be easy to think that the Bowling Green State University’s 73-42 thrashing of Ball State Wednesday was a product of the Falcons’ tough loss against Toledo on Sunday.
BG coach Jennifer Roos disagreed.
"I know that will be the marquee story, getting the frustrations out or putting that one game behind you," she said. "Honesty, it was one game. We’ve got 13 more conference games, and we’ve got to focus on those."
Alexis Rogers finished with 17 points while Anthony Wayne High School grad Allison Papenfuss added 12 as Bowling Green improved to 11-5 overall and 2-1 in Mid-American Conference play.
Brittany Carter scored 11 to lead Ball State (5-11, 2-1).
Papenfuss said the Falcons didn’t look past the Cardinals, but admitted that the 10-point home loss to the Rockets wasn’t totally forgotten.
"Ball State was 2-0 in the MAC, and no matter how you look at it, they were playing really good basketball," she said. "We did what we normally do [to prepare] ... then we forgot about [the Toledo game].
"And yes, we forgot about it. But we’re never going to [totally] forget about it. We needed to come back."
The Cardinals bore the brunt of the Falcons’ early onslaught. The game itself was effectively decided in the first 10 minutes as the BG offense made 11 of its first 18 shots (61.1 percent), many of them coming on easy pick-and-rolls to the basket.
Bowling Green scored on five of its first six possessions, with Alexis Rogers scoring six of the Falcons’ first 10 points. Papenfuss subbed in for Rogers at the 16-minute, 15-second mark and scored six quickly as BG posted 19 in the first eight minutes.
Papenfuss gave the credit to BG’s point guards, Jillian Halfhill (nine assists) and Katrina Salinas (two assists off the bench).
"My point guards are great," Papenfuss said. "They saw openings. A few times I didn’t think the ball would get through, and it did."
Meanwhile, the Bowling Green defense smothered the Cardinals, forcing Ball State to miss its first 16 shots. The Cardinals’ didn’t make a basket until Lyzz Smith made a long 3-pointer with 8:06 on the clock, and by that point BG led 23-8.
"I thought we scouted them, and we were able to take away a couple of their strengths," Roos said. "They set a tremendous amount of screens — stagger screens, on-ball screens, stagger screens, away screens. I thought our kids did a good job talking defensively."
The result was a Bowling Green lead that was as large as 23 in the first half before the Falcons took a 38-19 lead into the locker room. BG led by as many as 34.
NOTES: Jasmine Matthews was not in uniform and wore a walking boot on her right foot. Matthews has missed three games this season. ... Halfhill’s nine assists were a career high. She tied her previous career high of five in the first half.
Contact John Wagner at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.