The Blade/Jeremy Wadsworth
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Corie Buchanan’s basket with 4.6 seconds left to play lifted Western Michigan to a 55-54 win over the Bowling Green State University women’s basketball team Sunday.
The loss denied the Falcons a share of first place in the Mid-American Conference’s East Division as BG fell to 15-8 overall and 6-4 in the MAC. The Falcons are tied with Miami for second in the division, one game behind first-place Akron.
Deborah Hoekstra finished with 11 points to lead the Falcons, while Chrissy Steffen and Alexis Rogers each had 10.
Marquisha Harris posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead Western Michigan (8-15, 4-6).
Cold shooting doomed BG as the Falcons shot 27.1 percent from the floor. Bowling Green’s three starting guards — Jillian Halfhill, Miriam Justinger, and Steffen — combined to make three of the 26 shots they took.
The Falcons trailed 12-9 after a 3-pointer by Bailey Cairnduff with 9:45 to play in the first half.
BG went more than five minutes without scoring while the Broncos rattled off 12 straight points to lead 24-10 with 5:05 to play.
Steffen and Hoekstra each made 3-pointers to break that string and the Falcons were able to cut their deficit to 26-20 at halftime.
Western Michigan scored the first two points of the second half, but Bowling Green responded with a 16-5 run capped by a Bailey Cairnduff 3-pointer to lead 36-35 with 13:59 on the clock.
The Broncos quickly regained the lead with a 7-0 run, but the Falcons tied the game on a layup by Danielle Havel at the 9:32 mark and neither team led by more than four points the rest of the way.
Trailing 51-47, Steffen made a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one point with 2:10 to play, but Western Michigan’s Harris made a layup with 1:37 on the clock. Rogers made a free throw to make the score 53-51 with 1:23 left.
After a miss by the Broncos, Halfhill made her only basket of the game: a 3-pointer with 44 seconds left that gave BG a 54-53 lead.
Buchanan’s basket lifted Western Michigan back in front, and Steffen missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.