Allison Papenfuss, one of four BGSU seniors, will play at least one more game at the Stroh Center. The Falcons host SMU in the first round of the WNIT on Thursday night.
THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH
BOWLING GREEN — The Bowling Green State University women’s basketball team set the tone for its postseason on Sunday, one day before the Falcons found out they would be playing in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
“At Sunday’s practice, coach [Jennifer] Roos made it very clear that we were not allowed to feel sorry for ourselves any more,” senior Allison Papenfuss said.
The method Roos used to wake up her team was a simple one.
“I yelled at every player, every manager, every coach — I got their attention early on,” Roos said. “And we ran quite a bit.
“I was disappointed in our effort in terms of taking care of the ball in that game against Central Michigan, and I wanted to clean things up.”
The Falcons will look to use the WNIT as a chance to bounce back from a poor effort in the third round of the Mid-American Conference tournament. BG committed a whopping 34 turnovers and suffered an 81-48 loss to eventual tourney champ Central Michigan.
“We had to swallow a bitter pill with the way we lost to Central Michigan in the MAC tournament,” Roos said. “But I’m happy that we won two games in the MAC tournament, and that we got to Cleveland.
“We look to redeem ourselves after that last performance here in the WNIT.”
The Falcons will make their ninth straight postseason appearance starting at 7 p.m. Thursday, when they host Southern Methodist. Papenfuss, one of four seniors, thinks her team will bounce back strong after the disappointing effort against the Chippewas.
“It helps that all year we’ve been preaching [to take things] one game at a time,” she said. “Once we’re done with a game, the tape is gone.
“There have been terrible losses where [the coaches] could go back and ride us for collapsing. But our coaches have done a good job having us take things one game at a time.”
SMU will provide a tough test for the 22-10 Falcons. The Mustangs (21-9) won the Conference USA regular-season title with a 12-4 record, but but SMU was upset by UCF in the C-USA tournament and did not receive a bid to the NCAA tournament.
“As the expression goes, ‘Everything is bigger in Texas’ — and that certainly applies to SMU,” Roos said. “They are the Conference USA champions, they have the conference player of the year in [Keena] Mays, and they have two other all-conference players [in Alisha Filmore and Akil Simpson].
“They are bigger than we are, and they are faster than we are. We have our work cut out for us in this game.”
Papenfuss said she and the rest of the Falcons look forward to the second chance the WNIT provides.
“It’s been an up-and-down, crazy year because of the injuries,” Papenfuss said. “But I don’t want to say goodbye to my teammates yet.
“I’m not ready to move on — I’m ready to keep playing.”
Contact John Wagner at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.