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COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Strong 2nd half propels Falcons over Ball State

MUNCIE, Ind. — The Bowling Green State University women’s basketball team used a strong second-half shooting performance to claim a come-from-behind 72-61 victory at Ball State Wednesday.

The Falcons shot 52.2 percent from the field in the second half, making 5-of-8 3-pointers, and also connected on 15-of-17 free throws to outscore the Cardinals 44-30.

Northview High School grad Miriam Justinger finished with 18 points, thanks in part to 11-of-12 free-throw shooting, to lead BG (14-2, 4-0 Mid-American Conference). Alexis Rogers posted 15 points and Jillian Halfhill 13 for the Falcons.

Nathalie Fontaine scored 20 points for Ball State (7-8, 2-2) while Brittany Carter added 15.

In the first half the Falcons struggled with their shooting, missing their first eight shots from the field. But the BG defense never allowed the Cardinals to get rolling, and there were six ties in the first 12 minutes.

Bowling Green overcame 6-for-21 shooting in the first half (28.6 percent) by making 12-of-16 free throws and only trailed BSU 31-28 at the break.

The Falcons used a 14-4 run in the first seven minutes of the second half to take a 42-35 lead. Later in the half BG made eight straight free throws, bracketed by 3-pointers from Deborah Hoekstra and Jill Stein, to build a 58-43 advantage with 8:07 left.

Ball State was able to cut the deficit to 61-57 with 4:25 to play, but Halfhill made a 3-pointers and another jumper to restore a nine-point lead, and Rogers scored her team’s last six points to seal the win.

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