YPSILANTI, Mich. — Bowling Green State University women’s basketball coach Jennifer Roos said on Saturday she has a job to do before next season begins.
“I’m going to try and figure out how to get another year out of [Jillian Halfhill and Alexis Rogers],” Roos said of the two seniors who led a 61-56 win on Saturday at Eastern Michigan.
Both posted a double-double to lead the Falcons (21-3, 11-1 Mid-American Conference) to their seventh straight victory. Halfhill led all scorers with 21 points and added 10 rebounds, two assists, and three steals.
PHOTO GALLERY: Click here to view photos of the game.
“She bails us out at the foul line, and she bails us out at the arc,” Roos said of Halfhill. “She’s playing significant minutes — she didn’t get a sub in the second half — and she stepped up. Without her performance, it could have been a different game.”
Rogers scored 13 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and added seven assists.
“That’s an eye-opener for us,” Halfhill said when asked if the seniors had started counting down the games left in their careers. “We want it to end well. We want to play for the MAC title, so we’re going to do everything we can for the team.”
Northview graduate Olivia Fouty finished with 15 points and nine rebounds to lead Eastern Michigan (14-9, 4-8). Rogers grad Cha Sweeney added 10, as did Janay Morton.
The Eagles jumped to a 12-4 lead by making 5-of-9 shots, while BG hit just 2-9 field goals and turned the ball over three times in the first four minutes.
“They punched us pretty good [at the start],” Roos said. “They got us down by double digits, and we talked during each timeout about dwindling that lead. There’s no five-point play or seven-point possession.”
Eastern Michigan used an aggressive 2-3 zone that had the Falcons on their heels, and BG found itself trailing 21-8 with 11:09 left in the first half.
The Falcons methodically chipped into the deficit, and a jumper by Halfhill with 2:20 left gave Bowling Green a 28-27 lead. Halfhill made a 3-pointer, the last of her 10 first-half points, to give BG a 34-29 lead at the break.
“I think that’s the sign of a mature team — and a pretty smart team,” Roos said. “They didn’t do anything outside of their comfort zone in trying to cut that lead before the half.”
Eastern Michigan kept plugging away, and Fouty’s rebound basket with 15:49 on the clock gave the Eagles a 39-38 lead. But on BG’s next possession Halfhill made a 3 from the left corner that gave the Falcons the lead for good.
The Eagles made one more run, trimming BG’s lead to 56-54 with 1:50 left. But the Falcon defense kept EMU from scoring on five of the Eagles’ last six possessions, while Rogers and Halfhill scored BG’s last five points to seal the win.