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BG women's hoops falls in MAC opener

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Jane-Uecker-1-4

Bowling Green center Jane Uecker looks for an opening in a game last season. Uecker finished with 11 points as the Falcons lost their Mid-American Conference opener at Western Michigan.

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The Bowling Green State University women’s basketball team managed just eight points in the fourth quarter of a 67-58 loss at Western Michigan in the Mid-American Conference opener for both schools.

The Falcons made just 1-of-11 shots from the floor in the final quarter and turned the ball over nine times to fall to 8-4 on the season. The Broncos (8-5) have now won the last seven meetings of the two schools and have not lost to BG at University Arena since 2009.

Carly Santoro posted her seventh double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Falcons, while Jane Uecker added 11.

WMU got 18 points from Deja Wimby, who made 10-of-16 free-throws, while Breanna Mobley also had a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Western Michigan scored the game’s first basket, but BG’s defense promptly clamped down on the Broncos. WMU made just one of its next 13 shots and turned the ball over eight times in the first quarter to score just eight points.

Meanwhile the Falcons jumped to a quick 7-2 lead, then used a 7-0 run late in the period to lead by as many as 11 points in the opening quarter, which ended with Bowling Green on top 17-8.

Western Michigan’s Najee Smith made back-to-back 3-pointers to start the second quarter to cut the Falcons’ lead to 17-14 just a minute into the period. But again the Falcons D stepped up and forced the Broncos to miss their next six shots.

Bowling Green scored the game’s next five points to lead 22-14 with 5:56 on the clock, and the Falcons lead hovered around 10 points until halftime. WMU’s Marley Hill connected on a jump-hook at the buzzer to make the score 33-23 Falcons.

A first-half key for BG was the way it dominated in the paint, where the Falcons outscored Western Michigan 12-2 and out-rebounded the Broncos 24-17.

WMU scored the first six points of the third quarter to cut Bowling Green’s lead to four, but Andrea Cecil stopped the bleeding with a traditional three-point play at 7:20. Not only did it stop the Broncos’ run, it jump-started a 7-1 run by the Falcons that reestablished BG’s 10-point lead.

And from there Bowling Green’s defense took over, holding Western Michigan scoreless over the final 2:41 of the period to take a 50-39 lead into the final quarter.

But the Broncos put together a 12-2 run to start the fourth period, with a layup by LaTondra Brooks cutting BG’s lead to 52-51 with 6:17 still to play. While the Falcons got a couple of stops, they were unable to score, and a rebound basket by Jasmyn Walker gave Western Michigan the lead with 4:32 on the clock.

And Bowling Green simply struggled to score in the final four minutes while the Broncos iced the victory by making 11 of its final 13 free throws.

Western Michigan dominated the paint in the second half, outrebounding the Falcons 27-15 in the second half while outscoring BG in the paint 18-12.

The Falcons will open the home portion of their MAC schedule by hosting Eastern Michigan at the Stroh Center on Wednesday, Jan. 3, in a 7 p.m. tip.

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