BGSU's Andrea Cecil steals the ball from Kent State's Alexa Golden during Wednesday's game at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green.
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BOWLING GREEN — It did not take a rocket scientist to formulate the game plan against the Kent State women’s basketball team.
Stop Jordan Korinek – the top scorer in the Mid-American Conference – and you slow down the Golden Flashes.
And that’s exactly what Bowling Green State University did Wednesday in a 60-50 victory over the Flashes at the Stroh Center.
“She’s fantastic,” Roos said of Korinek. “It’s about how well she’s scoring, how well she’s rebounding – and her offensive efficiency is fantastic. She’s a real stalwart for them.
“But we wanted to push her off the block and be physical with her. … We really wanted to limit her attempts, especially at the foul line.”
Korinek, who entered the game averaging 20.4 points per game, had just seven points against the Falcons. What’s more, BG thwarted numerous attempts to feed her the ball, causing Kent State to turn the ball over 20 times.
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“The coaches emphasized that she was the leading scorer in the MAC, so we had to get to the help side,” said the Falcons’ Sydney Lambert, who finished with 13 points. “And we knew they would run a lot of back screens for her, so our bigs had to beat her to the block to deter her from getting those easy post catches. …
“Huge props to Clare [Glowniak]. She played an awesome game on [Korinek].”
Bowling Green (10-7, 2-4 MAC) also got 12 points off the bench from Caterrion Thompson as it claimed its second win in a row.
Kent State (9-9, 2-4 MAC) was led by Ali Poole with 17 points while Megan Carter added 12.
The Golden Flashes dominated the start of the game because the Falcons missed shots. BG made just one of its first 14 field goal attempts and fell behind 11-3 before 3-pointers by Haley Puk and Kennedy Williams helped close the gap to 14-11.
“Our kids executed well, but unfortunately we didn’t execute to a finish,” Roos said. “To their credit, they stayed really focused on getting the shots that we wanted.
“In the second half, we executed to a finish.”
Neither team led by more than four points in the second quarter, with Kent State leading 26-25 at the break. The third period saw four ties and five lead changes, with Jane Uecker scoring with 12 seconds left to give the Falcons a 40-38 lead.
The fourth quarter started badly for Bowling Green as the Golden Flashes scored six straight points. But Thompson broke that run with a driving layup, and the Falcons forced steals on back-to-back possessions and turned both into baskets.
“In the fourth quarter we translated their turnovers into offense,” Lambert said. “And we took care of the ball, which allowed us to run sets and get shots.”
Then, with the score tied 46-46, Thompson hit a 3-pointer with 5:14 on the clock. Kent State got a free throw from Carter on its next possession, but Lambert responded with a layup and a 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock as the Falcons led 54-47 with 3:03 to go.
“The 3 [by Thompson] that put us ahead really got the crowd going,” Roos said. “But the 3 at the end of the shot clock [by Lambert] was a big basket, too.
“We wanted to use clock and control tempo. I thought they were equally big.”
In the final minute Kent State was forced to foul, and Bowling Green made its final six free throws – the Falcons were 15-for-17 from the line in the game – to close out the victory.
Lambert said the team was looking to build upon the momentum created by its last-second win at Akron Saturday.
“Our first couple of games did not turn out in our favor, but that’s behind us,” she said. “Now that we’re playing teams in the East [Division], we’re looking to go up from here.”
NOTES: Junior forward Maddie Cole was not in uniform for the contest. The Northview High School product injured her ankle in practice. … While Glowniak did not score in the contest, she finished with a BG-best eight rebounds and also added two assists and a blocked shot. … Andrea Cecil and Haley Puk each had three steals; for Cecil that is a career high, while Puk tied her career best.
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