BGSU women’s basketball lost their first conference game at home against Northern Illinois 78-71 Saturday afternoon. BGSU is now 8-2 with a 4-1 conference record.
The Falcons would play keep up in the second half of the game. Despite multiple runs to cut into the Huskies’ lead, NIU was in control most of the second half.
“Everytime we made a run, we would get a stop and give up a second shot. There’s so many pieces to being able to sustain that momentum,” BGSU women’s basketball head coach Robyn Fralick said.
Freshman guard Lexi Fleming would lead the Falcons with 26 points and eight rebounds. Junior forward Kadie Hempfling would be the only other Falcon in double digits with 16 points.
Both teams would end the game with over 20 fouls. Hempfling along with freshmen guards Nyla Hampton and Kenzie Lewis would each have five personal fouls. For NIU, junior forward Mikayla Brandon had five personal fouls.
At half, the Falcons would be down 41-31. Fleming would be the leading scorer for the Falcons with 13 points. Fleming would also chip in two steals in the first half. For NIU, redshirt senior guard Paulina Castro led with 12 points, all coming from beyond the arc as she was 4 of 5 from deep.
The Falcons forced the Huskies into 13 turnovers in the first half and scored nine points off those turnovers. Seven of those nine points were scored in the first quarter. The Falcon defense had six steals in the first quarter, but had zero in the second quarter.
In the second quarter, NIU shot 62.5% from the field and 50% from three. BGSU shot 46.7% from the field and did not make a three pointer in the same quarter. Without the turnovers, the Falcons had a hard time scoring in the first half. Despite the turnovers, the Huskies had an easy time scoring on the Falcons’ defense.
“We were creeping out to the shooters and then we would be late to help. And then they would skip it and hit threes,” Fleming said.
From that point on, the Huskies were able to maintain their lead. The Huskies outrebounded the Falcons 46-33 and outshot the Falcons from beyond the arch. NIU shot 37.9% from three while BGSU shot 13.8%.
The Falcons will look to rebound on Wednesday as they travel to Buffalo. Buffalo is also coming off their first conference lost, losing to Central Michigan to fall to 4-1.