In a game where both teams shot under 40% from the field and the Falcons were outrebounded 34-31, BGSU Women’s Basketball was able to come away with a 64-62 win over Milwaukee Sunday afternoon.
The win moves the Falcons to 3-0 on the season, while Milwaukee falls to 3-1 with the loss.
The Falcons didn’t trail in the second half of the game until the 3:11 mark in the fourth quarter. Milwaukee ultimately stretched their lead to five on two free throws by Syndey Staver with just 2:08 left in the game.
In previous years, not being able to finish out games was the Falcon’s Achilles’ heel
Today, however, down two scores with two minutes left, the Falcons never lost sight of the end goal.
“Whether it was in timeouts or on the court there was never a look on anyone’s face like we weren’t going to win that game. As a collective team we had this confidence that we were going to get the next stop and the next score and we were going to win the game,” redshirt senior forward Claire Glowniak said.
After going down five, the Falcons took a full timeout. Kadie Hempfling turned the ball over out of the stoppage, but the Falcons managed a stop on the other end.
On the next possession, BGSU freshman Lexi Fleming found Hempfling in the corner for a three and the Falcons cut the lead to two.
Hempfling did not shoot the ball at a high percentage in the game, going 4 of 15 from the field and 3 of 11 from beyond the arc, but the three in the closing minutes of the game was big for the Falcons. She finished with 13 points and five rebounds on the day, one of just four Falcons to record a point in the game.
Milwaukee turned the ball over again and out of another timeout, the Falcons went to something that worked for them all day: Elissa Brett driving to the hole and drawing contact.
Brett, a sophomore, went 9-11 from the free throw line, ending up with a total of 17 points.
“She does a great job of getting to the free throw line, she hit a few good pull ups today. She has practiced so well this year, so those are things that we have seen a lot over the last few months so it was really good to see it translate to the game today. The way she rebounded the ball, she got the free throw line when we needed to score; she did a lot of good things,” Fralick said of Brett.
Down by two however, Brett went 1-2 from the line and the Falcons still trailed by one.
The Falcons forced another turnover and off a give and go between Hempfling and Fleming, and Fleming found her own way to the line where she made both, giving the Falcons the one-point lead.
It was Glowniak that put the game away, playing strong post defense on the ensuing possession, forcing Megan Walstad’s shot to go just long and grabbing the rebound.
She went to the line, making 1-2, and the Falcons led by two with three seconds left. Again, the defense held and the Falcons walked away with a win.
Glowniak, who started in place of 6-foot-2-inch forward Angela Perry, was crucial in the win for the Falcons. She was the only player on the roster over 6 feet on the team, so Milwaukee made it a focus to attack the post.
But Glowniak held her ground on both ends of the court, playing tough defense by notching a block and a steal, as well as putting up 12 points and five rebounds.
“Claire is amazing. She has practiced really well all year. She’s tough, she’s physical, I thought she did a very good job, Milwaukee’s posts are really good,” Fralick said. “We talk with our kids all the time always, and especially this year you know you can’t get ready when it is your moment you have to be ready and Claire was very ready,” Fralick said.
It was Fleming who was the star in this game though, leading all scorers with 22 points on 6 of 11 shooting from the field and 9 of 12 shooting from the free throw line. She also led the team with six rebounds and four assists.
Through three games, Fleming has been a revelation for the Falcons and one that leads the team in scoring through that span as a freshman.
“Lexi is a winner, I mean, Lexi Fleming is a winner. She plays to win and she believes in herself,” Fralick said. “She has a real knack for figuring out ways to help her team and she did that again tonight.”
The Falcons will look to stay undefeated in their MAC opener against Eastern Michigan next Friday at the Stroh Center.