Bowling Green State made 10 of 11 3-pointers on the way to a 60-29 halftime lead Tuesday night, as WKU’s (1-6) second-half efforts weren’t enough in an 86-62 loss at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green, Ohio.
BGSU (3-2) did it from all over the floor, shooting 71.9 percent from the field in the first half while the Lady Toppers searched for answers. The Falcons entered the game shooting 31 percent overall and 25 percent from 3-point range.
The Falcons made nearly as many shots in the first half as WKU did the whole game. But the Lady Toppers took a stand in the second half, outscoring BGSU 33-26.
The team set goals at halftime, coach Mary Taylor Cowles said – to outrebound BGSU, minimize turnovers, outscore the Falcons in the second half and hold them to less than 90 points.
WKU finished with 22 turnovers that became 25 BGSU points, but every other goal was met.
Guards Chrissy Steffen and Jillian Halfhill did most of the damage for the Falcons, combining to score 46 points and make 8 of 11 3-pointers.
The Falcons maintained their lead for most of the second half, until WKU got a 7-0 run midway through the period. The Lady Toppers continued to whittle away at their deficit, finishing the game on a 14-2 run.
The burst was largely due to the play of senior forward Keshia Mosley, who came off the bench to record 12 points and 16 rebounds in 12 minutes.
Freshman guard Alexis Govan, senior guard Vanessa Obafemi and senior forward LaTeira Owens all scored eight points.
Sophomore guard Chaney Means was back in the starting lineup and played 19 minutes after suffering a broken nose in WKU’s win over Samford on Friday.
Means has been wearing a protective mask since then and will have surgery to repair the nose Thursday, Cowles said. She isn’t expected to miss any playing time.
The Lady Toppers don’t play for six days, after which they’ll host Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m. Monday at E.A. Diddle Arena.
Here are some postgame comments from Cowles, Govan and freshman guard Ileana Johnson:
Mary Taylor Cowles
On BGSU’s first-half shooting:
“I’ve only been around one team that has shot like that. My senior year, we went down to Vanderbilt and they shot unbelievable. That’s the only time I’ve ever seen that. Tonight, it didn’t matter what we did because they still made them. They got unconscious and were hitting everything – even contested shots.”
On setting goals for the second half:
“For the most part, we came out and achieved them. I think that’s important with such a young team, to set goals and achieve something.”
On Keshia Mosley’s play after getting benched:
“That was one angry young woman that made up her mind and said, ‘I don’t like this.’ She showed how aggressive and powerful she can be, which she is. She’s one of the best post players I’ve ever seen play the game. You’re always looking to keep your players motivated and challenge them, and she was motivated tonight and took it head-on.”
On the road ahead, including Louisiana Tech on Monday:
“We can’t look at the record right now. We have to look at the teams that are ahead of us. Our goal is to get better and win our conference, and our ladies want that very badly. Monday is a big rivalry for us, and one of the great women’s basketball programs of all-time. If that tradition and rivalry doesn’t get us up for that, something’s wrong. We’ve got a lot ahead of us, and we need to improve.”
“We contested the 3s. We went man, we went zone, but they just shot unbelievably tonight. That was an unbelievable start.”
On second-half play:
“In the second half, we came together and realized that we could win the half. We couldn’t just stop because we have more games coming up.”
“It shows that we can be a good team. The games we have next are all in reach. We just have to play like that all the time.”
“They just hit everything they threw up. Then we switched to zone, and they just kept hitting everything. When a team shoots like that, they’re hard to beat.”
“We pretended the score was 0-0. We just tried to outwork them in the second half and work on our defense.”