A scorching start to the game from visiting Bowling Green proved to be too much for the Valpo women’s basketball team to overcome on Friday evening at the ARC, as the Falcons went on to a 92-61 victory over the Beacons.
How It Happened
- Valpo and BGSU were tied briefly as junior Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH) answered the Falcons’ opening basket with a layup of her own.
- But the Falcons went on to start 11-of-12 from the field over the opening eight minutes, a stretch which included five 3-pointers and a 3-point play. Bowling Green led 30-11 at the end of the opening period.
- The Beacons matched BGSU 10-10 over the first six-plus minutes of the second quarter, including triples by Earnest and sophomore Olivia Sims (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy [Oakland]), to keep the deficit at 19 points before the Falcons closed the half on a 10-3 run to lead 50-24 at intermission.
- A 10-1 run to end the third quarter gave BGSU a 76-42 lead with 10 minutes to play.
- Valpo opened the fourth quarter with a six-point possession, as senior Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure)] hit a triple, BGSU committed a loose-ball foul with the shot in the air and Earnest hit from deep on the ensuing play. Those two 3-pointers were two of five triples for the Beacons in the final 10 minutes as they outscored the Falcons 19-16 in the fourth quarter.
Inside the Game
- Freshman Ali Saunders (Depauw, Ind./North Harrison) tied for game-high honors with 16 points, hitting 5-of-7 from the floor — including two 3-pointers — and a perfect 4-of-4 from the foul line. She also set a season high with five assists.
- Earnest joined Saunders in double figures with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting and led Valpo with five rebounds.
- Brown tied her high in a Valpo uniform with four assists and fifth-year Maya Dunson (Dayton, Ohio/Wayne [Loyola]) matched her career best with three assists as Valpo registered 15 assists on 22 made shots.
- The Beacons hit at a 47.8% clip (22-for-46) from the field on Friday and were above 50% from the floor until the fourth quarter. Valpo also set a season high for 3-pointers, making 11 triples on 37.9% shooting from deep.
- Bowling Green was the first Valpo opponent since Bradley in February 2020 to top 90 points in a game. The Falcons shot 55.4% (31-for-56) from the field and 58.3% (14-for-24) from 3-point range — the most triples surrendered by Valpo in a single game since December 2016.
- The turnover battle was a tale of two halves. Valpo committed 14 first-half turnovers to BGSU’s three and was outscored 17-0 in points off turnovers in the first 20 minutes, but turned it around in the second half with a 10-3 advantage in turnover margin and a 10-2 edge in points off turnovers.
- After three straight games with double-digit offensive rebounds, Valpo was held without a live ball offensive board by the Falcons on Friday. BGSU held a 35-18 overall advantage on the glass and a 19-3 edge in second-chance points.
Postgame Press Conference With Head Coach Mary Evans
Valpo (2-4) will look to snap its losing streak on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. when it hosts Western Michigan at the ARC. For those who can’t make it to the game, it can be seen live on ESPN+.