12 Teams/12 Days: Bowling Green Falcons

Updated 11/1/2013

2013-14 Bowling Green Falcons Women's Basketball Season Preview
Courtesy of Bowling Green Athletic Communications
The Bowling Green State University women's basketball team is set to tip-off this weekend against the Tiffin Dragons in an exhibition match, before the Falcons' regular season begins on Nov. 8 against the Michigan Wolverines at the Iona Tipoff Tournament.
This will be the first time BGSU will return to the court for competition since it fell to the Drexel Dragons 50-47 in the third round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament in March.
Jennifer Roos is heading into her second full season as the head coach and looks to continue the success that the team experienced during the 2012-13 season, in which the Falcons earned 24 wins--including seven of the final 10 games--and one against a ranked opponent.
"We have a storied tradition, going to nine-consecutive postseasons and having won 20 or more games the past 10 seasons," Roos said. "I'm really proud of that tradition and even though we were only in the WNIT, we advanced to the third round and earned 24 wins, and I'm really proud of that."
This season the Falcons will be challenged by a tough non-conference schedule as well as strong Mid-American Conference schedule.
BGSU starts the regular season with the Iona Tipoff Tournament in New Rochelle, N.Y., in which they will face the Michigan Wolverines on Nov. 8 and either the Iona Gaels or the Arizona Wildcats on Nov. 9.
The Falcons will then host the Niagara University Purple Eagles in the home-opener on Nov. 15 at the Stroh Center and travel to Indianapolis to compete with the Butler University Bulldogs on Nov. 18.
Following their trip to Indianapolis, the Falcons will travel to Columbus for the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge on the campus of Ohio State University to take on the Marist Red Foxes on Nov. 22, the Old Dominion Monarchs on Nov. 23 and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Nov. 24.
BGSU will finish the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge on Dec. 1 in Springfield, Mass., when the team faces the Monmouth Hawks on a neutral court.
The Falcons will return to the Stroh on Dec. 8 for a matchup against the Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers and a Dec. 15 contest against the Massachusetts Minutemen.
Following finals week, the Falcons have two final out-of-conference games including a Dec. 22 road game against the Purdue Boilermakers and a Dec. 29 game against the Red Flash of Saint Francis (Pa.) at the Stroh Center.
BGSU will start the New Year with the conference opener against the Buffalo Bulls on Jan. 4 at the Stroh.
For the next three months, the Falcons will battle against MAC opponents including two games against Akron, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami and Ohio. BGSU will also host Northern Illinois and Western Michigan, and challenge Ball State and Toledo on the road.
"Our schedule is extremely difficult this year, in regards to our non-conference and conference opponents," Roos said. "I think the conference will be, from top to bottom, the most difficult it's been in several years. Looking at our non-conference schedule, it may be the toughest non-conference schedule we've had since I've been here beginning in 2001. We have three Big Ten non-conference opponents, multiple mid-major programs that are among the top in the country. It's a very, very challenging schedule."
Roos, who is in her 13th year on the BGSU coaching staff, has been helping to build this team since long before taking over as head coach prior to last season.
"The majority of the kids that are on the team, I had a hand in recruiting," Roos said. "I think the transition from Coach [Curt] Miller from last year was smooth, and I think the transition from last year to this year has been even smoother. I'm happy with that. We have four seniors on the team again, so we've got a nice mixture of veterans and newcomers as well, with four freshman and a transfer who's eligible."
The 2013-14 campaign is led by four seniors who played in a combined total of 105 games this past season and 299 over their careers.
Senior guard Jillian Halfhill has accumulated 84 games played including 45 starts as a member of the Orange and Brown. Halfhill started in all 35 games this past season, averaged 8.9 points per game and scored a career-high of 23 points twice this past season. The Canfield, Ohio, native scored 23 points against Miami on Feb. 23 and vs. SMU in the first round of the WNIT on March 21.
"I want to make a difference," Halfhill said. "I want to make an impact. I want to be significant on the floor, I'm sure every senior does. We're excited and looking forward to it."
Redshirt senior Alexis Rogers is entering her third year as member of the BGSU women's basketball team. After transferring from Duke University, Rogers made an immediate impact on the team following a redshirt season. She has started all 65 games the past two seasons.
In her first season as a Falcon, Rogers averaged 12.3 points per game and set her career-high point total of 30 points against Eastern Michigan on Jan. 22, 2012. This past season, Rogers averaged 10.9 points and six rebounds per game. Rogers played a key part in the Falcons victory over Dayton on Dec. 30, 2012, with 20 points against the #14/15 nationally-ranked Flyers.
Senior guard Katrina Salinas joined the team this past season as a transfer from Central Arizona College. The Sacramento, Calif., native played off the bench in all 35 games for the Falcons last year, averaging 2.6 points per game as well as shooting 80 percent from the free-throw line.
Senior forward Jill Stein became one of Coach Roos' go-to bench players during the 2012-13 season. The Clyde, Ohio, native has appeared in 91 games during her career at BGSU. Stein averaged 5.6 points per game during the 2012-13 season, but her clutch point accumulation during the Falcons' postseason run is what earned her the team's Impact Player of the Year award. Stein averaged 11.2 points per game in the Falcons' MAC Tournament and WNIT games, and 13.6 points per game in the three WNIT games.
"I'm not always known for putting up huge stats," Stein said. "But I feel like one of my main goals is to keep everybody fired up and keep the intensity level high."
Roos has followed this season's senior class for its entirety and holds a lot of confidence in them.
"I've been really happy with our senior class," Roos said. "They've been able to really compete. Also they can help teach the young ones what the expectations are and also help, in regards to, being another coach on the floor."
The Orange and Brown's junior class is made up of two players who have earned letters in both of their first two seasons. Guards Deborah Hoekstra and Jasmine Matthews have totaled 86 game appearances and 30 starts over the past two seasons.
Hoekstra, a East Lansing, Mich., native, has played in 42 games as a Falcon and has averaged 1.9 points per game in her two years at BGSU. She posted a career-high of 12 points this past season in Falcons' 69-33 home victory over Kent State on Jan. 10, 2013.
Matthews played in all 31 games during the 2011-12 campaign, but she saw limited time this past season due to injury. As a freshman, Matthews averaged seven points per game, which comprised of six games in which she scored 10 or more points. The Matteson, Ill., native recorded her career-high point total this past season at UNLV on Nov. 25, 2012.
"We have the chance to start a very veteran group," Roos said. "I think that brings a lot of experience to our team because they understand the system having been in the system for four years."
The Falcons' sophomore group consists of two players; one who played in all 35 games this past season and another who will be making her BGSU debut this season.
Sophomore Miriam Justinger played in all 35 games and started the final 22 games this past season. The Sylvania native averaged just under 20 minutes per game (19.9) and 5.6 points per game. Justinger scored her career-high of 13 points against Ohio in Athens on Jan. 20, 2013.
The second member of the sophomore class is guard Erica Donovan, who will be making her BGSU debut this season after sitting out the past season due to NCAA transfer regulations. Donovan, a native of Northside, Texas, began her college basketball career at North Carolina State University, where she played in all 35 games during the 2011-12 season. As a freshman member of the Wolfpack, Donovan averaged 4.9 points and 2.5 rebounds per game.
"I think we have a chance to be really good," Donovan said. "When things go wrong and they're not really working out the way they should be, I feel like we need to be there and pick each other up, and I feel like we do that the best."
Coach Roos believes people will recognize Donovan as a valuable addition to her veteran teammates, in terms of providing leadership for the younger players.
The BGSU women's basketball team will be welcoming four new freshman members to the team.
Forward Leah Bolton is joining the Orange and Brown from Marist High School in Chicago. As a four-time letter winner at Marist High School, Bolton averaged 13.4 points per game during her career, including 15.5 points per game in her senior year. She accumulated 1,735 points in her high school career, placing her at No. 2 in the school's history. During her high-school career, Bolton was named All-East Suburban Catholic Conference three times and she was a team captain during her senior season.
Guard Kennedy Kirkpatrick comes to BGSU from Lawrence, Kansas, and is known to be a high-scoring player in high school. At Free State High School, Kirkpatrick was a four-time letter winner and was named to the All-Sunflower League First-Team and All-State 6A Team three consecutive years. She accumulated 1,046 points during her high school career. As a sophomore, Kirkpatrick averaged 15 points per game, 18.4 points per game as a junior and 13.2 points per game as a senior. Kirkpatrick ended her high school career with 254 assists, which became Free State High School's all-time best.
Guard Rachel Konieczki, a native of Rockford, Ill., comes to BGSU with an array of honors earned during her career at Rockford Lutheran High School. The four-time letterwinner averaged 17.2 points per game during her senior season as she was named to the All-Big Northern Conference First Team in all four of her seasons as a Crusader. As a senior, Konieczki was named to the all-state second team in Class 3A by the Associated Press and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. During her tenure at Rockford Lutheran, Konieczki helped lead the Crusaders to 100 victories in four seasons.
The final member of the BGSU women's basketball freshman class is center Abby Siefker, who was a four-time letterwinner at Ottoville High School. As a member of the Big Green, she recorded 1,365 points and 1,085 rebounds, which is a school record. As a senior, Siefker averaged 17.1 points, 12 rebounds, 2.2 steals and three blocks per game, which earned her multiple accolades. She was named the Ohio Division IV Player of the Year, All-Ohio First-Team, Academic All-Ohio honors, All-Northwest Ohio Player of the Year, District 8 Player of the Year and Putnam County League Player of the Year.
On top of her senior accolades, Siefker averaged a double-double each of her four years with an per game average of 14 points and 10.5 rebounds, in which she was named All-Ohio Second Team as a junior, 12.2 points and 10.9 rebounds per game as a sophomore and 12 points and 10.6 rebounds per game as a freshman. Siefker and the Big Green earned a 92-6 record in her four years at Ottoville High School.
"I think each can bring some different things," Stein said. "They each have strengths that will help out team out a lot. They are really picking up things and they each have important roles. The point guard position, especially, is a hard one to learn and a hard one to take because it's a big leadership role trying to lead the team."
Coach Roos is not the only one that is getting a good vibe, as senior players have been raving the well-roundedness of the team.
"We're really excited," Halfhill said. "We have three returning starters and really good young kids. Roos is into it, she's feeling it, she's doing really well and the team is coming together really well. The chemistry has been unbelievable."
The upcoming exhibition game against the Tiffin Dragons this Saturday is the second game of a doubleheader featuring both BGSU basketball teams teams. The men's game against Malone at 2 p.m., followed by the women's game, which is slated to tipoff at 4:30 p.m.


2012-13 Record 24-11, 11-5 MAC (2nd/East)  
2013 Postseason MAC Tournament Third Round/WNIT Third Round  
Starters Returning/Lost 3/2  
Letterwinners Returning/Lost 7/5  
Newcomers 4  
University Quick Facts    
Founded 1910  
Location Bowling Green, Ohio  
Enrollment 17,234  
Nickname Falcons  
Mascot Freddie and Frieda Falcon  
Colors Orange and White  
President Dr. Mary Ellen Mazey  
Athletics Director Chris Kingston  
Senior Woman Administrator Lesley Irvine  
Faculty Representative Dr. Lee Meserve  
Conference Mid-American Conference/East  
Arena (Capacity) Stroh Center (4,387)  
Press Row 419-372-7131  
Website www.bgsufalcons.com  
Women’s Basketball Quick Facts    
Head Coach Jennifer Roos  
Alma Mater Davidson’93  
Record at Bowling Green 24-11 (Second Season)  
Career Record 24-11 (Second Season)  
MAC Record 11-5  
Assistant Coach Jesse Fleming  
Alma Mater Saint Bonaventure ‘05  
Assistant Coach Jacey Brooks  
Alma Mater Buffalo State ‘06  
Assistant Coach Sahar Nusseibeh  
Alma Mater American ‘09  
Director of Basketball Operations Monique Rosati  
Alma Mater Syracuse ‘97  
Student Manager Nick Fine  
Student Manager Jamie Lugibihl  
Program History    
First Year of Women’s Basketball 1973-74  
All-Time Record 716-388   
Overall Record Since Joining MAC (Years) 663-376 (33rd Season)  
All-Time MAC Record 373-152  
NCAA Championship Appearances 11 (1987, 88, 89, 90, 93, 94, 2005, 06, 07, 10, 11)  
NCAA Championship Record 3-11  
WNIT Appearances Five (1998, 2008, 09, 12, 13)     
WNIT Record 4-5  
MAC Tournament Titles 11 (1987, 88, 89, 90, 93, 94, 2005, 06, 07, 10, 11)  
MAC Regular Season Titles 12 (1987, 88, 89, 93, 94, 2005, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12)  
MAC Divisional Titles 8 (2005, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12)  
MAC Players of the Year (Most Recent) Six (Lauren Prochaska, 2010)  
MAC Freshmen of the Year (Most Recent) Five (Lauren Prochaska, 2008)  
MAC Coaches of Year (Most Recent) Nine (Curt Miller, 2012)  
Defensive Players of the Year (Most Recent) One (Lindsay Austin, 2004)  
Sixth-Player Award (Most Recent) One (Amber Flynn, 2007)  
2013-2014 Schedule    
Sat., Nov. 2 Tiffin (Exh.) 4:30 PM
Fri., Nov. 8 vs. Michigan ! 4:00 PM
Sat., Nov. 9 at Iona / vs. Arizona ! TBA
Fri., Nov. 15 Niagara 6:00 PM
Mon., Nov. 18 Butler 7:00 PM
Fri., Nov. 22 vs. Marist @ 5:30 PM
Sat., Nov. 23 vs. Old Dominion @ 5:30 PM
Sun., Nov. 24 at Ohio State @ 3:30 PM
Sun., Dec. 1 vs. Monmouth @ 10:00 AM
Sun., Dec. 8 UW - Milwaukee 2:00 PM
Sun., Dec. 15 Massachusetts 2:00 PM
Sun., Dec. 22 at Purdue 12:00 PM
Sun., Dec. 29 Saint Francis (Pa.) 2:00 PM
Sat., Jan. 4 Buffalo * 2:00 PM
Thu., Jan. 9 at Kent State * 7:00 PM
Sun., Jan. 12 Akron * 2:00 PM
Wed., Jan. 15 at Ball State * 7:00 PM
Sat., Jan. 18 at Central Michigan * 12:00 PM
Thu., Jan. 23 Eastern Michigan * 7:00 PM
Sun., Jan. 26 Northern Illinois * 2:00 PM
Thu., Jan. 30 at Ohio * 7:00 PM
Sun., Feb. 2 at Toledo * 12:00 PM
Wed., Feb. 5 Western Michigan * 7:00 PM
Sun., Feb. 9 Miami * 4:30 PM
Sat., Feb. 15 at Eastern Michigan * 4:30 PM
Wed., Feb. 19 Central Michigan * 7:00 PM
Sat., Feb. 22  at Buffalo * 2:00 PM
Thu., Feb. 27  Kent State * 7:00 PM
Sun., March 2 Ohio * 2:00 PM
Wed., March 5 at Miami * 12:00 PM
Sat., March 8 at Akron * TBA
Mon., Mar. 10 MAC Tournament First Round $ TBA
Wed., Mar. 12  MAC Tournament Second Round %  TBA
Thu., Mar. 13 MAC Tournament Third Round % TBA
Fri., Mar. 14 MAC Tournament Semilfinals % TBA
Sat., Mar. 15 MAC Championship% TBA
All Times EST and subject to change    
! Iona Tournament    
@ Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge    
* Denotes Mid-American Conference Game    
$ Hosted By Seeds 5, 6, 7, 8    
% at Cleveland, Ohio (Quicken Loans Arena)