Women's Preview: at Bowling Green, 2nd Rount NIT

Today, 5:00 PM.
Video Location:  (Not sure if it's pay or free):  http://www.mac-sports.com/Schools/BowlingGreen/LiveStreaming.aspx

Previous Games:  Duquesne made a late run after a very slow start in the first round of the WNIT tournament.  Fortunately, it was enough to knock off the Akron Zips of the MAC.  Bowling Green beat a quality SMU team at home 76-70.

This time around, the Dukes will have a more formidable challenge, at Bowling Green...a team that beat Dayton by 25 earlier this year and another top 50 team in Central Michigan also by 25 earlier this year.  While inconsistent, Bowling Green is a solid team, particularly at home, and will give the Dukes all they can handle.  If the Dukes aren't ready or are still reeling from not being selected to the NCAAs, they're certainly out in round 2.

Scouting BGSU:

Player to watch:  Chrissy Steffen.  The senior SG/SF is the classic stat sheet stuffer from the SG position.  Not a terrific shooter, Chrissy will do everything else to help her team win by hitting the boards hard, playing extremely solid D, and finding a way to be in the right place at the right time.  Averages only 11.2 and 4.6, but a lot of that is that she's not always looking for her shot.

Next up is Alexis Rogers, a Duke transfer.  6-1 PF.  Solid defensive player with a  very physical game.  Has a good inside game herself on O, but the strength is on defense.

After that, it's Jillian Halfhill, a seemingly undersized PG.  Plays a smart, disciplined game.  I don't remember much else, sorry.

After that, Bowling Green to me seemed like a true team.  They sub liberally, with no standouts and all players of seemingly very equal ability.  The liberal substitutions will provide a challenge for the Dukes, who aren't that deep, particularly on the road.  Surprisingly, for all the liberal subs, Bowling Green plays a slowdown halfcourt game that is often quite physical. 

Bowling Green excels in hitting the defensive glass hard from what I've seen, and the Dukes offensive rebounding ability may decide the game as one of Duquesne's strengths is offensive rebounding.   The Falcons also defend the three ball very well from the couple of games I've seen.  The green light is always on for Bowling Green threes, even when they're not hitting them.  When not shooting threes, the Falcons inside find ways to get to the free-throw line quite well.  Turnovers are a huge problem for Bowling Green, and Floyd's defense and forcing turnovers is another key for DU.

Common opponents:
Temple (DU home win, BG home loss)
Dayton (BG home win, DU road loss)

Miami-Ohio (DU home loss, BG split)
Buffalo (DU road win, BG sweep)
Ohio (DU road win, BG sweep)
UMass (both teams won)

Sagarin spread:  Duquesne by 3.
My prediction:  Bowling Green 54-52.  Hope I'm wrong...

by Rogabee