Big plays by Poole and Dingle push Flashes over Bowling Green

Kent State guard Ali Poole waits under the basket before a rebound during the second half of the game against Bowling Green on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. Kent State won the game, 77-73.

Gina Butkovich

The Bowling Green women’s basketball team currently resides at the bottom of the Mid-American Conference, but you wouldn’t know that by watching them play against Kent State on Saturday.

“What everybody needs to understand is how good this league is,” coach Todd Starkey said. “There is no easy outs. You can’t just show up and play against somebody. Any win, this time of year, in this league, is really big.”

The Flashes won a nail-biter against the Falcons, 77-73. With 16 seconds left, Bowling Green junior guard Andrea Cecil made two foul shots to tie the game at 73.

“They’re a dangerous team,” Starkey said. “Kudos to them. I thought they played really hard, and played well.”

With five seconds remaining freshman guard Asiah Dingle drew a foul and made both foul shots, giving the Flashes a 75-73 lead, the same margin they went on to win by.

“We wanted to run a play to the basket and make them defend us without fouling,” Starkey said. “Late in the game we wanted to get Asiah to the basket and we said ‘if they don’t collapse, finish or draw the foul. If they do collapse, we have a shooter in a corner, go ahead and kick it.’ So it really was kind of a parting the Red Sea. They stayed on shooters and rotated late and got the foul. And Asiah, percentage wise, is our best free throw shooter.”

Dingle made all four of her attempted free throws before the game-winners and she was confident in her ability to make these as well.

“I’m good at free throws,” Dingle said. “So I just stepped up and knocked them down.”

The game winning foul shots weren’t the only big plays of the night. Junior guard Ali Poole made some big plays of her own, starting in the first quarter when she made three of her four three-pointers.

“She got off to a good start shooting the basketball,” Starkey said. “Shooting with confidence and they were good looks. So overall, a really solid performance for her.”

Poole scored 17 points in the game, including a big play in the fourth quarter. With the game tied with a little more than a minute remaining Poole stole the ball from Bowling Green senior guard Sydney Lambert for a layup at the other end of the court.

“We needed that so bad,” Starkey said. “We needed something to go our way when a series of things were not going our way, so it was a huge individual play by Ali there.”

Bowling Green outscored Kent State 25-19 in the fourth quarter, with 14 points coming from free throws.

“They really drove the ball hard, or pounded inside, and the whistles were coming pretty quick,” Starkey said.

Bowling Green had an 11 point scoring run in the fourth as well, but the Flashes managed to hang on for the two game-changing plays at the end of the quarter by Poole and Dingle.

“I think we did a good job of gathering ourselves after something went wrong,” junior guard Megan Carter said. “Just huddling together and saying ‘we’re fine, just don’t do this next time.’”

 Gina Butkovich covers women’s basketball. Contact her a [email protected].