Last week the women's basketball team faced two of the toughest defensive teams in the Mid-American Conference. Saturday, the team faces one of the worst defensive teams in the league: Bowling Green. The Falcons, however, are one of the best offensive teams.
"Our teams have a lot of the same philosophies," head coach Tracy Roller said. "Neither team has really established themselves on the defensive end, but we're both great offensive teams."
To the Cardinals' (11-4 overall, 3-1 MAC) benefit, the Falcons will be without their best player, Francine Miller. She suffered a leg injury earlier in the season that ended her senior-year campaign. Miller is one of five active players in the MAC with more than 1,000 career points. She is applying for a medical redshirt to regain eligibility next year.
Nonetheless, Roller said that will not make the game any easier for the Cardinals.
"Against Ohio, they had two good players we could key in on," he said. "Against Bowling Green, they can all score."
The Cardinals are much larger than the small, quick Bowling Green squad, and must limit the three-point attempts of the Falcons. Instead, the Cardinals are looking to keep a tight man-to-man defense that allows for little mistakes.
"We're going to each person straight up," Roller said. "If you get beat off the dribble, there won't be anybody there to help."
But, despite the offensive capabilities of both squad, Roller said it will be the defense that will decide the game.
Junior Tamara Bowie said she is just happy to get back home after two long road trips in the last week and she said she wants to take advantage of the home court.
"It's good to get back at home. Road trips can be pretty drowning at times," she said. "In the MAC, it's pretty much whoever wins the most home games wins the MAC. Plus we never want to lose at home anyway."
Still, the strength of the Cardinals is their offense. And Roller and Bowie both emphasized the importance of keeping to the game plan and not let the Falcons control the ball.
"We've just got to go play our game," Bowie said. "It's worked so far this year, so why change?"