Point guards are supposed to be playmakers - finding and setting up teammates in good spots for them to score.
Canfield graduate and current Bowling Green Falcon Jillian Halfhill fits that role perfectly, revelling in it and taking a lot of pride in setting up her teammates.
"As a point guard, you really, really, really want to get people the ball," Halfhill said. "You really want to get your shooters the ball. You want to get the posts the ball down low, and I really pride myself in getting assists and not turning over the ball. I really do look to that a lot."
It's this type of mentality that led to Halfhill taking the starting point guard spot as a junior and flourishing now as a senior for a program that's considered the class of the Mid-American Conference.
Halfhill has started the last 46 games at point guard for the Falcons, who are 10-2 this season. The 5-foot-8 senior is averaging 11.2 points, 3.6 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game so far, while posting a 2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Early in this young season, Halfhill has built off her statistics from junior year, when she led the team with 31 minutes and 3.3 assists per game, while adding 8.9 points and finishing sixth in the conference with a 1.4 assist-to-turnover ratio. Her performance on the season earned her the team's Playmaker of the Year award, one that Halfhill said she cherishes.
Jillian Halfhill, Bowling Green
Alma Mater: Canfield, 2010
Major: Business administration
Position: Point guard
The skinny:?Named the team's Playmaker of the Year as a junior. ... Started all 35 games as a junior and all 12 this season as a senior. ... Currently averaging 8.9 points per game and 3.3 assists
"It meant a lot to me, and it showed that as a point guard, I was doing my role," Halfhill said. "I was getting people the ball. I'm trying to carry that over this year to keep my assist-to-turnover ratio up. It really, really meant a lot that the team looked at me as someone that was a playmaker and got people the ball."
For Halfhill, her prolific numbers late in her career are a direct result of learning from a great point guard during her freshman year in Tracy Pontius. Pontius finished her career sixth in program history in assists (387) and 13th in scoring (1,399), and she also ranked 65th in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio during the 2010-2011 season.
Halfhill said she spent most of the 2010-2011 season observing Pontius' role on the team, tried to emulate it her sophomore year and then slotted in nicely by her junior year.
"My freshman year, I was behind a senior point guard, and I learned a ton from her," Halfhill said. "I think it's important to get there, learn the system, see how the point guard there is doing it. I feel like I learned a lot from her. Then, my sophomore year, I started some games, and I felt like I showed a little bit here and there. So, I learned a lot from that year, and then I carried it over to last year and this year."
To go along with her hot start to the season, Halfhill earned her first-ever MAC East Player of the Week distinction on Nov. 25 following a week in which Bowling Green went 3-1, including a 2-1 mark at the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge in Columbus. She posted marks of 13.7 points and 3 assists per game to lead the Falcons, who beat Ohio State in the tournament's concluding game, 64-52.
"It was a good experience," Halfhill said. "I felt like our team came together and did really, really well those games, and I wouldn't have been able to do any of that without my team.
"It's always good to beat a school that's favored over you. So, it was good to beat them. It was exciting."
With wins over Big Ten schools Ohio State and Michigan already and a close loss at then No.18/No. 21 Purdue already this season, the Falcons head into MAC play in good shape. Halfhill said trying to win the conference title is the team's major goal this season, and she will do whatever it takes to help her team accomplish that goal.
"MAC (schedule) starts I believe Jan. 4, so we really, really feel we've hit a milestone of getting this record," Halfhill said. "We are trying to go 10-2 before MAC starts, learn from non-conference and take it into conference, which is the most important, and try to win the MAC."