Women’s hoops handles Toledo easily; move on to MAC tourney final

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Kate Achter may have run into a proverbial brick wall when she was knocked over by a screen set by Toledo’s Amanda Davis in Friday’s MAC tournament quarterfinal game.

Fortunately for the BGSU women’s basketball team, they would serve as a much bigger brick wall to Toledo.

“I think they took advantage of every mistake we made,” said Toledo coach Mark Ehlen. “That’s what good teams do at this time of the year.”

The Falcons advanced to the Mid-American Conference championship for the third consecutive year with a 68-46 win over the Rockets Friday at Quicken Loans Arena. They will try to defend their title in a rematch of last year’s championship game against Kent State at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

“We’re excited that we made it to the championship,” Achter said. “We’re excited that we get to play Kent State again and we’re excited for the rematch. Kent State is a great team.”

The Falcons never trailed throughout the game. After taking a 5-2 lead just 2:07 into the game, they would lead for the remainder of the game. They had dominating presence inside, scoring 36 points in the paint. The inside game was fueled by Liz Honegger, Ali Mann and Amber Flynn.

“I think today was important that we came out and played two solid halves and for the most part we did that,” Honegger said. “We definitely got some momentum going into tomorrow against Kent State.”

Honegger scored 17 points and had 10 rebounds while going 6-for-9 from the field and 2-for-3 from three-point range. Mann had 14 points to go with her nine rebounds and made six of her eight shots from the field. Flynn had a huge night off the bench once again, playing 19 minutes and scoring 13 points.

“It was tough, they have a good post lineup,” said Toledo forward Savannah Werner. “Going against BG you know it’s going to be a tough lineup no matter what position you play.”

There was a scary moment for the Falcons in the first half. Achter was pressuring Toledo’s guard Crystal Young in the backcourt and was caught snoozing as Davis set a screen that sent Achter to the deck. Known for her tough play, Achter tried to get up but she only made it as far as half court before the play was stopped.

“It was basically my own fault running into her,” Achter said. “For both of us to be moving that fast was quite a collision, it was not like any other screen I’ve run into before, I’ll tell you that much.”

After sitting for a little over five minutes, Achter was back in action. She would assist BG’s next three baskets and end up with seven points, seven assists and five rebounds for the game.

“She’s a tough kid,” Miller said. “I wasn’t worried that she would not be back in the game”

BG and Toledo had a tough act to follow as Kent State and Eastern Michigan provided a thriller to start the day. Kent State came back from a 16-point halftime deficit to pull out a 70-56 win and advance to the finals.

“They without question are the best defensive team in the league and they can shut you down,” Miller said of Kent State. “I’m excited because if we win, we will have earned it. If we can go down as the best MAC team ever in wins, what better team to do it against than Kent State.”

Miller also expressed great pride in how far his team has already come after facing a few obstacles.

“Our team has stepped up to each and every challenge this year,” he said. “We have had as big of a bulls eye as any program here in a long time. Each and every night we get everyone’s best effort.”