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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Heading North, BG wins East

On senior night at Anderson Arena, BGSU players Jill Lause and Casey McDowell were honored before tip-off. Once the game started, though, the juniors just took over.

Last night BG clinched the Mid-American Conference East title with a 62-50 win over second place Kent State. The win was BG’s 19th in a row against MAC opponents and the 17th straight at home – the third longest home winning streak in NCAA Division I women’s basketball. The Falcons now stand at 23-2 overall and 14-0 in the MAC. They are just two wins away from finishing the conference season undefeated.

“Five years ago, we had a vision which included MAC championships,” said BGSU coach Curt Miller. “Tonight we clinched back-to-back divisional championships, and to do it against my mentor [Bob Lindsay] and the benchmark program in the conference, Kent State, is real a culmination of a lot of dreams we had five years ago. I can’t be more pleased that we clinched at home on senior night.”

The No. 25 Falcons came out of the gates slow, shooting below 35 percent from the field in the first half for the fifth time in six games. The Falcons, though, quickly picked up the pace in the second half behind juniors Ali Mann, Liz Honegger and Carin Horne.

“Before the game the focus was incredible,” Mann said. “We played a pretty sloppy first half and came out ready to go in the second half, and being here with all the fans it felt like any team could have taken it at any time and just ran with it.”

The trio accounted for 42 of the teams 62 points and shot nearly 50 percent from the field. Both Mann and Honegger had a double-double in scoring and rebounding. Between them they have 36 double-digit scoring games this season.

As a team, the Falcons have not allowed a single opponent to score above 70 points. Meanwhile, BG is averaging nearly 70 points per game.

It was in the second half that the Falcons could taste a MAC championship, and they did what it took to give the two seniors a big win on their final night at Anderson, despite several of BG’s players feeling ill.

“I think a big part of tonight was being able to play with a little adversity,” Miller said. “I just reminded them to not feel sorry for themselves, they are going to get tired a little quick and they don’t feel great. But I wanted them to look Casey and Jill in the eye tonight and say ‘We’re not going to let you down, you started the journey with this group and we’re going to help you get to the ultimate goal.’ So what better way to go out then as a champion when you’re a senior?”

Kent State, however, refused to go quietly. Led by Lindsay Shearer’s 20 points and eight boards, the Golden Flashes looked determined to find their way back during the game’s final minutes. But at the 3:50 mark, Casey McDowell hit a 3-pointer from the corner to put BG up 57-44, and subsequently putting the stamp on the Falcons’ 2006 MAC East championship. The team is now 41-0 over the last two seasons when holding a lead with under 10 minutes to play.

“It was a great game, it was a tournament type game where every possession is important,” Miller said. “Not every possession was pretty but both teams played extremely hard and really made each other work hard.”

BG now has two games before it turn its attention to the MAC tournament in the second week of March. Still, the team maintains its philosophy of playing one game at a time, never losing sight of the team next on the schedule.

“We still have two more games we want to go out and dominate and win,” Mann said. “We have high expectations for the MAC tournament but we have to remember where our goals are and keep focused.”

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