Falcons ride offense to UCF Tournament title

Hot shooting and a balanced attack helped BGSU women win the UCF Tournament over the weekend and has them off to another great start.

A red-hot first half fueled the Falcons to victory as they rolled right through Fairleigh Dickinson 87-56 Saturday to clinch the tournament.

BG shot 75 percent from the field in the half, which allowed them to jump out to a 50-35 lead. Megan Thorburn was 4-for-5 in the half, all her shots coming from beyond the arc. Her teammates have displayed confidence in her ability.

“Megan Thorburn is shooting lights out right now,” said teammate Ali Mann. “It’s almost like an automatic. You pass it out to her you know she’s going to hit it, but if she does miss it then the next one is going in.”

Thorburn found a good reason why she has been so successful with her jump-shooting.

“[Opponents] are so worried about our post-game because it’s been so great for three years in a row now and it helps get me open,” Thorburn said.

The inside game for the Falcons was very successful over the weekend. They outscored opponents 78-46 in the paint. Mann scored 16 in each game and fellow senior Liz Honegger scored 26 points over the two games.

Amber Flynn was also a force in the paint coming off the bench. She scored 12 points in both games, and also picked up nine rebounds Friday and seven Saturday.

“Amber Flynn has a great chance to be recognized by this conference as the sixth-man of the year,” said BG coach Curt Miller. “I think she’s instant offense off the bench.”

Despite only allowing its opponents to make less than one-third of their field goal attempts, BG was not satisfied with its defensive performance.

“I certainly think we’ve got to continue to get better defensively,” Miller said. “We have to win games playing team defense. Our defense has got to keep getting better and better and keep teams off balance.”

“We can play better defense – that’s for sure,” Thorburn added. “[Miller] is a perfectionist and so are we, so we want to get better.”

The Falcons will need to bring their defensive ‘A’ game this Friday as they take on Temple.

Coached by Dawn Staley, the Owls have a player’s perspective on their sideline. Since 1999 Staley has worked two jobs, one as Temple’s coach and the other as a WNBA player.

Her career has been successful. The Philadelphia native, who attended Virginia, is the NCAA’s all-time career leader in steals with 454. She also won gold medals with Team USA in 1996 and 2000.

“She’s made a name for herself in coaching so [the Owls] are well-coached and they bring her mentality and attitude to the floor with them,” Miller said.

The Owls are 1-0 this season.

The game will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Anderson Arena, the first of a three game home set.