Success in conference play continues for BG

While most of BGSU’s students were back in their respective hometowns, the BGSU women’s basketball team was doing what it always does – winning games.

Two wins in their first Mid-American Conference contests capped off a 5-1 winter break for BG. The Falcons (12-2, 2-0) started off their MAC season just as they ended it last year – with stout defense.

In wins against Akron and Buffalo, the Falcons gave up an average of 37 points per game and held their opponents to 31 percent shooting.

“I was really proud of our defense the first two games, it certainly set the tone and [we got] two good wins to get us off and going,” said coach Curt Miller.

When the Falcons offense could not find its rhythm in their MAC opener against Akron, the defense put on their brass knuckles and held the Zips to 32 points and just 12 total field goals.

“We knew we just had to play good team defense and work together. If someone gets beat, someone else has to be there to help out,” said guard Carin Horne.

Ali Mann continues to lead the Falcons with 16 points and four rebounds per game to go with a shooting percentage of 57. She is accompanied by Carin Horne who has emerged as one of the Falcons’ primary scorers with 11 points per game and has shot 85 percent from the foul line.

The defense and all-around stellar play has helped the Falcons become the highest ranked MAC team ever with a ranking of 18 in the Associated Press Top-25 poll. Close losses to No. 4 Duke and Notre Dame are the only marks against BG and even Miller is pleasantly surprised.

“You couldn’t have paid me to believe that we could be 10-2 in non-conference and 12-2 overall. That’s a better start than I could have dreamed of with the schedule that we had,” Miller said. “I have warriors that I’m fortunate to coach every day and they believed they could have this start.”

As they continue conference play, the Falcons have quite a few numbers to be proud of. They are shooting 48 percent from the field and 40 percent from long range while holding their opponents to 37 percent from the field and 28 percent from beyond the arc.

The defense gave up just 49 points per game in the MAC Tournament and started the season the same way to extend their now 27-game conference win streak.

“Even though Coach Miller is a more offensive-minded coach, he is always stressing defense, defense, defense,” said forward Megan Thorburn. “I think it’s just [a result of] getting hands on passes, getting up on them and playing good team defense.”

The Falcons will face conference foe Kent State tomorrow at Anderson Arena in a rematch of the past two MAC Tournament championship games.