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Women set for showdown with Toledo

The battle of I-75 often has to be hyped up for the sake of the rivalry. In many cases, either BG or Toledo is having a less than stellar year and is simply playing for pride. During tonight’s women’s basketball match up between the two teams, that will not be the case.

BG 20-2 (9-0 MAC) will enter the contest four games ahead of the Mid-AmerIcan Conference East’s second place team, while UT 13-9 (7-2 MAC) will come in tied atop the MAC West standings.

BG will bring their 20 game winning streak into the game, as well as a 10 games win streak against UT.

As of late, the Falcons have proved that they can win close games. Two of their last three contests have gone into overtime, with the Falcons obviously prevailing each time.

“Our girls have done a great job of moving on to the next game,” head coach Curt Miller said. “As soon as the game is over, they’re on to the next game.”

The Falcons will be chasing history tonight. Their 20 straight wins mark the second longest streak in school history. A win over UT and on Sunday against Central Michigan would complete a regular season sweep of the MAC West, and give them the longest win streak in school history.

On the topic of 20 win seasons, BG and UT have the most of any MAC teams, with 14 and 13, respectively.

BG’s 20 straight wins are second in the nation only to Connecticut’s 23. Oklahoma is in third, with only 16.

A statistic such as that goes a long way in showing what kind of season BG is having.

Still, for all of the accolades, BG hasn’t been without disappointment.

The Falcons will take the court tonight without junior forward Niki McCoy. McCoy, who was suspended last week, will miss her second of four games before returning on Feb. 21 against her former team; Akron.

McCoy’s absence was felt against Western Michigan last Saturday, and will likely be felt, although to a lesser extent, tonight.

“The weapons that Niki McCoy brings, aren’t weapons that your backups bring,” Miller said.

For the second straight game the Falcons will look for big contributions from Tara Breske and Jen Uhl to fill the void left by McCoy.

The Falcons will of course expect a big performance out of their two star sophomores Lauren Prochaska and Tracy Pontius.

Prochaska will enter the game fresh off a 27 point performance in which she scored the final four points of the overtime affair in WMU. So far this season she has averaged 17.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, each a team high.

That game in WMU wouldn’t have ever gone to overtime, however, had it not been for two clutch field goals by Pontius in the final minute of regulation. Pontius, who’s coming out party was a 31 point explosion against Northern Illinois, will come in averaging 13.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Her 13.6 ppg. are second most on the team.

The 2008-09 women’s basketball team is setting themselves up to be remembered as one of the greatest teams in school history. With a win tonight, they’ll make it 21 straight, which will tie the school record. With McCoy coming back soon and Prochaska and Pontius looking better each game out the Falcons offense will only get better. Plus, with the increased playing time of usual backups Jen Uhl and Jessica Slagle, the Falcons are adding depth to their team. That’s a formula for success.

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