MAC Champions

Paul Barney and Paul Barney

They shot just 29 percent from the field.

They committed 18 turnovers.

It was a game in which they were outscored 24-14 in the paint.

And yes, the Falcons still won, 63-58.

It didn’t matter how they got the win, the important thing is they got it.

The BG women’s basketball team’s rematch against Miami at Millett Hall was just as nerve-wrecking as last year’s 45-40 defeat, but the Falcons made a few more plays than the RedHawks Tuesday night to close out the regular season at 24-6 overall and 14-2 in the Mid-American Conference.

With the Falcons winning, they clinched the outright MAC title and the No.1 seed in the MAC Tournament.

“We’re excited to be the outright MAC champs for six years in a row,” BG coach Curt Miller said. “Certainly a dream season for us to be able to pull that off.”

Wednesday’s win in Oxford did not come easily, however, as the Falcons started the first half slowly ­– Miami jumped out to a 10-5 lead off a Courtney Reed 3-pointer at the 14:39 mark.

However, the RedHawks went cold from the field over the next 5:52 as the Falcons went on a 15-3 run to take a 20-13 lead.

The final 8:47 of the first half was as even as it gets; as the Falcons scored 11 points compared to the RedHawks’ 12, and BG took a 31-25 advantage into the break.

Despite BG’s run, the Falcons shot just 12-for-34 (35.3 percent) in the first half and committed 10 turnovers.

“You can’t look at a stat sheet and think we won tonight,” Miller said.

With a six-point lead to start the second half, the RedHawks put a scare on the Falcons when they cut the deficit 36-35 just under five minutes into the half.

That’s the closest Miami would get, however, as BG was able to pull away just enough as they relied on free throws down the stretch.

The Falcons shot a dismal 6-for-28 (21.4 percent) from the field in the game’s final 20 minutes, but made their free throws, 16-of-20 to seal the win.

“It was a little scary there for a while but we took care of business and did what we needed to do to win,” junior Lauren Prochaska said.

Prochaska led all scorers with 25 points while adding seven rebounds and three steals.

Tamika Nurse and Tracy Pontius provided BG a much needed lift, combining for 25 points and six assists.

Freshman Courtney Osborn led the way for Miami, finishing with a team-high 23 points, while teammate Kirsten Olowinski added a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 17 rebounds.