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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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MAC Champs 2005

It took them 11 years, but the Bowling Green women’s basketball team is back on top of the Mid-American Conference.

The top-seeded Falcons (23-7) defeated second-seeded Kent State (21-9) with an 81-75 victory in the MAC tournament championship game at Gund Arena on Saturday.

“What a game,” BG head coach Curt Miller said. “It was one big play after another from two teams that fought all the way down to the end of the game. I can’t be more proud of our team.”

The Falcons team effort overcame a dominant 44-point performance from Kent State’s Lindsay Shearer. Shearer scored 31 points in the second half but could not stop the Falcons from earning their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1994.

“We don’t have superstars and we don’t have egos, we win as a team,” Miller said. “Players continue to step up for the big moment and we don’t rely on just one person. I believe in the essence of team and I felt we were the best team all year long.”

Freshman Kate Achter, who became just the fourth freshman ever to be named MVP of the MAC tournament, led the Falcons with 21 points and five assists while shooting a perfect 11-of-11 from the free throw line.

“(Achter) was just tremendous,” Miller said. “I put the ball in her hands against the best defensive team, against the best ball pressure guards in the league and said ‘hey go get this done’–and she did it.”

After scoring 10.7 points during the regular season, Achter brought her game to a higher level in the tournament with a team-high average of 18 points per game. She was also runner up for the MAC freshman of the year honors but Achter said winning the tournament MVP is an even greater accomplishment.

“I would rather be MAC tournament MVP because we won–we got the championship,” she said.

However, it didn’t come easy for the Falcons. After leading 60-47 with 10:36 remaining, the Golden Flashes staged a comeback with Lindsay Shearer at the helm. Shearer scored seven points in less than a minute and a half to cut it to 66-63 at the 5:23 mark.

BG center Liz Honegger said Shearer was tough to stop and had the determination to do everything she could to win the game.

“She was unbelievable,” Honegger said. “When a player plays like that they’re capable of doing pretty much everything and she was just outstanding today.”

But a pair of 3-pointers from Honegger and Carin Horne helped cancel out Shearer’s scoring. Horne’s trey with 1:08 remaining extended the BG lead to 79-72 and allowed the Falcons to pull away with the victory.

BG nailed a combined 12 three-pointers, the second most ever for a MAC tournament game.

Honegger, who made 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, finished with 20 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Horne shot 3-for-4 from behind the 3-point arc and finished with 17 points, six boards, and three blocks. Casey McDowell also sank three 3-pointers and added nine points for BG.

Ali Mann, the Falcons second leading scorer (14.2 ppg), was held to just four points after picking up two early fouls in each half. With Mann in foul trouble throughout most of the game, the Falcons needed someone to step up. Fifth-year senior Kelly Kapferer helped fill the void with eight points off the bench.

“I just knew I had to step up when Ali got two (fouls) early,” Kapferer said. “Coach said before the game if someone’s struggling or in foul trouble we have to have someone step up and we have to have other players make big plays and that’s exactly what we did tonight.”

Miller said Kapferer deserves more minutes but has sacrificed her playing time for the sake of the team. He said she is a big reason why the Falcons got as far as they did.

“Her basket against Toledo on senior night allowed us to win the regular season and her play tonight allows us to win the conference tournament,” Miller said. “She has made some big plays in some of the biggest games to end her career.”

The No. 13 seeded Falcons face No. 4 seeded Kansas State in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Seattle on Saturday.


BG beat Kent State for the first time in eight years (12 games)… The Falcons finished the season on a six-game win streak and won 11 of their last 12…BG made a combined 27 three’s throughout the tournament, which ties them for second all-time in MAC tournament history…Casey McDowell tied the tournament record with 11 three-pointers…Kate Achter shot a perfect 20 of 20 from the free throw line in the tournament…The crowd of 4,058, ranks as the sixth-highest total for a MAC championship game.

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