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Women’s basketball destroys All-Star squad

The Women’s basketball team started the 2004-05 season by doing something that had never been done during the other three years of the Curt Miller campaign. Their 99-58 drubbing of the Premier All-Star squad in last night’s exhibition was their first win against the team that represents the best of the former Ohio State Buckeyes.

The game wasn’t even close at halftime as the Falcons held a 22-point lead, with Liz Honneger, Kate Achter and Whitney Taylor combining for 32 of Bowling Green’s 54 points in the first 20 minutes They obviously didn’t stop there.

The Freshman set the pace right from the beginning. Newcomers Whitney Taylor and Kate Achter are the only two rookies on the Falcons’ roster this season. They both proved themselves last night as Taylor scored fifteen points in 20 minutes on five for 12 shooting (second on the team in all three categories).

Achter went for a team high 13 points and threw in four assists to lead the offense. She was, in effect, brought in to replace departing MAC Defensive Player of the Year Lindsay Austin. Miller said that she opened a lot of eyes with her intensity and her control of the offense. Sophomore Ali Mann, fresh off a 2004 season in which she was the MAC Freshmen of the year, can see the potential in this year’s recruit class.

“This was a good stepping stone for the freshmen,” she said. They brought a lot of enthusiasm to the court tonight.”

Mann herself had a bit of an off night, scoring just eight on three for seven from the floor. Other veteran performances included Honegger, who scored 15 points on six for seven shooting. She also sank all three attempts from the three-point line. Sophomore Megan Thorburn scored 13 on five for seven from the field. Also, senior Tene Lewis spent the most time on the floor, playing 22 minutes and scoring eight.

The performance by the team was definitely overwhelming. However, in an exhibition game like this one, the goals had nothing to do with securing a victory for the good guys.

“One of our two goals was to play everybody tonight, and we achieved that,” said Head Coach Curt Miller. He also worked many different combinations on the floor as the game progressed.

However, small part of that goal was not achieved as Miller could not, as he had planned, get everyone on the floor for more than ten minutes a piece.

The other goal was a simple one.

“We have not beat this team since I became coach,” said Miller, grinning.

In terms of Friday’s Preseason WNIT opener at Ohio State, Miller stated that the starting lineup for the game was still in question.

“We decided to start the five hardest workers during practice in this game,” he added.

One player that will not be in the lineup is Sophomore Guard Julie Gompers, who is having tests done on her injured arm this week.

Miller also said that there was a possibility of both Freshmen cracking the starting lineup, as well as Junior Casey McDowell, who averaged 12.8 minutes per game in a backup role last season. He is looking forward to Friday’s season opener.

“We look forward to playing the underdog against a nationally ranked team at the Schottenstein Center.”

The Falcons begin the season expected by university students, as well as experts, to contend for a seventh MAC Championship, and a seventh NCAA Tournament berth.

Ohio State begins the year ranked 10th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Coach Miller isn’t the only one excited about the contest. Take Ali Mann’s comments, for instance:

“We’re looking forward to going in there and shocking the world!”

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