BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (BGSUFalcons.com) - Sophomore Tara Breske scored a career-high 23 points as the Bowling Green State University women's basketball team posted an 85-65 win over Northern Illinois University Saturday afternoon (Feb. 9). The Mid-American Conference game was held at venerable Anderson Arena.
With the win, the Falcons improve to 17-6 overall and 6-3 in the MAC. Furthermore, as a result of other outcomes in MAC play today, BGSU moves back into a tie for first place in the MAC's East Division. The Huskies drop to 8-14 and 4-5, respectively.
Shari' Welton had 17 points to pace three double-digit scorers for the Huskies.
Though the Huskies took an early lead going up 5-1 in the first two-minutes of the game, Bowling Green, led by the play of Breske in the post, first sank a lay-up at 17:56 and began to find their touch early in the contest. By 15:41 the Falcons were within a point of the visiting MAC West opponent, 7-8, and with Prochaska's fast break points jumped ahead 9-8 causing an NIU timeout.
Out of the thirty-second break, NIU's Jessie Wilcox hit a jumper in the paint at 14:58, but the one-point lead would be the last time the Huskies would find themselves ahead of BG for the remainder of the game despite tying the score twice in the following three minutes.
While the Falcons were able to stave off the Huskies' comeback runs, NIU found that second tie (16-all) at 11:15 as Ellis Ebony dropped a pair of points in the paint. In total, NIU would score 22 of their 65 points inside the key, while nearly half (40-85; 47%) of the Falcons final tally were a result of short jumpers and lay-ups.
At 10:57 BGSU took control of the scoreboard with a Goldsberry three from Uhl, 19-16, and would lead NIU through the final buzzer; a comfortable lead would not be established right away though as Mauvolyene Adams converted yet another pair of points in the paint to keep NIU at a slight disadvantage, 19-18.
The BGSU freshmen were not ready to let NIU back in the game though...
Just 20-seconds after Adams lay-up Prochaska knocked down a trey only to be followed by a pair of made Chelsea Alberts free throws, a Crystal Murdaugh jumper and was finalized with an Alberts to Uhl post-to-post, high-low basket at 7:21. Within that time span, BGSU would take a 10 point lead, 30-20, but would go on to enjoy a 14-8 run produced by their freshman class over the Huskies. Uhl, the leader of that drive, scored the entire second half of that run with her seven points in four minutes capping it with a lay-up at 4:01.
Entering the final media timeout of the half, BGSU was ahead 33-26. As the Falcons flirted with a 9-12 point lead, Breske and Uhl continued to dominate the scoreboard combining for eight of the final 10 points in the half; every one of the final BGSU field goals was a lay-up by Breske or freshman guard Tracy Pontius.
At the half time break, BGSU was doubling the NIU output in the paint, 24-12, and had seen six points comes as second chance put-backs. Bowling Green also outscored the Huskies on the fast break (6-0) and from the bench (12-8).
Senior guard Kate Achter began the half with a bang scoring a quick four points in 19 seconds to give BGSU the notion that the breathing room from an expansive lead was looming on the horizon. With Prochaska's subsequent steal, fast break lay-in and and-one free throw pushing BG ahead 19, 50-31, less than a minute into the half, NIU decided it was time for a change in of grand fashion replacing every player on the floor.
The second group managed to slow the Falcons down as they missed three following shots on the same possession and turnoverd the ball over for the first time of the half at 17:47, yet NIU would struggle on the offensive end turning the ball over a combined four times in their four opening possessions of the half.
By 16:32 the Falcons were ahead 53-31 and the Huskies felt it was time to put the starters back in to challenge the hosts. York took advantage of the second chance and put NIU on the board for the first time in the second half with her trey at 15:54 to cut the deficit to 19 points. Goldsberry and Wilcox followed with a three point exchange but a Prochaska jumper at 14:17 once again propelled BGSU to a 20-plus point lead that they would maintain through the win.
Within four minutes the Falcons had stretched that lead to 27 points and held it through to the 8:00 mark.
A pair of Whitney Lowe free throws reduced that lead to 25 points at 7:00, but the Huskies were not able to cut it any more than the low 20's as the Falcons took their second straight over a MAC West foe.