BOWLING GREEN - Bowling Green State University beat Western Michigan 80-58 at Anderson Arena yesterday in women's basketball by doing what the Broncos do - only better.
WMU came into the game leading the Mid-American Conference in scoring in league games with 73 points a game. But the Falcons weren't intimidated by the Broncos' willingness to play up-tempo basketball, instead using a fast tempo of their own to build a big early lead.
"We talked all week about tempo, and our tempo was great," BG coach Curt Miller said. "We wanted to get the game up-tempo, and even though they like to play that way we didn't feel they had the depth we had."
Bowling Green's 12-5, 5-1 record keeps it atop the MAC's West Division, a game in front of Toledo and Ball State.
After the Broncos (6-11, 3-3) scored the game's first basket, the Falcons exploded for 12 straight points in the paint. BG had 16 points on the board before the Broncos scored again.
"Once you get one stop and score at the other end, you just want to keep it going," sophomore Liz Honegger said. "That's how it went for us today."
Through most of the first half BG used a soft full-court press and a zone under the basket, and that combination of defenses seemed to handcuff the Broncos. The Falcons led by 24 points when Honegger hit a 3-pointer with 4:45 to play that made the score 40-16.
Western Michigan needed a 12-4 burst in the final five minutes of the first half to cut the Falcons' lead to 44-28.
"We talked about energy, and we talked about attitude coming into this game," Miller said. "Our focus was tremendous."
Carin Horne's 3-pointer accounted for the first points of the second half and the Broncos never came closer than 17 points after that, with BG expanding the lead to as many as 25 points.
Honegger led BG with 21 points. Ali Mann finished with 13. Point guards Kate Achter and Tene Lewis added 11 and 10, respectively.
Kelly Koerber's 13 points topped Western, while Brittany Tyson had 12.
The Falcons dominated nearly every statistical category. One particularly impressive stat was BG's 42-28 rebounding advantage. Bowling Green grabbed 15 of the game's first 20 rebounds.
BG went nearly 15 minutes in the first half before it committed its first turnover. At that point Western Michigan had committed seven and BG led 40-16.
BG forced the Broncos to make 19 miscues in the game and turned them into 22 points.