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Published: 2/18/2006

Relief on the way for BG

BY MAUREEN FULTON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN - As irrelevant as most of the Bracket Buster weekend matchups have become, the Bowling Green State University men's basketball team is likely glad to take a timeout from league play.

Having lost five out of their past six games against Mid-American Conference opponents, the Falcons face Wright State at home today. The Raiders are 0-5 against MAC competition this season.

A string of close losses for BG (9-15) did not continue in the 15-point loss at Akron on Tuesday, when the Falcons were out of the game for the entire second half.

After the game, BG coach Dan Dakich said he could find a silver lining, though, in that his team gave consistent effort.

"I didn't think we played very well at all. We probably should have lost by 30," Dakich said.

"But I thought our guys battled for 40 minutes, through some frustrations, through some foul trouble."

Other than sixth man Steven Wright, the bench has provided no offensive lift lately. Sophomore Moon Robinson has averaged 1.6 points in 14 minutes a game in conference play. Dusan Radivojevic and Brian Moten, the two freshmen who have played the most in MAC play besides starter Erik Marschall, are at times hesitant or confused in the offense. And Radivojevic is doubtful he'll play again in the regular season after injuring his right knee in practice last week.

"In practice, we haven't really had those guys who are on our white team step up like they should for us to trust them in the game," Dakich said after BG's loss to the University of Toledo on Saturday.

Wright State is 12-12. The teams scrimmaged in the preseason.

16-0? NOT SAYIN': The visions of an undefeated conference season for the BGSU women's basketball team are dancing in fans' heads. But after the Falcons' win over Akron on Wednesday put them at 12-0 in the MAC, the players made a strong case to show their focus is on the present.

Whispers were passed around the interview table to figure out BGSU's next opponent (Buffalo at 1 p.m. today, in the first game of a doubleheader at Anderson Arena).

"Obviously we're not looking ahead that far if we don't even know who we play next," junior forward Liz Honegger said.

"We know it's out there, but one game at a time," freshman Lindsey Goldsberry said. "We can't just look past these teams because if we do it's going to backfire."

It's a reasonable strategy because recent history shows the only win that matters is in the MAC championship game.

The last time the MAC got two NCAA tournament bids was in 1997, when the University of Toledo and Marshall both got in.

So even though the Falcons are ranked in the USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll at No. 25, nothing is certain.

"We are going to stick with the focus that we've had all year, and all those other things take care of themselves," BGSU coach Curt Miller said.

"Our number one goal and only goal right now is to find a way to win the MAC East. That's it, that's all we talk about."

Contact Maureen Fulton at:

mfulton@theblade.com

or 419-724-6160



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