The Falcons thoroughly enjoy thrashing the first visitor from the Big Ten - Indiana - in Curt Miller's coaching tenure.
BOWLING GREEN - For the first time in Curt Miller's coaching tenure, a Big Ten Conference team came to Anderson Arena last night. Bowling Green State University's domination made it questionable whether another will return any time soon.
Solidifying their top 25 ranking, the Falcons crushed Indiana 82-47 before a crowd of 1,927. It's the second year in a row BGSU has beaten the Hoosiers.
"We really executed well. Our kids were fired up to play this game," Miller said. "It meant something extra special. It's a special night for our program and how far we've come in six years."
The Falcons Ali Mann drives past the Hoosiers Whitney Thomas last night at Anderson Arena. Mann scored 14 points.
Senior Liz Honegger, who has milked the snub from the state of Indiana for her entire Falcon career, led all scorers with 17 points. BGSU, ranked No. 22 in the coaches' poll, could move up after the victory. Indiana was ranked 27th coming in.
"It's good for Bowling Green, and it gets our name out there," Honegger said.
BGSU (6-1) forced the Hoosiers to turn the ball over 14 times in the first half, helped by a persistent press. Miller knew his former coaching comrade, IU coach Felisha Legette-Jack, built her team on aggressive defense. He wanted to beat them at their own game.
"Indiana has intimidated teams this year, and that's why they're off to such a great start," Miller said. "We refused to be intimidated tonight."
No one from Indiana (7-2) scored in double digits. Nikki Smith, a junior from Northview, tied for the team lead with nine points.
In pregame warmups, Indiana sophomore Kim Roberson took an elbow to the forehead on a layup and cut her head open, blood streaming down her face.
Legette-Jack said Roberson is the Hoosiers' best defensive player and it scared the team. Roberson got several stitches and returned to play, but logged just 12 minutes.
Northview product Nikki Smith scored nine points for Indiana but left disappointed.
The Falcons started out 1-for-8 on 3-pointers but still went up 10 points 10 minutes in, Megan Thorburn hitting two of BGSU's first three 3s.
Honegger was fouled from behind the line and made all three free throws.
Then Honegger started getting so wide open it was nearly impossible to foul her, let alone stop her. One after another, her 3-pointers kept dropping. No matter how many in a row she made, she kept getting open. Honegger's fourth consecutive 3 put the Falcons up 24 going into halftime.
"I didn't want [the half] to end," Honegger said.
"I was like, we can just keep going like this, it would be fine with me."
Ali Mann added 14 points and six rebounds and Kate Achter contributed 10 points.
"In the first half, we got them spread out and we made some shots," Miller said. "It was a totally different second half after that, they had to go away from their game plan."
The game got rough in the second half as bodies went sprawling all over the gym. Legette-Jack was called for a technical midway through the period for arguing a foul call on one of her players when Carin Horne was trapped with the ball and swung her arms to get position. But Legette-Jack had calmed down enough after the game to give congratulations to Miller, her former co-coach at Syracuse.
"His teams will always be a challenge for anyone in the country, and I'm very proud of him," Legette-Jack said.
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