Bowling Green State University's Ali Mann splits the defense of Delaware's Kyle DeHaven, left, and Melissa Czorniewy.
BOWLING GREEN - Nothing went right for Bowling Green State University. And then everything did.
After turning the ball over on 13 of 17 possessions at one point against Delaware last night - making no field goals in that span - BGSU suddenly made nine straight baskets.
Protecting its national ranking and its lengthy Anderson Arena win streak, the No. 25 Falcons came back from eight points down in the second half to beat the Fightin' Blue Hens 70-59.
"The way they shoot the ball, [the game] can change abruptly," Delaware coach Tina Martin said. "Those kids can flat out shoot the basketball."
BGSU finally broke through Delaware's aggressive trapping zone defense and made 15-of-19 shots to end the game. Liz Honegger led the way with 24 points and Ali Mann added 18, 15 in the second half.
The Falcons improved to 9-2 and broke Delaware's nine-game win streak. With UD's RPI currently hovering in the teens, the victory gives BGSU another strong non-conference victory.
"I am as happy with that win as any in my career," BGSU coach Curt Miller said. "It's a big gut-check against a very, very good Delaware team."
BGSU's now 22-game win streak at Anderson Arena seemed in jeopardy for a few minutes when the Falcons started the second half as cold as it ended the first. Delaware's two-point halftime lead quickly stretched to eight thanks to BGSU turnovers and UD senior Chrissy Fisher's hot shooting.
Bowling Green s Liz Honegger battles Delaware s Chrissy Fisher for a rebound.
A stopgap materialized when after a broken in-bounds play, Kate Achter got the ball to Mann on the wing. Mann drained a 3-pointer for the Falcons' first field goal of the second half. Fisher (19 points, 12 rebounds) answered with a 3, but Mann hit two more jumpers, kickstarting a 28-3 Falcon run.
"We weren't very aggressive in the first half, all our touches were like five feet outside the 3-point line," Mann said. "We started talking about getting the ball in scoring areas."
"They were getting any shot they wanted," Fisher said. "Our defense wasn't there on that run."
BGSU had nearly as many turnovers in the first half (13) as it averages per game (14.4). Delaware's tight half-court defense often forced the Falcons to take tough shots at the end of the shot clock.
But the Falcons did have success early throwing the ball over the zone for layups, and that strategy worked again in the second half during their run.
Amber Flynn had 12 points on 5-of-5 shooting, and Achter threaded the zone with passes, finishing with 10 assists.
The turnaround in momentum showed in Achter, who jumped a foot in the air at one point, swinging her arms, when the Hens were forced to call a timeout.
"That's the role of a point guard, you don't always have to score all the time but you have to be a leader, both while you're running plays and emotionally," Achter said. "I just tried to contribute in some way other than scoring."
Delaware (10-2) agreed to the game last season after Miller and Martin discussed how many teams refused to travel to play the Falcons. Martin was impressed with the energized crowd of 1,465.
"They're deserving of their ranking," Martin said. "I think it's a great situation for women's basketball and I can see why people don't take the challenge of coming here to play."
NOTES: Junior Whitney Taylor suffered a season-ending ACL injury in practice on Tuesday. Taylor, who was averaging three points playing 12 minutes a game, will be replaced in the rotation by freshman Sarah Clapper. The Falcons have a quick turnaround, hosting Robert Morris tomorrow at 1 p.m.for their final game before Mid-American Conference play.
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