OXFORD, Ohio - It seems Curt Miller and Co. have created a monster.
Throughout Bowling Green State University's second straight win by "just" single digits, a 64-56 victory over Miami last night at Millett Hall, the No. 18 Falcons seemed uptight. Afterward, Miller, BGSU's coach, explained why.
After the Falcons' 64-55 win over Ohio on Saturday, "We come back to BG, and we've won by nine, and everyone in the community asked us what happened," Miller said. "I got stopped outside of my house and asked what happened. People in our community have lost a little touch of reality, even though we've won 43 of our last 48 games.
"We are finding ways to win. MAC road wins are tough, no matter where you go. ... For the first time in many, many games, I felt that we listened to some of the stuff after the OU game, and it bothered us."
The Falcons' record 30th consecutive Mid-American Conference victory put their record at 15-2, 5-0 in the league. BGSU has now defeated everyone in the MAC East division and will play six games against the West.
Ali Mann led BGSU with 18 points, and Amber Flynn scored 14. Both teams shot poorly from the field and the free throw line, keeping the contest close throughout.
BGSU finally broke through with a 13-1 run with under 10 minutes to go, but Miami staged a late rally that brought the RedHawks within four with 42 seconds left. Despite the Falcons shooting 4-of-8 from the foul line after that point, Miami didn't hit another shot.
"It's a credit to us to keep grinding it out," Mann said. "We just have to work harder to learn how to finish those games."
The RedHawks (9-9, 3-2) focused their defense on taking away BGSU's perimeter shots, and the Falcons made just 3-of-15 3-pointers. But Mann, Flynn, and Liz Honegger (11 points, 10 rebounds) were able to break free for layups under the basket. BGSU scored 40 of its points in the paint.
"Amber did the best on beating people off the dribble," Miller said. "She created high-percentage shots and had another big game for us. When your shots aren't falling, we needed to take advantage of that."
Amanda Jackson led the RedHawks with 21 points on 22 shots. Although the RedHawks outrebounded BGSU, their upset bid was cut short by their 32 percent shooting.
"We're a team that's difficult for BG to match up with because of our style of play and because we're not intimidated by their physical play or their ball screens," Miami coach Maria Fantanarosa said.
It was the Falcons' eighth straight overall win and second in four days, but the coaches will find many teaching moments.
"We've got to get back to playing better basketball," Miller said. "The last two games we have not shot or executed very well. In the grand scheme of things, that is not championship basketball that we're playing right now.
"We have big plans, we have big dreams. We know we're going to have to play better than this if we're going to get close to fulfilling some of those dreams."
Contact Maureen Fulton at:
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