CLEVELAND Carin Horne scored 18 points and No. 20 Bowling Green reached the Mid-American Conference tournament final today for the fourth straight season with a 71-57 win over Eastern Michigan.
The Falcons (28-3) struggled through another rough tourney performance, but their senior-filled lineup got a spark from sophomore Lindsey Goldsberry, who scored 11 off the bench.
The win tied the MAC single-season record the Falcons set last season and was the 100th victory for their seniors, who are looking for a third trip to the NCAA tournament.
Top-seeded Bowling Green, 15-0 in the MAC when it lost to Ohio on Feb. 24, snapping an 18-game winning streak, has yet to put together a complete performance this March.
Eastern Michigan (16-13), the last team to beat the Falcons in the MAC tourney in the 2004 title game, gave the Falcons trouble.
Bowling Green was 3-for-11 to start and gave up some easy baskets, leaving coach Curt Miller screaming and throwing up his hands in frustration.
It took Goldsberry, who averages fewer than four points a game, to pick the team up. She scored seven points during a 20-4 run that gave the Falcons a 26-18 lead.
Miller didn't let up banging on scorer's table, stomping his foot even after his team took a double-digit lead.
Eastern Michigan made some careless turnovers and went cold from beyond the arc (4-for-27) to fall behind 35-24 at the half.
Bowling Green extended its lead behind Horne and MAC co-player of the year Ali Mann, who finished with 13.
Brittany Tyson's two free throws got the Eagles within 59-53 with 5:25 left.
But Horne hit a 3-pointer with 3:04 remaining and Patrice McKinney fouled Goldsberry on the play. She hit both free throws for a five-point swing and a 64-53 lead.
Bowling Green will play Ball State in the finals tomorrow. The Cardinals beat Northern Illinois 83-72 in the other semifinal.
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