Saturday, Apr 21, 2018
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Battle at point guard could be key matchup

EAST LANSING, Mich - Kate Achter gets it. She has no true backup.

That doesn't mean Achter is concerned about getting in foul trouble or about her matchup with Andrea Riley, Oklahoma State's freshman point guard.

She figures if the Cowgirls make frustrating her a focal point, she will count on her Bowling Green State University teammates to help her out in today's first-round NCAA tournament game.

"I'm not going to worry about it too much," Achter said. "If they concentrate too hard on getting me in foul trouble it could take them out of the game in other aspects."

Riley, the Cowgirls' second-leading scorer, was the freshman of the year in the Big 12 Conference. But, "she's a freshman," Achter said.

"It's her first NCAA women's basketball tournament and I've been here three times," Achter said. "That works to my advantage. But she's awfully quick and she's awfully talented."

Riley has displayed an air of confidence ever since she arrived at Oklahoma State. At a preseason pep rally, when she was asked who the most exciting player on the team was, she said, "I don't want to toot my own horn, but 'beep beep.'"

"She's their engine," BGSU coach Curt Miller said. "She obviously brings them tremendous athleticism, tremendous ability to get penetration for their whole system to work. But what she also brings them is emotion. She really gets the team fired up."

Achter compared Riley's quickness to that of Ball State's Porchia Green.

"She just goes and goes," Achter said. "You have to get her stopped right away."

BIG 3'S: Miller said BGSU likes to think it has the best 3-point shooting post players in the country in Liz Honegger and Ali Mann. Honegger leads the team with 60 3-pointers and makes 39 percent of her attempts. Mann shoots 44 percent from 3-point range.

OSU coach Kurt Budke said the Falcons' sharp-shooting posts are similar to those of Big 12 teams Iowa State and Kansas State.

"We've got to fly around and try to make them put it on the floor just a little bit," Budke said, "and try to make them shoot shots they're not comfortable with. Because when their feet are set, they're deadly."

CALM NO MORE: In his six years at BGSU, Miller's foot-stomping and screeching on the sidelines during games has become notorious. But in the 2005 NCAA tournament loss to Kansas State and 2006 loss to UCLA, he was strangely quiet.

"Frankly, I'm not sure it worked," Miller said. "I thought I needed to present the calming influence. But that's not what they were used to."

Miller has changed his approach for this year's tournament.

"Through the adversity against Oklahoma State, I'm going to be myself," he said. "I'm going to coach the way they're used to me coaching, the way I'm comfortable. I'm going to be demanding and get after them if I need to."

DRIBBLES: Budke said BGSU's nine-point loss to No. 1 Duke in December was "the first thing that grabbed my attention" about the Falcons. BGSU is 1-2 at the Breslin Center, with the most recent game an 80-52 win over Michigan State in 1996.

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