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Published: Wednesday, 12/19/2007

Young Falcons try to regroup on road

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN - It will be a soul-searching journey for the Bowling Green State University women, one where the Falcons will travel away from familiar grounds in hopes of learning more about themselves.

BG (6-2) already knows that it's a solid team and that many of its freshmen and sophomores are very capable. But the Falcons hope more is revealed during a tough road trip that began Sunday with a loss at Indiana and continues today in Maryland against Mount St. Mary.

From there BG will travel to play Delaware on Friday before ending December with a three-game tournament at Iowa State next weekend.

"When we scheduled this we knew it was one of the toughest stretches of basketball I've had in my seven years at BG," coach Curt Miller said. "We knew we were going to learn a lot about ourselves and it would be a huge challenge for a young team."

The Falcons performed admirably in recent big tests, but the loss to Indiana yielded concerns that BG wants to address during this trip. BG led the Hoosiers by nine at the break but came unraveled in the second half and fell 75-67. Indiana, which had lost four straight before Sunday, shot 53 percent in the second half and BG couldn't keep up, making just 30 percent.

"In crunch time we weren't able to get defensive stops," Miller said. "One of the things we really want to work on in this road trip is getting back to our roots where we won with good defensive teams and got important stops."

Miller said Mount St. Mary (1-7) is similar to BG in that it's led by a senior point guard and is young in the post. Tiffany Green, a 5-foot-4 guard averaging 8.5 ppg., is the two-time reigning Northeast Conference defensive player of the year. Brianna Gauthier leads the team in scoring with 10.5 ppg.

"They have been playing well, but it hasn't correlated in wins for them," Miller said. "We have to prepare to play a mirror image of us."

Miller said that senior guard Whitney Taylor did not play against Indiana because of a coach's decision regarding matchup opportunities.

Delaware, like Mount St. Mary, was also 1-7 entering last night's game against Quinnipiac. BG beat the Blue Hens last year, 70-59 at Anderson Arena. Miller said he's concerned about Delaware's matchup zone defense. But Miller is also concerned with his own defense, which has allowed almost 46 percent shooting from the field in their past two games.

"I think we need to play team defense and understand the importance of that," said junior Lindsey Goldsberry. "We're kind of letting that slide a little. We need to start stepping up on D because that's going to win games."

Contact Ryan Autullo at:

rautullo@theblade.com



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