THE BLADE/DAVE ZAPOTOSKY Enlarge | Buy This Photo
CLEVELAND - Even the hardest of hearts would have felt bad for Kent State's women last night.
Playing their second game in as many days and with a depleted bench, the Golden Flashes could barely stand up straight toward the end of an 85-57 battering at the merciless hands of Bowling Green State University.
The Golden Flashes will have the offseason to replenish, while the top-seeded Falcons move on to Friday's semifinal round against Ohio University here at Quicken Loans Arena.
Even a fresh Kent team would likely have been no match for the Falcons, whom they fell twice to in the regular season by large deficits. But with just six players logging meaningful minutes a day after a taxing win over Northern Illinois, the Flashes were simply overwhelmed from the opening whistle.
"It was important to push the tempo aggressively all night," BG coach Curt Miller said. "They're playing on back-to-back days. We were the deeper team with more bodies."
BG's bench accounted for 34 points as five nonstarters scored. Jen Uhl led the reserves with 15 points and six rebounds, and Bianca Hooten unloaded for 13 points in 11 minutes.
Of starters, Kate Achter had 11 assists and nine points, and Tara Breske did a little of everything - 16 points, 11 boards, four steals, three blocks and two assists. Breske was named player of the game for inflicting serious damage in the first half. There were few times when Breske could have grabbed a rebound but failed to, and offensively, she was the recipient of many great looks from Achter, who notched her 10th assist with three minutes left in the first half. BG led 44-20 at the break.
With seven more assists Achter will set the school record.
"Kate's excellent at reading the floor," Breske said. "Me and Jen work hard to get openings. She saw us and we connected."
The Falcons (25-6) have now won 10 in a row. They can make it 11 with a win over Ohio. BG beat the Bobcats by 15 points twice in the regular season.
"OU and Bowling Green are borderline rivals and neither program thinks very high of each other," Achter said.
BG however has nothing but respect for the Flashes, who easily could have mailed it in after halftime but instead began the second half on a 10-0 run.
Ellie Shields led Kent (9-21) with 19 points, and Chenel Harris and Anna Kowalska chipped in with 13 and 10, respectively.
"To Kent's credit they never quit," Miller said. "I think [Bob Lindsay is] the best coach in the league. [Kent's] all underclassmen, so that team's only going to get better and better."
At the same time, Miller wasn't thrilled with his team's sluggish start to the half.
"I told them from now on that four-minute stretch can kill your dreams," Miller said.
Lauren Prochaska had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Falcons, who got a big lift in the first half by Lindsey Goldsberry's three 3-pointers.
"I had a meeting before the tournament begging Lindsey Goldsberry to hunt and look for shots," Miller said.
Contact Ryan Autullo at: