BOWLING GREEN - Convinced yet?
There was reason to question the legitimacy of the Bowling Green State University women's basketball team. Just because BG was able to smack around a half-dozen weaklings in a row didn't necessarily make the Falcons a menacing bully.
But that was before St. Bonaventure exited BG's playground yesterday marked with a number of scrapes and cuts, and likely a damaged ego. The Falcons picked apart the once-beaten Bonnies 77-59 in front of 1,403 at Anderson Arena to extend their winning streak to seven.
Like the six that preceded it, this one was a total domination. What was different, though, is a good opponent was dominated. St. Bonaventure (6-2) was coming off an 11-point win over nationally ranked Michigan State a week ago and was an upgrade from the Falcons' recent competition, which was described frequently by terms like rebuilding.
"This was definitely a test for us," sophomore guard Lauren Prochaska said. "We wanted to see how good we really were. We didn't know up to this point."
Now they do.
BG (7-2) doesn't resemble the unit that fell badly to Temple and Valparaiso to begin the season. Since then, the differential in its wins averages out to a little more than 25 points.
Prochaska led the way with 24 points, 18 of which came in the first half when she hit four 3-pointers. Niki McCoy added 19 points, and Lindsey Goldsberry and Tracy Pontius were each a point shy of joining their teammates in double figures.
What had the look of being a tightly-contested game turned into another beat down when the Falcons used a 13-0 run to go up 25-13 midway through the first half. Prochaska converted a rare four-point play during that sequence after she was fouled by Priscilla Edwards.
"I saw her flying at me, so I shot it," Prochaska said. "I knew I was going to get hit so I just took the hit. That definitely got us fired up."
With the win, BG is 48-5 in its last 53 games at Anderson Arena. That statistic is brought to you by coach Curt Miller, who continues to display strong research skills.
Last Saturday, after BG whipped Youngstown State 94-61, Miller pointed out that the program had improved to 100 games over .500 dating to the beginning of his third season. Now that marks stands at 101.
"I think we're all really excited with the way we played and where we are right now," Prochaska said.
St. Bonaventure's Dana Mitchell (12 points) was held well below her average of 17.7 points per game, as was her teammate Katelyn Murray (10 points. She averaged 16.3). Mitchell, who also leads the team in rebounding, played just 22 minutes because of foul trouble. St. Bonaventure committed 22 personal fouls and fell into double-bonus territory with 9:23 to go in the second half.
"I was excited tonight because we look at St. Bonaventure as a legitimate threat to go to the NCAA tournament, a legitimate threat to go to the WNIT," Miller said. "We haven't played one of those teams since Valpo."