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Prochaska hits 32 in BG's win

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Bowling Green's Lauren Prochaska is tripped up on this play, but she hit 5 of 9 3-pointers and 13 of 14 free throws.

The Blade/Jeremy Wadsworth
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BOWLING GREEN - There is nothing brash or arrogant or overconfident about the way Lauren Prochaska carries herself. The Bowling Green sophomore leaves the impression that she is quiet, humble, meek, and almost apologetic about her role with the Falcons.

Miami had a little different take on Prochaska last night after she matched her career-high with 32 points to lead Bowling Green to an 87-79 Mid-American Conference victory over the RedHawks - the Falcons' 14th straight win.

"She's a sleek player, kind of a stealth-type player," Miami coach Maria Fantanarosa said after watching Prochaska hit 7-of-12 shots from the field, including 5-of-9 from beyond the 3-point arc.

Prochaska, third in the nation in free throw shooting at 92.3 percent, hit 13-of-14 from the line against the RedHawks. As a team, the Falcons followed Prochaska's lead and went 33-of-36 from the line.

"Once you blink, she's gone. She just finds a way," Fantanarosa said.

With Miami concentrating its defensive efforts on Prochaska, the RedHawks were able to limit her involvement initially and establish a 14-8 lead six minutes into the game. The ultra-aggressive posture that Miami assumed soon took its toll in terms of foul trouble, and the Falcons started to find opportunities.

The RedHawks still led by a half dozen after Ashley Hawkins scored on a drive with nine minutes left in the half. After Prochaska's first 3-pointer from the wing, followed by a pair of free throws from point guard Tracy Pontius, BG was within a point at 22-21.

After the Falcons then fell behind by five, Northview grad Niki McCoy then led a quick surge with a strong stick-back basket, then a forceful move inside for another score. When she added a free throw to make the second score a three-point-play, the Falcons had their first lead since the opening moments at 28-27, with six minutes left in the half.

Bowling Green went up by as many as six points in the remaining moments of the first half, leading 33-27 on a driving basket by Prochaska. The Falcons' advantage was 45-38 at the break.

Miami (10-6, 2-1), which entered the night as the only unbeaten team in the MAC's East Division besides the Falcons (14-2, 3-0), would not go away and came back to lead 60-57 with 12:32 left in the game. Bowling Green then held the RedHawks scoreless over the next four minutes and went on a 10-0 run, mostly at the foul line.

With just under five minutes to play, Prochaska buried a triple from the wing, and then hit another from the corner, and BG led 79-69.

"She always has the same body language, but there's a determination in her," Bowling Green coach Curt Miller said about Prochaska.

"She'll never ask for the ball, but she was looking at me, and I was comfortable calling the plays for her."

Prochaska, who also scored 32 in a win over St. Francis in November, said she was surprised by her output.

"It didn't feel like 32 at all," she said. "When they went to a zone, they kind of lost me a few times."

Bowling Green got 18 points from Pontius, and McCoy finished with a double-double - with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Contact Matt Markey at:

mmarkey@theblade.com

or 419-724-6510.

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