KENT, Ohio - Lauren Prochaska didn't take long to heat up from long range yesterday afternoon at Kent State University.
The defending Mid-American Conference player of the year hit 5 of 6 3-point attempts in the first half to squash any hopes the Golden Flashes had of handing the five-time defending MAC regular season champions their first conference loss of the season.
Prochaska's long-range marksmanship resulted in the junior guard scoring a game-high 24 points --all in the first half - and the Falcons routing Kent 89-61 before an announced crowd of 1,142 at the MAC Center.
Prochaska did all of her scoring in 16 minutes of work on the court before halftime. BG's leading scorer only saw four minutes on the floor in the second half.
"Lauren could have had an unbelievable night statistically, but she's not about herself and the team is not about individual glory," BG coach Curt Miller said.
Prochaska's brief, but highly effective output, was shared with her teammates.
"I think everyone did a great job of getting penetration and finding me for open shots," Prochaska said. "I just thank my teammates for getting me open and I had a good shooting night."
The Falcons (14-4, 4-0 MAC), who led the Golden Flashes (9-7, 2-2 MAC) by as much as 37 points in the second half, had plenty of players step up.
Tracy Pontius finished with 13 points and five assists while Tamika Nurse added 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds. A total of 10 Falcons scored at least two points in a game BG led from start to finish.
Rather than travel Friday night, the Falcons hit the road yesterday morning as a result of departmental cutbacks. The team typically arrives a day early and stays in a hotel for an afternoon contest.
Miller did not know how his team would respond to the adjusted travel plans.
"This is the first time in my nine years we've done this game as a day trip, so we had other obstacles," he said. "Even our veterans had a different type of trip today. Well, we'll do that day trip every time if we play like that."
Longtime Kent coach Bob Lindsay, who is in his 21st season, said the Flashes didn't match the Falcons' overall effort.
"We were just outplayed," Lindsay said. "It wasn't about anything they did [strategically]. It was about the fact that we just got outplayed. We were outhustled, outexecuted, outeverything in the first half of the game."
Jamilah Humes led the Flashes with 17 points and nine rebounds.
"I think them getting to loose balls and having three-point shooters spot up for the threes really made the difference for them in the beginning to jump out to a big lead," Humes said. "It was just hard for us to close that down."
The Falcons stormed out to a commanding lead halfway through the first half. They forced the Flashes into committing 11 turnovers before the break while limiting their turnovers to only three. BG owned a 29-10 advantage with over seven minutes remaining after Prochaska converted a three-point play set up by a steal and assist from Tara Breske, who finished with eight points.
"It was a great road win for our team," Miller said. "It's not been an easy place to get road wins through the years, so we're really excited about that. The first half set the tempo. I thought we played a tremendous first half on both sides of the ball.
"Defensively, I thought we did a really nice job of sticking to the game plan and making it difficult for them. Offensively, I think the key was we really didn't turn the ball over against their pressure."
Contact Donald Emmons at:
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.