Bowling Green's Lauren Prochaska battles Ohio's Ashley Fowler for a loose ball at Anderson Arena. Prochaska scored a game-high 22 points, including eight straight in the first half.
BOWLING GREEN - Bowling Green State University women's basketball coach Curt Miller spent most of the first half against Ohio yesterday looking for a sign that indicated his team was ready for the Mid-American Conference contest at Anderson Arena.
Not until BG senior guard Tamika Nurse launched a shot from half court that swished the net just as the halftime buzzer sounded did he think the five-time defending MAC regular-season champions were ready.
Nurse's crowd-pleasing 3-point basket gave the Falcons a 39-30 lead and enough momentum to carry BG to a 73-57 triumph before a crowd of 1,741.
"[It] just gave us a sense of calmness that we were going to be OK tonight," Miller said of Nurse's only basket of the first half.
The Falcons (20-6, 10-2 MAC) were never threatened by the Bobcats (6-19, 2-10 MAC) in the second half, leading by as much as 16.
"We're excited about the win," Miller said. "It was a bounce-back effort."
The Falcons were upset Wednesday at Central Michigan.
Ohio's Carolyn Barnett, 24, fouls BG's Allison Papenfuss. Papenfuss scored a career-high 13 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Lauren Prochaska scored 17 of her game-high 22 points in the first half to lead BG, who secured a MAC record-tying seventh straight 20-win season.
Allison Papenfuss came off the bench to score a career-high 13 points and grabbed six rebounds. During the 21 minutes she was on the court, Papenfuss made five of seven shots, went three-for-four from the foul line, and pulled down four of her six rebounds off the offensive glass.
The 6-foot freshman front-court player delivered the kind of performance Miller was hoping for from the Anthony Wayne graduate.
"We needed a spark rebounding-wise, just an energy person," Miller said. "We thought tonight would be a good game for Allison. She was a big, big spark and a big part of the game."
Papenfuss had eight of her points in the second half.
"I want to prove to everyone and prove to myself I can play basketball," Papenfuss said. "It's really important I go out and make the most of my minutes."
Prochaska provided a steadiness in the early going to help BG withstand a first-half push from OU, which went up by as much as five points midway through the half.
Prochaska scored eight straight points during a stretch to help the Falcons go from trailing 25-20 to taking a 28-25 lead.
"I thought Lauren [Prochaska] was aggressive and very good early on," he said. "I thought the team did a good job of finding her early on. I'm really happy for her that she got going and made big plays."
The Falcons finished out the half by outscoring the Bobcats 12-5.
Nurse and Tara Breske finished with eight points apiece, while Breske also added team-highs of five assists and five steals.
Carolyn Barnett finished with a 14 points and Thia Gholson added 12 for Ohio.
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