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Published: Wednesday, 3/10/2010

Falcons turn attention to elusive MAC tourney


CLEVELAND — Bowling Green State University accomplished its goal of winning the Mid-American Conference regular-season women's basketball championship for the sixth consecutive season.

Now the Falcons' focus is on the MAC tournament title, something that has eluded them the last two years.

BG plays Miami in a MAC quarterfinal today at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The No. 1 seed Falcons (24-6, 14-2 MAC) swept the regular-season series with the No. 8 seed RedHawks (9-21, 6-10).

Yet, BG coach Curt Miller considers this as a new season.

“One of the things the team has realized it is very, very difficult to win the MAC tournament,” Miller said. “You can throw the seeds out. No longer is it about the best team winning the conference, it's about the team who plays the best over a four-day stretch and that's the team that's going to represent us in the NCAA tournament.”

The Falcons have plenty of momentum riding a five-game winning streak including a 63-58 win at Miami to close out the regular season.

Miami freshman guard Courtney Osborn averages a team-best 16.8 points while sophomore backcourt mate Maggie Boyer has averaged 10.6 points.

“Miami is a tough matchup for us for a variety of reasons,” Miller said. “I picked them to be the MAC East champions. I think they have tremendous individual talent. They can score in five positions.

“But what concerns you the most and what was prevalent down in their arena was their length can really disrupt you and we shot under 30 percent.”

Miller scheduled a practice yesterday at Quicken Loans Arena. He had not held such a practice in previous years.

“More than anything, it's just a different background,” he said. “We have to remind our kids the basket is still 10 feet and the dimensions are still the same, it's just a little bit different background and a bigger venue.”

Lauren Prochaska, a junior who was named the MAC's player of the year for the second straight season leads the Falcons in scoring (17.6) and rebounding (5.7). But Prochaska (knee), Tracy Pontius (Achilles), and Tamika Nurse (ankle), closed out the regular season plagued by injuries but are expected to be closer to full strength.

“We're getting there, but certainly at this time of the year, I don't think there's anyone that is 100 percent,” Miller said.

Contact Donald Emmons at:demmons@theblade.comor 419-724-6302

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