CLEVELAND - Curt Miller dressed 15 players for the Bowling Green State University encounter with Miami in a Mid-American Conference women's basketball tournament quarterfinal yesterday at Quicken Loans Arena.
Ever BG player saw at least two minutes of playing time as the six-time MAC regular-season champion soared past the RedHawks in a 91-58 blowout.
Top-seed BG will play No. 4 Akron tomorrow in the semifinals after the Zips beat No. 5 Eastern Michigan 72-46.
Tara Breske and Jen Uhl sparked BG (25-6) with a dominating one-two front-court punch. Breske, a 6-foot senior, paced the inside game by pumping in a season-high 20 points and pulling down six rebounds. Uhl delivered 11 points, including a 2-for-2 effort from 3-point range, and grabbed a team-high
eight rebounds to help BG win the rebounding battle 46-37.
"Without question, that was our best post production as a unit all year," Miller said. "We had good balance of getting inside catches. We had good inside production and that made our three-ball [shooting] easier because we were playing inside-out.
"We're excited because we've looked for that all year."
Breske, who scored 13 of her points in the first half, stepped on the Quicken Loans court determined to make a difference for BG, which last won the MAC tournament in 2007 - her freshman year.
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"It's been a challenge all year to have better post production," Breske said. "When we have a balanced attack inside and outside, it leads to good results."
The highly efficient post play allowed BG to find plenty of good looks from the perimeter, resulting in a 13-for-20 shooting performance from behind the 3-point line.
Lauren Prochaska, the two-time MAC player of the year, scored 15 points, including three 3-pointers, while Tamika Nurse finished with 14 points, including a 4-for-4 effort from 3-point range.
However, back-to-back 3-pointers by Uhl with just over 15 minutes to play in the first half were arguably the most significant long-range shots of the night for the Falcons. Uhl's threat from the outside added to Miami's defensive concerns.
Uhl's two 3-pointers gave BG a 16-7 lead and helped the Falcons increase their advantage to as much as 14 points before going into halftime with a 40-29 advantage.
"They guarded Lauren [Prochaska] and Tracy [Pontius] really hard," Uhl said. "On both of them [my two 3-pointers], they double-teamed Lauren and I was wide open. When I'm open, I need to make them."
The Falcons made plenty of shots against the No. 8-seed Redhawks (9-22), a team that held BG to less than 40 percent shooting a week earlier. Some came with Falcons wide open. Other shots occurred with RedHawks attempting to defend against a BG team that was ready to make a good showing.
Thirteen of the 15 Falcons actually scored at least two points in the team's highest scoring output of the season. Freshman guard Simone Eli, who was last off the bench, drained a 3-pointer with 45 seconds remaining to conclude the team's scoring while also bringing a sizable contingent of supporters to their feet.
Kirsten Olowinski and Courtney Osborn led Miami with 16 and 10 points, respectively.
Miami coach Maria Fantanarosa complimented the Falcons for simply outplaying the Redhawks.
"As the game wore on, they were able to get into the lane more and more and that led to points in the paint and kick-outs for open 3-pointers," Fantanarosa said.
Contact Donald Emmons at:
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Curt Miller dressed 15 players for the Bowling Green State University encounter with Miami in a Mid-American Conference women's basketball tournament quarterfinal Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena.