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Published: Wednesday, 3/24/2010

Bowling Green lived up to program's expectations

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN - One could claim the Bowling Green State University women's basketball team simply met expectations for the 2009-10 season.

Yet, such a thought is a major understatement considering the Falcons' success.

BG captured its sixth straight Mid-American Conference outright championship and won a fourth MAC tournament title in the last six years.

Coach Curt Miller and a roster that included 10 returning letterwinners continued their dominance over the conference.

"I'm really proud of the kids' consistency throughout MAC play and how they had to step up to the bull's-eye and the pressure they had to try to win a sixth straight championship," Miller said. "We've always talked about peaking at the right time and playing our best basketball in March. We were just fantastic in the MAC tournament, so I can't be more pleased on how it all came together."

The Falcons (27-7, 14-2 MAC) closed the year by winning 10 of their last 12 games. They were riding their second eight-game win streak of the season before a 72-62 loss to Michigan State in an NCAA tournament first-round game.

The loss to the Big Ten's regular-season runner-up represented the second loss against a Big Ten opponent. The Falcons also fell to Big Ten champion Ohio State 91-72 in a Preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament. Yet, the Falcons' campaign did produce a win over a ranked team with a 66-60 road victory over No. 16 Vanderbilt.

BG was unbeaten at home to help Miller become one of only three coaches in MAC women's basketball history to reach the 200-win mark.

Junior guard Lauren Prochaska (19.7 points, 5.7 rebounds) won her second consecutive conference player of the year award.

Prochaska, as well as junior teammates Tracy Pontius, Jen Uhl, and Maggie Hennegan, make up a core group of veteran players who are expected to make BG the preseason MAC favorite next season.

"We're excited about what we have coming back but everybody has got to continue to improve," Miller said. "The summer is the time when you really improve your skills and everybody coming back is going to have to step up their game and be ready. We'll have the bull's-eye again next year, so we look forward to the challenges."

Contact Donald Emmons at:

demmons@theblade.com

or 419-724-6302.



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