CLEVELAND Carin Horne scored 22 points as No. 20 Bowling Green, still smarting from a late-season conference loss, moved into the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference tournament with a 71-62 win over Toledo today.
It wasn t one of the better efforts this season for the senior-stuffed Falcons (27-3), but it was good enough to hold off the Rockets (11-19), who were led by Danielle Bishop s 19 points and 16 from Savannah Werner.
Kate Achter scored 15 points for the Falcons, who despite making 16 turnovers 12 in the second half beat Toledo for the ninth straight time.
Bowling Green was 15-0 in the MAC and on its way to a second straight perfect regular season when it lost to Ohio on Feb. 24, snapping the Falcons 18-game winning streak. The surprising misstep at home was a wakeup call for the two-time defending MAC tourney champs, who have won 41 of 42 inside the league the past two years.
The Falcons, whose two other losses came against No. 1 Duke (56-44) and against Notre Dame (85-81 in OT), led by 12 points in the second half before getting sloppy and allowing the Rockets back in it.
But leading 56-50, senior Ali Mann scored inside and Horne made three straight baskets as Bowling Green regained control and pushed its lead to 66-52 with 4:17 remaining.
Mann added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Falcons, who will play the Eastern Michigan-Ohio quarterfinal winner in Friday s second semifinal. Western Michigan and Northern Illinois will play in the first semi.
The Falcons, who beat the Rockets by 22 in last year s semis, are dressing just nine players. They lost two players to season-ending knee injuries, and backup point guard Jasmine McCall left the team last week for undisclosed reasons.
In the only meeting between the teams during the regular season, Toledo, which defeated Buffalo in the MAC s opening round on Sunday, built a 15-point lead before Bowling Green stormed back for a 73-62 win.
The Falcons were determined not to let the same thing happen.
With Toledo s defense making it tough to find anything inside, Bowling Green turned to its long-range game. Horne made three 3-pointers and Lindsey Goldsberry hit a pair as the Falcons, one of the nation s deadliest teams behind the arc, opened a 40-29 halftime lead.
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