BOWLING GREEN It was Bowling Green s greatest women s basketball team ever, 31 wins and 4 losses, authored by, arguably, the school s greatest recruiting class ever.
A class, we might add, that graduated after that magical 2006-07 season. No more Ali Mann, no more Liz Honegger, no more Carin Horne, no more Megan Thorburn, no more Amber Flynn kicking in 10 points a night off the bench. No more.
What could the Falcons possibly do for an encore?
You might guess BG is rebuilding and, to some degree, that s accurate. Coach Curt Miller started two freshmen and a sophomore last night against Kent State. Three of the first four subs off the bench were freshmen. One of them, Jen Uhl, made 9 of 13 shots and scored a career-high 22 points in 26 minutes.
Yep, the Falcons are rebuilding. They just have a funny way of showing it.
BG beat Kent 76-68 at Anderson Arena, winning for the 20th time. It is the fifth straight season the Falcons have posted at least 20 victories.
BG also is gunning for a fourth straight Mid-American Conference championship. Impossible, you say? The Falcons are 9-3 in league play and tied with Miami, a team BG will face on the road Saturday, atop the East Division standings.
This is rebuilding? Or was it merely a matter of reloading?
As Miller said, if you are going to retool around one returning starter, you could do a lot worse than point guard Kate Achter. Still, who could have expected this?
Well, maybe Achter for one. Junior Lindsey Goldsberry, perhaps, for another.
And Miller? He didn t expect it. Not for a minute. Of course, coaches are pessimists. Until the final horn sounds, that half-filled glass is always half-empty.
When we set out here, it was to build a championship program, not a championship team, Miller said. But, sure, absolutely, I m surprised to be in this position in late February. I m very excited about it. I think we have something special going and my assistant coaches deserve a lot of credit for identifying and recruiting some very capable, competitive players.
Lauren Prochaska was the jewel of this year s freshman class. After averaging 32.3 points per game as a senior at Alder High School in Plain City, she became the first girl in Ohio high school history to be named first team all-state four times. So Miller figured that Prochaska would find a way to be an effective scorer at the college level and, sure enough, she leads BG in scoring with a 14.9-point average.
But she s not the Lone Ranger. BG throws one kid after another into the fire and it s the opposition that keeps getting burned.
I don t want to say I m surprised because one thing coach Miller is really good at is recruiting, said Achter, who struggled some with her shot last night but still produced 16 points and 10 assists. I knew he would be putting really good talent around the veterans. And the freshmen have really stepped up. Who knows what our record would be without them?
Not 20-6, that s for sure. Not in a rebuilding/reloading year.
Goldsberry, who delivered whatever BG needed at crucial times against Kent, including back-to-back baskets that put the 20th win on ice, said: Maybe no one outside [the program] knew what to expect, but the coaches never lowered the expectations and the freshmen never backed down from that.
So, there you have it. Apparently, there is no rebuilding in BGSU women s basketball.
Just another big-time recruiting class. Just another 20-win season. Just another run at a league title.