Bowling Green's Kate Achter battles for a loose ball with Arizona State's Reagan Pariseau. Achter was struggling all day. She had eight turnovers and was held scoreless.
Mary Ann Chastain / AP Enlarge
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Bowling Green State University wouldn't have sniffed the Sweet 16 without Kate Achter.
Achter's valiant performances during the Falcons' first two NCAA women's tournament games, when she didn't sub out once, provided poise and leadership at point guard to push them through.
Things turned upside down for Achter yesterday against Arizona State. She couldn't get anything going as a scorer and often had trouble distributing the ball against the Sun Devils' tenacious defense in the Falcons' 67-49 loss.
"With one primary ball handler against an unbelievable pressure team, Kate was going to have to have an MVP performance," BGSU coach Curt Miller said.
"I told people she may have to score 25 points tonight for us to win with all that pressure. We ask a lot of her. I thought she handled the pressure really well, but that's their game plan. They wear down point guards."
Janice Veitch, left, her father, Dale Plumb, center, and her brother, Dick Plumb, watch the game in Bowling Green.
Achter finished with no points, the second time in her career she went scoreless. It was the first time in 17 games she didn't score at least 10. She had six turnovers in the first half and eight overall, most coming when she tried to feed the post players inside.
"It was hard to recognize what was open and what wasn't open," Achter said. "There were a few times where I tried to force passes that just weren't there, tried to create something. I thought if I could just get that one spark for us, it would be good."
She got some of her trademark drives into the lane and fast breaks, but nothing was falling. Miller finally had to try something else and take Achter out for a few minutes with 12:45 to play, putting Ali Mann at the point.
"That's just how it goes, she had a tough assignment, and she tried her best," senior Liz Honegger said. "There were so many other factors that go into it."
A CROWD, AGAIN: About 500 BGSU fans were in Greensboro Coliseum, many of them making the nine-hour journey from northwest Ohio. They greatly outnumbered the Arizona State fans.
"To see that sea of orange in North Carolina, and the money that they must have spent to get down here to support this team, is truly an amazing sight," Miller said. "It gives the kids so much pride and joy that they are playing for Bowling Green."
When the game ended, the team stopped before running off the court and waved to the fans.
"We always meet in center court and wave to our fans," Achter said. "Their support has pushed us through this far. We can't ignore them."
SUN DEVIL GUARD OUT: ASU's starting point guard Briann January did not play because of a concussion. She led the Sun Devils in scoring in their first two tournament games.
Reagan Pariseau started in her place and played 34 minutes, dishing out seven assists.
"I think [her absence] gave everyone that focus," ASU coach Charli Turner Thorne said. "It allowed them to not focus on themselves, and they had to make it up in Brie's absence."
LIZ IN CLEVELAND: Honegger is attending the Final Four in Cleveland next week to participate a two-day coaching clinic for players. She hopes to coach after graduating in December from BGSU.
"You go to different programs and learn about scouting and recruiting, and there are sessions with coaches and on-court demonstrations," Honegger said. "I'm looking forward to it."