Lady Falcons Win MAC!

Thank God for Lauren Prochaska as her 29 points carried Bowling Green to a 62-53 victory over Toledo in the MAC Tournament Championship Game and into the NCAA Tournament.  It was the end of both halves that won it for the Falcons, particulary the 1st half.  The Rockets controlled the first 15 minutes of the game and had a 22-12 lead, but with their star players Tamika Mays and Naama Shafir on the bench at least part of the end of the half with 2 fouls apiece BG went on a 17-2 run to actually lead 29-24 at halftime.  Toledo got the first 6 points of the 2nd half to re-even things and it was a close battle the rest of the game with neither team leading by more than 5 points (and usually less than that) until the Falcons pulled away making the plays and shots in the last 2 minutes.  I think BG being a much deeper team was a key factor, as our starters were fresher for the stretch drive.

Like I said at the beginning thank God for Prochaska she carried the team today.  Prontius had a bad day; she didn’t score at all until 2 foul shots in the final 10 seconds.  Jen Uhl had an off day after playing great against Akron in the semifinals.  Tara Breske was not as much of a factor as usual, and neither was Tamika Nurse.  It was up to Prochaska to show why she was conference POY and carry the team and she did just that, making driving baskets, 3 pointers, whatever it took.

Does anyone know why Toledo’s coach never used her “use or lose” timeout in the 1st half?  I mean, most coaches would want to staunch a 17-2 run by their opponent if they can.  But the Rockets players have nothing to be embarrassed about.  I hope they get  WNIT bid because they are deserving of postseason play.  I was especially impressed by their point guard Naama Shafir.  The sophomore from Israel has a good all-around game and seems to have a strong basketball IQ.  The rest of the MAC will not enjoy trying to compete against her the next couple seasons.

As for the Falcons they return to the NCAAs for the 1st time since the 2007 run to the Sweet 16.  My assumption is they will be a #13 seed, perhaps a #12, something in that range.  We’ll find out for sure Monday at 7pm on ESPN.  They only lost 6 games this season but didn’t have many strong wins with the win over Vanderbilt looking a bit less impressive now than it did at the time.  And the MAC below Toledo was frankly nothing overly special.  But the Falcons could prove a tough out for whoever draws them, especially if BG is hitting from behind the arc the way they can, particularly Tracy Prontius and Tamika Nurse.  They’ll be the underdog but they’ll have a chance.  Forward Falcons!

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