Falcons overcome 44 points by Shearer

Updated: March 12, 2005, 10:14 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Kate Achter scored 21 points and Liz Honegger added 20 to help Bowling Green beat Kent State 81-75 Saturday for its first Mid-American Conference tournament championship since 1994.

Lindsay Shearer scored a tournament-record 44 points in the losing effort, topping the old mark of 43 set by Kent State's Ann Forbes in 1992. Shearer had 31 points in the second half, but couldn't prevent Bowling Green from claiming the NCAA tournament berth.

The junior forward scored from inside and out, shooting 17-of-23 overall, 3-of-4 from 3-point range and 7-of-7 from the free-throw line. She also led Kent State with 11 rebounds.

The victory ends a dry spell for the once dominant Falcons, who won the MAC tournament six times in an eight-year span ending in 1994. They lost in the final last year to Eastern Michigan.

The Falcons (23-7) hit a flurry of 3-pointers, including three by Honegger, to take a 12-point lead early in the second half.

But second-seeded Kent State (21-9) pulled within four several times behind Shearer, who scored 14 straight points in the closing minutes.

Carin Horne hit a 3-pointer with 1:05 left for a 79-72 lead that sealed it for the Falcons. Horne finished with 17 points.

The Golden Flashes were playing in their eighth MAC tournament championship in 10 years and last won it all in 2002. The loss ended a nine-game winning streak.

Kent State's Melissa DeGrate came in averaging 25 points in two MAC tournament games, shooting 61 percent from the field and 57 percent from 3-point range. She struggled, scoring 14 on 5-of-17 shooting.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press