CLEVELAND (AP) -- Bowling Green went from ranked to rankled.
The Falcons, back in The Associated Press women's Top 25 poll
for the first time since 1994, survived a shaky start and advanced
to the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference tournament with a
73-61 win over Northern Illinois on Wednesday.Liz Honegger had 17 points and Ali Mann scored 12 -- all in the
second half -- and added 15 rebounds for the Falcons, who haven't
been beaten since losing in overtime at Kentucky on Jan. 2.Bowling Green (26-2) stormed through the MAC, going 16-0 to
become just the fifth team to go unbeaten in conference play.
Dating to last season, the Falcons have won 23 straight games
against MAC schools.But the Falcons didn't lock up their 17th straight win until
midway through the second half when a 22-4 run finally put away the
scrappy Huskies (12-17).Stephanie Raymond's 3-pointer gave Northern Illinois a 32-31
lead with 15:48 remaining.But Megan Thorburn drilled a 3-pointer and Mann, an All-MAC
first-team selection who came in averaging 14.7 points, found her
shooting touch.Raymond finished with 24 points and Kristin Wiener had 12 for
Northern Illinois.Confused by an assortment of gimmicky Northern Illinois
defenses, the Falcons went just 6-of-32 from the field and made
nine turnovers in the first half.The Huskies hounded Mann, who missed all nine shots -- five from
the floor and four free throws -- in the opening 20 minutes.But despite their troubles, the Falcons were only down 18-16 at
the break.Bowling Green will meet Toledo in Friday's semifinals. Eastern
Michigan will play Kent State in the other semifinal.