Cards laugh in face of history by defeating Bowling Green

If history would have repeated itself, then the women's basketball team would have been beaten by Bowling Green on Saturday.

Instead, the team beat the Falcons for the first time since 1997 with an 89-60 victory in Worthen Arena. Bowling Green had won 17 of the last 18 meetings prior to the game.

The Cardinals (12-4 overall, 4-1 Mid-American Conference) used a balanced attack in which everybody on the team scored to hand the Falcons (5-12, 2-4) their eighth loss in their last 11 games. Junior Tamara Bowie led the team, with her 19th career double-double, registering 19 points and 12 rebounds.

"They can hurt you in so many different ways, that you just have to pick your poison," Bowling Green head coach Curt Miller said. "If you try to take away one person, someone else is going to step up."

The characteristically slow-starting Cardinals once again struggled in the first half, leading only by three at the intermission. But for the first 10 minutes of the second half, the Cardinals dominated, outscoring the Falcons 35-14.

"(Ball State) is a Top 20 team when they play together," Miller said. "But going in, we were 30-point underdogs and we only lost by 29. So in my book, we won by one point."

With little time to rest and to prepare, the Cardinals face the Akron Zips tonight. Despite Akron's (1-16, 0-6) lack of success this season, head coach Tracy Roller said the Cardinals can not afford to overlook any team in the conference.

"They're kind of scary," Roller said. "They were up 17 against Western Michigan, so we are not looking past anyone. We haven't been consistent enough to do that yet."

The Cards have struggled in the MAC with starting games well. Against Bowling Green, they hit 37.1 percent from the field, and 22.1 from behind the three-point line. But as the season continues, the team can not afford to continue the inconsistent play, Roller said.

"We still haven't played a 40-minute game," sophomore Johna Goff said. "We've gotten close a couple times, and that's good. It means we're not peaking early, which we did last year and we had long, bad stretch for a while."

Goff has taken on a different role than that from her freshman year, playing more point guard than her usual shooting guard position. She said she does not have the pressures she had last year to score, helping her avoid the "sophomore jinx."

"As long as we do well and I'm helping my team win," Goff said, "people can say whatever they want."

An often overlooked factor to the Cardinals' attack is sophomore Jessica Reiter. Even though she is third on the team is scoring with 11.4 points per game, she is over-shadowed by more prominent players like Bowie, Goff and senior Shala Crook.

Despite being a 6-foot-2-inch forward/center, she helps spread opposing team's defenses with a good three-point shot that keeps defenders from being in position from rebounding.

"(Defenders) play me more aggressively outside," Reiter said. "When I trail down the court, it's harder for me to get open and get easy shots."

But according to Roller, the main emphasis for the team is consistent improvement over the previous game and not playing down to the other team's level.

"Every drill we do is timed and scored, so any time we start badly we just get them on the line and run," Roller said. "We're just trying to simulate a game situation in every drill.

"Play like you practice."


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