Bowling Green 70, Oklahoma State 66

Sunday, March 18th 2007, 4:27 pm
By: News On 6

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) _ Bowling Green won an NCAA tournament game for the first time since 1989 on Sunday, and it wasn't easy.

The Falcons, who had lost six consecutive opening-round games, knocked Oklahoma State out of the tournament, winning 70-66 in the Greensboro Regional.

A layup by Ali Mann gave the Falcons a 62-60 lead with less than 2 minutes to play. Mann's pass to Kate Achter for a layup gave Bowling Green a 64-60 lead, and the Falcons (30-3) hit enough free throws to hang on for the win.

Bowling Green, which will face Vanderbilt in Tuesday's second round, was aided down the stretch by a technical foul called on Andrea Riley of the Cowgirls (20-11). Riley finished with 20 points to lead Oklahoma State.

Mann had 16 for Bowling Green. Liz Honegger added 15 and Achter had 14.

Bowling Green's roster features key players from Michigan, including Mann and senior Megan Thorburn. More than 2,000 Falcons fans made the trip from Ohio, at times giving it the feel of a home game even though it was played on Michigan State's court.

That didn't help the Falcons early. Oklahoma State got out to a 26-12 lead, but the Falcons rallied with a 10-0 run and held the Cowgirls without a field goal for more than 6 minutes to cut the halftime deficit to 32-28.

The lead seesawed until the final minutes. The score was tied five times and the lead changed hands eight times in the game.

Oklahoma State has been one of the nation's best rebounding teams all season, but was outrebounded by the Falcons, 37-31. Bowling Green had 12 offensive rebounds, leading to 19 second-chance points.