Bowling Green 55 - Wright State 54
DAYTON – When Wright State went on a 17-2 run to take the lead at the start of the second half Bowling Green coach Dan Dakich started thinking about what he would say to the media about how it was important to come out strong to start the second half.
But a strange thing happened on the way to what looked like a road loss for Bowling Green, The Falcons starting getting some stops, made their free throws down the stretch, enough to pull out a 59-56 win.
As for Dakich, he had to think of something else to tell the assembled media after the game.
With just 28 seconds left and Bowling Green leading 55-54. Wright State’s DeShaun Wood fouled Darryl Clements.
He is the man the Raiders wanted to foul, having only shot one foul shot this season. He put wrinkle in the Raiders plan by making both foul shots to give the Falcons, a 57-54 lead.
The Raiders called timeout to set up a play to get DeShaun Wood the ball. As it often happens, Bowling Green broke the up play. Wright State’s Vaughn Duggins dribbled through traffic and heaved up a shot that was good for only two points, a point shy of the tie the Raiders were seeking.
With the Falcons still leading by a point, Wright State’s Drew Burleson fouled Clements and again he made both shots to foil the Raiders’ strategy.
As time ran out Wright State’s Todd Brown forced up a three point shot that missed badly.
Bowling Green overcame a nine point second half deficit to improve to 5-3 on the year and make up for the pounding that Wright State administered last year during the Bracket Busters game.
As Bowling Green started to fight their way back in the second half, the Falcons took the lead for good with 1:08 left in the game when Ryne Hamblet sunk a 3-pointer that bounced around the rim three or four times before it went in.
“When it got tight we couldn’t get the stops,” said Wood who led all scorers with 23 points. “They made that shot that bounced around. He could of missed and we could of come down and made one, but that’s not the way it happened.”
Dakich thought that shot was definitely a difference maker.
“The biggest one was the four bouncer by Hamlet that put us up two, “ explained an exhausted Dakich. “Sometimes those things (shots) go with you. That was probably the biggest shot of the game other than the free throws.”
As for Wright State they looked pretty good on the stat sheet. They out-rebounded BGSU 40-31, took 31 free throw shots and only turned the ball over nine times. They even managed to launch an amazing 61 shots. If the could of just shot 33 percent, they win easily. But the Raiders only managed to shoot a lowly 29.5 percent for the game and an even poorer 8.3 percent from 3-point land.
But Wright State Coach Brad Brownell said this game shows how stats can be misleading.
“We made a concerted effort to drive the basketball in the game and to do a little better job of rebounding some of our misses. And we did those things, explained Brownell. “We had the most free throw attempts by far in a game, our most offense rebounds in a game by far, but if you don’t score, if you don’t make the free throws, if you don’t use those possessions to get baskets it does not mean as much. That is why stats can be misleading.
In the first half the Raiders shot a miserable 25 percent (8-32), while the Falcons shot 54 percent (12-22) and it showed in the score with Bowling Green leading 29-22 at halftime.
For Bowling Green Martin Samarco scored 22 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Dusan Radivojevic pitched in 12 points.
For the Raiders Duggins scored 12 points and Jordan Pleiman scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Burleson had a game high 10 rebounds.
*Bowling Green now leads the all-time series 6-5.
*After the game, the 80s band Survivor played. The Nutter Center set up a stage at one end of the court and draped a curtain across it during the game. The concert could be heard clearly from the media room where the writers were completing their game stories. It sounded great.
*Wright State’s next game is Tuesday at home against Marist at 7 p.m.
*Bowling Green’s next game is Tuesday at home against Northern Colorado at 7 p.m.