The Miami RedHawks trailed the Bowling Green Falcons by eight points in the middle of the first half, but their zone defense controlled the effectiveness of BGSU's offense. That allowed Miami to turn that deficit into an eight-point halftime lead, and the RedHawks held on for a 70-65 victory on Saturday night at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Bowling Green came out of the gate very hot and took an early lead over Miami. The Falcons hit five of their first six field goal attempts, including two three-pointers by Anthony Henderson. They scored 14 points in the first 7:06 and led by eight (14-6). It all went south from there. Miami held BGSU without a field goal for over six minutes, but the Falcons' defense also played strong. BGSU still led by six (23-17) after Cameron Black's layup with 5:33 left in the half. From there, the RedHawks outscored the Falcons 19-5 for the remainder of the half, and only a Henderson three with 27 seconds on the clock kept the deficit from being bigger than 36-28 at the break.
In the second half, the RedHawk lead remained between two and three possessions until midway through the period. A Jehvon Clarke layup at the 9:03 mark and a Spencer Parker free throw one minute later brought BGSU within two points (47-45). Again, the Falcons' offense went ice cold. They went over seven minutes with just one field goal and nearly six with none at all. They went 0-for-7 from the floor and had two turnovers during that nearly six-minute stretch, and it allowed Miami to build a 10-point lead (57-47). Finally, with 2:29 left, Richaun Holmes converted a layup. After a miss by Miami's Willie Moore, Jehvon Clarke sank a three for the Falcons, and the score was 57-52 with 1:46 remaining.
Miami was able to keep the lead by making 11 of 13 free throw attempts. Despite a Damarkeo Lyshe three with six seconds left, the RedHawks walked away with a five-point victory.
Bowling Green made 41.8 percent of their shot attempts, while Miami converted 46.7% of theirs, but they made ten three-pointers. One of the primary differences in the game was at the free throw line. BGSU converted barely more than 50% (9-for-17), while Miami sank 22 of 26 attempts. While BGSU out-rebounded Miami 34-30 and had 12 on the offensive end, they completely failed to take advantage -- those 12 offensive rebounds resulted in just five points. They also scored just five points off 12 Miami turnovers, while Miami made 18 points out of 14 Falcon turnovers.
Will Sullivan and Willie Smith led the RedHawks with 16 points each. Smith came off the bench and played 33 minutes, and he was 12-for-12 from the free throw line. Will Felder and Quinten Rollins added 12 and 10 points, respectively. Clarke led all scorers with his 22 points for BGSU. He made eight of his 16 shots, including four of his eight attempts from three-point range. Henderson scored 15 and, like Clarke, nailed four shots from long range. Black scored two points but led all players with nine rebounds, while Richaun Holmes scored nine.
Miami's victory improves their record to 8-9 overall and 4-2 in MAC games. The Falcons fall to 9-10 overall and 3-3 in MAC play with the loss. Both teams play again on Wednesday night; Bowling Green travels to Ypsilanti to face Eastern Michigan, while Miami returns to Oxford for a home game against Toledo.