Billy Ray Cyrus has released a new version of "Achy Breaky Heart", but the new hip-hop lyrics couldn't possibly have anything on what the Bowling Green Falcons have been through in the last four days.
On Sunday night, the Falcons lost to the Akron Zips after a Quincy Diggs shot with two seconds remaining after a banked-in 3-pointer by Jehvon Clarke had tied the game.
Tonight, the Falcons lost to the Kent State Golden Flashes thanks to a Devareaux Manley 3-pointer just one second shy of the buzzer. How was this loss worse than the one on Sunday night? BGSU actually took the lead with eight seconds left after two free throws by Spencer Parker.
It certainly doesn't help to remember that Bowling Green scored the first 13 points against Kent State and matched that 13-point lead early in the second half. These are two soul-crushing losses that all but end Bowling Green's hopes of a bye directly to Cleveland in the Mid-American Conference tournament.
Early on, it was Kent State who was feeling the pain. Bowling Green jumped out to a 13-0 and held the Golden Flashes scoreless for the first five minutes of the contest. In those five minutes, KSU missed their first eight shots and committed five turnovers. For BGSU, Jehvon Clarke got things going with a jumper and then a triple on the Falcons' first two possessions. Cameron Black then scored six straight points after a dunk by Spencer Parker.
Derek Jackson finally got the Flashes on the board with a three at the 5:01 mark of the first half, and Devareaux Manley added one shortly thereafter. However, the Falcons continued to hit their shots and still led 19-8 seven minutes into the game. BGSU made nine of their first 10 shots.
Kent State finally got back into the game with a 15-3 run as BGSU's shots stopped falling and they became careless with the basketball. Over a six-minute span, they made only one of five field goals and turned the ball over four times. Meanwhile, the Flashes were drilling 3-pointers, including two by Jackson, who scored eight of the 15 points during the run. A jumper by Kris Brewer gave KSU their only lead of the half, 23-22, with 8:15 remaining.
BGSU responded by outscoring Kent State 13-4 for the remainder of the half. Anthony Henderson scored seven of those points, and four of those came on a huge "and-1" 3-pointer just after the clock ticked under the three-minute mark. The Flashes made just one field goal over the final 8:15 of the half and went to the locker room trailing 35-27.
It actually could have been worse for the Flashes, as they were out-shot in the first half 57.7 to 32.1 percent. However, Bowling Green scored just 14 points off 12 KSU turnovers, and they managed only four second-chance points during the first 20 minutes.
The Falcons got off to another hot start in the second half, as a 3-pointer by Parker and a jumper by Black gave BGSU another 13-point lead (40-27). However, they immediately lost control by missing six straight shots. That allowed the Flashes to go on a 12-0 run, fueled by a pair of treys from Jackson. From there, the teams traded a pair of 5-0 bursts, and the Falcons led 45-44 with 12:50 left in the game.
Neither team would lead by more than five points for the remainder of the game. In fact, the margin was just one possession for all but 15 seconds of the game's final 13 minutes.
Jackson poured in a layup to get Kent State within one again (56-55) with 3:59 left. This time, they were able to (finally) reclaim the lead when Mark Henniger scored less than a minute later. The teams traded the lead on the next two possessions on a Clarke jumper for BGSU and a Henniger dunk for KSU. Clarke then split a pair of free throws for the Falcons and tied the game at 59 with 1:57 left.
After a Kent State turnover and a missed shot by Clarke, the Flashes had the ball back with less than a minute remaining. Darren Goodson missed a jumper, but Henniger got the offensive rebound to allow Kent State to keep the ball into the final 20 seconds. After a timeout, Manley missed a three with 12 seconds on the clock. Manley then fouled Spencer Parker in the scrum for the rebound.
Parker calmly split both free throws, and Kent State had eight seconds to overcome a 61-59 deficit. Brewer went inside to try a jumper, but Black blocked it out of bounds. Kent State was able to inbound the ball but with just three seconds left. Brewer found Manley in the corner, and Manley drilled the 3-pointer for a 62-61 victory.
Even though Bowling Green out-shot Kent State 46.3 to 39.7 percent for the game as a whole, KSU nailed their shots when it counted. In the second half, they won that battle 46.7 to 35.7 percent. Both teams were roughly the same (BGSU 7-of-11, KSU 7-of-10) from the free throw line, but the Flashes made nine 3-pointers to just four by the Falcons.
Perhaps the biggest problem for BGSU in the team numbers was in rebounding. The Falcons secured more rebounds (35-32) than Kent State, but the Flashes had an 11-9 edge on the offensive end. To make matters worse for BGSU, Kent State converted their 11 offensive rebounds into 16 points. Bowling Green's nine offensive rebounds resulted in just eight points.
Jackson and Manley provided the main thrust of offense for Kent State. The pair combined for 54 minutes off the bench, and during that time, Jackson scored 25 and Manley added 14. Jackson was 5-of-7 from behind the arc, while Manley was 3-of-9, including the game-winner. Henniger, another bench player, led the team with eight rebounds. Black and Clarke led BGSU with 18 points apiece. Black added nine rebounds and three blocks. Henderson contributed 12 points and eight rebounds. Richaun Holmes, despite playing 34 minutes, was generally a non-factor. He scored four, had four rebounds, and blocked one shot.
Both teams are now 4-7 in MAC play and are tied for 9th and 10th place in the overall MAC standings. Kent State (13-11 overall) has a great chance to win a second straight game when they host Central Michigan on Saturday evening. Bowling Green (10-14 overall) will need an inspired effort to end a three-game losing streak when they travel to Muncie, Ind. for a Saturday afternoon game against Ball State.
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