Bowling Green Pulls Out 74-68 Upset Win Over Buffalo

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons trailed for much of the game but used a technical foul by Bulls' head coach Bobby Hurley to take the lead within the final three minutes.

Bobby Hurley, first-year head coach of the Buffalo Bulls, was clearly not pleased with many of the officials' calls during today's game, but he let his emotions get the best of him at perhaps the most inopportune time of the game.  His technical foul with less than three minutes remaining in the game helped the Bowling Green Falcons defeat Buffalo 74-68 on Sunday at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green, Ohio.




The game was pretty clean from a turnovers standpoint, as the teams combined for just 23 and only 10 in the second half.  Both teams shot reasonably well, too.  However, there were fouls-a-plenty, and the Bulls and Falcons combined for 61 shots from the free throw line.

The Falcons scored first on the game's opening possession thanks to a layup by Jehvon Clarke, then turned a Buffalo turnover unto another layup, this time by Richaun Holmes, for a 4-0 lead.  Buffalo scored the next 11 points to take a lead they would carry for the vast majority of the game, and after BGSU cut the deficit to just 13-11, the Bulls went on a 10-2 run.  Joshua Freelove's three with 10:49 left in the 1st half gave the Bulls a game-best ten-point lead.

Buffalo maintained a lead of at least five points until Anthony Henderson cut the advantage to two with a 3-pointer for the Falcons with just 1:49 left in the half.  After two Bulls' free throws, Clarke put a lay-in at the buzzer to make the score 37-35 at the break.

The fouls were a problem for both teams in the first half.  Both had four players go to the half with at least two fouls (Henderson had three for BGSU).  Buffalo had many chances from the free throw line but simply couldn't convert.  They made just nine of their 17 attempts, while BGSU nearly matched them with eight makes in 11 tries.  Had the Bulls been able to make those free throws, they could have pulled away.  They outshot the Falcons 47 to 41 percent in the first half and made six of 13 attempts from behind the arc.

The game continued to be extremely close during the first 12 minutes of the second half, but despite tying the game five different times, the Falcons could not break through.  Eventually, Freelove hit a pair of triples to push Buffalo's lead to 65-58, and it was still 66-60 at the final media timeout with 3:47 left.

Javon McCrea was having a solid second half (nine points, four rebounds) for Buffalo, but his fourth foul sent Spencer Parker to the line out of that media timeout.  Parker nailed both free throws, and after a Will Regan missed 3-pointer, Holmes put in a layup to cut the Buffalo lead back to two (66-64).

McCrea turned the ball over on the following possession, and then with 2:28 left in the game, he was called for another foul -- his fifth.  Hurley did not take that well, and after previous warnings, he was called for the technical.  Parker hit both technical free throws and Holmes split a pair from the McCrea foul, and BGSU had their first lead (67-66) since the score was 4-0.

The Falcons got two more scores in the final minute to push their run to 12-0 and their lead to 72-66.  The Bulls simply could not hit a shot, and they eventually missed eight field goal attempts in a row.  When Regan finally made a layup to cut the score to 72-68, there was just 17 seconds left.  The Falcons capped the scoring by splitting four free throws in the final seconds.

Buffalo was called for 15 fouls in the second half, and that gave BGSU 22 attempts from the free throw line.  They made (only) 15, but that was plenty.  BGSU was called for just nine fouls, as Buffalo converted nine of their 11 free throw attempts.  Parker made seven of Bowling Green's free throws in the second half and scored 15 in the final 20 minutes.

BGSU combined to outscore Buffalo 35-25 in second-chance and turnover-caused points.  They also outshot the Bulls overall, 42.1 to 38.2 percent.  The Bulls shot just 10-of-32 in the second half, including only 2-of-13 from three-point range.

Parker led all scorers with 23 points, and he added seven rebounds.  Holmes contributed a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.  He also blocked five shots.  Jehvon Clarke was one assist shy of the ever-elusive triple-double, with 11 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.  Regan led the Bulls with 17 points and seven rebounds.  Freelove added 16 points, and McCrea scored 14 before fouling out.

Bowling Green improves to 10-11 overall and 4-4 in Mid-American Conference play with the victory.  Buffalo falls to 11-7 overall and 5-3 in the MAC.  BGSU travels to Toledo on Wednesday night, while Buffalo will host Ball State.

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