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2016-17 MAC Men’s Basketball Recap: Bowling Green Falcons Fall to The Phoenix of Green Bay

Spirited second half comeback is for naught as Falcons lose 77-61.

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The game started out a complete bore. Neither offense was effective. These sort of things happen in the early season tournaments. New players are trying to figure out how to play with the veterans. Coaches are trying to figure out which line-ups work best. There is little time between games to sort it all out.

By the end of the first half, both offenses started to heat up, as the Phoenix took a 26-25 half time lead. Even with the much better performance toward the end of the half, Green Bay shot 28% and BGSU shot 31%. Rebounding was about even, with GB holding a 19-18 edge.

Warren Jones went into the locker room with 8 points, leading the Phoenix and all scorers. That’s always a positive sign from a player off the bench. In fact, the GB Bench scored 12 of their 26.

Zach Denny led BGSU with 7 points at the half.

The teams combined for 3-26 shooting from three point land in the first half. That’s a pretty good indicator of tired legs and minds.

Green Bay pulled away from the Falcons to start the second half. After a nice run, Kerem Kanter hit a three pointer and was fouled. He hit the free throw to complete the 4 point play, putting the Phoenix up by 10.

Frustration started to show on the Falcons, and Green Bay stretched the lead to 13. 42-29. I was not optimistic of the Falcons’ chances at this point.

However, with the inspired play of Rasheed Worrell, that wont show up in the stat sheet, the Falcons closed the gap to 44-43. It was mostly guts and effort on the part of the Falcons that led the charge.

Then the whistle came out, and it took the wind out of the sails. A few of the calls were questionable, but most were not. It was just one of those things that happens in basketball games that changes the momentum.

At one point as the Phoenix were re-establishing their lead, Ismail Ali of the Falcons got hurt and was limping, apparently toward the bench. Coach Huger told his replacement to go to the scorer’s table to check in. Ali grabbed him by the jersey and pushed him back to his seat. This is the kind of heart the Falcons showed in the second half, and will need to show all season long.

Trevor Anderson and Turner Botz hit a couple of jumpers each, including 3 three pointers, to take the Phoenix lead from 9 to 16 with 3 minutes left, virtually ending the game.

Anderson finished with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Botz added 15 and 6.

Antwan Lillard had 15 points on 7 of 9 shooting in a losing effort. Demajeo Wiggins added 10 rebounds, but continued to struggle offensively.

Bowling Green faces Murray State at 7pm tomorrow night.