Bowling Green traveled to Evansville to take on the Purple Aces. Evansville won 25 games last year, and 24 the year before on their way to winning the CIT championship. They were 4-0 at home going into the game, while the Falcons were 0-3 on the road, so it was always going to be a tough win for Bowling Green.
In the first half, after an 11-11 tie, the Purple Aces went on a 7 point run to take an 19-11 lead. There was some back and forth after that, with the result a 38-29 lead for Evansville at the break.
Jaylon Brown came into the game averaging 18.9 for the Aces. He had 19 at the half. Demajeo Wiggins had 10 points and 7 rebounds for the Falcons.
The Falcons came out on a couple of missions for the second half. Take the lead was one, and stop Jaylen Brown was the other. They managed one of those feats. Brown was mostly kept under wraps in the second half, partly due to foul trouble. At least until the end.
The Falcons managed to tie the score several times, but could never take the lead in the second half. Ryan Taylor hit a couple of free throws with 55 seconds left to put the Aces up by 5, then Antwon Lillard hit a 3 three to make in interesting. After the ball went out of bounds on the in-bounds pass, the referees determined correctly that it was Aces ball.
Of course Brown hit a layup to take another 5 point lead. Then Rodrick Caldwell managed to get a defender in the air on a three with 5.5 seconds left. He made the first. Missed the second. Made the third, to make it a 2 point game.
Brown got the ball on the inbound, and after an intentional unintentional foul was on the line with a chance to ice it. At that point in the game, he was 13-13 from the charity stripe. He hit the first, missed the second. After Bowling Green got the rebound, they raced quickly up the floor. Lillard got a clean look to tie it from three, and it went in and out.
Not blogger hyperbole in and out, full on Dennis Hopper in Hoosiers ruin your life because it didn’t drop in and out.
Demajeo Wiggins had a fantastic game for the Falcons, scoring 18 and grabbing 12 boards. Zack Denny added 11. Rodrick Caldwell added some key minutes off the bench, especially in the second half and added 10 points overall.
For the Aces, Jaylen Brown is the man of the hour, with 29 points and 7 rebounds. Willie Wiley added 9 points and 7 rebounds.
The Falcons shot 42.2% from the floor, while the Aces shot 49%. The Falcons held a slight rebounding edge, 33-30, and turned the ball over 14 times to the Aces 9.
Overall, it was a great effort by the Falcons that just fell short. Going into the game I wanted to see more scoring inside the arch, and we got some of that from Wiggins. The Falcons are a drive and dish/drive and score player away from being a really good team right now. Ali shows flashes, and I think the key for the Falcons going from a 3-6 team to a contender rests on his shoulders. The freshman Caldwell could also provide that answer, but I am not holding my breath because I think he is a year away.