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Central Michigan Chippewas vs. Bowling Green Falcons men's basketball final: Falcons hang on 76-74 in overtime, despite Fowler's 42-point performance

The Chippewas are no longer unbeaten at home.

Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a herculean effort from Chris Fowler, Bowling Green was able to defeat Central Michigan in overtime, with the Falcons emerging victorious in a 76-74 victory.

Bowling Green (14-6, 6-3) was balanced on the offensive end. Anthony Henderson led the Falcons with 20 points on 8-12 shooting, while Jehvon Clarke contributed 18 points and 4 steals off the bench. The Falcons shot the ball well throughout the game and played mostly solid defense, but their 24 turnovers on the offensive end almost cost them the game.

The Chippewas (15-5, 5-4) were led by Chris Fowler, who ended the night with 42 points and was the team's most potent offensive weapon throughout. Fowler, whose point total was both a career-high and a McGuirk Arena record, continued to bail out an otherwise anemic Chippewa offense throughout the game. John Simons was the only other Chippewa to score in double figures, and CMU suffered through particularly poor shooting performances from Braylon Rayson (1-9) and Josh Kozinski (3-12).

Overtime was largely a back and forth affair. Fowler, despite playing with four fouls, continued to make plays on both ends of the court until the very end of the game, while the Falcons were able to get some long range makes of their own. With twelve seconds on the clock and trailing by two, the Chippewas were unable to get Fowler an open look, and a missed three by Kozinski turned out to be the last hope for CMU.

Bowling Green turnovers were the story early on. The Chippewa press was effective, and early Bowling Green possessions ended on a missed field goal or a turnover more often than not. However, the Chippewas were unable to take advantage of these early mistakes, allowing the Falcons to not fall too behind early. By halftime, the Bowling Green deficit was only two points.

The Falcons were on their A-game to start the second half. Bowling Green started the half shooting 4-6, and the small Chippewa lead quickly evaporated. Unfortunately for Bowling Green, they were unable to escape their propensity to turn the ball over, allowing the Chippewas to comeback and even briefly take the lead before two Richaun Holmes free throws tied the game and brought on overtime.

CMU has lived or died by their 3 point game, and their loss tonight was no exception. The Chippewas only shot 2 for 10 from beyond the arc in the first half, finishing the game with only 6 triples out of 30 attempts. Only Fowler's performance was able to overcome the otherwise stifling Falcon defense.

Bowling Green is again on the road for their next game as they face Northern Illinois in Dekalb, while the Chippewas will host their rivals from Kalamazoo in a showdown with Western Michigan on Saturday.

Game Leaders

Points C. Fowler (42) A. Henderson (20)
Rebounds J. Simons (7) R. Holmes & Z. Denny (7)
Assists R. Simmons (3) D. Joseph (4)
Blocks All Tied (0) R. Holmes (2)
Steals B. Rayson & C. Fowler (3) J. Clarke (4)