You don't need to lead most of the game, just the moments when it matters most. Bowling Green proved that Tuesday night when they trailed for over 32 minutes, yet still found a way to win over the Western Michigan Broncos.
Both teams came out like fighters, feeling each other out for most of the first 10 minutes. However, with the Broncos trailing 19-15, they went to the inside game with great success. Seth Dugan and Drake LaMont pounded out hard-earned buckets early on, then found their three point shooters in Tucker Haymond and Jared Klein to key an 18-4 run to take a 31-21 lead midway through the first half. The Falcons would fight back to close the gap, but WMU would take a 43-38 lead into the half.
While the Falcons came out in the 2nd half on a 6-0 run to take the lead, the Broncos responded with a 12-4 run to regain a six point lead. The lead would grow, but BGSU would again go on a run to cut the lead to 1. However, no matter how hard they tried, they were unable to grab the lead, trading scores with WMU until four minutes to go. As Wes Alcegaire checked in with four fouls, he sparked a 5-0 run to tie the game at 68-68 to set up an exciting finish.
After a pair of Bryce Moore free throws out of the final media timeout, LaMont knocked away an alley-oop attempt and the ball found Haymond, who shook his defender for a Jordan-esque mid-range and a 72-68 lead. After a pair of free throws for BG, he hit a Dirk-esque fade-away post jumper to keep the lead at four.
But the Falcons again responded. Ismail Ali hit a lay-up to make it a one score game before Rasheed Worrell hit a pair of free throws to re-tie the game at 74-74 with just over a minute to play. After Haymond missed a pair of free throws, Matt Fox - who tied the game at 68-68 earlier in the half - hit a three to give BGSU a 77-74 lead.
After Thomas Wilder missed a three to tie the game, Worrell missed a pair of free throws to give the Broncos another shot. However, they never got it as the Falcons fouled to prevent a three. Wilder hit his first free throw, but couldn't come down with the rebound to tie. Spencer Parker hit a pair of free throws to make Wilder's last second shot pointless in a 79-78 final.
Alcegaire finished with 14 points and 5 rebounds despite missing most of the 2nd half with foul trouble. Worrell and JD Tisdale added 11 points apiece to provide solid scoring for the Falcons, and Parker finished with 10 despite a rough night from the field (4-for-14). Worrell was just a rebound away from a double-double, and Ismail had 5 of the team's 8 assists on the night.
For the Broncos, Haymond had another solid scoring output, putting up 20 points in the loss. Wilder added 17 points, but had an awful night from the field, going 3-for-12 with his lone three coming at the end of the game. Drake LaMont had his third double-digit scoring game of the season, finishing with 10 points, and Seth Dugan added 9 points off the bench, albeit going scoreless in the 2nd half.
The Falcons only had the lead for just under 5 minutes throughout the game, and never lead by more than 4 points. Conversely, WMU held as big a lead as 10 points, and led for 32 minutes of the game, but costly missed free throws down the stretch ended up being one of the big factors in the final score.
"We lost the hustle battle tonight," WMU head coach Steve Hawkins said after the game. At a loss for words, he was able to add, "It wasn't like (BGSU) threw the ball down low and beat us, their guards drove, we didn't move our feet well enough to stay in front of them, and when they shot, we weren't in position to get clean rebounds."
The Falcons will be back in Michigan on Saturday when they face off against Central Michigan in Mount Pleasant. The Broncos finish a three-game homestand against rival Eastern Michigan on Saturday.
|Player||WESTERN MICHIGAN||BOWLING GREEN|
|Points||T. Haymond (20)||W. Alcegaire (14)|
|Rebounds||T. Haymond (6)||R. Worrell (9)|
|Assists||Two tied (4)||I. Ali (5)|
|Blocks||D. LaMont (3)||R. Worrell (2)|
|Steals||J. Klein (2)||Three tied (1)|