|BG can't finish as Central Michigan posts 54-53 win to end BG's season|
|Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Tuesday, 06 March 2012 00:42|
However, the Falcons did not convert either chance and Central Michigan held on for a 54-53 victory in the first-round of the Mid-American Conference tournament. The game was played before 2,295 fans in the Stroh Center.
With the loss, Bowling Green finishes the season 16-15. PHOTO GALLERY
Central Michigan, now 11-20, advances to face Toledo in the second-round of the MAC tourney at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday.
With Central Michigan leading 54-52, BG’s Jordon Crawford was fouled with 2.7 seconds left in the game.
Crawford made the first free throw, but missed the second.
The rebound went out-of-bounds off CMU under BG’s basket with 1.0 left on the clock.
The Falcons got the ball in to Torian Oglesby, who is BG’s best leaper, and he got a shot off that didn’t fall. Oglesby grabbed the rebound and laid the ball in, but the buzzer had sounded. The officials reviewed the play and ruled the basket did not count.
“For me it was pretty hurtful because it’s win or go home,” said BG senior Dee Brown. “It really hurts right now because this was my last game.
“I know all the fellows in the locker room are hurting. They wanted it as bad as I did, especially Scott Thomas and Torian Oglesby.”
For Bowling Green, it came down to defense and shooting.
“We didn’t guard the way we needed to and at the other end we didn’t make enough shots,” BG head coach Louis Orr said, adding the Falcons did not shoot the ball well on threes (4-of-20) and only scored 14 points in the paint.
“Through it all, actually we had a chance to tie and we had a chance to win,” Orr added. “You have to make the plays at the end and it didn’t happen.”
For CMU, the game came down to its defense and the Chippewas 3-point shooting.
Central Michigan really made it difficult for Bowling Green to get any offense started. The Chippewas pressured Crawford, BG’s point-guard, and the Falcons used a lot of shot clock to even get a play started.
“We did a good job with our defensive scheme,: CMU head coach Ernie Zeigler said.
The Chippewas also worked hard to take away A’uston Calhoun’s inside play and Scott Thomas looks at the basket. Calhoun finished with six points, only two in the final 32 minutes of the game, and Thomas scored seven points. The two were a combined 5-of-18 from the field, including 0-of-6 on threes. Thomas did have nine rebounds and six assists, both team highs.
“We were really, really cognizant of limiting A’uston Calhoun’s touches around the basket,” Zeigler said. “At the same time we really knew Scott Thomas could get it going, so we had someone shadowing him a ton.”
Brown and Crawford attempted to pick up the slack. Brown finished with a team-high 20 points, but was only 3-of-10 on threes, and Crawford finished with 13 points.
Central Michigan was 8-of-12 from the 3-point arc, including a 5-of-6 effort in the second half.
“We did a much better job in the second half of being ready to take them,” Zeigler said about the 3-point shot. “We had guys ready to step up and know them down and they did.”
Bowling Green held a 26-20 lead at the half, but the Falcons were only 8-of-29 from the field in the second half (27.6 percent) while CMU was 13-of-21 (61.9 percent).
“We had a lot of good shots because they were packing in the middle ... They just weren’t falling,” Brown said. “They were good shots. We needed them, we just didn’t make them.”
There were four ties and seven lead changes in the second half.
BG’s last lead came on Calhoun’s two free throws which made it 50-48 with 3:04 remaining to play.
Derek Jackson then nailed a 3-pointer with 1:47 left to put the Chippewas up 51-50.
After a BG miss, CMU’s Andre Coimbra’s layup, off an Austin McBroom pass, made it 53-50 with 49.1 seconds left.
Crawford made two free throws with 39.5 seconds left to pull BG back to within one.
After Central missed two free throws, the Falcons took possession on a Calhoun rebound and were looking for the last shot.
However, Calhoun was called for an offensive foul with 8.1 seconds left.
Coimbra then split a pair of free throws, setting the stage for the hectic finish.
“If you are up six at the half, stay even, and play defense, you win the game,” Orr said.
NOTES: For the second straight game, Thomas did not have a steal, after making at least one steal in each of the first 29 games ... BG and CMU have played twice in the MAC tournament with CMU winning both teams ... Of BG’s eight losses to MAC teams, six were by five points or less, three at home and three on the road.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 March 2012 10:01|
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