BGSU Beats Western Michigan In Yet Another Stroh Center Classic

By Published: 2/14/2018 6:32:13 AM Custom Tag

by James Nahikian, BGSU Athletic Communications

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – After erasing 19-point deficits in winning efforts in each of its last two home games, the Bowling Green State University men's basketball team overcame another large deficit on Tuesday (Feb. 13) night at the Stroh Center. The Falcons trailed by as many as 15 points before earning a wild 83-81 victory over Western Michigan University.

With just 4.7 seconds remaining – and Western Michigan clinging to an 81-80 lead – junior guard Antwon Lillard was fouled shooting a three-pointer. He nailed all three free throws.

Western Michigan's three-point attempt at the buzzer was off the mark, allowing Bowling Green to improve to 16-10 (7-6 MAC) on the season. WMU fell to 15-11 (7-6 MAC) with the loss.

BGSU took an 80-79 lead with 1:13 to play after freshman forward Derek Koch hit a pair of free throws. WMU's Thomas Wilder answered with two free throws just 13 seconds later, giving the Broncos a one-point advantage.

After a missed BGSU jumper, the Falcons played clean defense, forced a stop, and controlled the defensive rebound with just 17 seconds to play. The Falcons elected not to use a timeout, dribbling the ball up court. Lillard eventually got the ball on the wing opposite of the BGSU bench. Wilder fouled him to foul out of the game, setting up Lillard's three made free throws.

• Bowling Green has now won seven games after trailing by double digits. Prior to tonight, BGSU overcame 19-point deficits in winning efforts in each of its past two home games. The Falcons beat Kent State on Feb. 3 before beating Eastern Michigan on Feb. 10.
• Bowling Green has won four-consecutive conference home games for the first time since 2014-15.
• The Falcons are 9-4 at the Stroh Center in 2017-18, including a 5-2 mark within the MAC. BGSU is 67-42 at the facility all-time.
• The win marked BGSU's first win over Western Michigan at the Stroh Center since Feb. 10, 2015.
• The Falcons are now 2-2 versus Western Michigan under head coach Michael Huger.
• BGSU extended its lead over WMU in the all-time series to 71-48. The Falcons are 42-16 against Western Michigan in games played in Bowling Green, Ohio.
• With five games to go, Bowling Green matched its MAC win total from last season. BGSU is 7-6 in the MAC in 2017-18. In 2016-17, the Falcons finished conference play at 7-11.
• Bowling Green is now above .500 in the MAC at 7-6. BGSU was last above .500 in conference play on Jan. 16, when the Falcons won at Miami to improve to 3-2.
• Bowling Green is 16-10 on the season, matching its highest win total in a single season in the Michael Huger Era. The Falcons won 16 games across the 2015-16 season.
• If the MAC Tournament began today, the Falcons would own the No. 4 seed, which would give BGSU an automatic bye to Cleveland to play in the MAC Tournament quarterfinal round.
• For the 10th time in the last 14 games, Bowling Green out-rebounded its opposition. The Falcons won the battle on the glass by a 31-29 margin.
• The Falcons had more fast-break points than Western Michigan (14-9).
• Bowling Green shot 51.9 percent (28-of-54) from the floor, and 38.5 percent (5-of-13) from downtown.
• BGSU's 51.9 field goal percentage marked the program's second-best total in MAC play this season. Bowling Green shot 60.0 percent at Miami on Jan. 16.
• The Orange and Brown went 22-for-27 (81.5 percent) from the charity stripe.

• Redshirt-freshman guard Justin Turner's 29 points marked a Stroh Center career high, but his scoring total, incredibly, is his third-highest scoring output of the season. Turner scored 33 points at Drexel (Nov. 10) before dropping 30 at Akron (Jan. 13).
• Turner went 11-for-13 from the floor, marking the second time in his career that he's made double-digit field goals in a single game. Turner went 12-for-19 at Drexel in the season opener.
• Junior guard Antwon Lillard finished the game with 18 points, four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal. Lillard's 18 points are the most he's had in a game this season since scoring 20 at Eastern Michigan on Jan. 6.
• Junior forward Demajeo Wiggins posted his 11th double-double of the season, as he finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds, to go along with one assist and one block.
• Freshman forward Derek Koch played a career-high 33 minutes. He went 6-for-6 from the free throw line, and posted a final line of eight points, eight rebounds, two steals, one block and one assist.
• Sophomore guard Rodrick Caldwell added a solid six points and one assist in 13 minutes of action.
• Sophomore guard Dylan Frye totaled six points, three assists and two rebounds, while committing just one turnover in 32 minutes.
• Senior guard Matt Fox entered the game leading the MAC in three-point percentage. He bumped that figure up to 48.5 percent by going 1-for-1 from downtown to finish with three points.
• In three minutes off the bench, freshman guard Nelly Cummings posted one assist, one rebound and one block. Redshirt-junior Jeffrey Uju also registered one rebound in the winning effort.

"We've been making the plays late [in games]. It's been different guys stepping up at different times, and making the right decisions late. A couple of those close games we had earlier helped us out to help finish these games." – Coach Huger

• Bowling Green heads to Buffalo on Friday (Feb. 16) night to face the top team in the MAC in the Bulls.
• The game will be aired live on ESPNU.
• Tip is slated for 7 p.m.

Published: 2/14/2018 6:32:13 AM Custom Tag