OXFORD, OH -- Bowling Green capped off a successful week with a 70-54 victory over the Miami RedHawks Saturday on Senior Day at Millett Hall.
The Falcons knocked off MAC East leader Akron (66-65) Tuesday, with the winning point coming on a free throw with three seconds left. Saturday’s win over Miami (10-19, 3-13 MAC) was less dramatic as Bowling Green (13-16, 7-9 MAC) outscored MU 40-30 after taking a 30-24 lead into intermission.
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"They got in a nice groove," Miami head coach John Cooper said of the Falcons success at the line.
Miami, meanwhile, hit 50 percent of its free throws in each period as it converted 8 of 16 tries overall.
The RedHawks also struggled from the field, particularly on jump shots. Miami finished at 39.3% (22 of 56) overall, and was 2 of 24 (8.3%) on 3-point attempts.
"You look at the numbers, and its hard to win when you shoot those percentages," Cooper said. "In this day and age of basketball, you've got to be able to make some shots."
Bowling Green hit 25 of 53 (47.2%) from the floor, but was 3 of 18 outside the arc. That was a marked difference from the Falcons’ 10 of 23 3-point success rate in the teams’ first meeting. Wes Alcegaire went 6 of 9 on triples on the way to 25 points in that encounter. He made 1 of 2 treys in Saturday’s matchup.
Bowling Green got off to a quick start as Dylan Frye hit a trey from the corner just 14 seconds in the game. That kicked off a 12-2 run that culminated on another Frye triple. The Falcons would get just one more 3-point goal the rest of the way, but BGSU would never trail.
Miami pulled as close as three, and the Falcons led by 11 at 3:26. It was a 30-24 Bowling Green advantage at the break.
The hosts twice pulled even early in the second half. A layup by Milos Jovic knotted it at 32-all with 17:13 remaining. Logan McLane’s bucket made it 34-34, but Miami could not pull in front.
"We couldn't get enough baskets in order to sustain (a rally long enough) ... to come from behind," Cooper said.
"I am very pleased with the energy and effort that our guys gave today," said Falcons head coach Michael Huger. "It was just huge, and a huge momentum builder not to have a letdown after Akron, so I'm very pleased. Our defense got us back into the game.
We were able to pressure those guys, and force some turnovers. We did a much better job on the defensive end of staying solid, and we forced them into shooting 24 threes, which is something they don't want to do."
Antwon Lillard led Bowling Green with 16 points. Worrell followed with 11, while Ismail Ali and Zack Denny chipped in 10 apiece.
Miami had two scorers in double figures. Michael Weathers and Abdoulaye Harouna both registered 16 points.
It was the fourth straight loss and eighth setback in the last 10 games for MU, who will complete the regular season with road games against what could be the MAC tourney’s top two seeds – Akron (Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET) and Ohio (Friday, 7 p.m. ET). The RedHawks have not won a road game this season.