BOWLING GREEN - The Bowling Green men s basketball team entered last night s home game with Kent State ranked as the third-best field-goal shooting team in the MAC.
But the Falcons were betrayed by - of all things - a poor shooting night as the Golden Flashes claimed a 71-64 victory, their fourth straight win at Anderson Arena.
Bowling Green attempted a school-record 34 3-pointers but made only eight, connecting on just 35.3 percent of its shots from the floor. And that was the key to a loss that dropped the Falcons to 8-10 overall and 4-4 in the MAC.
“[Kent State] did a good job defensively, but I thought we missed a lot of jump shots that you just have to make, said BG coach Dan Dakich. “I thought we got shots. In the first half our three best shooters were 1-for-12 on 3s, and I thought they were all great looks.
John Reimold led the Falcons with 15 points but made just 2 of 9 from behind the arc. Kevin Netter had 14 points and Josh Almanson added 11, but Almanson made only 1 of 7 treys and Ron Lewis sank just 1 of 8 3-pointers and finished with eight points.
Lewis lone triple gave the Falcons a 14-8 lead at the 13:49 mark of the first half, but Kent State s Matt Jakeway came off the bench to spark the Flashes. Jakeway scored his team s next nine points - thanks to a pair of 3-pointers and a basket-and-foul play - and BG struggled to keep pace the rest of the period.
The Flashes scored seven of the final 10 points of the first half to take a 34-29 lead at the break. Bowling Green made just 8 of 25 shots from the floor, including 5 of 19 3-pointers.
“I was really disappointed in the first half that we were just going to rely on [3-pointers], Dakich said. “I didn t like it, but I know when I look at the film I m going to see in some cases we had the whole side of the floor open and we just didn t make them.
In the second half the Falcons scored on their first six possessions to cut Kent State s lead to 43-42 with 15:37 to play. But the Flashes DeAndre Haynes drained a 3 coming out of a timeout, then hit a wing jumper to establish a six-point advantage.
Haynes would finish with a game-high 21 points, 15 of which came in the second half, and added eight assists and five rebounds while committing just two turnovers.
“Coach called a couple of plays for me to get me going, Haynes said. “I saw their guards couldn t stay in front of me, so I took that to my advantage. I started penetrating and if my teammate was [open] I dished it off, or if it looked as if I had a shot, I took it.
After Haynes jumper the Falcons scored seven of the next 10 points to cut the lead to 51-49 with 9:20 left, only to see Haynes make another trey.
Almanson made a layup and then a 3-pointer to tie the game with 6:57 to play, and the two teams traded baskets until Reimold s 3-pointer gave BG a 59-58 lead with 4:03 remaining.
But Kent State scored the next seven points to secure the win. John Edwards made a pair of free throws to give the Golden Flashes a one-point lead, and after a BG miss Edwards was fouled while making a short jumper, then sank the free throw to make it 63-59.
The Falcons weren t able to get closer than three points after that as Kent State won for the eighth time in its last nine games, improving to 13-3 overall and 7-1 in the MAC.
And Kent State coach Jim Christian admitted he was surprised at Bowling Green s shooting struggles.
“[Bowling Green] got some good looks they would normally knock in, he said. “We wanted to really pack it in because they have such a good inside game with Netter and Almanson. We wanted to make them prove they could beat us from the perimeter.
But the Falcons didn t, much to Dakich s disappointment.
“[Kent State] jammed up the middle, both on man-to-man offense and on zone offense, and we had to step up and make [3-pointers], he said. “And we weren t able to.
“[The 3-pointers] aren t what we want, but it s what we got. I really thought we had great looks at the basket. They were making them and we were not, and at home you ve got to make them. You ve got to step up and make them.