KALAMAZOO, Mich. - When Bowling Green State University took a 16-4 lead in the first five minutes of yesterday's game against Western Michigan, it didn't seem likely the Broncos would get back into the game by making 3-point shots.
This season, WMU had been shooting just 27 percent from behind the arc with four makes a game. The Broncos' shooting in general was the worst in the Mid-American Conference.
WMU tried anyway, and it worked. The Broncos beat the Falcons 84-62 in University Arena for their first conference win. A crowd of 3,414 saw the Broncos beat the Falcons for the seventh consecutive time.
WMU overturned its early deficit with a 20-2 run helped by four 3-pointers. The Broncos made 7-of-10 3s in the first half.
"You don't expect it statistically, but if you let them play comfortably, which we allowed them to do, guys are going to get shots," guard John Floyd said.
"They ran their offense, they were comfortable running it. It was probably like running it in walk-through for them."
BGSU fell to 5-7, 1-1 in the MAC. The Falcons broke a trend of their own, allowing 30 more points than opponents had averaged against BGSU in the past four games.
"I think my team probably got a little full of itself in terms of how it was going to guard, or how it had guarded, and maybe didn't pay attention to the game," BG coach Dan Dakich said. "Western got comfortable and made shots."
The Falcons took the early lead by making their first seven field goals, two by Floyd, who led BG with a career-high 23 points.
But as WMU went on its run, BGSU started to struggle to get open shots.
"We picked up our ball pressure a bit and we got more active defensively," Western Michigan coach Steve Hawkins said.
When the Falcons got open again, their early spark was gone. They ended shooting 40 percent from the floor.
WMU outrebounded the Falcons by 12, which showed up on the defensive end for BGSU as the Broncos (4-8, 1-1) had 15 second-chance points. BGSU had a ghost of a post game, Matt Lefeld and Erik Marschall combining for two field goals. Lefeld, bothered by chronic foot problems, was visibly in pain throughout the game.
Trailing by 12 at halftime, the closest the Falcons got again was a seven-point deficit early in the second half. WMU's two high scorers, Brian Snider (28) and Joe Reitz (21) each shot better than 69 percent.
Contact Maureen Fulton at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6160.