BOWLING GREEN Soon after Martin Samarco s thrilling off-balance shot beat Troy on Saturday, Bowling Green State University coach Dan Dakich pulled him aside. With a little over two days until the Falcons next game, there wasn t time for too many congratulations.
I said we ve got to handle the ball and make free throws, Dakich said.
Truthfully, that s what I said. Because we play Monday [tonight]. If we had a week, I d talk nice to him and then get mad at him two days from now. But we ve got to play Monday, so here are the things we ve got to correct.
BGSU plays Arkansas State for the second time this year tonight at 7 at Anderson Arena.
It will be the Indians fourth game in seven days.
On Nov. 16 Arkansas State beat the Falcons 64-54 in Jonesboro. ASU (4-6) led BGSU by as many as 22 points. The Falcons forced 29 turnovers in the game, but only scored eight points off them.
BGSU (3-2) followed the road loss with a four-point defeat at home to Furman, but has since won its past two games.
I hope the wins show our players three things: one, that they can get it done in the end, Dakich said. Two, that they can play really well for the duration of the game, and three, if they don t play really well, that three minutes can beat you, which is probably what would have happened had the game gone to overtime.
The three minutes before Samarco s game-winner was what Dakich had to talk to him about: turnovers in the full-court press and late missed free throws nearly cost the Falcons the game.
The Falcons are looking forward to getting another chance against the Indians, another Sun Belt Conference opponent.
In their first matchup BGSU shot a dismal 27 percent, with leading scorer Samarco making just five of 23 attempts.
Since I ve been here, it was probably the worst I ve played personally, Samarco said.
We didn t come out so well. I m glad we ve got the opportunity to get a rematch.
The recent victories give BGSU confidence, and now it wants to continue defending its home floor.
A 20-year span of winning records in Anderson Arena was snapped last season. Also, no one wants to lose to the same team twice.
Our kids have to understand, you get beat by somebody, you can t let somebody beat you twice, Dakich said. You just can t if you want to compete for a championship.
A win will move Dakich into fourth place on the career win list for BGSU coaches, passing John Weinert with his 147th victory.
Contact Maureen Fulton at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6160.