HUNTINGTON - Martin Samarco was as good as usual and Nate Miller provided a nice boost for Bowling Green State University in a 79-78 men's basketball victory over Marshall last night.
The Falcons (7-3) held on in a wild finish before a Cam Henderson Center crowd of 3,393.
Samarco, the Mid-American Conference leader with a 22.4 scoring average, tossed in 24 points to lead the way.
But it was Miller's 19-point, 10-rebound performance that caught the eye of Falcons coach Dan Dakich.
Miller, a mid-season addition as a transfer from UNC-Wilmington, earned his first start in his second game for the Falcons.
"Nate really hasn't played in a year and a half," Dakich said. "He makes a complete difference for us on the glass. We have been getting pounded on the backboards."
Bowling Green used a run of 13 consecutive points to break a 57-57 tie and move ahead on Miller's three-point play, 70-57 with 8:28 left to play.
Still, it took some late-game heroics to beat the Thundering Herd (3-8), now a Conference USA member.
Marshall guard Mark Dorris, who had 22 points, fired in a three-point shot to cut the deficit to 79-78 with 20 seconds to go.
On the ensuing inbounds play Bowling Green's Darryl Clements took the ball across halfcourt, but was tied up and turned the ball over to Marshall with 15 seconds remaining and a chance to win.
Dorris took the ball down the right side of the lane and missed with one second left.
"Fortunately for us their shot missed," Dakich said. "At the end of the day that was the biggest shot of the game. He makes it, we lose. He misses, it, we win."
Marshall coach Ron Jirsa said it was a good shot that just didn't go in. The Herd's downfall, however, was the extended run by the Falcons to pull away earlier in the second half.
Clements started the run with a 3-pointer with 11:48 on the clock. Brian Moten converted one of the Herd's 18 turnovers into a layup, then scored again inside. Miller followed with a dunk after stripping the ball from Marshall's Robbie Jackson on an inbounds play at midcourt. Clements scored after another turnover, Moten made two free throws, and Miller converted a three-point play.
The Falcons reeled off 13 unanswered points in three-plus minutes of the game.
"They just outhustled us during that spell," said Marshall forward Travis Aikens, who scored 18 for the game. "We got careless with the ball. We turned it over and they capitalized."