BOWLING GREEN - These second halves are getting to be quite a problem for Bowling Green State University.
For the third straight game the Falcons failed to launch after halftime. They managed to let a few sparks fly before it was over, but sustained too much damage early in the second half and lost 67-60 to Miami.
Trailing 30-27 at the break, BGSU stood by while the RedHawks reeled off 11 straight points and built a 46-31 lead with 14:13 left. This after dismal second halves against Kent State and Akron buried the Falcons in their last two games.
The good news is that unlike the previous two contests,
BGSU's second half against Miami wasn't a total flop. By instituting a seldom-used full-court press, the Falcons engineered a furious comeback and cut their deficit to 58-57 with 3:01 to go.
"Even though we didn't win tonight, as of right now we have our confidence up in the second half," said BGSU senior Darryl Clements - a key cog in the comeback. "We could've easily put our head down and just taken the loss, but we fought back."
In an eight-minute stretch in which the Falcons went from down 13 to down one, senior Nate Miller scored 11 of his
game-high 17 points and Clements added four points and two assists.
Clements followed up a made jumper with a layup at the 3:57 mark to bring BGSU (8-9, 1-3) to within four points, then Miller's 3-pointer cut the deficit to a single tally.
"Me and Nate just came together and said we're tired of it," Clements said. "If we don't step up, nobody's going to step up. Me, Nate, and B-Mo [senior Brian Moten], we're running out of time right now."
With all-conference point guard Kenny Hayes out after wrist surgery, the RedHawks struggled when BGSU forced them into an up-tempo game. But the momentum shifted Miami's way for good after a timeout, when the RedHawks' Tyler Dierkers scored, was fouled, and converted the free throw with
1:57 to go.
Dierkers' points came after Miami corralled an offensive rebound. The Falcons missed their next four shots - all 3-pointers - and didn't score again until there were 17 seconds left and the RedHawks had already extended their lead to 65-57.
"A big play, that put-back and 'and one,' those are toughness plays," BGSU coach Louis Orr said.
Miller made his first start this season in place of Moten, who Orr said was moved to the bench because of his shooting struggles the last two games. Clements had 13 points - his highest total in five games this month.
Michael Bramos led five Miami players in double figures with 14 points. Eric Pollitz, a senior from Ottawa-Glandorf, contributed 13 points.
Pollitz, who said his parents, neighbors, and some familiar faces from church were among those counted at Anderson Arena, celebrated a birthday yesterday. He was happy about his present - Miami's second win at BGSU in its last 12 tries.
"Every time I come to BG, I don't what it is," said Pollitz, whose twin brother Tim also played for the RedHawks. "Our energy's just kind of lacking in the first half, but we picked it up in the second half."
With the victory, Miami coach Charlie Coles became the school's all-time leader with 217 victories, passing Darrell Hedric.
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