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Published: Sunday, 2/22/2009

Miller's milestones not enough for Falcons

BY JOE VARDON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN - Nate Miller put on a performance Saturday of immediate and historical significance.

But the shots he made and milestones he reached were not enough to overcome Bowling Green State University's collective shortcomings, and another home loss to a sub-.500 team ensued.

Canisius, of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, beat the Falcons 71-66 in overtime Saturday in front of 2,235 fans at Anderson Arena. The game was played as a part of ESPNU's BracketBusters series and featured 21 lead changes and seven ties.

Miller, a senior, scored a career-high 22 points to become the 37th player in BG history to score 1,000 points in his career. It was Miller's 3-pointer with seven seconds left that forged a 62-62 tie and sent the game to overtime, and it was Miller who scored the Falcons' four points in the extra period.

Miller also grabbed 13

rebounds, but in that area he was without a wing man. And BG suffered because of it.

With starting forward Chris Knight out with a sprained right knee, the Griffins were active in the paint and outrebounded the Falcons 47-36. Canisius registered 15 offensive rebounds that led to 17 second-chance points.

"Big time it hurt," Miller said of Knight's absence. "I'm down there fighting for my life, but, hey, I'm only 6-4 and these guys were pretty tall. We were limited."

BG only had nine players in uniform thanks to injuries to Knight and reserve post Marc Larson. Knight averages 4.7 rebounds per game, but perhaps equally important, his 6-7 frame would have been a better matchup for Griffins 6-7 forward Greg Logins.

Logins finished with 19 points and seven rebounds. Canisius guard Julius Coles added 14 points and 10 rebounds, and 5-10 guard Frank Turner contributed 16 points and seven boards.

Because Logins wasn't the only Griffin hurting the Falcons inside, BG coach Louis Orr wasn't about to concede Knight's absence was the main reason for defeat.

"The guys who were out there, with the right mind-set they can and they have to get the job done in those areas," Orr said. "To me, it's a matter of your will."

The Falcons appeared destined to lose after going on a four-minute dry spell late in the second half that didn't end until Joe Jakubowski's 3-pointer with 19 seconds left cut BG's deficit to 61-59. Turner hit one of two free throws, and Miller busted free for the game-tying 3-pointer.

"I felt like someone punched me in the stomach 14 times," Canisius coach Tom Parrotta said of Miller's crucial trey.

The Griffins (9-18) took the lead for good on Logins' layup with 1:14 remaining in overtime. An offensive rebound led to two Logins free throws with 28 seconds to go, and Coles sank two foul shots with 12 seconds left.

Miller, who scored 15 points after halftime, became the fourth player in school history to collect 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 125 steals, joining Anthony Stacey, David Jenkins and Joe Moore.

A transfer from UNC-Wilmington, Miller accomplished his feat in less than three seasons with the Falcons.

Brian Moten started in Knight's place and scored 14 points. Jakubowski added 12 points.

BG (15-11) didn't lose any ground in the Mid-American Conference East, where it trails Buffalo by a game. The Falcons' previous home game ended in a loss to MAC bottom-dweller Eastern Michigan on Feb. 15.

Contact Joe Vardon at:

jvardon@theblade.com

or 419-410-5055.



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