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Published: Wednesday, 3/14/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

BG bows out of CIT

Oakland's Hamilton sets record with 39

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

ROCHESTER, Mich. -- The Bowling Green State University men's basketball team was buried in a blizzard of baskets by Oakland's Reggie Hamilton.

The Golden Grizzlies' senior guard set a CollegeInsiders.com Postseason Tournament record by scoring 39 points to lead Oakland to a 86-69 win over the Falcons at the O'rena Wednesday.

Travis Bader backed Hamilton's performance with 21 points as Oakland improved to 18-15. The Golden Grizzlies will host Toledo in a second-round game Saturday at 2 p.m. at the O'rena.

"There was no secret potion," said Hamilton, who surpassed the previous tournament high of 36 set by Santa Clara's Kevin Foster against Air Force on March 18, 2011.

"Coach [Greg] Kampe got on me at halftime for turning down open shots. So I thank coach for getting on me."

Kampe said he was dissatisfied at the half when Hamilton, who came into the game averaging 25.7 points per game -- best among Division I players -- had taken just seven shots and had 11 points.

"Reggie is a guy who, when he sees we need him, he goes off," Kampe said. "But in the first half he seemed to be probing [the defense], and I didn't want him probing. I wanted him scoring.

"Once he made a couple of shots, he got rolling. He's an unbelievable talent with the ball, and I don't believe anybody can cover Reggie."

Jordon Crawford scored 21 points and added five assists to lead the Falcons, who finished 16-16. A'uston Calhoun scored 15 and had seven rebounds, while Scott Thomas and Dee Brown scored 11 and 10, respectively, in their final college game.

The first half was nip-and-tuck, with neither team leading by more than six points. After a three-point play by BG's Cameron Black tied the game at 31-31, Oakland scored the final five points of the period and led 36-31 at the break.

Bowling Green scored the first eight points of the second half -- Calhoun scored six of those points -- to lead 39-36 with 18:01 to play,

"We knew we had to get the ball to A'uston to get him going," Thomas said. "But they just kept making shots, and we didn't get any stops.

"Coach talked about playing the game on our terms, scoring and getting stops. But they kept scoring and we didn't."

The Golden Grizzlies went on an offensive tear, scoring on 15 of their next 17 possessions, and getting three points on eight of those possessions. Hamilton had 25 points in that explosion as Oakland outscored the Falcons 34-17.

When Orr was asked about possibly switching from BG's zone defense to a man-to-man defense, he said. "What people don't understand is that this team score points and shoot well playing against mostly man-to-man teams. It wasn't the zone that created the opportunities. We just didn't cover.

"I can't say going to a man-to-man and letting them run through their plays and sets [would have helped]."

In the game Hamilton made 10-of-16 shots from the floor, including 5-of-6 3-pointers, and was 14-of-15 on free throws. He also finished with five rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

"I thought the 3's that Hamilton hit weren't wide-open 3's -- they were tough 3's," Orr said. "When you play tag with a team like Oakland, you'd better keep scoring. You have to keep putting the ball in the hole, and we weren't scoring.

"For us to have to score in the 80s to win wasn't playing the game on our terms."

The Falcons' third consecutive loss leveled their season's record at .500, but Orr said Wednesday's setback doesn't tarnish the solid effort of his team and seniors Brown, Thomas and Torian Oglesby.

"I thought we had a good season," Orr said. "We were 9-7 in the league, and getting 16 wins, I thought we did some good things.

"Could we have done better? We let some close games slip through our hands. But overall I thought these guys did a good job and had a good year, and I wish [the seniors] the best heading on to the future."

Contact John Wagner at: jwagner@theblade.com, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.



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