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Friday, August 22, 2014
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Published: Friday, 2/21/2014

SPORTS COMMENTARY

Topsy-turvy year rolls on for Falcons

BY DAVE HACKENBERG
BLADE SPORTS COLUMNIST

BOWLING GREEN — Bowling Green isn’t a basketball team you want to bet on, be it the farm or beer money.

The Falcon men will drive you crazy. If you have a number for a guy in Vegas named Shooter and you’re thinking about calling it on a BG game, have someone pry the phone from your cold hands and remove the battery. Don’t you dare.

This is a team that can score 36 points and lose at home to Northern Illinois, then win at Western Michigan. The Falcons will take a thriller at Ohio, then lose to visiting Miami.

It is a bit of a schizophrenic team and not just from game to game.

How about half to half?

How about minute to minute?

Here’s how the second half started Thursday at the Stroh Center: Toledo’s first five possessions included three turnovers, one on a charging foul, and two missed shots.

Then Juice Brown hit a 3-pointer and UT’s halftime lead grew by three points to 42-23.

The Falcons, building on an atrocious first half, seemed completely out of it.

But it would take another Brown jumper more than 16 minutes later to bring the Rockets from behind — yes, behind — and it would take a jumper from the left of the key with 3.2 seconds left by Rian Pearson to snap a tie and win it, 60-58.

“Our second-half composure wasn’t very good,” said Toledo coach Tod Kowalczyk. “I was really disappointed with our starting five early in the half, and it set the tone for the rest of the game.

“We’re walking out of here with a win, but honestly I don’t feel too good about it.”

Yes, that was the winning coach.

Imagine how Louis Orr feels. This marks the second time in as many games against UT this season that Orr’s Falcons got buried early, answered with inspired play, then lost at the horn.

A 3-pointer by BG’s Anthony Henderson with 2:45 to play erased all of Toledo’s once-substantial lead, pulling the Falcons even at 56-56 and about blowing the roof off the Stroh Center, which hosted the fourth-largest men’s crowd in its short history.

Cameron Black, who was tremendous at the high post for BG, then made a free throw for the lead with 1:39 left.

But as quickly as Mr. Mo jumped on the Falcons’ back, he jumped right back off.

With the lead and the ball, BG’s Jehvon Clarke made a terrible decision and tried an awkward shot in transition, using almost none of the now short game clock. Later, Spencer Parker could have jacked up the pressure on the Rockets, but he made just one of two free throws and it was tied to set up Pearson’s last-second heroics.

It’s the way things go for BG. There just is no getting over the hump.

Contact Blade sports columnist Dave Hackenberg at: dhack@theblade.com or 419-724-6398.



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