BG dunks a sweet victory this year

Craig Gifford and Craig Gifford

With its 84-83 overtime victory over the University of North Carolina-Wilmington Seahawks, the Falcon men’s basketball team completed the revenge trifecta after already having beaten Marist and the University of Michigan earlier this season.

All three teams handed Bowling Green non-conference losses last season, with UNCW winning by the closest margin the three games, 91-76 in North Carolina.

“All the teams we lost to last year, coach writes the score on the board before the game and says ‘this shouldn’t happen this year,'” said BG guard Keith McLeod after the game.

Last year’s game and this year’s game were similar in many respects. The Seahawks shot 50 percent from the field this year compared to 48.6 percent last year. Bowling Green also committed 16 turnovers compared to 20 in last season’s contest.

According to Bowling Green head coach Dan Dakich, the only feeling that was different for him between the two games was the final outcome.

“I just felt like I did last year a lot of times during this game, that we just did not have the ability to guard them,” he said.

Although last night’s win gained the Falcons their third straight measure of revenge, Dakich said the level of enthusiasm was not as high it was for Marist and Michigan.

He said he hoped the revenge factor would have played more into the teams preparation and energy level.

“I did not like us in terms of enthusiasm. It was not nearly what it was before we played Michigan and Marist,” he said. “As far as Marist, it wasn’t near that in terms of let?s not let somebody beat us twice.”

Both Dakich and UNCW head coach Jerry Wainwright said the big difference in the two games was home-court advantage.

Wainwright said the home and home split is not something to be surprised with, “especially when you return starters; they’re bigger, they’re faster, they’re stronger.”

The Seahawks had a chance to win the game in the final seconds after McLeod made what turned out to be his game-winning three pointer. A missed UNCW shot at the buzzer sealed the win for the Falcons.

According to Wainwright, his team’s fortunes on that shot may have been different if the same situation had presented itself in last season’s game.

“(Our) effort was no different,” he said. “We might have made that basket at home tonight.”