Struggles continue, Falcons fall

The BG men’s basketball team rallied from a 12 point deficit Saturday in their game against Eastern Michigan but was unable to capitalize, falling 65-63 as Martin Samarco’s three-point shot fell short at the final buzzer.

“Anytime, any place, any league that you can win on the road is huge,” said EMU coach Charles Ramsey. “It’s monumental.”

The Falcons were hot out of the gate and were able to build a seven-point lead after a Nate Miller layup with nine minutes to go in the first half.

BG built the lead by converting six of its first 11 shots while the Eagles came out cold, only 3-of-11 from the field after the first 11 minutes of the opening half.

The Eagles regrouped and responded with a 21-9 run to close out the first half – a trend that has become all too familiar to the Falcons in their recent losses.

In the final nine minutes of the half, the Falcons converted only two of their 10 field goal attempts while they turned the ball over five times and missed four of their eight free throws.

Nate Miller converted in the final seconds of the half to cut the deficit to five at 31-26 in favor of the Eagles.

“We didn’t come out with the energy [from the start of the game] that we displayed in the second half,” said BG coach Dan Dakich. “You have to have a sense of urgency to play every day and we didn’t.”

The Eagles started the second half by going on a 17-10 run and built the lead to 12 at 48-36 after Jarred Axon converted on a jumper with 12 minutes to go in the game.

Ryne Hamblet sparked the Falcon comeback by draining a three-point attempt and converting on a layup on the next possession down to cut the Eagle lead down to six with 11 minutes to go in the game.

“I give Bowling Green a lot of credit. We got up by 12 points and they battled back to put themselves in a position to win,” Ramsey said. “We made mistakes down the stretch, but our guys just stayed positive and we moved on to the next play.”

BG took its first lead of the half when Martin Samarco’s jumper went down with six minutes to go in the game. After that, neither team built a bigger lead than three points. The Falcons only had three turnovers in the second half but two of them were very costly down the stretch.

With the score tied at 61, Nate Miller turned the ball over at mid court and Jesse Bunkley raced the other way to convert a layup and was fouled in the process by Ryne Hamblet. Bunkley’s free throw pushed the Eagle advantage to three.

After Hamblet made two free throws and Eastern Michigan’s Brandon Bowdry made one of two free throws, it set up a final play for the Falcons with 18 seconds to go in the game.

Martin Samarco’s jumper at the buzzer fell short and the Eagles escaped with a two-point road victory.

“I tried to set a down screen – tried to pop out,” Samarco said. “I drove middle and two guys came at me. I shot a bad shot – I should have passed it to Ryne Hamblet.”

Samarco lead BG with 21 points. Nate Miller added 11 and Ryne Hamblet finished with 10 points.

Eastern Michigan was paced by Jesse Bunkley and Jarred Axon, who both posted 17 points. Brandon Bowdry also chipped in with 14 points.

The Falcons will travel to Buffalo tomorrow night to take on the Bulls at 7 p.m.