Falcons can’t overcome slow first half, lose third straight

The BG men’s basketball team turned up the heat on Miami in the second half after falling behind 14 at the break, but it was unable to erase the deficit and fell 66-60.

It was as if no one told the RedHawks they were the team with the 5-10 record and the Falcons were the team with a 10-6 record – at least for the first half that is.

Both teams were coming off losses entering the game – the Falcons lost at home to Akron 83-62 while the RedHawks lost at Buffalo 68-51. This was a big game for both teams as they both hoped to stay close to the leaders in the MAC East.

The two teams played fairly even for the first 13 minutes of the game with the score in favor of the RedHawks at 19-18. From there, Miami went on a 15-0 run to push the advantage to 34-18. At halftime, Miami led by a score of 36-22.

“[BG] was a passing team in the first half and they were a driving team in the second half,” said Miami coach Charlie Coles. “They showed their quickness in the second half.”

At the start of the second half, the Falcons stormed out of the gate and went on an 11-4 run to bring the deficit to seven at 40-33.

The Falcons were forced to play from behind for the duration of the game and were unable to get the lead under seven until the four minute mark when the Falcons were able to pull within 5 at 54-49.

Miami quickly responded to the BG run by converting two jump shots to push the advantage back to nine with nearly two and half minutes to go in the game.

Ultimately, BG was unable to overcome the halftime deficit.

“The guys in the second half – at least I feel – played the way Bowling Green basketball should be played,” said BG coach Dan Dakich. “I liked our effort in the second half.”

Nate Miller led the way for the Falcons scoring 21 points, grabbing six rebounds and three steals in the losing effort.

“There’s no such thing as moral victories – it’s a big step as far as doing what coach wants us to do, but it’s still a loss,” Miller said. “We gave up 36 points in the first half – that’s what hurt us.”

The RedHawks had a balanced scoring output with four guys scoring in double figures – Tim Pollitz (14), Michael Bramos (12), Nathan Peavy (12) and Alex Moosmann (11).

Martin Samarco came into the game leading the Mid-American Conference in scoring at 21.8 points per game, but the RedHawks held him in check, allowing three points on five shots.

Samarco did not play for the first seven minutes of the second half and was immediately taken out of the game the possession after as well. Samarco spent most of the first half on the bench with foul trouble.

“[On Samarco] it was my decision totally,” Dakich said. “The team at the end of the half played with toughness and got four straight stops and I just made up my mind that was the way we were going to play.”

This was the 116th meeting between the two teams with Miami leading the all-time series 70-45.

The Falcons will next be in action Saturday night as they continue their road trip in Kent when they take on the Golden Flashes at 7 p.m.. Kent State is coming off a loss at Akron 78-68.