Usually sure shooting fails Falcons at UM

ANN ARBOR — Bowling Green was fourth in the country in shooting last season and are already atop the Mid-American Conference in field goal percentage. Who knows what the result could have been if the Falcons would have shot like they usually do.

The numbers game didn’t hold up against Michigan. The hopes by BG to pull off an upset against the Wolverines were dashed largely in part because the Falcons couldn’t put the ball in the bucket.

BG, who has shot around 50 percent consistantly over the last two seasons lost its touch. The Falcons were holding their breath everytime the ball was aimed toward the hoop.

Only 19 out of a total of 58 times from the field, did the ball go in. The Falcons shot 32 percent from the field on the night, their worst shooting display of the young season. Their previous low was 45 percent against UNC-Wilmington earlier in the year.

“I thought we got a lot of good looks, but we took a number of bad shots,” BG coach Dan Dakich said. “When you take bad shots on the road, you’re gonna get beat.”

Len Matela, who is one of BG’s and the country’s best in field goal percentages at 61.9 percent, couldn’t get into the swing of things like he usually does. Matela shot 28.5 percent from the field on the night shooting 4 of 14. Matela best shot was at the free throw line where he went a perfect 8-8 on the night.

Much of the trouble was the interior defense of Michigan. The Wolverines were bigger and stronger inside. At times the Falcons had to adjust their shots so one of the massive Michigan defenders wouldn’t eat it up. Guard Keith McLeod had a shot caught by the defender.

“I give Michigan’s defense credit,” Dakich said. “They held us pretty well. I thought we got the ball in pretty good postions to get good shots, we just missed them.”

When BG finally did start putting the ball in the bucket they went on an 11-0 run to cut the lead from 14 to three. But good shooting by the Wolverines turned once again into poor shooting by the Falcons. BG couldn’t muster up six points in the final 4.5 minutes of the game.

“I thought for the stretch when it went from 18 points to three, we played hard and smart,” Dakich said. “We made too many mistakes, particularily defensively.”

On the bright side, BG made the best of its opporotunities at the free throw line, shooting 77 percent on the night. The Falcons also shot 35 percent behind the three–point stripe.