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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Falcon Win, 73-72

With 10 seconds to play in the Bowling Green basketball team’s 73-72 victory over Eastern Michigan last night at Anderson Arena, Cory Ryan quite possibly had the season riding on his 6′-5″ frame. With BG trailing 72-70, Kevin Netter had just won a baseline scramble on the floor for the ball off a missed shot. Ryan flared out on the wing, wide open, screaming at Netter for the ball. Netter obliged, firing a pass to him.

Ryan, with one mind-clearing breath, squared up, blocked out everything but the bright orange rim, dead ahead, and let fly. When the ball splashed through the hoop, the Falcons had a lead they would, with some difficulty, not relinquish, and salvaged the ragged remains of a chance at a home game Monday in the first round of the MAC tournament.

“When Kevin threw it, I knew to shoot it,” Ryan said. “I guess I just hoped it went in, and it did.”

BG (12-14, 8-9 MAC) is still not in great shape to host a game next week, but the win pulled them out of sixth place in the MAC West and put Eastern Michigan (14-13, 8-10 MAC) in. BG must beat Toledo in tomorrow’s regular season finale and have a bunch of things go their way to get a home game. But there’s hope for the Falcons, on a five-game road losing streak. Hope which wouldn’t have been if Eastern had won.

“We needed this,” guard Ron Lewis said. “Two wins in a row is really big for us. Saturday’s game is big. We’re not going down without a fight.”

Lewis had a team-high 18 points.

The game didn’t end on Ryan’s three. Eastern Michigan took possession off a time-out and plowed the ball straight ahead into the frontcourt. But the Eagles were going too fast for their own good, and Cory Eyink stepped in, stole the ball and broke downcourt.

Eyink was fouled before he could put the dagger in with a lay-up, but he missed both free-throws. The Eagles’ Markus Austin had a game-winning three in the air at the buzzer, but it grazed the front of the rim and fell to the ground.

The final 10 seconds were just another in a long line of stomach flips and hair-graying for coach Dan Dakich this season. Dakich must feel like a Dominican baseball player, he’s aged so much in a year’s time.

“We had Cory miss two free throws on purpose, to build suspense. Nothing can come easy for us,” Dakich said, tongue firmly in cheek.

He said the key to the play was Netter winning the ball and keeping his cool.

“That’s was the best play,” he said. “Netter digging the ball out, not panicking. He dove for the ball and showed a lot of poise once he got it.”

To win the game, BG had to overcome four players in double figures for Eastern. Michael Ross was a thorny pest, hitting the Falcons up for 18 points in 38 minutes. Ross was the biggest reason Eastern was able to milk a single-digit lead for most of the game. The Eagles led from a Ross three-pointer with just under 15 minutes to play in the first half until a Ryan basket with just under five minutes to play in the second half.

Eastern’s lead reached a high-water mark at 24-13 with 11 and a half minutes left in the first half, but the game was largely played within seven points, an ebb-and-flow of BG pulling close and the Eagles hitting a shot to give themselves breathing room. “Every time we nudged the lead out, they kept coming back,” Eastern coach Jim Boone said. “That was big-time for them. Every time they had a key play, they got to make them.”

BG counteracted Eastern with four of their own in double figures. In addition to Lewis, Ryan scored 17, John Reimold scored 14 and Netter had 10.

A season-low 10 turnovers helped, too.

Ryan came to BG with a reputation as a shooter. Dakich joked that the BG program may have “ruined” him as a long-range threat with offensive sets focused on getting the ball down low, but for Ryan it all comes down to having the ball and facing the rim. “I felt that shot [going in],” Ryan said of his three-pointer. “But I’ve felt some misses, too. I feel all my shots.”

For the sake of BG’s season, it was a good one to feel.

John Reimold

On 2-for-8 shooting from behind the arc, the Falcon forward passed Jay Larranaga and Shane Komives last night for second on BG’s all-time single-season three-point field goal list. Reimold now has 74, but the record is pretty safe this year. Keith McLeod hit 89 threes last season.

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