Men's basketball comes back, falters in closing minutes against Bowling Green

Senior guard Shawn Roundtree makes his way down the court on Jan. 12 in McGuirk Arena.

With a minute left in regulation, Bowling Green erased a six point deficit and would go on to win 97-87 in overtime in a heartbreaking loss for the Central Michigan men’s basketball team.

Just as quick as CMU (13-3, 2-1) brought McGuirk Arena to its feet with a 14-point second half comeback, it lost the lead and silence echoed the walls.

“I think that final minute comes down to us two,” said Shawn Roundtree Jr. pointing at Larry Austin Jr. “It comes down to execution and taking care of the ball. In those situations, we just have to be better.”

The loss snaps the Chippewas seven-game winning streak. CMU also suffers its first loss at home and of MAC play.

“It was kind of the opposite with Akron when we felt we let the game slip out of our hands and still won,” said head coach Keno Davis. “The wins and losses are what they are, for us it’s how to we get better from this. When up so many points in the future with so much time, what are you going to do and react next time.”

What happened

The Falcons fired away from downtown early and found the bottom of the net 3-of-4 times, as a result BGSU held the early 12-5 advantage.

Senior guard Larry Austin Jr. put in layup after layup to pull the Chippewas back within two, 21-19, with 7:24 left in the first half. 

Triples would continue to fall for BGSU as they went 6-of-11 from deep in the first half and posted a 38-31 lead going into the locker room.

BGSU would open up a 52-38 lead with 13:14 left in the second half as the Chippewas still couldn’t find a 3-pointer. Things were starting to get out of hand.

The Chippewas didn’t go away. Junior forward David DiLeo and transfer guard Dallas Morgan knocked down a pair of 3-pointers CMU had to have. BGSU’s lead was trimmed to 65-60 with 7:08 to go.

Morgan didn’t stop. He hit back-to-back triples and the Chippewas were back in front, 66-65, with just over six minutes to play.

BGSU’s Justin Turner would sink two free throws late and complete a six-point comeback in the final minute of the game. It was tied at 78 all heading to overtime. 

The Chippewas turned the ball over three times in the final minute of overtime and BGSU hit its free throws to close out the victory. 

Austin led the team with 26 points but the Falcon’s Turner led everyone with 30 points. CMU finished just 9-of-30 (30 percent) from deep with all the makes coming in the second half.

The Chippewas were out-rebounded 46-44 against BGSU who averages 11.4 more boards than its opponents on the campaign.

“We missed a lot (of rebounds) we could have got,” Austin said. “I feel like we could’ve crashed a little more. But they are top five in the country in rebounding so I think we did pretty well against them.”

The Chippewas will head back on the road for the second time in conference play at 8 p.m. on Jan. 15 to take on Northern Illinois in Dekalb.