Game #8-432: Buffalo Bulls at Bowling Green FalconsJanuary 21, 2012 4:00 pm
For the second straight home game, the Falcons lost a last-second heartbreaker. It is extremely disappointing ... you turn those two around and this team is 4-1 and we're feeling really good. But those two don't turn around, they are what they are, and the team is 2-3 and only four of the last nine at home. Our cross-over road games are against the better teams in the West...at this point, 8-8 would be an accomplishment.
Similarly to the Akron game, this game turned on Buffalo making plays at the end and the Falcons not doing the same. The key sequence came with about 1:30 left. Calhoun had nailed two free throws to take a 1-point lead. Buffalo came down, their PG got some penetration, the defense left the Bulls' best player, Javon McCrea, all alone, and he had an uncontested dunk to take the lead back.
BG came down the floor, ran some offense. Cam Black had the ball and they didn't double him so he went to his hook shot but it didn't go down and Buffalo had the board. Buffalo came down, got the ball inside, and BG lost track of Barnett, who drained a 3 and the Bulls were up four.
Right there, you have two defensive lapses where the Bulls made the Falcons pay....and a possession where BG had the ball and couldn't convert.
There was still one more shot. Calhoun made a hoop to cut it to 2, and then BG got a turnover but missed another shot. Buffalo rebounded, was fouled, and missed the front end of the 1-1. Thomas rebounded and dished it to Crawford.
There were only about 5 seconds left, and Coach said later that we only have one guy who can get down the floor that quick, which he is probably right about. Jordan raced down the floor. Buffalo had Mitchell Watt back--the conference's leading shot blocker--and you have to admire the hell out of Crawford because he went right at him. Unfortunately, Watt swatted his shot away and the Bulls had the win.
Coach said after the game that you'd hope you might get a foul or something. You can second guess it all you want....maybe he should have pulled up for the jumper for example....the guy attacked the basket and Watt made the play.
The defeat wasted a career night from A'uston Calhoun, who had 29 points on 12 of 17 shooting and added 8 rebounds. He also nailed all five of this free throws. Faced with a much bigger Buffalo team, Calhoun played an excellent game.
Thomas added 12 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals and Dee Brown had 13 points and 5 rebounds, though he shot poorly. Jordan Crawford also struggled with his shot, but had six assists over two turnovers.
BG once again shortened its rotation a lot. Beyond the starters, only Oglesby (16) and Erger (9) got significant minutes.
It was a 66-possession game, which has been slow for Buffalo. BG got 1 point per possession, which is about their average for the season. The Bulls got 1.03 points per possession, largely on the back of 8 of 10 3-point shooting in the second half. BG had an 8 point edge in free throws--the Falcons shot well at 15 of 19 and Buffalo shot poorly at 7 of 16--but the Bulls had 9 3's and BG only had 5.
Overall, BG tried 17 3's, which can't be something that makes Coach Orr happy.
In addition to the hot 3-point shooting in the second half, Buffalo also had 7 offensive rebounds on 16 missed shots. For the game, they were actually below their season percentage.
Buffalo is a good team. I can't stand Witherspoon, but this is a good team. They lost their PG, but Oldham has slid right in and is a very solid player. McCrea is as good a player as there is in the MAC, and Mitchell Watt is a Euro-style big man who presents a lot of match up problems. Robinson and Barnett and good in the supporting cast. This is a very solid team.
Not to be lost in the mix is that this was a highly entertaining college basketball game. It was close the whole way, had a couple of second half runs and came right down to the finish. Except for the finish, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.