BOWLING GREEN, OH - Coming off a huge Mid-American Conference win at Buffalo just a few days earlier, a letdown was the last thing on the mind of Bowling Green at home versus non-league opponent Canisius.
BG's Nate Miller had a career-high 22 points / File photo
But that is exactly what the Falcons delivered on Saturday afternoon against the Golden Griffins, who came into the game with an 8-18 record.
Canisius wore out an undermanned BG team with its second chances on offense and held off a career performance by Falcon senior Nate Miller to win 71-66 in overtime.
The loss was the second in row at home against a team with a losing record after BG fell to Eastern Michigan on Feb. 15. Canisius and Eastern now have a combined record of 13-41.
They score 17 second-chance points, 34 points in the paint, and we still have a chance after all that. Were right there, said BG coach Louis Orr. But when the other team is physically winning these points ... It just breaks you down.
Miller eclipsed the 1,000-point mark as a Falcon and scored a career-high 22 points, including a clutch 3-pointer with 5.5 seconds left that sent the game into overtime. He added a game-high 13 rebounds as well.
BG was without 6-foot-7 forward Chris Knight, who was injured in the first minute of the Buffalo game, and had only nine players dress for the game.
We were kind of undermanned today being that Chris Knight couldnt play. Our roster was kind of short, said Miller, who also led BG with three steals in his 42 minutes. We got stops but we didnt finish the play with rebounds.
Coach always tells us it doesnt matter about offense ... If we play defense and clean up our rebounding and limit them to one shot we probably would have been OK.
The lead changed hands 21 times in the game, and the Falcons held the largest lead of the game an eight-point cushion with 13 minutes remaining in the first half. But Canisius hung around and tied the game going into halftime on a thunderous alley-oop dunk by Elton Frazier.
Canisius then built its lead to five points with only 35 seconds left in regulation before Miller hit from beyond the arc to extend the game.
I felt like someone just punched me in the stomach 14 times, Canisius coach Tom Parrotta of the feeling he had when Miller made the game-tying shot. He just really torched us today. Talk about a tough matchup there.
We had no answers to (Miller) ... Hes obviously a guy you can throw the ball to at the end of the game and hell take over. Had it gone another overtime, outside of me running out there and tackling him myself, I dont know if we had an answer for him.
He does so many good things for us on the court, some times its hard to take him off, Orr said of Miller. Hes got that kind of courage and ability, but weve all got to step up in the other areas ... I know the biggest stat for him is to win, thats really the stat that matters.
BGs Brian Moten finished with 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting and Joe Jakubowski finished with 12 points. Canisius got 19 points from 6-7 post Greg Logins, 16 points from point guard Frank Turner and 14 points and 10 rebounds from guard Julius Coles.
The Golden Griffins finished with a 47-36 advantage on the glass and made 18-of-26 free throws (69 percent). BG was just 7-of-12 (58 percent) from the line.
BG made only 2-of-11 shots in the overtime, while Canisius was perfect in four free throw attempts down the stretch to seal the win.
Its all mindset. Its not about Chris Knight or Marc Larson (out for season), its about the guys who are on the court, Orr said. We can get the job done with the guys we have.
Up next for the Falcons is another home game, this time with MAC East rival Kent State on Thursday. Weve got to be focused ... We just didnt get the job done tonight, Miller said. The only good thing about this game was it wasnt a MAC game. Were still 8-4 in the MAC (one game behind Buffalo in the MAC East) and weve got Kent State coming.
Weve been bouncing back all season and were not going to stop now.
NOTES: BG falls to 15-11 overall and has lost four of its last six home games ... Orr said Knight was probably week-to-week regarding his return ... Canisius guard Robert Goldsberry, brother of current BG womens basketball senior Lindsey Goldsberry, finished with six assists and four steals in 43 minutes ... BGs Otis Polk did not have a block in the game and is still one away from tying the BG school record of 117.