Smiley's trey puts frowns on Falcons Print E-mail
Written by Jack Carle - Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune   
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Theres no such thing as too long of a shot when a shooter is in rhythm.
Buffalos Sean Smiley proved that Thursday night in Anderson Arena. The 6-foot-1 senior nailed a 25-foot 3-pointer from a 45-degree angle on the left side of the basket, with Bowling Greens Erik Marschall, who is 6-7, flying through the air in an effort to disrupt the shot. Smileys shot came with 4.7 seconds left in regulation.

It was the fourth successful 3-pointer in eight attempts in the game for Smiley and it proved to be the game-winner as the Bulls edged the Falcons, 68-65 in a Mid-American Conference thriller.

We had Rodney (Pierce) play the point on that play and he drew two defenders, which freed Sean up. Rodney made the pass and Sean hit a big shot for us, said Buffalo head coach Reggie Witherspoon.
It was a tough shot, said BG sophomore Scott Thomas, who finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. Erik flew at him, it was just a great shot.

With those kind of guys ... youve got to chase those guys off the three. Theyve got to put the ball on the floor. They cant get a rhythm shot, BG head coach Louis Orr said. But I give him credit. He did make a tough shot in a crucial time of the game.

After two timeouts, BG was able to in-bound the ball and Joe Jakubowski got off a heavily-contested 3-point effort from about 30 feet which was off the mark as time expired.

The Falcons
played their zone defense for the entire game, but some good ball movement allowed the Bulls to get open 3-point looks. Buffalo made four 3-pointers in five attempts to start the game and finished 9-of-25 from beyond the arc.

The ball movement really hurt, but we feel like we work on it enough in practice that we should be able to get the stops, Thomas said.

The second-biggest shot of the game for Buffalo was Pierces 3-pointer with 1:30 remaining which pushed the Bulls up 65-60.

That was a (defensive) error on our part, Orr said about Pierces three. Pierce is their best scorer. He cant get a wide-open shot late in the game.

The Falcons countered with a 3-pointer from Thomas and after Pierce missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key, BG's Dee Brown grabbed the rebound and was fouled.

Brown made both free throws with 38.5 seconds left to tie the game at 65.
The Bulls then worked the clock down before getting the ball to Smiley for the game-winner.

I commend the guys in the second half. They didnt quit, not that they should quit. They fought, Orr said. Im not mad at their effort.

Bolstered by its 3-pointers, Buffalo had the early lead. The Falcons did come back to take the lead twice in the first half. BG was still within 30-29 with 3:49 left before

Buffalo closed the half on an 8-0 run to take a 38-29 lead into the break. BG was 8-of-12 from the free-throw line in the first half, but missed the front end of two 1-and-1 opportunities late in the half.

The Falcons continued to hang around in the second half and got to within 54-52 after a pair of Otis Polk free throws with 5:33 to play. However, BG came up empty on its next two possessions when it could have tied the game or taken the lead.

Thomas scored seven of his 21 points in the final 2:23 of the game to give the Falcons a chance.

It was definitely a tough loss ... especially losing at home in our first MAC (home) game, thats a big loss for us, Thomas said. Were disappointed.

NOTES: Buffalo is 9-4 overall and 2-0 in the MAC while BG is 7-7, 0-2 ... BG plays at Kent State Sunday with tipoff at 2 p.m. ... The Falcons were 24-of-32 from the free-throw line (75 percent) ... BG had only 10 turnovers in the game, but Buffalo converted those into 15 points ...Kevin Heck, a former standout at Rossford High School, is in his fourth season as an assistant coach at Buffalo.
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