Buffalo (12-18) at Bowling Green (12-18)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, March 8, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stroh Center (4,700) -- Bowling Green, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: Buffalo 8-6, BGSU 10-4. Away Record: Buffalo 4-9, BGSU 1-12. Neutral Record: Buffalo 0-3, BGSU 1-2. Conference Record: Buffalo 7-8, BGSU 6-9. Series Record: Bowling Green leads, 16-10.
GAME NOTES: The Bowling Green Falcons and Buffalo Bulls will close out their regular seasons on Friday evening with a Mid-American Conference clash at the Stroh Center.
Louis Orr's Falcons have certainly had their ups and downs during the 2012-13 campaign and enter this regular-season finale with a mere 12-18 overall mark, including a 6-9 MAC record. BGSU would like to head into the postseason on a high note, but has dropped two straight and three of its last four games, following Tuesday's 69-61 setback at Kent State.
Reggie Witherspoon knows exactly how Orr is feeling, as his Bulls are sporting an identical 12-18 record overall, with just a little bit more success in- conference at 7-8. Buffalo also enters this tilt having lost three of its last four games, after Tuesday's narrow defeat at the hands of Ohio (72-69).
Bowling Green holds a 16-10 all-time advantage in the series with Buffalo, but the Bulls have closed the gap a bit with wins in each of the last three meetings and five of the last seven overall. The Bulls topped Bowling Green on Jan. 19 at home, 68-65.
The Bulls used an 18-3 second half run to erase a nine-point deficit and take a six-point lead, but Ohio then scored nine straight points to overtake Buffalo once again and spoil Senior Night on Tuesday. Will Regan led the way in defeat with 20 points. Javon McCrea was a close second with 19 points for Buffalo, while Tony Watson II recorded his first career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
McCrea is the straw that stirs the drink for Buffalo as the only player in the MAC that ranks in the top three in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots and field-goal percentage. McCrea comes into the season finale, netting 56.2 percent from the floor, while putting up 17.9 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game. Watson (10.9 ppg) and Regan (10.4 ppg) add some scoring depth as complementary players to McCrea. Overall, Buffalo comes in averaging 66.4 ppg, doing so on a decent 45 percent shooting from the floor.
The Falcons will counter with the potent scoring tandem of A'uston Calhoun and Jordon Crawford. The 6-foot-7 Calhoun leads the team in both scoring (15.3 ppg) and rebounding (7.3 rpg), while Crawford runs things from the point, finding shots for himself (14.8 ppg) and others (4.4 apg). The scoring pool dries up quick after those two, as Chauncey Orr (7.7 ppg) and Richaun Holmes (6.3 ppg) provided limited support, although Holmes' is more known for his shot-blocking prowess, setting a single-season school record with 70 blocks this year. He is also converting 62 percent from the floor, currently the seventh best single season in school history.
Bowling Green was able to dig out of a 17-point first-half deficit and actually took a lead in the second half, but Kent State was able to rally itself down the stretch to earn the eight-point win. Calhoun led the way in defeat with 13 points and seven boards. Crawford was strong as well, finishing with 12 points and eight assists, while Holmes tallied 11 points, six boards and three blocks.
Something has to give in this one, as both teams, despite solid playmakers, have struggled. The homecourt advantage may provide the difference in this one, as Calhoun and Crawford should be able to cancel out McCrea at the other end.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bowling Green 63, Buffalo 61
03/08 10:34:15 ET