College hoops: Bowling Green hangs on to beat Towson, 70-69

December 30, 2009 | Drew Forrester

8:55 pm —

What was nearly a miraculous finish by Towson turned into a bizarre ending as the Tigers threw away a chance to win the game in the final seconds on Wednesday night, losing to Bowling Green, 70-69.

The Falcons led by 4 with 11.3 seconds to play, but Scott Thomas missed a pair of foul shots.

Towson then brought the ball down and Josh Thornton threw up a 3-pointer from 30 feet and was fouled on the play with 3.4 seconds left.  He then connected on all three shots from the foul line and the Tigers then prepared to foul on the inbounds play.

But the ball never made it inbounds, as Bowling Green threw an inbounds pass off their own player and back out of bounds with 3.2 seconds left.

So, for the first time since 10 minutes were gone in the game, Towson had a chance to go ahead – and win – with a score in the final seconds.

But Brian Morris tried to stuff an inbounds pass under the basket to Calvin Lee and the ball was deflected into the hands of Bowling Green’s best player, big man Otis Polk, who finished the game with 17 points and 16 rebounds.

For the Tigers, it was a night where their size under the basket was exposed by the bigger, stronger Falcons front court.

The Tigers were outrebounded 45-35 and Bowling Green scored 50 of their 70 points from within the paint.

Jarrel Smith and Josh Thornton each had 17 points to lead Towson in scoring, while Robert Nwankwo had 11 rebounds.

8:51 pm —

Towson has clawed their way all the back to within a single point here at the Towson Center, as Josh Thornton just made 3 foul shots to cut Bowling Green’s lead to one point at 70-69 with 3.4 seconds to play.

This could be a crazy finish if the Falcons can’t convert at the foul line.  Towson will most certainly foul on the inbounds play.  Scott Thomas just missed two fouls shots moments ago that would have pretty much ended the game.  And then Thornton was fouled on a 3-point attempt and he converted all three.

8:48 pm —

There’s still a glimmer of hope for the Tigers.

Josh Thornton just hit a 3-pointer to cut Bowling Green’s lead to 70-66 with 11.3 seconds to play in the game.

Towson will surely foul right here on the inbounds.  And they do.

Scott Thomas goes to the line for Bowling Green.

8:45 pm —

Towson needs a quick basket here…as they now trail Bowling Green by six points, 69-63, with 35 seconds to play at the Towson Center.

The Tigers are set to inbound the ball in just a second after a Pat Kennedy time-out.

Look for Thornton or Polk to try a 3-pointer for Towson.

8:40 pm —

I wrote a few minutes ago Towson would need a miracle.

They’re in the process of making one right now at the Towson Center.

Towson trails Bowling Green by four (65-61) with 1:10 to play in the game.

Troy Franklin just hit a 3-pointer to close the gap to four.

8:35 pm —

Jarrel Smith has hit back-to-back 3-pointers for the Tigers and Towson University still has some life, trailing Bowling Green, 65-58, with 3 minutes to play in the game.

Smith leads all Towson scorers with 17 points.

8:30 pm —

This is going to take a miracle finish for Pat Kennedy’s team.

And Otis Polk of Bowling Green is going to need to get the flu in the last four minutes.

Towson now trails the Falcons, 65-52, with four minutes left in the game.

Polk has 15 rebounds for Bowling Green.  The entire Towson team only has 26.

8:22 pm —

Bowling Green’s Otis Polk just took over the game in the last two minutes as the Falcons have now pulled ahead, 57-45, with 7:42 to play in the game.  Polk has 17 points on the night — all in the paint — as the 6’9″ senior center is just too big and strong for the Towson defense.

Robert Nwankwo and Calvin Lee both have 12 points for the Tigers.

8:15 pm —

It’s still a game here at the Towson Center, as the Tigers have settled down and climbed back to within 8 points at 49-41 with 11:41 to play in the contest.

Robert Nwankwo has led Towson’s surge in the second half.  6 of his 10 points have come in the first 8:19 of this half.

Otis Polk continues to lead all scorers with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

He’s the difference in the game, for sure.

8:05 pm —

Bowling Green got out of the gate quickly in the 2nd half and opened a 13-point lead but the Tigers have trimmed the lead to 8 and now trail, 44-36 with 16 minutes to play.

Rebounding and points-in-the-paint tell the story in this one thus far.

Bowling Green has a 29-19 rebounding edge and they’ve scored 36 of their 44 points in the paint.

Towson, meanwhile, has relied on their perimeter shooting.  They have 10 points in the paint, but they’re shooting 33% from the 3-point arc.

This is a BIG second half for the Towson Tigers.

A loss here tonight against Bowling Green would be a telling indication of where Pat Kennedy’s team stands with CAA play set to begin in earnest this Saturday when the Tigers travel to Georgia State.

Halftime —

Bowling Green owns a 37-29 lead at the intermission.

Otis Polk (10 pts) and Dee Brown (9) lead the Falcons on the scoreboard, while Polk (8 rebounds) and Erik Marschall (9) have controlled the boards for Louis Orr’s team.

Calvin Lee has 10 points for the Tigers.

Towson led by as many has six points early on.

Bowling Green had a 10-point lead late in the half before Lee hit a short jumper at the buzzer.

It’s not been a great first half of basketball for Pat Kennedy’s team.  They’ve allowed Bowling Green to score 32 of their 37 points in the paint.

7:32 pm —

Bowling Green has pulled ahead, 29-25, as Towson’s defense continues to struggle.

Not only is Otis Polk (6’9″) hurting them down low, but the Tigers have been slow to get back on defense in the last four minutes or so.

Josh Thornton (9 points) leads Towson.

As expected with their size advantage, Bowling Green has the rebounding edge, 21Preview —

Towson (3-6) hosts Bowling Green (5-5) tonight at the Towson Center as the Tigers complete their non-conference schedule against Louis Orr’s Falcons.

The Tigers haven’t played since a loss at Morgan State on 12/22.  Bowling Green had a 4-game winning streak snapped at Temple this past Monday night.

Bowling Green’s size in the paint could haunt Towson tonight.  They’ll need a big defensive game from Robert Nwankwo and John Carroll HS’s Isaiah Philmore under the basket.

7:25 pm —

It’s tied at 20-20 at the Towson Center with 7:55 to play in the first half.

Bowling Green’s size under the basket is likely to be a problem for the Tigers tonight.  Otis Polk is their go-to-guy underneath and it’s going to require a 2-or-3 man effort from Towson to keep Polk from dominating.  He already leads all scorers with 10 points.

Meanwhile, it’s obvious that Bowling Green’s perimeter defense is going to need improvement, as the Tigers are shooting the ball well from the outside and several of those makes have been virtually uncontested.

Jarrel Smith and Josh Thornton both have 6 points for Towson early on.

7:20 pm —

There’s 11:22 left in the first half here at the Towson Center and the Tigers own a slim, 13-12 lead.

Otis Polk, Bowling Green’s 6’9″ senior center, has been tough so far in the first eight minutes, with 6 points and a thundering dunk just moments ago.

Towson has been led so far by Josh Thornton who also has 6 points on a pair of 3-pointers.