BOWLING GREEN, OH (UB)– Senior Sean Smiley drained his fourth three pointer of the game with 4.7 seconds left to break a 65-65 tie and lead the Bulls to a win at Bowling Green, 68-65. The win for the Bulls was just their second all-time at Anderson Arena and improves their record to 9-4 on the season and 2-0 in the MAC.
The Falcons were able to erase a nine-point halftime deficit as they got within two early in the half and finally tied it on two Dee Brown free throws with 39 seconds left. From there the Bulls found a wide-open Smiley who drained a three from long range to put the Bulls up three with 4.7 seconds left. The Falcons threw up one last desperation three-point attempt, but it came up short as the Bulls were able to hold on for the win.
The first half saw both teams get off to a hot start as both teams were firing from long range. Senior John Boyer found his shooting touch early as he recorded nine of UB’s first 12 points on three treys. The Falcons matched the Bulls shot for shot and took their largest lead of the game at five with 10:47 left in the opening half. A 13-4 UB run put the Bulls back up in the half, but again the Falcons cut it to within one. That is when senior Rodney Pierce took over as he had a hand in UB’s last 12 points of the half, including eight points.
Pierce led the way for the Bulls as his 21 points gave him his seventh straight 20-point game. He becomes the first UB player to score 20 points in seven straight games since Rasaun Young did it in 1997. Pierce also tied his career high with six assists on the night. Smiley finished with 14 points, tying a season-high with his four three pointers. Boyer had a solid all-around game with nine points, seven rebounds, six assists and a steal. Sophomore Mitchell Watt finished with six points and six rebounds.
“On that final shot Rodney kept saying to Sean and John Boyer to be ready to shoot,” said head coach Reggie Witherspoon. “We had Rodney 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.”
The Bulls will return home on Sunday afternoon in a battle of the unbeaten conference teams as UB hosts Akron at Alumni Arena at 2:00 pm.