The hope of Eastern Michigan University for back-to-back winning seasons ended in a 68-63 loss Saturday at Bowling Green State University.
Brandon Bowdry returned to form, recording the 33rd double-double of his career.
After just 14 points in his previous two games combined, Bowdry led the Eagles (5-15, 2-5 Mid-American Conference) in points and rebounds with 24 and 15.
Jay Higgins scored a season-best 15 points and added six assists for EMU.
Scott Thomas scored 16 to lead the Falcons (11-11, 5-2 MAC).
Jordon Crawford scored 14, and Dee Brown scored 11 off the bench for BGSU.
Crawford also added a game-high seven assists.
The Eagles found themselves down by nine, with only 34 seconds left, and quickly cut the Falcons lead to four off of two successful free throws by Antonio Green with just 13 seconds to play, but they couldn’t get any closer.
“It was a hard-fought ball game that came down to the last 10 seconds,” EMU coach Charles Ramsey said. “One official calls a jump ball and another official calls a foul. Jump ball gives us the ball down three, so it’s subjective.”
The Eagles jumped out to a quick 12-2 lead on the Falcons after two early three-pointers by Higgins with just over three minutes played.
“We did the same thing we always do, we game planned,” Ramsey said. “You game plan for your opponent, they play a zone (defense), and we game planned to play against the zone.”
Eastern led most the way through first half before BGSU would fight back to even the score at 17 with 10:41 on the clock and eventually sneak up to steal the lead from the Eagles, 32-31, off of an A’uston Calhoun free throw with 1:17 left.
“For the most part, we did a decent job,” Ramsey said. “We got the ball where we wanted to get it, and we had opportunities where we missed open shots and we missed layups.”
After the half, the Falcons stretched their lead, 45-39, on a Calhoun jumper with just over five minutes played in the second half.
The Eagles would answer back as Bowdry hit a jumper to take a 46-45 lead with 8:05 remaining. It would be EMU’s final lead of the game.
The Eagles have nine games left in the regular season and would need to win the rest of their games just to finish near the .500 mark.
“I’m not looking to save the rest of the season,” Ramsey said. “We are taking it one game at a time. What I want to do is win the next ball game, if at all possible.”
EMU shot 39.2 percent on 20-of-51 from the field and 40.9 percent on 9-of-22 from three-point land.
BGSU shot 51 percent on 26-of-51 from the field and 35.7 percent on 5-of-14 from behind the arc, as their bench outscored the EMU’s 42-8.
The Eagles will continue MAC play against Akron University (11-9, 2-4 MAC) 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Convocation Center.