ATHENS, Ohio — Ohio coach Jim Christian blamed himself for shortcomings that prevented his team from retaining a share of first place in the Mid-American Conference East Division.
Point guard Stevie Taylor, a junior from Gahanna, pointed the finger at himself.
What’s not disputable is that the beneficiary of it all was Bowling Green, which overcame an early 11-point deficit and won 58-56 in front of an announced crowd of 5,801 at the Convocation Center last night.
The outcome wasn’t decided until the Bobcats’ Nick Kellogg missed an off-balance three-pointer from the top of the key with a hand in his face in the final seconds.
“We did an awful job, and that’s on me,” Christian said. “We knew what we needed to do and didn’t do it. That’s on me. It wasn’t one play. It wasn’t the last shot.”
The Bobcats (13-5, 3-2) got within 58-56 on a three-pointer by T.J. Hall with 1:04 left to play.
In trying to take time off the clock in the final minute, Bowling Green (9-9, 3-2) got lucky three times.
First, guard Spencer Parker was fouled in a nonshooting situation by Kellogg with 34.7 seconds left when he was stumbling down the lane and seemingly out of control.
Second, officials gave guard Damarkeo Lyshe a timeout with 23.2 seconds left before he stepped out of bounds while being pressured in front of the Bowling Green bench.
Lastly, the Falcons got the ball on an alternate possession after Kellogg tied up Parker with 21 seconds left.
Ohio got the ball back after Jehvon Clarke missed the front end of a one-and-one with 18.8 seconds left.
Taylor said he did not run the offense well enough during the final possession. He took an inbounds pass along the sideline with 10.9 seconds left.
Kellogg, a DeSales graduate, got the ball about 25 feet from the basket with a defender riding him on a hip.
“We didn’t get the ball where we needed to,” Taylor said. “I take full responsibility for what happened tonight. If I’m going to be the starting point guard, I can’t do that.”
Bowling Green played strong after trailing 15-4 six minutes into the game.
Parker led the Falcons with 16 points. Hall had 15 for Ohio.