BOWLING GREEN, OHIO – Kameron Gibson led Western Carolina with 20 points, but the Catamounts were unable to overcome a late first-half run by Bowling Green in a 73-52 loss to the Falcons on Friday afternoon at the Stroh Center.
Bowling Green improves to 7-5 while Western Carolina drops to 3-11.
Gibson finished in double figures for the fourth straight game and eclipsed the 20-point mark for the second time this season, trailing only his career-high of 33 points against SMU. Marc Gosselin had a team-best eight rebounds.
Justin Turner led the Falcons with 21 points followed by Antwon Lillard with 12 and Demajeo Wiggins with 11. Wiggins just missed a double-double with nine rebounds.
Gibson got the Catamounts on the board with a 3-pointer 31 seconds into the game. A Gosselin 3-pointer followed by a jumper gave WCU an 8-5 advantage with just over 16 minutes to play in the half. Jason McMillan’s 3-pointer at the 15:06 mark pushed the Catamount lead to 11-5 but the Falcons answered with an 8-3 run to pull within one, 14-13, after a dunk by Lillard with just under 11 minutes left. Gibson pushed the Catamount lead back to six, 19-13, with a 3-pointer and layup before the Falcons went on a 12-2 run to lead 25-21 thanks to a Turner layup at the 2:45 mark. Bowling Green led 32-25 at halftime.
After a Carlos Dotson layup opened the scoring in the second half, Bowling Green used a Dylan Frye 3-pointer and a Turner layup to push its lead to 10, 37-27. A Matt Halvorsen 3-pointer and layup brought the Catamounts within six, 40-34, with 15:01 remaining. Turner’s layup at the 11:44 mark gave the hosts a 49-36 advantage but Halvorsen brought the Catamounts back within nine points, 54-45, after a 3-pointer with 8:45 remaining. The Falcons answered with a 16-4 run capped by a Frye 3-pointer to give the hosts a 70-49 lead with 2:58 to play. Joniya Gadson’s free throw with 61 seconds left was the final basket of the game.
Bowling Green made 26 of 52 (50.0 percent) shots from the field. The Catamounts went 21-for-56 (37.5 percent) from the field. The Falcons went to the free throw line 27 times and made 17 free throws while the Catamounts were 2-for-8 at the charity stripe. Bowling Green outrebounded Western Carolina 37-32.
Western Carolina returns to the Ramsey Center on Saturday, Dec. 29 against Wofford at Noon.