Nov. 9, 2007
CINCINNATI (AP) - Nick Aldridge scored a game-high 17 points Friday night, leading Western Carolina to a 63-60 victory over Bowling Green and spoiling Louis Orr's debut as the Falcons coach.
Brigham Waginger added 15 points, including a 3-pointer that put Western Carolina (1-0) ahead to stay in the closing minutes. Ryan Hamblet missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer for Bowling Green (0-1), which was led by Chris Knight's 16 points and 10 rebounds.
It was the opening game of the Peggy Cronin Classic, a three-day, round-robin tournament honoring the deceased mother of Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin. Cincinnati and Belmont also are playing in the exempted tournament on the Bearcats' home court.
The 6-foot-7 Aldridge led Western Carolina in scoring as a freshman last season, averaging 18.3 points as the Catamounts finished 11-20. He had seven in the first half, which ended with Western Carolina up 29-28.
Camden Miller scored off a fastbreak alley-oop, and Aldridge had a driving layup off a spin move for a 51-45 lead midway through the second half. Bowling Green's Nate Miller made a layup and a pair of free throws that tied it at 55 with 3:27 to go.
Consecutive 3-pointers by Waginger and Jake Robinson put the Catamounts ahead to stay. Arnold Gore's two free throws with 19.1 seconds left made it 63-60, and Hamblet missed a pair of 3-point shots - the last one off an offensive rebound - in the closing seconds.
Western Carolina plays the host Cincinnati Bearcats at 7:00 pm on Saturday night at the Fifth Third Arena as tournament play continues.