Bowling Green earned its road win the hard way

Matt Peters

If it wasn’t already apparent that his team had overcome a lot, it became crystal clear when Bowling Green coach Dan Dakich began speaking of his time spent at Kent State.

“We’ve overcome a lot,” Dakich said “You couldn’t hear in our locker room with some loud-ass wrestlers. We couldn’t even hear ourselves in pregame. People were about ready to jump you with no security.”

Dakich said there about three different times his team could have folded during the course of Bowling Green’s 77-73 win over Kent State on Saturday at the M.A.C. Center.

“For the entire game we kept our wits and we kept our poise,” Dakich said. “I thought our team could have folded up three different times and we didn’t. Without execution and toughness we could have folded all three times.”

Bowling Green has every right to be happy with its performance after coming into a crowded M.A.C. Center and handing Kent State its first home loss of the season.

In no other situation in sports is it more difficult to play on the road than in college. The Mid-American Conference continues to show this every day. Road wins on any level of sports are emphasized, but there aren’t many situations tougher than in college.

When it comes to college sports, playing on the road is tougher. Professional athletes don’t have to worry about class work on the bus ride home. Professional athletes’ only complaint of merit is leaving home for weeks at time, but even then they are getting paid more than enough to compensate. The amenities of life on the road are top notch. Comfort shouldn’t be a problem for them.

When a team like Bowling Green comes in and plays the way it did Saturday, it literally earned a win — loud wrestlers, security issues and all. Bowling Green’s Josh Almanson ranked Kent State as one toughest places to play in the MAC. Numerous times, the Falcons had excuses to fold. They didn’t.

When Kevin Warzynski caught fire and Kent State made its run midway through the second half, the M.A.C. Center was alive. The Falcons bent, but they never broke.

Within the first seven minutes of the half, Kent State hacked Bowling Green’s 13-point lead into a one-point advantage for itself. In the span of 1:12, Kent State capped off its run by putting down nine points and collecting three steals.

The Falcons, however, never allowed the Flashes to pull away.

On the other side of things, the Flashes didn’t do themselves any favors in maintaining momentum. In the following two minutes, they picked up three fouls, one turnover and missed consecutive 3-point attempts.

“Coach told us that’s their run and make sure that’s all they get and to keep continuing to play our game because we had played well to that point,” Almanson said. “We played well afterwards.”

As Dakich will attest, loading up the bus shortly after they arrived might have seemed like a good idea at the time. Instead, Bowling Green stayed the course and left the M.A.C. Center several hours later with a win in sport’s toughest situation.

Contact sports editor Matt Peters at [email protected].