MUNCIE, Ind. — Anthony Henderson’s layup with 44.2 seconds left helped lift the Bowling Green State University men’s basketball team to a 66-64 win at Ball State on Saturday.
A back-and-forth thriller took a turn the Falcons’ way in the final minute. Trailing 64-61, Spencer Parker cut the deficit to one with a pair of free throws before a Cardinals turnover on the ensuing possession led to Henderson’s game-winning score.
The win was coach Louis Orr’s 100th in seven seasons at BG and 200th overall. Orr also won 100 games during previous stops at Siena and Seton Hall and is 200-193 over his career.
Parker scored a game-high 22 points and Richaun Holmes had his sixth double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead BG (11-14, 5-7 MAC), which snapped a three-game losing streak. Holmes also had two blocks to increase his season total to 71.
Guard Jehvon Clarke added 11 points and seven assists and Cameron Black had eight points and 12 boards.
Jesse Berry led the Cardinals with 20 points. Franko House and Chris Bond each finished with 13 points while Majok Majok pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds.
For the second straight game, the Falcons raced to an early lead.
BG went ahead 8-0 and led by as many as 10 points when a jump hook by Holmes pushed the visitors ahead 26-16 with 9:46 left in the first half.
It was not until two straight layups from Majok and House gave the Cardinals their first lead at 48-47 with 11 minutes remaining in the game. Ball State pushed its lead 52-47 as a Falcons scoring drought reached four minutes.
BG rallied, eventually pulling ahead 61-59 on a layup by Parker with less than three minutes to play.
Ball State answered with a 5-0 run on a driving layup by Bond and a 3-pointer by Zavier Turner to go ahead 64-61 with 1:20 to play — only to watch Parker and Henderson have immediate comebacks.
With BG ahead 65-64, the Cardinals and Falcons exchanged possessions in which they missed the front end of 1-and-1 situations.
Holmes recovered his own block and made one of two free throws, giving Ball State one last chance with six seconds left. The Cardinals did not get a shot off in time.
BG overcame 10 Ball State 3-pointers by shooting 43.8 percent (28-of-64) from the floor and outscored the Cardinals 36-26 in the paint. The Falcons held Ball State to 39 percent shooting overall (23-of-59) and forced 16 turnovers.
It was BG’s third straight game in which the outcome came down to the final possession. Ball State fell to 4-19 overall and 1-11 in league play.
BG returns home to host the Toledo at 9 p.m. Thursday. The game is scheduled to be televised on ESPNU.