"We've got to fight hard," Jirsa explained, "because that's the only way we're going to get out of this rut."
Missing forward Lavar Carter (due to injury), Jirsa played David Anderson the entire 40 minutes against Bowling Green (8-2, 2-0 MAC). Anderson finished with 9 points and 12 rebounds in the process. It wasn't enough to overcome the Falcons' 33-30 rebounding edge, however.
"Carter would have made a difference in this game," added BG coach Dan Dakich.
A.W. Hamilton and David Anderson trapped Bowling Green's Mawel Soler.
Mark Patton and A.W. Hamilton each scored 11 points in the first half, as Marshall opened up an 8-point lead, 21-13, at the 11:30 mark. BG's Josh Almanson scored four quick points as the Falcons went on a 13-0 run to shoot out to a 5-point lead, 26-21. BG would take a 34-31 lead at halftime.
Odd moment of the night came with :08 left in the first half. The Falcons' John Reimold inexplicably put up a 80-foot shot, apparently thinking that time was running out. Oddly enough, the shot nearly went in. Reimold was the game's high-scorer with 22 points.
"I kind of lost my mind," Reimold joked afterward.
"That's going to be a serious problem for him," BG coach Dakich laughed.
The second half was a back-and-forth affair until the 8:24 mark. Bowling Green managed a 6-0 run to lead, 58-52, but Marshall countered right back with an 8-0 run of their own to tie the game for the third time in the half.
Marshall's David Anderson sank a pair of free throws to tie the game at 60-60, 1:52 remaining. Bowling Green's John Reimold grabbed the rebound of Josh Almanson's missed three, and kicked the ball back to a wide-open Germain Fitch for the easy lay-in.That basket proved critical for the Falcons, as MU's Trey Whitted rimmed out a three-pointer on the next possession.
David Anderson dunked this alley-oop pass from Mark Patton in the first half.
"I got a lucky bounce, and saw Germain cutting down the lane," Reimold said.
"Those two plays, in my mind, were the key," MU coach Jirsa added.
Bowling Green made 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch to seal the win. Still, Falcons coach Dan Dakich felt lucky to get the win.
"There are some games where you're up 6, and in control," Dakich said. "I never felt like that tonight."
"They [Marshall] played tough."
A.W. Hamilton (17 points) and Mark Patton (12 points) would lead The Herd in scoring, and Anderson chimed in with a solid 9 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 steals. Marshall drops to 2-9 overall, 0-3 in the MAC, with the loss. Those three losses were by a combined 12 points, it should be noted.
Jirsa knows the difference. "We just need that extra ounce of 'got to'," he summed up. "Not 'want to'. 'Got to'."
BG coach Dan Dakich was optimistic about Marshall's season in the MAC.
"Nobody wins all the close games, and nobody loses all the close games," Dakich offered. "Right now, Marshall has lost this stretch of close games."
"Which means they've got some wins coming."
Marshall now prepares for a short roadtrip to Athens, Ohio this Sunday for a noon game against the Bobcats at the Convocation Center.