Miami Upsets Bowling Green in Overtime at MAC Quarterfinals

Updated 3/5/2000

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    CLEVELAND (AP) (March 5, 2000) -- Jason Grunkemeyer hit a 3-pointer from 35 feet at the regulation buzzer as ninth-seeded Miami stunned top-seed Bowling Green 58-56 in overtime March 5 in the quarterfinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament.

    This year's MAC tourney promised to be wide open with no clear-cut favorite, and the RedHawks (14-14) got it started with a dramatic upset.

    Bowling Green had a final chance in OT, but Dave Esterkamp's 3-pointer as time expired bounced off the back of the rim and sent Miami's players and cheerleaders pouring onto the floor to celebrate.

    Rob Mestas scored 17 points, Mike Ensminger had 12 and Jason Stewart hit a crucial 3 in overtime to pace Miami, which has had a rough year following the departure of star Wally Szczerbiak.

    Anthony Stacey's 22 points led Bowling Green (22-7) but the beefy forward, who looks and plays like Charles Barkley, missed a jumper and layup in the final 29 seconds.

    Despite having a solid RPI rating and decent non-conference schedule, the Falcons may have lost a shot an NCAA bid by getting knocked out so early in their conference tourney.

    Miami will play the winner of Sunday's second quarterfinal game between Marshall and Central Michigan in Monday's first semifinal.

    Stacy's two free throws put the Falcons up 54-51 with 29 seconds left in regulation.

    Miami couldn't get a clean look at a tying 3, and after a long rebound, Grunkemeyer calmly drilled a 35-footer from straight on to force OT.

    As his teammates stormed on to the floor to mob him, Grunkemeyer, a junior guard warned them, "We've still got overtime."

    Stewart's 3-pointer from the corner gave the RedHawks a 57-56 lead with 1:05 left in OT, and on BG's next trip, Stacey missed a jumper and Trent Jackson blew an easy putback.

    After a missed free throw, Stacy drove hard to the basket but was short with a layup and Rich Allendorf's free throw put Miami up 58-56 with 14 seconds remaining.

    The Falcons again went to Stacey, but he was stripped and the RedHawks forced a tie up near midcourt. BG got one last chance, but Esterkamp's shot from in front of the Falcons' bench hit off the back rim.

    Bowling Green, the MAC's best shooting team during the regular season at 50.3 percent, shot just 35 percent for the game.

    Stacey, BG's career scoring leader, scored 9 points as the Falcons outscored Miami 17-2 over a 4:28 span to overturn an eight-point deficit and open a 23-16 lead in the first half.

    Miami reeled off seven straight to tie it before Brandon Pardon's 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Falcons a 26-23 lead at half.