BOWLING GREEN – Bath flew to the glass for an amazing 21 offensive rebounds.
And none was bigger then when Colin Gossard gobbled up and offensive board and was fouled with 7.7 seconds left.
Gossard then hit both free throws to give Bath a 50-49 victory over Defiance in the Division II boys basketball regional semifinals Thursday at Bowling Green’s Stroh Center.
Taren Sullivan led Bath with 23 points, while Gossard had 22 points.
“I kept repeating, ‘I do not want to lose. I do not want this to be our last game,’ ” Sullivan said of scoring 10 points with two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
Bath coach Doug Davis said, “It was second game we were down and came back at the end. I like the way we keep at it and play hard the whole time.
“I think that (21 offensive rebounds) is a tribute to how hard our guys were playing. Getting 21, I don’t remember that ever happening.”
Defiance led 49-46 with 30 seconds to go when Trey Guilliam hit a pair of free throws.
Sullivan then hit a driving layup to bring Bath within 49-48 with 20 seconds left.
With 17.8 seconds left Defiance tried to get the ball inbounds, but failed and was called for a five-second violation.
“We tried to run Trey off a double screen, and I thought we did a great job of that, but we couldn’t get it inbounds,” Defiance coach Kirk Lehman said. … “They were pretty physical and I’m not sure we matched that physicalness. Give them credit from that standpoint.”
That set up a Bath inbounds play to Sullivan, who missed an 8-footer, but Gossard grabbed his team’s 21st offensive board. That set up the game-winning foul shots.
“Taren drove the lane and it looked good when it left his hand, but when I got to the rim, it looked like it was going to be off,” Gossard said. “When I saw it come off the rim, I knew I had to get the ball. When I got it, I tried to put it back, but I got fouled.”
Davis said, “From my vantage point, he really got hacked. It wasn’t questionable or anything. He got a hand right across the arm.”
Defiance had one final chance, but Katwan Singleton lost the ball at the top of the key with two seconds left. Bath’s Dylan Burkholder gobbled it up in the corner as the buzzer went off.
Bath (21-4) advances to the regional finals against Norwalk (26-1) at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Stroh Center. Defiance ends the year 21-4.
In the first semifinal game of the night, Norwalk knocked off Vermilion, 87-81, in overtime.
Bath won the boards, 32-17, and 21-3 on the offensive glass. Defiance shot 58 percent from the field and was 8 of 14 on 3-pointers. Bath shot 35 percent from the field and was 6 of 22 on 3-pointers.
Guilliam had 13 points for Defiance. Singleton had 16 points and five rebounds for Defiance, including three driving layups in the fourth quarter.
Defiance led 14-7 after the first quarter and 27-20 at the half.
In the first two quarters, Bath continually had second shots, as it had 14 offensive rebounds to Defiance’s 3.
But Bath was cold on its long-range bombing, hitting 2 of 13 on 3-pointers in the first half. Defiance hit 10 of 18 from the field.
Defiance was getting points inside and outside, as Shay Smiddy hit back-to-back 3-pointers. On the blocks, Singleton had 10 points from down low.
At Bowling Green State University
Bath 50, Defiance 49
Defiance — Katwan Singleton 16, Trey Guilliam 13, Wes Detter 8, Shay Smiddy 7, Will Batt 5. Totals 18-5-49.
Bath — Taren Sullivan 23, Colin Gossard 22, Andrew Renner 3, Trent Jones 2. Totals 18-8-50.
Three-point goals — Defiance–Guilliam 3, Detter 2, Batt, Smiddy 2. Bath–Sullivan 3, Gossard 2, Renner. Records: Defiance 23-4; Bath 21-4.