CINCINNATI (AP) -- Nick Aldridge scored a game-high 17 points Friday night, leading Western Carolina to a 63-60 victory over Bowling Green and spoiling Louis Orr's debut as the Falcons coach.
Brigham Waginger added 15 points, including a 3-pointer that put Western Carolina (1-0) ahead to stay in the closing minutes. Ryan Hamblet missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer for Bowling Green (0-1), which was led by Chris Knight's 16 points and 10 rebounds.It was the opening game of the Peggy Cronin Classic, a three-day, round-robin tournament honoring the deceased mother of Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin. Cincinnati and Belmont also are playing in the exempted tournament on the Bearcats' home court.Orr was fired by Seton Hall last season, and moved to a Bowling Green program that failed to make the NCAA tournament in 10 seasons under Dan Dakich. Bowling Green finished 13-18 last season.Before the game, Orr announced that junior forward Dusan Radivojevic had left the team by mutual agreement. Radivojevic averaged 3.4 points in his two seasons with the Falcons.The 6-foot-7 Aldridge led Western Carolina in scoring as a freshman last season, averaging 18.3 points as the Catamounts finished 11-20. He had seven in the first half, which ended with Western Carolina up 29-28.Camden Miller scored off a fastbreak alley-oop, and Aldridge had a driving layup off a spin move for a 51-45 lead midway through the second half. Bowling Green's Nate Miller made a layup and a pair of free throws that tied it at 55 with 3:27 to go.Consecutive 3-pointers by Waginger and Jake Robinson put the Catamounts ahead to stay. Arnold Gore's two free throws with 19.1 seconds left made it 63-60, and Hamblet missed a pair of 3-point shots -- the last one off an offensive rebound -- in the closing seconds.