BOWLING GREEN - If he could, Bowling Green State University basketball coach Dan Dakich would schedule another game as soon as possible.
"This [game] concluded a pretty good week for us," Dakich said following his team's 81-65 win yesterday over Bradley at Anderson Arena. "It's a week before we play our next game, but I'd like to play again in two days. I like this team, and I like the way they play."
BG used an 18-4 run in the second five minutes of the second half to cement its second home win in four days and improve to 2-1. Bradley suffered its first loss after a pair of home victories.
Josh Almanson led BG in scoring for the third straight game with 22 points, while fellow senior John Reimold added 19 and a game-high nine rebounds. Steven Wright scored nine of his 16 points in that decisive second half run and said he and his teammates moved better without the ball to get untracked.
"At halftime, coach told us in the locker room that we were standing on offense in the first half," said Wright, who made 6-of-7 shots in the second period. "We needed to start moving more and that we would start to get more open shots."
BG needed to improve its offense in the second half after shooting just 33.3 percent from the field and committing 11 turnovers in the opening period. The Falcons led 34-27 at the break, though, because they forced the Braves to commit 11 turnovers and make only one of eight shots from behind the 3-point arc.
BG's offense improved dramatically in the second half as the Falcons shot 58.1 percent from the field and made only five turnovers. Dakich said his team's execution, especially its screening, was the key.
"When we starting nailing people with screens, that does one of two things: It gets the cutter open, or it gets the screener open. I think that was the best we've screened maybe ever since I've been here."
After a pair of free throws by Bradley's Patrick O'Bryant cut BG's lead to 44-39 with 15:48 to play, Wright hit a driving layup to start the run. Braves coach Jim Les was whistled for a technical, and Reimold made the resulting foul shots. Then Wright made a spectacular twisting layup, was fouled, and made the free throw to make the score 51-39.
After the teams exchanged points on their next two possessions, BG scored seven unanswered points to complete the 18-4 run that gave it a 62-43 lead with 11:24 to play. Bradley never got closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
For the second straight game the Falcons held an opponent well under his scoring average. Marcellus Sommerville, who averaged 23.5 points in the Braves' two wins, made only one field goal and had just 11 points.
"They paid great attention to him, running people at him and giving him different looks," Les said of Bowling Green's defense. "We couldn't get him any openings."
Reserves Lawrence Wright and Jeremy Crouch led the Braves with 16 and 13 points, respectively. O'Bryant finished with 12.
The Falcons return to action at 2:05 p.m Saturday at Detroit.
NOTES: Almanson's 22-point effort marked his third straight double-figure scoring contest, a first in his career. ... St. John's Jesuit grad John Floyd started his second straight game and contributed four points, a game-high eight assists and three steals with only three turnovers in 28 minutes. Floyd has 18 assists and five steals this year. ... Germain Fitch had four assists and no turnovers yesterday, giving him a 12-to-1 ratio of assists-to-turnovers this season. ... Bowling Green has a 27-3 record in non-conference home games under Dakich. ... The Falcons allowed Bradley to make only 1 of 11 3-pointers yesterday, meaning they have held their last two opponents to 1-for-26 shooting behind the arc.
Contact John Wagner at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6481.42.7316 25.48311