BOWLING GREEN - Strangely, Anderson Arena is not the place to be lately for the Bowling Green State University men's basketball team.
It hasn't always shown up in wins and losses, but BGSU has played much better on the road than at home for most of the past month.
"I don't know how to explain it," coach Dan Dakich said. "We certainly haven't been, from the beginning of the season, very good at home. That's disconcerting. We want to be really good at home. We haven't been.
"I think when we played Buffalo, Morehead and then Akron, we played so much better than we played against Ohio University, in all areas. That's a puzzling thing."
Tonight BGSU hosts Kent State at 7. In their past three road games, the Falcons averaged 89 points. The most recent three home games, they averaged 64.
On the road, the Falcons (12-16, 2-12 Mid-American Conference) have shot better, particularly on 3-pointers, and have gotten contributions from bench players such as Brian Moten and Darryl Clements. At home, they seem to fall back into old habits like relying solely on Martin Samarco for offense, and turning the ball over.
Kent State has won 10 of its past 11 games since starting the MAC 2-2. The Flashes (19-9, 11-3) are trying to get their ninth straight season with at least 20 wins.
"We don't even worry about that, because we haven't gotten it yet," Kent State coach Jim Christian said. "We only have two games left. If we are able to do it, it'll be a special, special thing for the seniors and the young guys.
"This is their legacy, not mine or anybody else's.
"That's not what we set out to do, win 20 games. We set out to give ourselves a chance to win the tournament."
In the first matchup on Jan. 20, BGSU played its perennial good game at the M.A.C. Center, but fell 62-61. Dakich said the players might be encouraged by the close outcome but he doesn't think it's a factor.
"I don't believe one game has a whole lot to do with the other," Dakich said. "I think it's what you've done to improve. I think Kent is much better than when we played them, and I like to think that we are."
The Falcons nearly upset MAC East leader Akron on Saturday, but unforced turnovers in the final minutes prevented them from pulling it off.
"Hopefully they understand these games are close, these games are down to the wire," Dakich said. "We've harped on the improvements that need to be made, particularly in the last five minutes of basketball games."
LEFELD HONORED: Senior center Matt Lefeld was named to ESPN The Magazine's Academic All-American third team yesterday. Lefeld, from Coldwater, Ohio, has a 3.97 grade point average with a major of purchasing and supply chain management.
"I'm very humbled by this honor," Lefeld said. "I have had tremendous support from my family, coach Dakich and my professors and have prided myself on giving the best effort I could on the court and in the classroom."
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