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Published: Thursday, 1/31/2008

Knight jumper starts hot streak by Falcons

BY DOUG ZALESKI
SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

MUNCIE, Ind. - When Bowling Green forward Chris Knight slipped free along the baseline to make a 12-foot jump shot in last night's basketball game against Ball State, it appeared to be just another routine field goal.

In reality, the basket was the start of an incredible streak of shooting for the Falcons that set up their first Mid-American Conference road victory of the season.

Bowling Green shot 68.8 percent from the field in the final 35 minutes of the game to beat Ball State 63-53 in front of 3,233 fans in Worthen Arena.

"We shot the ball too quick early in the game, and didn't get to other options in our offense," Falcons coach Louis Orr said. "When we execute and don't shoot quick, our shot selection becomes better, and we get more people moving."

The Falcons (10-9, 5-2) missed eight of their first nine field goal attempts. Knight's basket began a streak when Bowling Green made 12 of its final 15 shots in the first half to secure a 31-20 lead.

The momentum continued throughout the second half as Bowling Green made 10-of-17 shots. The Falcons finished with a season-best 56.1 percent shooting performance.

"Any time a team shoots that kind of percentage you should be mad," Ball State guard Peyton Stovall said. "We didn't turn it up. We have to come out more aggressive on defense."

Guard Brian Moten was the hottest of the Falcons' hot shooters. He came off the bench to make 8-of-9 field goals and score a game-best 19 points, one shy of the career high he set on Jan. 17 against Buffalo.

"I just try to play with confidence every game," Moten said.

That appeared easy in this game. Moten made all four of his field goal attempts in the first half, including three from the 3-point line. Ball State closed off Moten from the perimeter in the second half, but he made the necessary adjustment.

"After getting off to a quick start, especially from the 3, you know you can play off the closeout and take it to the basket more instead of just staying perimeter oriented," Moten said.

The Falcons enjoyed their largest lead, 16 points, at 44-28 with 12:40 remaining in the game.

Ball State (3-16, 2-5) threatened a comeback late in the game. The Cardinals closed within 57-52 with 1:04 to go.

Bowling Green helped Ball State get back in the game with a wobbly performance at the free throw line (6 for 10 in the final 1:18), but it didn't cause the Falcons to have a complete collapse.

Darryl Clements contributed 13 points for Bowling Green, and Miller had 12 with a team-high eight rebounds.

Bowling Green played a 2-3 zone defense for much of the game to try to keep Ball State's quick guards from penetrating inside and apply pressure on Cardinals leading scorer Anthony Newell.

The strategy was particularly effective.

Newell, who scored 24 points in each of his previous two games, managed only 14 as he shot 4 for 13 from the field.



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