DETROIT - This isn't the place you would normally come to in search of a remedy for what ails you. There is no healing spa here, no miracle cures, no one selling magic potions.
But for the Bowling Green Falcons, limping along on a three-game losing streak and in need of a fix of any kind, the setting was just right. Playing in the O'Reilly ESPNU BracketBusters event against the University of Detroit Mercy, the Falcons used a dominant second half to surge past the Titans 81-65.
"Winning is a shot in the arm, especially on the road," Bowling Green coach Louis Orr said after watching his team outscore Detroit 43-31 in the final 20 minutes. The Falcons found a comfortable pace, and put on an energized performance.
"When you are making shots, that's a big adrenaline builder," Orr said. "I think when you shoot the ball it gives you a little extra juice. And for us, getting a win after losing three in a row - that's huge. A win is the best medicine you can have."
The Falcons (12-14) shot 48 percent from the field for the game, and hit 43 percent outside the arc. They held the Titans (7-20) to 39 percent shooting overall, and just 21 percent from long distance.
The Falcons were up just four at the half, but a couple of 3-pointers from freshman point guard Joe Jakubowski early in the second half allowed Bowling Green to build a 49-40 advantage with just under 16 minutes left in the game. Junior Nate Miller made it a 12-point lead when he converted from the foul line a minute or so later.
Bowling Green missed a couple opportunities to stretch the lead out even further when turnovers in transition cost the Falcons. But guard Brian Moten hit twice from the free throw line with about 12 minutes remaining to give BG a 15-point lead. That grew to 60-43 with 11:35 left in the game when a wide open Jakubowski hit a 3-pointer from the corner.
Moten led the Falcons with 18 points, while Jakubowski had 17, hitting four of seven shots from outside the arc.
"I was really pleased with our guard play," Orr said. "I thought Joe had his best game. He is growing on the job, and I want him to play with confidence and courage, and that's a process. It was great to see him shoot the ball like that and make plays for us."
Jakubowski said he expects the Falcons will gain plenty from the win. BG has a week off before the final home game of the season against Kent State, the first of a three-game Mid-American Conference stretch that will close the regular season,
"Any road win in college basketball is a good win, and this will give us confidence going into the rest of our MAC games," he said. "We played with more energy, we found a comfortable tempo in the game, and we executed on the offensive end."
Miller helped put Detroit away down the stretch, working the inside and getting to the foul line, and then burying a pair of 3-pointers as the Falcons bled the shot clock down in the closing minutes. The Falcons led by as many as 19 in the latter stages of the game.
Miller added 13 points for BG, while Chris Knight had 12. Chris Hayes led a depleted Detroit team with 22 points.
The Titans were without coach Perry Watson, on a medical leave since early January. They also missed the services of leading scorer Jon Goode, a senior who is the top scorer in the Horizon League at 19.3 points per game. He was sidelined after suffering a knee injury in a loss Wednesday night at Wright State.
In the first half yesterday, two straight 3-pointers from the wing by Moten allowed Bowling Green to build a 15-10 advantage nine minutes into the game. The Falcons' lead was whittled down to just 22-21 when Hayes hit a triple from out top with eight minutes left in the half.
Bowling Green maintained the advantage with a surge that allowed the Falcons to go up 31-23 for their largest lead of the half with just under five minutes left before halftime, after a Knight 3-pointer from the wing.
The Falcons got sloppy with the ball after Detroit's Zach Everingham hit two free throws, and threw away the inbounds pass. When Detroit's Michael Harrington dunked on the ensuing possession, the Titans had cut the lead to 33-31. Bowling Green led 37-34 at the break.
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