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Published: Tuesday, 12/23/2008

Bowling Green men's basketball wins at home, struggles on road

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN - Following yet another dominant win at home, the central topic of discussion during last night's postgame press conference wasn't so much related to Bowling Green State University's superb movement of the basketball or its aggressive defense. Nor was it about some personal achievements obtained, or a slam dunk that invoked laughter from the home team's bench.

Those things were all addressed, but mostly in the context of why they have yet to occur on the road.

"I've been trying to ask myself that since the season started," Darryl Clements said.

Winless on the year away from Anderson Arena, BG remained unbeaten inside its home gym with an impressive 77-58 victory over a Towson team that is probably more skilled than some of the teams the Falcons have fell to on the road.

Two days after Division II Central Arkansas downed BG (5-5), the Falcons recorded arguably their most complete game of the year.

"Sometimes on the road when we make mental mistakes everybody gets down and it causes a domino effect on players," Chris Knight said.

There was none of that against Towson, as BG created scoring opportunities almost every time down the floor, resulting in season-highs in assists (25) and field goal percentage (55.6). Of the 11 players to see action, only walk-on Matt Karaffa, who played less than a minute, did not score. It was certainly the kind of response coach Louis Orr had hoped for following Saturday's heartbreaking loss at the buzzer.

"I told them the best thing to do is have a game after a tough game," Orr said.

BG's Darryl Clements, goes over Towson's Brian Morris for two of his team-high 18 points. BELOW: BG's Darryl Clements, goes over Towson's Brian Morris for two of his team-high 18 points. BELOW:
THE BLADE/LORI KING Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Clements was superb in everyway imaginable. The senior needed just nine shots from the field to score 18 points, while adding six rebounds and a career-high eight assists. His breakaway dunk with 1:46 to go was followed by a smile and a pointing of the finger to senior Brian Moten on the bench.

"Brian told me I can't dunk off one leg, so when I dunked off one leg I pointed and smiled at him," Clements said.

Moten scored nine of BG's first 12 points of the second half as the Falcons turned a nine-point difference at the break into a 47-29 lead.

In the first 20 minutes it was Knight who shouldered the load on offense, scoring 11 of his 13 points, including a 3 at the buzzer. Knight's evening inspired some kind words from Orr, who had previously been less than enthused with last year's second-leading scorer.

"I thought he was alert and was able to have some early success, and he sustained it," Orr said.

"I think for Chris it was a good confidence boost. I thought he was very good in the first half."

As has been consistent with most other games - home or away - BG held Towson (5-6) to just 33 percent shooting. The Tigers struggled against BG's length on the perimeter and settled for 24 attempts from beyond the 3-point line, making only six. Conversely, the Falcons attacked Towson's 1-3-1 zone with vigor, using dribble penetration to set up easy looks around the basket.

Even the big men found each other, as Otis Polk recorded a career-high three assists.

"We try to give up a good shot to get a great shot," Clements said.

Contact Ryan Autullo at:

rautullo@theblade.com.


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