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HomeSportsBGSU
Published: Thursday, 2/12/2009

Falcons learning how to win on road

BY JOE VARDON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Winning on the road - even in a building that has caused Bowling Green State University problems for a decade - no longer appears to be an issue.

The Falcons opened the season by losing their first seven true road contests. With its 59-54 win at the University of Toledo last night, BG ended its nine-game road losing streak against the Rockets and has reeled off four straight away from Anderson Arena.

The last time the Falcons won at the building now called Savage Arena was Feb. 6, 1999. It seemed about that long since BG had any road victories heading into one such contest at Ohio University Jan. 24.

The Falcons gutted out that game, 52-51, and have since knocked off Northern Illinois, Central Michigan, and UT in road games by a total of 19 points.

"The season is just that - it's a season. And you learn as you go," BG coach Louis Orr said. "Once you get a win, it does a lot for you. I think the OU win was huge for our thought process."

In the win over Ohio, senior Darryl Clements scored his team's last five points. Last night he led BG with 15 points and contributed five rebounds.

Nate Miller, another senior and the Mid-American Conference East's reigning player of the week, added 14 points and seven boards last night. He's been the rock of what is now a six-game winning streak overall for BG.

Brian Moten, the Faclons' third senior, buried a 3-pointer last night with 1:47 left that put BG up 55-50 and slowed some serious UT momentum. Moten had a season-high five 3-pointers and scored 19 in the win at Central Michigan last weekend.

"One of the main things is our three seniors are making plays for us down the stretch," Falcons sophomore point guard Joe Jakubowski said. "Those three, they've really led our team and we're just following them right now. At the beginning of the year it was a little sketchy, but now I think the difference is our leaders, our seniors."

Three of BG's remaining seven games are on the road, including dates at Akron and Miami in March against two teams who beat the Falcons at Anderson Arena.

The Zips' 62-52 triumph Jan. 17 and the RedHawks' 67-60 victory stretched BG's losing streak to three games heading into its road date with Ohio.

The Falcons' entire season changed that day at the Convocation Center. A gritty, one-point victory on the road was the first of six straight overall for BG - its first six-game winning streak since 2001.

"We knew we could win on the road, we just didn't know how," Clements said. "After that first win our confidence built up. When we play on the road it's like playing at home.

"We started keeping our poise a lot when teams go on runs. I think that's helped out a lot."

Contact Joe Vardon at:

jvardon@theblade.com

or 419-410-5055.



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