Driving to Kent State, which is roughly two and a half hours east of Bowling Green State University, in Tuesday's snowing, windy weather certainly was no fun for the BGSU men's basketball team. But it was a picnic compared to the first-half blizzard the Falcons faced in the MAC Center Tuesday night. BG fell behind 40-23 at halftime and eventually suffered an 80-63 shellacking.
KENT, Ohio -- Driving to Kent State, which is roughly two and a half hours east of Bowling Green State University, in Tuesday's snowing, windy weather certainly was no fun for the BGSU men's basketball team.
But it was a picnic compared to the first-half blizzard the Falcons faced in the MAC Center Tuesday night. BG fell behind 40-23 at halftime and eventually suffered an 80-63 shellacking.
BG turned the ball over a whopping 12 times in the first half, made just 1-of-7 3-pointers (14.3 percent), and allowed Kent State to make 57.1 percent of its shots, including 4-of-7 3-pointers.
"We fed them," BG coach Louis Orr said. "We gave them energy. We didn't match their intensity in terms of getting loose balls and making hustle plays.
"We would turn it over, and they would get a good shot -- a dunk shot or a 3-pointer -- and then we would turn it over again. We can't turn the ball over like we did in the first half."
All the things that had helped the Falcons win their last four in a row, especially its good interior play, disappeared Tuesday night. BG had just 18 points in the paint and just two rebounds in the final eight minutes.
"You've got to play the game on your terms, and we didn't do that," Orr said. "To start the game with 12 turnovers and to let the other team shoot 57 percent [will not work].
"We played the game outside-in; we were 1-for-7 on 3-pointers, and we didn't attack from the paint. We didn't make the game easy on ourselves."
A'uston Calhoun finished with 17 points and seven rebounds to lead four players in double figures for the Falcons, who fell to 6-10 overall and 1-1 in the MAC. Dee Brown scored 14, Scott Thomas had 11 to go with eight boards, and Jordon Crawford scored 10 for BG.
All five starters scored in double figures for Kent State (10-6, 1-1). Michael Porrini had 21 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists to lead the Flashes, while Justin Green had 17, Rodriguez Sherman 12, Randal Holt 11, and Justin Manns 10.
Bowling Green fell behind 7-2 early, then saw the Golden Flashes go on runs of 10-0 and 8-0 to lead by as many as 19 points in the first half.
"When you have 12 turnovers, you're feeding into their transition game," Orr said. "Those are lost opportunities for us. We put ourselves in a hole with bad defense and bad offense."
Thomas said it was tough to get down by such a large margin early and make a comeback.
"Whenever a team goes on the run, we need to get stops," he said. "[The runs] definitely got their emotion going.
"In the second half we played some defense and cut the lead to 10 points. But we needed to do that in the first half."
In the early part of the second half the Golden Flashes extended their advantage to as many as 25 points and led 58-36 with 12:48 still to play before BG's final run.
The Falcons scored 12 straight points as Thomas, Crawford, and Brown all made 3-pointers to cut Bowling Green's deficit to 58-48 with 8:45 left.
"We had a couple guys make some shots to get things rolling," Thomas said. "Confident shooters knock shots down. We got the ball inside-out and knocked down shots."
But the Falcons managed just two rebounds in the final eight minutes and came no closer.
"I thought we had opportunities around the basket," Orr said. "Here's a stat that shows you we didn't play rugged around the basket: we shot six free throws in the game.
"And when you play inside-out, your shooting percentage goes up. I don't blame us getting the ball inside; we didn't take of business [inside] like we needed to."
NOTES: Freshman Cameron Black, a native of Kent, got a warm reception from the crowd of 2,543 when he was introduced as one of the Falcons' five starters. He finished with four points and three rebounds in 20 minutes.
Contact John Wagner at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6481.
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