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Published: Saturday, 11/10/2012

Bowling Green struggles to beat Division II opponent; Falcons look iffy in win over Lake Erie

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN — The good news for the Bowl­ing Green State Univer­sity men’s bas­ket­ball team was that it won its sea­son opener.

The bad news was the Fal­cons strug­gled to beat Lake Erie Col­lege, a Divi­sion II team from the Cleve­land sub­urb of Paines­ville, Ohio. Bowl­ing Green didn’t shoot well and strug­gled with turn­overs be­fore claim­ing a 63-53 win at the Stroh Center Fri­day.

“A win is a win, and we’ll take the win,” said Richaun Hol­mes, who scored eight points with four re­bounds, and three blocked shots. “But we know we have to work out some things in prac­tice.

“It’s all about get­ting bet­ter. But we won the game, and we’ll take the win. We’re 1-0 to start, and we’ll keep work­ing to get bet­ter for the next game.”

Jor­don Craw­ford led BG with 22 points and added five re­bounds, four as­sists, and three steals, but was the only Fal­con to fin­ish in dou­ble fig­ures.

Lake Erie Col­lege, which will call the con­test an ex­hi­bi­tion game and not count it as part of its sea­son’s record, was led by Ri­ley Tho­mas with 11 points.

The Fal­cons never did pull away from the Storm in a game that saw seven ties in the first seven min­utes. BG held a nar­row 20-19 lead with 8:08 left in the first half be­fore Craw­ford sank a pair of 3’s and added a free throw while Bowl­ing Green held Lake Erie score­less for al­most five min­utes to lead 31-23 at the break.

The Storm scored the first four points of the sec­ond half, but back-to-back dunks by Hol­mes and A’us­ton Cal­houn sparked a 9-1 run that put BG in com­mand.

Bowl­ing Green strug­gled from the field, shoot­ing 32.8 per­cent from the game, mak­ing 4-of-18 3-point­ers (22.2 per­cent). Even Craw­ford strug­gled with his shoot­ing, start­ing 5-for-7 from the floor be­fore miss­ing his last eight shots.

“You want to shoot bet­ter, but you can’t let your field-goal per­cent­age dic­tate your ef­fort and your de­fense,” BG coach Louis Orr said.

“We will shoot bet­ter. … But I give our guys credit: They didn’t al­low their shoot­ing to af­fect their ef­fort or their de­fense.”

The Fal­cons were hin­dered of­fen­sively by 14 turn­overs, nine of which came in the first half.

“We knew they would run-and-jump, and we knew they would pres­sure us,” Orr said. “But I thought they sped us up and got us un­com­fort­able.

“We had a bad stretch [in the first half], but in the sec­ond half we were bet­ter.”

Among the pos­i­tives for the Fal­cons were the 35 free throws they earned and a 44-35 edge on the boards thanks to 20 of­fen­sive re­bounds.

“We didn’t shoot [free throws] well, but we made 21 and we needed them be­cause they out­shot us from the field,” Orr said. “And we had 20 of­fen­sive re­bounds, and we had 14 sec­ond-chance points.”

Con­tact John Wag­ner at: jwag­ner@the­blade.com, 419-724-6481 or on Twit­ter @jwag­ner­blade.



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