Falcons find plenty to be happy about despite first loss

BGSU's A'uston Calhoun pulls down a defensive rebound from Cleveland State during NIT game at Crisler Arena at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.
BGSU's A'uston Calhoun pulls down a defensive rebound from Cleveland State during NIT game at Crisler Arena at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.

ANN ARBOR — If there’s one thing the Bowl­ing Green State Univer­sity men’s bas­ket­ball team has learned from it’s first two games, it’s this: Per­for­mance and re­sults don’t nec­es­sar­ily go hand-in-hand.

The Fal­cons didn’t play par­tic­u­larly well in their opener but claimed a vic­tory over Lake Erie Col­lege. Mon­day night Bowl­ing Green took a dis­tinct step for­ward, yet suf­fered a 79-73 loss in over­time to Cleve­land State in the first round of the NIT Sea­son Tip Off played at Mich­i­gan’s Crisler Center.

The Fal­cons will face IUPUI, which lost to Mich­i­gan in the sec­ond game Mon­day, at 5 p.m. to­day.

While Bowl­ing Green was dis­ap­pointed by the loss, im­prove­ment on both ends of the court made the loss more prom­is­ing that Fri­day’s vic­tory.

PHOTO GALLERY: BGSU vs. Cleveland State

“This was a step­ping stone,” said se­nior A’us­ton Cal­houn, who fin­ished with a ca­reer-high 30 points. “There were a lot of things we could build on af­ter the win, and there are a lot of things we can build on af­ter this loss. …

“After that first game, I think we made a big jump to [this game]. If we keep hav­ing those jumps from day-to-day and game-to-game and prac­tice-to-prac­tice, then I think we can be a phe­nom­e­nal team.”

Luke Kraus was the only other Fal­con to reach dou­ble fig­ures, fin­ish­ing with 10 points. Tim Kam­czyc led five play­ers in dou­ble fig­ures for the Vikings (2-0), with Se­bas­tian Douglas scor­ing 16, Char­lie Lee 14, Mar­lin Ma­son 11 with 13 re­bounds, and An­ton Grady 10 points.

The Fal­cons strug­gled out of the gates, not mak­ing a shot from the field un­til Jor­don Craw­ford’s layup with more than six min­utes gone. BG used a 10-0 run to lead 17-15 with 9:51 left in the first half.

“I think we did a pretty good job of not get­ting frus­trated,” Cal­houn said of the poor start. “We know that our of­fen­sive game will come, and that it’s early in the sea­son.

“We feel our de­fense has been solid, es­pe­cially our man-to-man. We know that at some point in time the buck­ets will come.”

A 12-2 run gave Cleve­land State the lead, but the Fal­cons got eight points from Cal­houn in a 14-4 run to end the half, which tied the score at 33-33.

“He was a man among boys,” Vikings coach Gary Waters said of Cal­houn. “We re­ally strug­gled to guard him on the block.

“Even when we dou­ble-teamed him, he worked through the dou­ble team.”

Bowl­ing Green scored the first seven points of the sec­ond half and led 55-48 with 9:25 to play. Cleve­land State re­sponded with a 10-3 run that tied the game with 5:30 left, and from there nei­ther team led by more than three points in reg­u­la­tion, with the Vikings’ Lee con­nect­ing on a tough shot in the lane to tie the game at 66-66 with 32 sec­onds left.

Bowl­ing Green had the ball and could have taken the last shot, but Jor­don Craw­ford turned the ball over. The Fal­cons were able to force over­time by get­ting Grady to miss a tough shot at the buzzer.

BG coach Louis Orr said he was dis­ap­pointed with the way his team tried to close out the con­test.

“We had the ball and we wanted to take the last shot,” he said. “We wanted to start the play with 10 sec­onds left — and we turned the ball over.

“We need to cut down our turn­overs, es­pe­cially down the stretch. And when A’us­ton is hav­ing a game like this, we have to make sure he gets the ball.”

In the over­time the Vikings got a 3-pointer from Kam­czyc — his fifth in the con­test — to take a 71-70 lead with 3:15 to play. Another BG turn­over led to a break-away layup by Ma­son, and the Fal­cons came no closer than two points af­ter that.

Cleve­land State, which shot nearly 58 per­cent from the field in its sea­son-open­ing win over Gram­bling, con­nected on 38.6 per­cent of its shots against BG.

“On the de­fen­sive end, I thought we did some re­ally good stuff,” Orr said. “To play that well this early in the sea­son — and we played all man-to-man. Last year we were play­ing al­most all zone.”

The Fal­cons were left to lament 16 turn­overs, nine of which came from Craw­ford, who also had six as­sists, and the fin­ish that let a po­ten­tial win slip away.

“We didn’t close the game the way would have liked,” Orr said. “But we played some good bas­ket­ball. We got to the end with a chance to win. But we have to find a way to pull out [the win].”

NOTES: Soph­o­more for­ward An­thony Hen­der­son was not in uni­form for the game af­ter suf­fer­ing a con­cus­sion in prac­tice Sun­day. … Also in­jured for the Fal­cons are fresh­man Des­mond Rorie (an­kle sprain) and Spen­cer Parker (rib in­jury).

Con­tact John Wag­ner at:


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