BOWLING GREEN — The Bowling Green State University men’s basketball team met the enemy on Thursday.
And in a 65-60 loss to Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne at the Stroh Center, "the enemy" turned out to be the Falcons.
A sloppy, unproductive offensive showing in the first half led to too big of a hole to overcome.
PHOTO GALLERY: Click here to view photos from the game.
“It’s definitely frustrating, especially when you know you can win the game,” said BG’s Richaun Holmes, who finished with 16 points and nine rebounds. “We know, in the back of our minds, that we have to play every game like we did at the start of the second half of this game.
“This is a game we could have won.”
Jehvon Clarke also scored 16 for the Falcons (6-7), while Spencer Parker had 15. Steve Forbes finished with 15 points to lead IPFW (11-5), while Luis Jacobo scored 13 and Mo Evans 11 for the Mastodons.
BG struggled with its shooting in the first half, making just 6-of- 27 shots from the floor (22.2 percent), including only 1-of-9 3-pointers. Combined with 10 first-half turnovers and only four offensive rebounds of 25 missed shots, the Falcons found themselves trailing 34-21 at halftime.
“I think we are our own worst enemy, and the way that keeps popping up the last few games is with turnovers,” BG coach Louis Orr said. “We had 19 [in the game], and that hurts your rhythm — it keeps you from getting into an offensive rhythm.
“I thought in the first half we got down more because of our offense than our defense.”
Making matters worse was that the Mastodons made 5-of-12 3’s (41.7 percent).
“We just gave them too much energy,” Holmes said of his team’s first-half struggles. “From there we got into too big of a hole to dig ourselves out of.”
The Falcons were more aggressive early in the second, and IPFW made just 4-of-13 shots early. BG took the ball to the basket and made 9-of-12 field-goal attempts to start the half and shaved its deficit to 44-43 with 10:43 to play.
“We are good in transition, when we are attacking the basket,” Orr said. “We have some guys who can get to the rim, and we are better when we play inside-out.
“I thought in the second half we were able to open the floor some, and we attacked. We’re not a team that can settle for jump shots.”
But the Falcons failed to score on their next four possessions and fell behind by seven points. And while BG was able to make it a one-possession contest when Clarke’s layup with 4:56 on the clock made it 53-51, the Falcons never were able to tie the game.
“You have to make shots and make plays,” Orr said. “Whatever you did to get you where you are, you have to do it when it comes down to [the final minutes].
“I thought we went away from some things late, and I thought we took a couple of shots where we could have gotten a better shot.
"When you are playing from behind, you need everything to go right.”
NOTES: Senior Craig Sealey was not in uniform as he continues to deal with knee issues. He is not expected to play against Eastern Michigan in the Falcons’ Mid-American Conference opener on Jan. 9. … Shaun Joplin, who completed his football eligibility this year, has started to work out with the basketball team.