The Rockets' Keonta Howell blocks the shot of Bowling Green's John Reimold. Reimold scored 11 points, Howell 8.
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As the first half was winding to a close, Steven Wright drove hard to the basket. He hung in the air, scored on a reverse layup while being fouled, then sank a free throw that gave him 14 points.
At that point the Bowling Green junior had made 6 of 8 shots from the floor, including a 3-pointer.
"I was just trying to cut and move,'' Wright said. "When we cut and move, that gets other people open in our offense.''
One problem: the rest of the Falcons had combined to make just 4 of 12 from the field, and despite Wright's effort, BG was trailing arch-rival Toledo by nine points at the break and lost 58-50.
Wright's scoring slowed somewhat in the second half, but the Dayton native still had some highlight-quality plays. One came at the 13:40 mark, when teammate John Floyd lost the ball while driving to the basket. Wright picked up the loose ball and made a twisting reverse layup.
At the 11-minute mark Wright's layup gave him 20 points, tying his career high. The rest of the BG team had scored only 15 points by that time.
When it was over, Wright had scored nearly half of the Falcons' 50, finishing with a career-high 23. His previous high was set in BG's home win over Buffalo a month ago.
Wright also led BG with eight rebounds, four in each half, but also committed a game-high seven turnovers.
"I thought Wright was really aggressive, and that's what I wanted him to be,'' said BG coach Dan Dakich. "When he took shots, I thought he was squared up to take them. But seven turnovers, you just can't have that.''
TRIPPED UP: Toledo's Keith Triplett has had his way with the Falcons over the course of his career, averaging 17.6 points per game before last night. The senior had averaged 23 points per game in his last five contests against the Falcons and scored 26 in the Rockets' one-point loss at Anderson Arena Jan. 22.
But Triplett struggled against BG last night, making just 3 of 11 shots from the floor and finishing with eight points.
Triplett's three field goals, which all came in the first half, didn't come from Toledo's offense. He scored on a set inbounds play midway through the first period, had a fast-break layup with 4:52 to play, then made a basket from the low block after a scramble created by an offensive rebound by Kareen Milson in the final two minutes.
In the second half Triplett missed all five of his floor shots.
"It seemed as if we didn't foul him, and we've really fouled him in the past,'' Dakich said of Triplett. "It seemed as if he was working as hard as in the past.
"But it's tough when you're the guy. Reimold and Almanson and Triplett were the guys that we were going to focus on. And when you play a team a second time, teams pick things up. That's why you have a score in the 50s.''
Triplett's point total was eight under his season average. Reimold had 11, six under his average, and Almanson's seven were 10 points below his average.
"Trip hasn't practiced in about three weeks, so his conditioning is a factor,'' said UT coach Stan Joplin, noting Triplett's hip pointer. "Plus, he was chasing Reimold. That's a guy [Reimold] in constant motion, and that's a tough assignment.
"Triplett kind of forced shots, and he has to let some things come to him.''
THE LAST WORD: Dakich was asked if he thought, here we go again, when his team lagged 34-17 with 1:46 to play in the first.
"I was hoping here we go again,'' Dakich said.
That score matched BG's halftime deficit the first time these two teams met this season, a game in which the Falcons rebounded to win 70-69.
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