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Published: 1/30/2014 - Updated: 2 months ago

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

E. Michigan’s Bryant pumps in 26 points against Falcons

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

YPSILANTI, Mich. — The Bowling Green State University men’s basketball team did not give itself a chance to win Wednesday at Eastern Michigan.

The Falcons allowed 18 offensive rebounds and turned the ball over 17 times in a 69-57 loss.

“Some times you are kind of your own worst enemy — you are pouring gasoline on a fire,” BG coach Louis Orr said.

Richaun Holmes nearly posted a double-double, finishing with 20 points and nine rebounds for the Falcons (9-11, 3-4 Mid-American Conference). Anthony Henderson scored 12 points and Spencer Parker 10.

Glenn Bryant surpassed his career scoring high in the first half with 21 points and finished with 26 and 10 rebounds to lead Eastern Michigan (12-8, 4-3). Mike Talley posted 12 points while Daylen Harrison and Raven Lee each added 10 for the Eagles.

The Falcons saw an early 9-5 advantage evaporate as Eastern Michigan scored 11 straight points in a three-minute span to lead by seven with 11:06 left in the half.

Bowling Green managed to stay close until the final 3:26 of the period when Bryant scored 10 points to fuel a 12-5 run that gave the Eagles a 39-29 halftime advantage.

“You have to respect the energy Bryant brought to the game,” Orr said. “He was shot out of a cannon; we didn’t match his energy.

“That was one of the most energetic individual performances I have seen.”

Bryant had seven first-half rebounds, including five offensive, and had five dunks in that half alone.

“They outhustled us,” Holmes said. “When Bryant came in, you could see he wanted it more than us. Every offensive rebound he wanted, he got it. He ran the floor, and he played harder than us in the first half. And that set the tone for them in the first half.”

Early in the second half Henderson made a pair of 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions, and Jehvon Clarke converted a fast-break layup to cut the Falcons’ deficit to 47-42 with 14 minutes to play.

Bowling Green didn’t score again until Clarke made a 3 with 6:39 left as the Falcons missed 11 straight shots and turned the ball over three times.

Orr said his team was not as effective against the EMU zone as it needed to be.

“We only had 22 points in the paint, and we need more,” he said. “It helps when you can make some outside shots, but we weren’t as productive in the paint as we needed to be.”

Eastern Michigan expanded its advantage to as many as 19 before BG scored the game’s final seven points.

Some of Bowling Green’s problems stemmed from not being “strong” with the ball, which led to 10 steals by the Eagles as well as numerous loose balls, most of which EMU claimed.

“We have to do a better job with the ‘hustle’ stats,” Orr said. “It doesn’t have to be pretty. You have to be able to grind.

"And you can’t hurt yourself with turnovers. You have to give effort and compete every possession.”

The Falcons 17 turnovers led to 24 points for EMU, while the Eagles’ 18 offensive rebounds resulted in 25 second-chance points — and another frustrating loss for Bowling Green.

“You never want to lose, especially when we just had a three-game winning streak,” Holmes said.

“But we’ll get back to practice, and we’ll figure it out.”

NOTES: Henderson, a Start High School grad, made four 3-pointers in the game. He has made 16 in his last four contests. … BG’s Craig Sealey and Zack Denny were not in uniform because of injuries.

■ BG forward Mark Cooper was named Western Collegiate Hockey Association offensive player of the week.

Cooper had four points in two games last week, including the game-winning goal in the a 6-2 victory over Lake Superior State. The sophomore from Toronto, Ont., had two assists Friday against the Lakers Friday, then two goals Saturday.

Cooper has 12 goals and eight assists this season.

■ Sophomore Alyssa Nocella was named MAC gymnast of the week.

Nocella posted a career-best 39.150 score in the all-around to lead the Falcons to the team’s second-highest team score since 2005, a 194.600 mark, in a win over Eastern Michigan.

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



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