Bowling Green needs to rebound from what was probably its worst performance of the season, a 55-50 loss to Eastern Michigan on Jan. 28.
The Falcons let Eastern Michigan control the tempo of the game. Bowling Green also shot poorly from the field and the free-throw line, and it turned the ball over 19 times.
The performance was much the same as it has been for Bowling Green on the road this season. The Falcons were 2-8 in away games and a respectable 7-3 at home through Jan. 29.
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Bowling Green faces another road test on Feb. 1 at Western Michigan, a team that has fared better than the Falcons this season despite playing the third-toughest schedule among the Mid-American Conference teams.
The Falcons should get a break on Feb. 4, hosting Northern Illinois, which may be the worst team in the MAC.
For the Falcons to get better, they must start to play with some fire and passion. Too often this season the team has looked as if it’s going through the motions. Also, the veterans must develop some consistency on the court and also show some leadership.
There is some talent there, but the players need to become accountable for their performances or Bowling Green will be headed to its fourth losing season in Louis Orr’s five years as head coach.
Thomas makes school steals history
–Senior F Scott Thomas moved into a tie for fourth place on Bowling Green’s list of career steals. As of Jan. 29, he had 176 steals, matching Keith McLeod’s total from 1998-02. Thomas had 17 steals in the last four games.
Thomas, who had 1,111 points through Jan. 29, needed just 23 more to move into 30th on the all-time scoring list. He also had totals of 607 rebounds, 278 assists and 126 3-pointers.
He has improved both his 3-point shooting and his free-throw shooting this season.
–Junior F A’uston Calhoun continues to improve. Over the past four games through Jan. 29, he was averaging 17.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
In his first two games of the season, Calhoun averaged 2.5 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. In games 3 through 7, he averaged 12.4 points and 5.2 rebounds, and in games 8 through 16 he was at 14.4 points and 5.4 rebounds.
–Senior G Dee Brown scored 10 points in the 55-50 loss to Eastern Michigan, giving him 907 points in his career through Jan. 29.
He has a chance to join Thomas as a 1,000-point career scorer. It would be the first time since 2004-05 that there would be two 1,000-point scorers on the same Bowling Green team.
Brown had scored in double figures in seven straight games as of Jan. 29.
BY THE NUMBERS: 33 — In 51 career games through Jan. 29, C Cameron Black had blocked 33 shots. The 6-foot-10 sophomore had 11 blocks in Bowling Green’s past four games and at least one in seven straight games.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “The 19 turnovers, that was the biggest culprit … Those are 19 shots you didn’t get. It’s a possession game, and you can’t have empty possessions, and at the end of the day, we had too many of those.” — Coach Louis Orr, after the Falcons’ 55-50 loss to Eastern Michigan on Jan. 28.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
THIS WEEK’S GAMES:
–at Western Michigan, Feb. 1
KEY MATCHUPS: Bowling Green must be ready to stop Western Michigan’s post game. In the Broncos’ 73-64 win over Miami on Jan. 28, WMU sophomore C Shayne Whittington recorded his first career double-double with a career-high 15 points and 11 rebounds, and senior F Flenard Whitfield scored a season-high 22 points while grabbing eight rebounds.
The key will be for sophomore Cameron Black and senior Torian Oglesby to stay out of foul trouble while battling the Broncos’ inside players.
–vs. Northern Illinois, Feb. 4
KEY MATCHUPS: Northern Illinois was near or at the bottom of the majority of team statistical categories in the Mid-American Conference through Jan. 29.
The keys will be to not let the Huskies gain any confidence early in the game and to contain freshman G Abdel Nader, who had scored in double figures 10 times for NIU as of Jan. 29.
FUTURES MARKET: Freshman F Jehvon Clarke played 13 minutes against Eastern Michigan on Jan. 28, the most action he had seen since getting 20 minutes against Akron on Jan. 11, a span of five games. While he appeared a little rusty, he did score five points and added two assists and one steal with one turnover. Some of Clarke’s time against Eastern Michigan came with fellow PG Jordon Crawford on the floor at the wing, rather than at the point.
With the Falcons’ inconsistencies on offense, it’s time to see if Clarke can help the team.
–Junior G Luke Kraus remained sidelined with a broken foot suffered during practice on Jan. 10. Kraus is expected to return for the stretch run in late February.