Two tight losses knock BGSU back in MAC

BY foxsports • January 17, 2012


Even though it's early, Bowling Green needs to quickly dig itself out of a hole in the Mid-American Conference standings.

The Falcons had lost consecutive games by a total of six points, falling to 1-2 in MAC play through Jan. 15.

Bowling Green (7-9 overall) has to get back into the hunt for one of the top four seeds for the conference tournament. The top two teams, regardless of division, are seeded into the semifinals of the tournament and then the two teams with the next best records, regardless of division, are seeded into the semifinals. That makes the task of reaching the MAC title game and a chance of earning the automatic NCAA Tournament berth that much more difficult for the other eight teams.

For Bowling Green to right the ship, there must be more consistent play for 40 minutes. In a 56-55 loss to Akron on Jan. 11, the Falcons held a 10-point lead with less than eight minutes to go, only to lose. Against Kent State on Jan. 14, the Falcons were behind by 18 at the half, only to score 60 points in the second half and still lose 92-87.

"We came out on our heels (in the first half). We just didn't come ready to play," senior Scott Thomas said after the loss to Kent State. "In the second half, we came out and competed, but it was too late.

"It's very frustrating. Lately we have been doing that, not putting two halves together. That's something that we've addressed, and we're going to take care of it and play both halves and be able to finish both halves."

Cutting down on turnovers and making better decisions are two areas that need improvement. With two juniors and two seniors in the starting lineup, those problems should not be occurring.

NOTES, QUOTES

Crawford bounces back against Flashes

--G Jordon Crawford rebounded from a no-point, nine-turnover, three-assist effort against Akron on Jan. 11, as he finished with 10 points, 13 assists and six turnovers in the loss to Kent State on Jan. 14. It was his second double-double of the season. When the 5-foot-6 junior plays under control, the Falcons are a much better team.

--F Scott Thomas scored a season-high 23 points in the loss to Kent State on Jan. 14, and he moved to 33rd on Bowling Green's career list with 1,067 points. Thomas moved into ninth on the Falcons' career 3-point list with 118 after going 4-for-10 against Kent State. As his senior season draws to a close, the 6-foot-7 Thomas must become more assertive and take games over.

--With C Cam Black on the bench due to an undisclosed leg injury, senior Torian Oglesby played 36 minutes against Kent State on Jan. 14. He responded with his second double-double of the season, scoring 16 points and adding 12 rebounds. He was 7-for-8 from the field and 2-for-3 from the free-throw line, added an assist and made two of Bowling Green's five steals.

--Bowling Green made a season-high 10 3-pointers, on 22 attempts, in the loss to Kent State on Jan. 14.

BY THE NUMBERS: 22 -- Kent State scored 22 points off Bowling Green's 16 turnovers to make the difference in the Falcons' 92-87 loss to the Golden Flashes on Jan. 14.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "In the first half ... we didn't bring it. There was a point in the first half where they stepped it up physically and fed off our mistakes and we didn't respond. You see that we're capable when we play a half like we did (in the second half). We are more than capable -- we are right there. But the next step is to give consistent effort and toughness, and you have to compete at a high level. You have to bring the fire for 40 (minutes) or more." -- Coach Louis Orr, after Bowling Green's 92-87 loss to Kent State on Jan. 14.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

THIS WEEK'S GAMES

--at Miami, Jan. 18

KEY MATCHUPS: Bowling Green must find a way to contain Miami's 6-feet-8 senior Julian Mavunga, who was leading the Mid-American Conference in scoring (18.4 ppg) and rebounding (9.9 rpg) through Jan. 15. If Cam Black is not able to go for the Falcons, Torian Oglesby and A'uston Calhoun would be the main defenders against Miami.

The RedHawks are short-handed. They had only eight players see action in a 52-51 win over Buffalo on Jan. 14, with three having to play 40 minutes.

--vs. Buffalo, Jan. 21

KEY MATCHUPS: Buffalo's Javon McCrea, 6-foot-7, and Mitchell Watt, 6-10, have been a handful for opponents this season, and it's going to be up to Bowling Green's inside players to stop them. Both McCrea and Watt were in the top 10 in the conference in scoring and rebounding through Jan. 15. McCrea was averaging 16.7 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Watt was averaging 15.5 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. McCrea was leading the MAC in field-goal shooting at 59.6 percent.

FUTURES MARKET Richaun Holmes, who has signed a national letter-of-intent to attend Bowling Green next season, is having a good freshman season at Moraine Valley (Ill.) Community College. Through 15 games, the 6-feet-8 Holmes was averaging 15.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 6.9 blocked shots per game.

Holmes will have three seasons of eligibility with the Falcons and could provide help inside as early as his first season with the team.

PLAYER NOTES

--Starting C Cam Black played only four minutes in Bowling Green's 92-87 loss to Kent State on Jan. 14 because of an apparent leg injury. The 6-foot-10 sophomore was coming off a strong game against Akron on Jan. 11. "I don't know if he was hurt, but I'm going to say he was bothered," coach Louis Orr said. "He had some discomfort. We'll have to find out if he is actually hurt."

--Sophomore F Craig Sealey took advantage of his opportunity against Kent State on Jan. 14, finishing with 11 points and seven rebounds while playing 19 minutes.


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