The Bowling Green Falcons opened the leg of the Cancun Challenge actually played in Cancun, Mexico with an impressive 67-45 victory over the Presbyterian Blue Hose on Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 26).
Cameron Black made a layup 22 seconds into the game, and the Falcons held the lead for the remainder of the game. Scoring was light early, but Bowling Green took a double-digit lead for the first time with just 9:03 elapsed when a Damarkeo Lyche layup gave BGSU a 14-3 lead over the Blue Hose.
BGSU picked up the pace offensively and scored 17 points of the next six minutes, as they continued to build their lead. The Falcons' largest lead of the first 20 minutes was 17 points (29-12) with 4:53 left on the clock. Presbyterian was able to cut into that lead just slightly, but the Falcons went into halftime with a 33-19 edge.
Bowling Green outshot Presbyterian 53.8-26.3 percent in the first half. In fact, the Blue Hose made more free throws (6) in the first 20 minutes than field goals (5). BGSU held a 22-2 edge in points in the paint. The Falcons also committed just three turnovers while causing nine. They converted those nine into 14 points.
In the second half, the Blue Hose stayed on the fringes of keeping the game competitive early and trailed by just eight (41-33) with 14:39 left in regulation. However, the Falcons reeled off a 17-4 run over the following 7:30 to build an insurmountable 21-point lead (58-37). Richaun Holmes led the way during the run with six points. From there, Bowling Green cruised to the final 22-point margin (67-45).
BGSU shot even better in the second half than they did in the first by making 60 percent of their field goals. Presbyterian shot better, too, but it did not matter. For the game, Bowling Green was 29-for-51 (.569) from the floor and 7-for-11 from the free throw line. Presbyterian was just 15-for-49 (.306), and five of those makes were three-pointers. They were also 10-for-19 at the free throw line.
The Falcons won the rebounding battle 34-28, including 20-13 in the second half. The BGSU defense also created seven steals and three blocks. On offense, they absolutely dominated on the inside and outscored Presbyterian there, 48-14. Only five of BGSU's 29 field goals came from outside the paint.
Cameron Black notched a double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Jehvon Clarke had arguably his best game of the season. Despite being just 3-for-9 from the floor, he had nine assists to just one turnover. He also scored ten points. All five starters scored in double figures for BGSU, including Anthony Henderson, who had a game-high 17 points. He shot 7-for-11 and made both of BGSU's three pointers.
Jordan Downing led Presbyterian with 14 points, while William Truss fell just shy of a double-double with 12 points and eight rebounds.
On Wednesday, the Falcons faced the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles for the Mayan Division championship. Bowling Green fell behind early, came back to lead by double digits, but ultimately could not hold their lead and fell 63-56.
Once again, a Cameron Black layup was the game's first score, and the Falcons parlayed that into a 10-6 lead after just 5:27 of game time. After that, the Falcons went cold and Oral Roberts took advantage. For the next six minutes, the Golden Eagles went on an 18-4 run to build up a 10-point lead. The 24-14 edge would be the largest of the game for ORU. Adrion Webber sank two three-pointers and had eight total points during the run.
Undeterred, Bowling Green went on an extended run of their own to flip the scoreboard. The Falcons laid down nine straight points over three minutes before Shawn Glover restored Oral Roberts' lead to 26-23 with 4:40 left in the half. It would be the last basket and points of the half for Oral Roberts. Bowling Green scored 12 more points to make the run 21-2 over the last 8:11 of the first half. Spencer Parker scored nine points during the outburst, while Richaun Holmes contributed seven. BGSU went into the locker room with a 35-26 edge.
After the break, Bowling Green extended their run to 25-4 with buckets by Cameron Black and Anthony Henderson. Their 39-28 lead with 18:17 left would be their biggest of the game.
The Falcons' lead remained between six and ten points for the next nine minutes, but then ORU's Korey Billbury sank a three and a layup on successive possessions to climb within one. After a Henderson free throw for the Falcons, Glover tied the game for Oral Roberts at 50 with a jump shot.
Neither team scored for the following three minutes, until a layup by Glover gave ORU its first lead of the half at 52-50 with 5:04 remaining. A Henderson jumper tied the game back up for BGSU, but the Golden Eagles took the lead for good with 3:05 left in the game thanks to a D.J. Jackson jumper.
The Falcons had several opportunities to get back into a tie (or even take the lead) over the next 2:30, but missed free throws and a missed layup cost them dearly. Finally, with just 41 seconds left, Jackson hit a three for Oral Roberts, and the resulting 57-52 lead could not be overcome. ORU sank six straight free throws down the stretch to seal the 63-56 victory.
Bowling Green shot well in the first half but tailed off significantly during the second 20 minutes. In that time frame, Oral Roberts shot 50 percent compared to just 29.6 percent for the Falcons. After making all three of their free throws in the first half, BGSU was just 4-for-9 in the second half. Oral Roberts made 13 of 15 during the game.
The Falcons were again the better team on the inside. They outrebounded the Golden Eagles 34-31 and had ten rebounds on offense. They also outscored their opponents 38-28 in the paint. However, BGSU could only force nine turnovers, and ORU was simply very good shooting the ball from outside the paint.
Black had yet another double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Henderson and Parker also scored in double figures again. However, Jehvon Clarke did not have nearly as good a game as he did the previous day. He scored just seven points (on 3-for-12 shooting) and had just three assists compared to four turnovers.
Shawn Glover had a game-high 27 points and led Oral Roberts with six rebounds. He made nine of 15 attempted shots and was 9-for-10 from the free throw line.
Bowling Green is now 2-4 after the split in Cancun. They will return home for just their second home game of the season on Monday night (Dec. 2nd) against Western Kentucky (the "other" Bowling Green). Tip-off for that tilt is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET.