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Bowling Green Basketball Splits Saturday Games

The BGSU basketball teams produced very different results on Saturday evening. The women's team rebounded from their first loss of the season with an impressive win, while the men's team was routed for its third loss in a row.

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

BGSU Men's Basketball at Saint Louis

The Bowling Green Falcons knew they a tough test on their hands against the Saint Louis Billikens on Saturday night, and for that night, the young and injury-depleted Falcons were not up to the test.

(Click link for boxscore)
Bowling Green 19
Saint Louis

Playing once again without Chauncey Orr, Bowling Green could never establish any consistent offense.  Their defense played reasonably well, especially in the first half, but the inability to make crucial baskets doomed the team from almost the very start.

BGSU missed their first six shots of the game and did not sink a field goal for the first 4:40 of the game.  Saint Louis struggled early, as well, and the game remained scoreless until SLU's Dwayne Evans converted a layup 3:22 into the game.  The Falcons would trail for the remainder of the game.  The Billikens built a 6-1 lead before a Spencer Parker jumper went in for the Falcons' first made basket.

After Parker's score, Saint Louis built their lead up to 11-3 on a three by Mike McCall, Jr. and a dunk by Evans.  For the ensuing eight minutes, the lead bounced between four and eight points, until BGSU cut it to three on two separate occasions.  First, a Cameron Black jumper made the score 19-16, then J.D. Tisdale sank a layup and free throw for a three-point play and a 22-19 deficit.

That, however, was as close as the Falcons would ever get.  The Billikens went on a 7-0 run over the final 4:30 of the half while Bowling Green missed their final two shots and committed four turnovers.  BGSU trailed 29-19 at the break.

Richaun Holmes started the second half with a tip-in inside the first minute to cut the lead to eight, but when McCall sank a jumper less than a minute later, Saint Louis pushed the lead permanently to double digits.  They continued to build their lead throughout the second half, and it reached a game-high 29 points when a Reggie Agbeko layup gave Saint Louis their final points of the game.  Two Parker free throws for BGSU made the final margin 74-47.

Bowling Green made just one of every three shots in the game (18-for-54) and was just 1-for-8 from beyond the three-point arc.  The Falcons were also a lackluster 10-for-18 (.556) from the free throw line.  Saint Louis shot just 35 percent from the floor in the first half but made 60 percent (18-for-30) in the second frame.  SLU also made 8 of 17 three pointers (.471) and were better at the charity stripe (6-for-9).

The Billikens also had a large 43-32 edge in rebounds and won the turnover battle 18-14.  The turnovers do appear close, but the situation is much worse when you consider that Saint Louis had 25 assists to just five for Bowling Green.  SLU outscored BGSU in the paint 38-26, and the Billiken bench was dominant, as they scored 33 points to just 8 for Bowling Green's reserves.

For BGSU, Parker scored a team-high 13 points and was a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line.  Richaun Holmes added nine points, six rebounds and two blocks.  Cameron Black contributed a game-high eight rebounds.  Jehvon Clarke posted just six points on 3-for-11 shooting and had five turnovers with zero assists.  Tisdale added two points and four rebounds, but he was 1-for-8 from the floor and had four turnovers of his own.

Saint Louis was led by Evans, who posted 14 points and four rebounds.  Tanner Lancona added 12 points off the bench, while McCall had 11 points, five assists and three rebounds.

Bowling Green (1-3) will now travel to Cancun, Mexico for the conclusion of the Cancun Challenge.  On Tuesday, they will face Presbyterian at 12:30 p.m., then on Wednesday, the Falcons will face either Oral Roberts or Georgia Southern at a time to be determined.

BGSU Women's Basketball vs. Old Dominion (Columbus, Ohio)

One of the best ways to see the true make-up of a team is to see how they respond to difficult losses.  Bowling Green passed their first such test on Saturday evening against Old Dominion with flying colors.  Playing in the second game of the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge in Columbus, Ohio, the Falcons dominated the Monarchs from start to finish in a 77-58 victory.

(Click link for boxscore)
Old Dominion
Bowling Green 39

Erica Donovan sank a three-pointer to give the Falcons a 3-0 lead after just 41 seconds had elapsed, and BGSU would never relinquish the advantage.  When Jillian Halfhill made a three-pointer of her own six minutes later, the Bowling Green edge was ten points (14-4), and ODU would never seriously threaten again.

The lead bounced between 10 and 14 points until a Donovan layup gave BGSU a 15-point lead at 31-15, their biggest of the first half.  Old Dominion then went on a brief 9-3 run to cut the deficit to eight, but the Falcons held serve from there and went to halftime with a 39-30 lead.

An Odegua Oigbokie layup started the second half positively for the Monarchs, as it cut BGSU's lead to seven points.  In fact, Old Dominion would be as close as seven points with as little as 10:30 left in the game.  However, they could never get any closer than that.  When Alexis Rogers converted a three-point play on a layup+free throw with 10:17 to play, Bowling Green took a double-digit lead that they would not give up.  A Jill Stein basket with 1:35 left game BGSU its biggest lead of the night (20 points), and the Falcons cruised to a 77-58 victory.

Bowling Green converted 25 of 53 shots (.472) overall, including 14 of 24 (.583) in the second half.  From long range, they were 8-for-17.  The Falcons were also 19-for-31 from the free throw line.  That total included 20 attempts in the first half alone.  Old Dominion shot 38.7 percent from the floor but made just four of 16 three-pointers.  They also attempted only ten free throws (making only six), and just one of those attempts occurred in the first half.

BGSU held an impressive 44-30 edge in rebounds (including 13-9 on the offensive end) despite getting outscored 32-30 in the paint.  The Falcons were also able to overcome difficulties with turnover conversions.  Despite the two teams being even with 13 turnovers, ODU held a 16-9 edge in points off those mistakes.

All five starters for Bowling Green scored in double-figures.  Donovan led all scorers with 18 points and earned a double-double with 12 rebounds.  Stein (14 points, 14 rebounds) added a double-double of her own.  Jillian Halfhill came just two rebounds shy of making it three double-doubles in one game, as she posted 12 points and eight rebounds of her own.  Alexis Rogers added 17 points, while Miriam Justinger contributed 10.  Falcon starters played virtually the entire way -- Jasmine Matthews played 15 minutes off the bench, but the other four bench players combined for just four minutes of action.

Old Dominion was led by Stephanie Gardner (14 points, four rebounds) and Tiffany Minor (12 points, four rebounds).

Bowling Green (5-1) will now face Ohio State in the final of the three-game weekend in Columbus.  Game time today is 3:30 p.m. ET.  The Buckeyes are also 5-1 this season after wins over West Virginia, Florida Atlantic, Virginia Commonwealth, Old Dominion and Marist, as well as a loss to Georgia.  Following the game with Ohio State, the Falcons will have a week off before playing Monmouth on Sunday, Dec. 1st in Springfield, Mass. for the conclusion of the tournament.