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Holmes Dominates As Bowling Green Flies Past North Dakota 79-69

The Falcons have dealt with some daunting injury issues thus far, but if Richaun Holmes can play as he did in the second half versus North Dakota, BGSU could be formidable when the time for MAC games comes around.

Gregory Shamus

The Bowling Green Falcons have lost starter Chauncey Orr to a season-ending knee injury and were without the services of Craig Sealey on Wednesday night (Dec. 11) at the Stroh Center. However, their injury problems did not stop the Falcons from winning their second consecutive home game behind a dominant second-half effort from Richaun Holmes. When the horn sounded, BGSU had secured a 79-69 win over North Dakota.

Bowling Green led for most of the game's first 20 minutes. While they never trailed by more than two, the Falcons could never push their advantage beyond five points. They shot very well, as BGSU made 11 of 20 field goal attempts (.500) and six of nine free throws (.667). They also stayed out of foul trouble by committing just five violations in the entire half. The Falcons even held the rebounding edge, 14-13.

BGSU's primary issue in the first half was turnovers and their failure to take advantage of North Dakota's sloppy play.. UND committed 11 turnovers in the first half, but Bowling Green had the same number. Even worse, North Dakota scored 13 points after BGSU turnovers, while Bowling Green scored only 10 after UND mistakes.

The Falcons took a 30-27 lead into halftime, but the margin certainly could have been bigger. Of course, BGSU showed in the second half that it didn't matter.

Richaun Holmes had just two points, two rebounds and one block in the first half. He made up for lack of production by blowing up in the second half. In just 18 minutes after halftime, Holmes poured in 19 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked an astounding six shots. (Yes, six shots.) That would be a fantastic stat line for a whole game -- you just don't see that in one half. It should also be noted that this performance completely overshadowed Spencer Parker, who had 11 points and eight rebounds of his own after halftime. On any other night, Parker's line would stand out, too.

Holmes started the second half with a thunderous dunk to give BGSU it's biggest lead (seven) to that point. Less than three minutes later, North Dakota had cut the lead to four, but Holmes threw down another dunk to get back momentum. Later, he scored four in a row to push BGSU's edge to eight points.

With 6:09 left in the game, two Holmes free throws gave the Falcons a 13-point lead, their best of the game. North Dakota then went on a 14-6 run over the next three minutes to cut that lead to just five points. However, UND would not get any closer. The Falcons sank two layups and converted nine of 12 free throw attempts down the stretch, as they eventually pulled away for a ten-point win.

Holmes finished the game with 21 points, 14 rebounds, seven blocks and four assists. He made seven of ten field goals and seven of eight free throws. Holmes' partner in BGSU's block party, Cameron Black, had four blocks of his own to go along with 13 points and seven rebounds. Parker added 19 points and eight rebounds, while Jehvon Clarke scored 12 points and dished out three assists. The Falcons' bench had just six points, but only three players came off the bench and only J.D. Tisdale played more than ten minutes.

Three players scored in double figures for UND, led by Troy Huff with 19. Jaron Nash scored 17 and also had nine rebounds.

BGSU made 27 of 49 shots overall (.551) and 23 of 31 free throws (.742) and held North Dakota to just 27 made shots in 64 attempts (.422). The Falcons won the rebounding battle 40-28 and held a 26-15 edge in the second half. However, turnovers did continue to be a problem, as BGSU committed 21 overall and gave up 24 points after those mistakes.

Bowling Green is now 4-5 this season but has won three of their last five games. Their only losses in that stretch were by seven points to Oral Roberts and in overtime at Xavier. Their next game is at 7-4 Morehead State on Sunday, Dec. 15th. The Falcons' next home game is on Sunday, Dec. 22nd versus 5-5 Detroit.

Interested in game highlights? Here are some, courtesy of BGSU Athletics...