Today, for the first time in 45 games, Jordon Crawford did not start for the BGSU basketball team. T move was not injury-related. Whatever message was intended for Jordon Crawford and the BGSU basketball team by this move, it appears that they received it loud and clear.
Crawford responded with one of his best efforts of the season, and the Falcons never trailed as they cruised to a 70-59 win. Crawford posted 19 points and had a season-best eight assists to go along with his eight made baskets. More importantly, he had only two turnovers despite playing 32 minutes. Throughout the game, he was making plays happen and being the floor general that the Falcons desperately need.
But don't be fooled - Crawford was not the only star in today's effort. A'uston Calhoun made an impressive eight of 11 shots for 17 points and pulled down a team-high six rebounds. Chauncey Orr stepped up yet again and provided an important 10 points.
The Falcons also relied on Richaun Holmes. He didn't block any shots; in fact, he played just one terrible minute in the first half, during which he picked up two fouls. But, in the second half, Holmes played a foul-free 18 minutes and pitched in an important six points and five rebounds.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about today's game was the team effort on the glass. All nine players who saw action pulled down at least one rebound, and four had at least four. BGSU out-rebounded the Cardinals, 30-26.
It could be argued that this was the Falcons' most complete game of the year. It certainly passed the eye test. The team shot an astounding 64% in the first half and didn't really cool off all that much after halftime, as they finished at 58%.
The only problem the Falcons seemed to have was with turnovers. It wasn't that BGSU turned the ball over a lot - they only had 13 - but they came in spurts. And those spurts were the only time that Ball State found any real momentum, because the Falcons were so efficient on offense otherwise.
This was an important win for BGSU. The Falcons entered today in a 5-way tie for the worst record in the MAC (2-5), and Ball State was part of that tie. Now, they've broken the tie and have a potential key win if tiebreakers come into play for the MAC tournament. The team also has a chance to build some momentum before their trip to Athens next weekend, as their upcoming mid-week game is at Northern Illinois.
Consistency hasn't been a hallmark of the Falcons' season so far, but if they're going to build any, this game is a great place to start.