The BG men's basketball team suffered a 79-68 loss at Akron Wednesday. The Falcons were solid offensively in the first half, but allowed the Zips to score 43 points in that period. In the second BG forged a comeback late, but ... Well, more in a moment. Let's take a closer look at Wednesday's loss. ...
BiG TWITTER POST: Falcons allow Akron to score 43 1st-half points but manage to cut deficit to 3 points late before falling 79-68 at JAR Arena Wednesday
BiG GAME STORY: Both the Falcons and Zips were scoring early (both teams had 10 points by the 15:28 mark of the first half), but Akron pulled steadily away, leading 29-20 with 8:10 left in the first half. Late in the first half BG cut its deficit to 39-36 with 1:34 to play, only to see Zeke Marshall score the final four points of the half to make it 43-36 at the break. The Falcons again sliced Akron's lead to three points (45-42) at th 17:59 mark of the second half, but a 15-6 gave the Zips a 12-point lead (60-48) with 11:16 on the clock. BG still trailed 66-55 with 5:36 left before making one final run, cutting the deficit to 67-64 with 2:17 to play. But Akron scored the game's next four points and made its free throws late to secure the win.
BiG OVERVIEW: The Falcons were led in scoring by A'uston Calhoun, who had a game-high 18 points. He also had seven rebounds to lead BG in that category as well. Jordon Crawford was next in scoring with 13 points, and he also had three assists and two steals. Dee Brown finished with 11 points and also had a pair of assists. Scott Thomas didn't reach double figures in any category but still nearly had a double-double, posting nine points and seven assists to go with three rebounds and a pair of steals. Jehvon Clarke also was effective in limited time, scoring nine points and adding three assists and two rebounds in 16 minutes.
BiG PLAY: The Falcons cut Akron's lead to 67-64 with 1:28 on the clock, then stole the ball to give themselves a potential game-tying possession. But Jehvon Clarke drove into the lane and lost the ball -- it was ruled a missed shot, but it was more like a turnover -- and Akron used a fast-break to score a basket. On the next possession the freshman Clarke made a bad pass, and at the other end the Zips again got a layup. From there the Falcons were forced to foul, and Akron went 8-for-8 from the foul line to sew up the win.
BiG PLAYER OF THE GAME: Junior A'uston Calhoun finished with 18 points to lead all scorers, and his seven rebounds tied for the game high. Calhoun went 8-for-13 from the field (61.5%) and 2-for-3 from the line for an efficient offensive night. He was 5-for-7 from the field in the first half for 10 points, and in the second half he made 3-of-6 shots and 2-for-3 free throws for eight more points. It's interesting to note that his rebound total included five offensive boards.
BiG NUMBERS: The Falcons struggled to stop the Akron offense all night. In the first half they failed: The Zips made 60.6 percent of their shots from the field (20-of-33) and scored a whopping 32 points in the paint to reach 43 points overall, just two shy of the opponent's first-half high this season (45 at Duquesne). In the second half the Zips shot 50 percent from the field, although they took just 16 shots. The two reasons? Akron turned the ball over nine times, and they shot 20 free throws in the second half. As a result, the Zips shot a sizzling 57.1 percent from the floor for the game. And if that number isn't big enough, here's one that is simply amazing: Bowling Green turned the ball over just eight times in the game, yet Akron scored 16 points off turnovers. BG forced 13 Akron turnovers and scored 13 points off them -- and that's a pretty decent percentage. The Zips' 16 points off eight turnovers is off the charts.
BiG NOTE: Dee Brown's jumper from the top of the key at the 14:13 mark of the second half gave him nine points in the game -- and 1,000 points in his career. Brown added a pair of free throws with 3:55 left to give him 11 in the game, and 1,002 in his BG career. Brown is the 39th person in school history to reach that plateau, and he stands 38th on the all-time list entering Saturday's game. Scott Thomas surpassed 1,000 career points earlier in the season, making this just the seventh season where two players on the same BG team reached that milestone in that season.
BiG QUESTION: Can the Falcons rebound with a home win over Kent State Saturday? Bowling Green now is tied with Eastern Michigan for fifth in the standings, which means the Falcons are the sixth seed for the tournament. Most of BG's hopes for a MAC tournament bye now hinge on the Falcons winning a lot the rest of the way -- and that has to start with a home game against the Golden Flashes Saturday.
MORE INFO: Click here to read the game story from Wednesday's loss at Akron.