BiG TWITTER POST: Falcons struggle on offense (32.8% field, 14 turnovers), but ride FTs (21 made), defense to 63-53 win over D-II Lake Erie Friday at Stroh
BiG GAME STORY: The Falcons never really pulled away from Lake Erie, and in the first seven minutes of the contest there were seven ties and four lead changes. Jordon Crawford hit a jumper with 13:12 to play and BG never trailed after that, although the Storm stayed close before an 11-3 finish gave the Falcons a 31-23 lead at the break. Lake Erie scored the first four points of the second half, but back-to-back dunks by Richaun Holmes and A’uston Calhoun jump-started a 9-2 run that created a more comfortable lead the rest of the way. The Storm came no closer than seven points after that run, and BG held a double-digit lead for the final nine minutes of the contest.
BiG OVERVIEW: The Falcons were led in scoring by Jordon Crawford, who finished with 22 points and also had four assists, five rebounds and three steals. Unfortunately, no one else scored in double figures for BG. The closest was sophomore JuCo transfer Richaun Holmes, who came off the bench to score eight points and add four rebounds and three blocked shots. Chauncey Orr and A’uston Calhoun each had seven rebounds to lead the Falcons in that category.
BiG PLAY: The Falcons’ Jordon Crawford hit a pair of 3-pointers, one with 7:05 left to play in the first half that gave BG a 23-19 lead, and the next with 4:29 left in the period that expanded the advantage to 26-19. What made those two baskets so “big,” obviously, is that the Falcons shut out Lake Erie for nearly five minutes to give themselves a chance to eventually pull away.
BiG PLAYER OF THE GAME: Senior Jordon Crawford led the Falcons with 22 points and had a well-rounded game with five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Crawford was 5-for-15 from the field and 3-for-6 on 3-pointers and made 9-of-14 free-throw attempts. The numbers do deserve an asterisk: Crawford had 16 points in the first half and just six in the second because he struggled with his shot, missing all seven of his attempts from the floor in the second period.
BiG NUMBERS: One thing the Falcons did well in this contest was rebound. BG outrebounded the Storm 44-35, thanks in part to 20 offensive rebounds (Lake Erie had just 26 defensive rebounds). Bowling Green’s big night on the offensive glass led to 14 second-chance points, nine more than the Storm – and a huge difference in a 10-point win. Lots of good rebound totals for BG: Chauncey Orr had seven, including five offensive; A’uston Calhoun also had seven, including four offensive; and starting guards Jordon Crawford and Luke Kraus had five apiece, which is good from a backcourt.
BiG NOTE: Shooting was a big problem for the Falcons Friday night. BG made just 37.5 percent of its shots in the first half and actually was worse in the second half, connecting on just 26.9 percent. Bowling Green was especially poor shooting 3-pointers, making just 4-of-18 (22.2 percent), including just 1-of-8 in the second half. If you take away Jordon Crawford and his 3-of-6 shooting on 3’s, the rest of the Falcons combined to go 1-for-12. If that’s not disturbing enough, consider this: BG actually was outscored in the paint by a 26-20 margin.
BiG THOUGHT: Yes, the BG shooting numbers were not good Friday. The Falcons did create 35 free-throw opportunities, but they cashed in only 21. Having said that, the offensive statistic that bothered me most was the 14 turnovers. BG turned the ball over nine times in the first half, often on careless passes – either trying to make a play that wasn’t available or trying to start a fast break that wasn’t open. When a team is struggling to shoot, it has to value possession of the basketball, because it will need more shots to get its points. This team needs to value possession of the basketball more than it does.
BiG QUESTION: Can the Falcons get the ship righted quickly? BG won’t have much time to tighten up its game because it will play in the NIT Season Tip-Off Monday and Tuesday at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich. Sloppy offense won’t be good enough to beat any of the three teams – Cleveland State, Michigan or IUPUI – in that event.
MORE INFO: Click here to read the game story from the contest.