BiG TWITTER POST: Falcons shoot just 31 percent from field, allow YSU to make 52.6 percent of 2nd-half shots in Penguins’ 58-49 win at Stroh Center Saturday
BiG GAME STORY: The Falcons never led in this contest, falling behind 4-0 early by missing their first four shots. But Youngstown State also struggled on offense, and despite putting together some offensive runs the Penguins never pulled away from BG. Late in the first half YSU managed an 8-2 run and led by as many as eight before settling on a 23-17 halftime advantage. The Falcons, who shot 28 percent from the field in the first half, continued to struggle offensively in the second, connecting on just 33.3 percent from the field. But Youngstown State started making its shots and led by as many as 16 points (45-29) with 8:52 left to play. BG eventually cut its deficit to six with 3:52 on the clock but did not come any closer.
BiG OVERVIEW: The Falcons were led in scoring by Jordon Crawford, who scored 16 points and also had a pair of assists and two steals. A’uston Calhoun was the only other player to score in double figures, and he had 12 points to go with seven rebounds. No other BG player had more than six points, although sophomore Richaun Holmes finished with five points, a team-high eight rebounds and two blocked shots in 18 minutes.
BiG PLAY: This play certainly didn’t decide the game, but it clearly spotlighted how frustrated the Falcons were by their offensive performance. Bowling Green had cut its deficit to six points about a third of the way into the second half, only to see Youngstown State made a 3-pointers and another basket to push its lead back to double digits. BG missed its next shot, and the Penguins developed a fast break off the rebound. A’uston Calhoun got back on defense, but YSU’s Blake Allen got to the basket and shot a layup that was going to go into the basket … until Calhoun hammered it off the backboard. It was clearly a goaltend, and it clearly indicated how maddening the day had become for the Falcons.
BiG PLAYER OF THE GAME: Senior Jordon Crawford led the Falcons with 16 points, 14 of which came in the second half. Crawford made just 6-of-19 shots from the field and missed all six of his 3-point attempts, although he was 4-for-6 from the foul line. Crawford also had two rebounds, two assists and two steals, although he also had four turnovers.
BiG NUMBERS: When a team scores just 49 points, its offense obviously is struggling. And the numbers bear that out for BG from Saturday as the Falcons shot just 31 percent from the floor (18-of-58). Things were even worse from behind the 3-point arc as the Falcons connected on just 2-of-14 3-pointers (14.3 percent). And the shooting problems were team-wide: even the top scorers struggled as Jordon Crawford went 6-for-19 (31.6 percent) and A’uston Calhoun was 5-for-13 (38.5 percent) from the field. That means the other eight players on the floor for BG combined to go 7-for-26 (26.9 percent).
BiG NOTE: When a team isn’t shooting well, it can help itself by playing well in other facets of the game, with one example being offensive rebounding to create second chances. BG did OK on the offensive glass in this contest, grabbing 12 offensive rebounds (Richaun Holmes had five). That is 27.9 percent of the Falcons’ misses, and that isn’t bad. But Youngstown State was better in this area, collecting 13 offensive rebounds on fewer misses, meaning the Penguins grabbed 31.7 percent of their own missed shots.
BiG THOUGHT: This was a disappointing loss for the Falcons, who had shown promise earlier in the week against Detroit. Here’s something to consider from this game: It could have been worse. Youngstown state made just 12-of-26 free throws (46.2 percent), including only 12-of-22 in the second half (54.5 percent). If the Penguins shoot their typical 70 percent from the foul line, that’s another six points or so that makes the margin of defeat even worse.
BiG QUESTION: Youngstown State is a talented team that already had won road games at George Washington and Georgia (two teams that beat BG last season). Three days earlier the Penguins had given Kent State a battle before falling in overtime. YSU was especially good defensively, giving A’uston Calhoun fits with an aggressive double-team in the low post. But this was still a winnable game played at home, so the Falcons needed to show they could bounce back with a better effort against Wright State just two days later (how’s that for foreshadowing?).