BiG TWITTER POST: Falcons outscore Samford 40-15 in 2nd half w/ 47.8% shooting and strong defense, claim come-from-behind 57-42 win at Stroh Center Saturday
BiG GAME STORY: The Falcons struggled in the first half, falling behind by 10 points at the 11:31 mark of the period. BG eventually trailed by as many as 14 points before Luke Kraus made a pair of baskets in the final 1:29 of the half to cut the Falcons’ deficit to 27-17 at the break. It was a completely different story in the second half as Bowling Green scored on its first four possessions of the period. Jordon Crawford hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Falcons a 36-35 lead with 11:17 to play. Crawford’s two buckets ignited a 27-7 finish for BG, which eventually led by as many as 18 points before settling on the final margin.
BiG OVERVIEW: The Falcons were led in scoring by Jordon Crawford, who scored all 14 of his points in the second half. A’uston Calhoun finished with 12 points, including eight in the first half, and also led BG with eight rebounds. Chauncey Orr tied his career high with 11 points, nine of which came in the second half. Richaun Holmes posted seven points, five rebounds and three blocked shots in 19 minutes.
BiG PLAY: After struggling on offense in the first half, Bowling Green scored eight points on its first four possessions to cut its deficit to six. Then the Falcons failed to score on three straight possessions and trailed by eight when Jordon Crawford threw an alley-oop pass on a fast break and Richaun Holmes dunked the ball. The basket excited the crowd, and more importantly started BG on another run where it scored on the five possessions that followed – and tallied three 3-pointers and 15 points in that six-possession span, turning a 33-27 deficit into a 40-35 lead.
BiG PLAYER OF THE GAME: Senior Jordon Crawford led the Falcons with 14 points, all of them coming in the second half. Crawford when 0-for-9 in the first half but 4-for-8 in the second, including 2-of-3 on 3-pointers. For the game Crawford was 4-for-17 from the field, 2-for-5 on 3’s and 4-for-4 from the foul line. Crawford also finished with six rebounds, five assists, no turnovers and one steal.
BiG NUMBERS: There was such a discrepancy for the shooting numbers for both teams in the two halves, it bears repeating. First, Samford had the hot hand in the first half, making 10-of-19 from the field (52.6 percent), including 3-of-4 3-pointers. In the second half that fell to 6-of-22 from the field (27.3 percent), including 1-of-8 on 3-pointers. Further, the turnovers were six in the first half (that led to nine BG points) and nine in the second (which led to 14 BG points). … Bowling Green also struggled, but its struggles were in the opposite half as Samford. In the first half the Falcons made just 8-of-27 shots (29.6 percent) and missed all five 3-point attempts. In the second half BG was 11-of-23 from the field (47.8 percent) and made 4-of-10 3-pointers. The Falcons also had six turnovers in the first half and just two in the second. … Those are the major reasons Samford outscored the Falcons in the first half 27-17, and BG outscored the Bulldogs 40-15 in the second (Bowling Green’s 14-of-16 (87.5 percent) free-throw shooting in the second half also helped).
BiG NOTE: The Falcons continued to win the battle of the boards, outrebounding Samford 35-27 in the game. BG’s rebounding advantage was a slim 16-14 in the first half, but the Falcons trailed Samford most of the first half in that category and needed an 8-3 burst in the final 7:42 to win that battle for the half. In the second half BG also won the rebounding battle 19-13, and even though the Falcons shot much better they continued to pound the offensive glass, collecting six offensive rebounds while Samford had just eight defensive boards. By comparison, the Bulldogs’ 18 missed shots in the second half resulted in 13 rebounds for BG and just five for Samford.
BiG THOUGHT: The Falcons were aggressive on offense to start the second half, and that aggressiveness must be a constant if BG wants to be productive on offense. The first four possessions were a driving layup by Chauncey Orr, a baseline jumper by A’uston Calhoun, two free throws for Orr after he was fouled driving to the basket, and a fast break jumper by Jordon Crawford that also was in the paint. Bowling Green must be more aggressive on offense, because the driving to the basket produces fouls (BG was 14-for-16 from the foul line in the second half) and better, more make-able shots. It also opens up 3-point shooters for easier, less-contested shots.
BiG QUESTION: Can the Falcons play a consistent 40 minutes? BG struggled in the first half of back-to-back games, but was fortunate that the competition wasn’t good enough to take advantage. If Bowling Green struggles from the start against its next opponent, nationally ranked Michigan State, the Spartans almost certainly will not let the Falcons get back into the game with a second-half rush.