ROCHESTER, Mich. — Bowling Green State University men’s basketball picked up an 87-82 victory over Oakland on Friday to move to 2-0 on the season for the first time since 2014-15.
The Falcons carried a six-point lead into halftime, but Oakland fought back to reclaim the lead in the second half. BGSU erased a late deficit by closing out the game with a 6-0 run to clinch the win.
The Falcons were led by Leon Ayers III for the second straight game. Ayers tallied a career-high 26 points for the Falcons, putting up 18 in the first half alone. Chandler Turner took over in the second half, recording his first career double-double with 16 points and a career-high 10 rebounds. Ayers and Turner were joined in the double-digit scoring by Kaden Metheny (15) with five triples, Samari Curtis (12) and Rashaun Agee (12).
HOW IT HAPPENED
Leon Ayers III came out firing for the Falcons, tallying the first six points for BGSU of the first 11, getting an 11-7 advantage at the first media stoppage.
Ayers continued his run, scoring 14 of the first 16 BGSU points. Samari Curtis jumped in with a deep three to put the score at 19-15 Bowling Green at the next media break.
The first lead change of the game came halfway through the first half with Oakland moving in front 20-19, but the Falcons quickly responded to spark a back-and-forth battle up to a 24-24 tie at the next media timeout.
Oakland jumped out in front with a 29-27 lead, but the Falcons surged to reclaim the lead at 33-31.
The Falcons held the lead going into halftime with a 45-39 score at the midway point.
Early in the second half, BGSU pushed their lead to 49-41, but the Golden Grizzlies closed the gap at 54-53 BGSU.
A 9-1 stretch created a 63-54 lead for the Falcons at the media stoppage.
Oakland came fighting back to tie it up at 68-68 with just over eight minutes remaining in regulation.
The Golden Grizzlies moved out in front for their first lead of the season half with a 72-71 advantage before a 74-74 tie.
The two teams continued to trade buckets before Oakland jumped ahead 80-77, but the Falcons quickly responded with a 4-0 run to move back in front 81-80.
The next two points went to the Golden Grizzlies, but the Falcons then went on a 6-0 run to close out the game and capture an 87-82 victory to move to 2-0 on the season.
Leon Ayers III: 26 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists
Chandler Turner: 16 points, 10 rebounds
Kaden Metheny: 15 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal
Samari Curtis: 12 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 steal
Rashaun Agee: 12 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block, 1 assist
Sam Towns: 4 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block
FALCON STAT FACTS
With the win, the Falcons are 2-0 for the first time since the 2014-15 season. The Falcons also advance to 1-0 on the road for the first time since the 2017-18 season.
The Falcons had five players reach double-digit points in the contest; Ayers (26), Turner (16), Metheny (15), Curts (12) and Agee (12). This is the first time the Falcons had five double-digit scorers in a game since the 100-74 win over Robert Morris last season on Dec. 19.
Turner concluded the game with 16 points and a career-high 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. The double-double marks the first for the Falcons since Trey Diggs had 11 points and 11 rebounds against Miami (OH) last season on Feb. 12.
Curtis tallied 12 points. Including exhibitions, Curtis has now registered double-digit points in 10 of the last 12 games for the Falcons going back to last season. In addition, Curtis matched his career-high in assists with a team-high seven.
Ayers recorded the first 20-point game of the season for the Falcons with a career-high 26. Ayers is now second on the active roster for most points in a BGSU uniform for a single game. The highest is a 29-point outing by Kaden Metheny on Feb. 23, 2021. Ayers has now led Bowling Green in points in both games this season.
Metheny hit five three-pointers en route to his 15-point outing. The performance is the first time a Falcon has ended a game with five three-pointers since Trey Diggs had five against Norfolk State last season on Nov. 19.
Ubongabsi Etim saw his first collegiate minutes in the contest and hauled in his first rebound as a Falcon.
The Falcons have now won three straight against Oakland with all three being decided by five points or less. The win also marks the first in Rochester for Bowling Green since the 1999-00 campaign. BGSU now leads the all-time series 6-5.
The Falcons shot 44.6% from the field while Oakland shot an even 50%. BGSU has had a lower shooting percentage than their opponent in both games this season, but have come out victorious in each as well.
The Falcons will remain on the road for their next contest, facing Wright State on Tuesday. The game is set for a 7 p.m. tip off.