ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The Bowling Green State University men’s basketball program came up short against the St. Bonaventure Bonnies on Saturday. The Falcons made a late push, cutting the deficit down to 10 late in the game, but the Bonnies were able to hold off the comeback attempt for an 81-68 final score. The loss moves BGSU back to .500 on the season with a 2-2 record and one game left in the current road stretch.
“The first half we had some easy shots, some easy layups, that we missed and rolled right off the rim,” said head coach Michael Huger. “We had wide open threes that didn’t go down that we would normally make. It was that kind of day. It happens sometimes and when that happens we have to hang our hat on defense. We have to play better defense in order to get stops and get easy buckets in transition. That was the difference in the game.”
The Falcons were led in the scoring column by Leon Ayers who tallied 18 points along with a team-high seven rebounds, being one of four Falcons to reach double-digit points. Samari Curtis was close behind with 13 to go along with a season-high six rebounds and a team-high four assists. Kaden Metheny and Chandler Turner rounded out the double-digit offensive outputs with 10 points each.
The Falcons jumped out to a 4-1 lead, but the Bonnies went on a 9-2 run to move ahead 10-6 before taking a 10-8 advantage into the first media timeout.
BGSU tallied five straight points to move ahead 11-10, but St. Bonaventure responded with a 6-0 run of their own to go up 16-11 at the next stoppage.
The Falcons were able to close the gap to just a one-point deficit with the St. Bonaventure lead cut down to 18-17.
The Bonnies extended their lead before the final media timeout of the first half with a 5-0 run, going into the break with a 31-22 lead.
Before halftime, the Falcons chipped away at the lead, heading to half with a 33-26 score in favor of the Bonnies.
St. Bonaventure increased their lead early in the second half with a 6-0 run to push their advantage to 47-34 at the first media break of the second half.
Back-to-back triples out of the timeout pushed the run to 12-0 for the Bonnies and put the score at 53-34.
The Falcons quickly began to close the gap, utilizing a 9-0 run to trim the deficit down to 54-43 and force a timeout from the Bonnies’ bench.
St. Bonaventure reclaimed their double-digit advantage with a 9-2 stretch to push the score to 65-49.
The Falcons brought the St. Bonaventure lead down to 10 at 70-60 with a Sam Towns steal, score and foul drawn, hitting the and-one free throw.
Despite the late push from the Falcons, the Bonnies stayed in front with an 81-68 final.
Leon Ayers III: 18 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal
Samari Curtis: 13 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists
Kaden Metheny: 10 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds
Chandler Turner: 10 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Sam Towns: 5 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
FALCON STAT FACTS
Ayers led the Falcons in points once again, finishing the contest with 18. Ayers has led BGSU in scoring in each game so far this season, averaging 20.5 points per game. Ayers also led the Falcons in rebounds, matching his season-high with seven.
Curtis tallied another double-digit offensive performance, bringing his stretch of double-digit games to 12 of the last 14 dating back to last season and including exhibitions. Curtis also led the Falcons in assists, having done so in each game so far this season, and added a season-high six rebounds.
The Falcons had at least four players reach double-digit scoring for the second time this season. In addition to Ayers and Curtis, Turner and Metheny each tallied 10 points. BGSU previously had five players reach double-digit points in the 87-82 win over Oakland.
Turner played a career-high 30 minutes in the game for the Falcons, finishing with 10 points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Anthony McComb III saw his first collegiate action, subbing in during the first half. On just his second offensive possession, McComb made a layup off a Kaden Metheny assist for his first collegiate points.
The all-time series between the Falcons and Bonnies is now tied at 3-3.
The Falcons will conclude their four-game road stretch on Tuesday in South Bend, Ind. against Notre Dame. Bowling Green will take on the Fighting Irish for a 6:30 p.m. tip as part of the Gotham Classic.