Falcons hang with Irish, but falter 82-66

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Bowling Green State University men’s basketball hung with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish deep into Tuesday contest.

The Falcons held a 61-59 lead with just under 11 minutes to go in the game and were within one at 65-64 with under nine minutes remaining in the game.

A late 11-0 run for Notre Dame created a gap, leading to the 82-66 final to move BGSU to 2-3 on the young season while Notre Dame is unbeaten in five games.

Samari Curtis led the way for the Falcons with 14 points while Leon Ayers III and Rashaun Agee followed closely with 13 points each.

Agee added a team-high nine rebounds, coming one shy of a double-double, as well as a career-high three blocks.

Sam Towns chipped in a career-high nine points for BGSU while Chandler Turner added seven, both doing so in their first starts with Bowling Green.

Turner got the Falcons’ offense started with a jump shot on the first possession to go up 2-0 in the game.

Notre Dame moved ahead, but Kaden Metheny found Turner for a corner three to put the Falcons back on top 15-14.

The Fighting Irish reclaimed the lead at 25-21 and held the advantage until the Falcons closed the gap at 37-36 on Agee free throws after a fastbreak foul.

Agee tallied back-to-back buckets in the paint to grant the Falcons the lead at 40-39. He followed it up with a swat on the defense end.

Notre Dame hit a three at the first half buzzer to take a 42-40 lead into the half.

The Falcons tied it up early in the second half with a long two from Towns to bring the tally to 46-46 all.

Notre Dame moved out in front to reclaim the lead at 53-46 to force a Bowling Green timeout.

Bowling Green continued to chip away at the Notre Dame lead, tying the game back up at 59-59 with just over 11 minutes remaining in the game.

The run for the Falcons continued, stretching to 7-0, to move ahead 61-59 on a step-back from Ayers.

Notre Dame moved back in front, but a long Curtis triple brought the game within a point at 65-64 with nine minutes left on the clock.

The Fighting Irish moved back in front with an 11-0 run to take a 76-64 lead, leading into an 82-66 final score.

Curtis tallied his fifth consecutive double-digit scoring game of the season. Going back to last season, Curtis has had double-digit points in 10 of his last 11 regular season games.

Agee attempted a career-high 12 shots while making a career-high five. Agee also swatted a career-high three blocks.

In his first start of the season, Towns went 4-of-6 from the field, including making his first three-pointer of the year.

Jackson Watson saw not only his first action of the season, but his first action since the 2020-21 season after missing last year with an injury. Watson made his lone attempt of the game, finishing with two points.

Metheny matched his season-highs for both assists (3) and steals (2) in the game.

The Falcons will return home to the Stroh Center for the first time since the season opener, hosting Southern Indiana on Saturday for a 4 p.m. tip.