Metheny scores 28, but Falcons fall 81-75

NORFOLK, Va. — Bowling Green State University men’s basketball went down to the wire against Norfolk State on Wednesday night.

The Falcons threatened the Spartans’ 16-game home winning streak with a halftime lead, but NSU rallied back in the second half to take an 81-75 final.

“There were a lot of positives,” BGSU coach Michael Huger said. “We can take away so many different things that we did. But we have to get everyone playing well on the same day and that hasn’t happened yet.

“We’re still working. We’re still trying to figure it out and we’ll go from there.”

The loss moves BGSU to 4-6 on the season with three home games upcoming to conclude the non-conference schedule, first hosting UT Martin on Saturday.

The Falcons were paced by Kaden Metheny’s eight three-pointers, matching his career-high and ending the night with 28 points. It marked the most points in a single game by a Falcon this season and coming one shy of matching Metheny’s career-high.

Samari Curtis added a double-double for the Falcons with 11 points and a career-high 10 assists, marking the first points and assists double-double for BGSU in nearly two years.

The double-digit offensive efforts rounded out with 10 points and two blocks from Leon Ayers III while Rashaun Agee led the team in rebounding with six boards.

Norfolk State won the opening tip and tallied two points, but a Metheny three jump started a 7-0 BGSU run to push the Falcons ahead 7-2 early in the game.

The Falcons were able to carry a 9-6 advantage into the first timeout. Coming out of the break, Metheny hit his second three of the game, soon followed by a Curtis to Sam Towns alley oop. The BGSU offense stretched the lead to 16-8 before a Norfolk State timeout.

The Spartans worked to narrow the gap with a 6-0 run, bringing the BGSU lead to 20-17 at the next timeout.

The Falcons extended their lead to double-digits at 28-17 with an 8-0 run out of the timeout, capped off by an Isaac Elsasser triple.

Norfolk State responded with an 8-0 run of their own to close the gap to 28-25 Falcons. A pair of buckets in the paint pushed the Bowling Green lead to 32-27 at the final media timeout at the first half.

The Falcons were able to hold the lead through the end of the first half, taking a 38-34 lead into halftime behind 16 points from Metheny and six assists from Curtis while shooting 50% from the field as a team in the first half.

Metheny and Curtis picked up where they left off early in the second half with another Metheny triple to go up 41-37, but Norfolk State moved out in front with a 7-0 run to give them a 44-41 lead.

Curtis converted an and-one opportunity, drawing a layup on a drive to the bucket, to tie up at 44-44 to begin a trading of baskets between the two teams.

Norfolk State took a slim lead into the first stoppage of the second half with a 53-50 score at the media timeout.

A 5-0 run later in the half pushed the Spartans’ lead to 61-52, but Anthony McComb III answered with his first collegiate three to end the run. Metheny hit a three the next time down the court for the Falcons to bring the score back to a one-possession game at 61-58 Norfolk State.

The Spartans stretched their lead back to a seven-point lead at 67-60, but the Falcons closed it to a one-possession game again at 69-67 and eventually one point at 73-72.

Bowling Green kept it close, but the Spartans stayed in front to claim an 81-75 win.

The Falcons finished with 19 assists after having 20 against Hampton on Sunday. BGSU has now logged 10 or more assists in five consecutive games, averaging 16.6 assists per game over that span.

The Falcons host UT Martin at the Stroh Center for a 2 p.m. start Saturday. The game will be holiday themed and will be Toys For Tots night as well.