Falcons’ second half letdown gives Broncos 108-92 win

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The Bowling Green State University men’s basketball program continued to shoot well but fell to Western Michigan University, 108-92, Saturday.

The Falcons have had a streak of six games with a 49% or better mark from the field, matching their season-high 58.3% in the game against Western Michigan, but it was not good enough.

The Falcons jumped out to a lead in the first half, but the Broncos worked to chip away at the BGSU advantage before taking their first lead in the second half. The loss puts Bowling Green at 2-2 within the MAC and 8-9 on the season.

“We got happy in the second half. We thought the game was over,” BGSU coach Michael Huger said. “It was only one half. No matter how much you preach to them and tell them the game is two halves, you have to play both halves.

“On the defensive end, we didn’t defend at all. We gave up 108 points to a team that averages 69. 108 points to a team that averages 69. That tells you all you need to know.”

Leon Ayers III paced the Falcons with 21 points and eight assists, logging his team-leading seventh 20-point game of the campaign.

Rashaun Agee and Samari Curtis were close behind with 19 each. Agee added a team-high eight rebounds while Curtis dropped a season-high six triples for BGSU.

The Falcons came out and splashed home the first basket of the game with a three by Chandler Turner off the assist by Ayers.

Bowling Green worked to draw three fouls early on the Western Michigan end of the court, taking a 9-4 lead into the first media timeout. BGSU put together a 9-0 run to take an 18-6 lead and forced the first Broncos’ timeout of the game in the process.

Western Michigan responded with triples in back-to-back trips down the court to cut the BGSU lead to 18-12 and force a Bowling Green timeout.

The Falcons had another run, this time 8-0 to move the lead up to 28-17. Curtis hit three triples in three trips to push the score to 31-17 Falcons at the media break with just under 10 minutes left in the first half.

Western Michigan chipped away at the lead, narrowing the gap to 43-34 at the final media timeout of the first half. The Falcons rebuilt the lead to double-digits, going into halftime with a 50-39 lead at the midway point.

Kaden Metheny made the first bucket of the second half with an elbow jumper, but Western Michigan continued to chip away at the Bowling Green lead, cutting it down to 57-54 at the first media timeout of the second half.

The run for the Broncos stretched to 10-0 out of the timeout, seeing WMU take their first lead of the game at 58-57. The Western run ended at 12-0 with the Broncos leading 60-57. An Ayers layup got the scoring going again for Bowling Green.

The Broncos went on another 9-0 run to push their lead to double-digits with a 69-59 score. Bowling Green cut the lead down to six, but a 6-0 run for WMU reestablished their double-digit lead at 92-80, and continued to maintain the lead.

The Falcons will continue the road stretch by heading to Buffalo, N.Y. on Tuesday. The game against the Bulls is set for a 7 p.m. tip.