The Bowling Green State University men’s basketball program erased what was a 20-point Ball State lead Tuesday night at the Stroh Center but it was not enough to get the victory.
A 6-0 BGSU run to end the first half carried through the halftime break with the Falcons putting together a 17-1 stretch that narrowed the gap to four at 41-37. The Falcons were able to later tie it up at 56-56, but the Ball State Cardinals were able to regroup for a 69-60 final in favor of BSU. The loss moves BGSU to 10-12 on the season and 4-5 within the Mid-American Conference.
“We had too many empty possessions down the stretch. We got the stops that we wanted, the stops that we needed, and then we would have an empty possession on the offensive end to be able to take us over the hump,” BGSU coach Michael Huger said.
“We have to be able to play with poise down the stretch and not turn the ball over. We missed layups, we missed dunks, we missed free throws. Everything that you need in order to complete a comeback we missed. When stuff like that happens, it’s hard to win the game.”
Leon Ayers III led the Falcons in scoring with 14 points. Chandler Turner was next on the stat sheet, finishing with 13 points and five rebounds.
Rashaun Agee just missed a double-double, finishing with 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds off the bench.
Ball State opened the game with an early 7-0 run to take a 9-2 lead and force a timeout from the BGSU bench. The run extended to 12-0 to go up 14-2.
The Cardinals continued to slowly add to their lead before a 6-0 run pushed their advantage out to 33-15.
The Falcons were able to close out the first half with a 6-0 run, including a Kaden Metheny elbow jumper at the first half buzzer, to make the score 40-26 BSU at the half.
Coming out of the halftime break, the Falcons continued their run, stretching it to 17-1 and narrowing the gap 41-37.
Ball State responded with an 8-0 run to regain a double-digit lead with the score at 49-37 Cardinals.
BGSU came battling back with a 13-2 stretch, including an 8-0 run, to cut the Ball State lead down to one possession at 51-48.
Back-to-back baskets made the Ball State lead 55-48, but another strong BGSU stretch, this time 10-1, tied the game up at 56-56 with the Falcons erasing a 20-point deficit.
Ball State was able to stay out in front, utilizing a 5-0 stretch to reestablish a 64-58 lead late in the game. The 5-0 stretch turned into a 10-2 run to close out the game for the Cardinals, taking a 69-60 final.
The Falcons tallied 10 steals as a team, the first time recording 10 or more steals in conference play this season. Earlier this season, the Falcons had 11 against Wright State on Nov. 15.
The Falcons will stay at the Stroh Center for their next contest, hosting the Northern Illinois Huskies on Saturday at 5 p.m. The game will be the second contest of a basketball doubleheader at the Stroh with the BGSU women’s team playing at 1 p.m. For the men, the game will be the Eracism Game.