Hot-shooting Ball State downs Falcons, 93-72


MUNCIE, Ind. – The Bowling Green State University men’s basketball program fell to the Ball State Cardinals on Saturday by a score of 93-72.

The Cardinals took an early lead and continued to build on their momentum throughout, shooting 55.7% from the field. The loss moves BGSU to 10-15 on the season and 4-8 within the Mid-American Conference.

“Our energy and effort on the defensive end was nonexistent today,” BGSU coach Michael Huger said. “We have to do a better job of wanting to win and doing the things that it takes to win and that’s where we are right now.”

Samari Curtis led the Falcons in scoring with 20 points, scoring 15 in the second half for his first 20-point game of the season.

It also brought Curtis’ season point total to 284, setting a new single-season-high for his collegiate career, surpassing his 278 from last season. Curtis also shot a season-best 53.8% (7-of-13) from the field.

Brenton Mills added a season-high 14 points while Chandler Turner recorded 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds for the Falcons. Mills went 5-of-7 from the field, including 2-of-4 from behind the arc.

Ball State tallied the first two baskets of the game to take a 5-0 lead, stretching to a 9-2 run. The Falcons added a few buckets of their own to close the score to 11-6 at the first media timeout, coming after a Kaden Metheny steal and Ball State foul.

Out of the timeout, Curtis hit a three for the Falcons, closing the gap to two at 11-9, but the Cardinals answered with a triple of their own. BGSU and BSU traded baskets to the next media break with Ball State leading 17-11.

The run for the Cardinals stretched to 11-2, going up 25-13 to force a Bowling Green timeout after back-to-back threes from Jaylin Sellers. After the timeout, BGSU tallied five straight to close the gap to 25-18 at the under-8 media break.

A 9-0 run for Ball State out of the media timeout pushed their advantage to 34-18. The Cardinals added to their lead before the half, going to the locker room up 49-33. An 8-0 run for Ball State stretched their lead to 68-39 early in the second half before building their lead to 74-45.

The Falcons were able to put together a 7-0 run to cut into the lead, bringing the score to 74-52. Another BGSU run, this time 8-1, continued to chip away at the deficit to make the score 84-66 Ball State at the final media timeout of the game, but the Cardinals were able to maintain their advantage.

As a team, the Falcons made 20 free throws, marking the sixth time this season BGSU has made 20 or more free throws in a game. BGSU also attempted 31 free throws, the third time this season with 30-plus free throws attempted and the first time during MAC play.

Ubongabasi Etim played a career-high 11 minutes for BGSU and logged his first collegiate assist. Etim also made his first trip to the free throw line as a Falcon, going 1-for-2 from the stripe. He rounded out his stat line with a career-high two defensive rebounds.

The Falcons will return home to the Stroh Center for two games next week, hosting Central Michigan on Tuesday (Feb. 14) and Toledo on Saturday (Feb. 18).

Tuesday’s game against the Chippewas is slated for a 7 p.m. tip and will be Date Night at the Stroh. Fans can buy one ticket and get a second free.

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