Men’s basketball has full slate of games over break

Reporter and Reporter

The Falcons go into winter break with a 5-4 record and have one more home game before going on a three-game road trip before Mid-American Conference play begins on January 9.

Their last home game in their home stand of the season will be the No. 19 ranked Michigan State Spartans on Dec. 18. This will be the first time that a nationally ranked or Big Ten men’s basketball program will play at the Stroh Center since its opening in 2011.

Tom Izzo’s squad is currently 8-2 on the season and have won seven in their past eight games. MSU is 1-2 when they are not playing in East Lansing, Mich. Their two losses came to the then-ranked No. 23 Connecticut Huskies in the first game of the season on Nov. 9 and then to the University of Miami Hurricanes on Nov. 28 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Their game against Connecticut took place at Ramstein Air Base near Kaiserslautern, Germany. The Spartans only lost by four points to the Huskies and won their next five games including, their only road win against the then-ranked No. 7 Kansas Jayhawks at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

After their clash with the Spartans on Dec. 18, the Falcons will take the road for one game before Christmas and then two more afterwards.

Their first road game will be in Tampa, Fla. against the South Florida Bulls. The Bulls, who compete in the basketball-dominant Big East Conference, are currently 5-3 on the season. Their losses came against the Central Florida Golden Knights on Nov. 10, fellow MAC member Western Michigan on Nov. 18, and the then-ranked No. 23 Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater, Okla.

BG’s next game after their Christmas hiatus will be against North Dakota in Grand Forks, N.D. North Dakota dropped their long-time controversial “Fighting Sioux” nickname this summer. The UND squad is currently 1-6 on the season and their only win came against Crown College (MN), who is a NCAA Division III school. All their losses came on the road and they will have three games against Presentation College (SD), at Southern Utah, and Northern Colorado before taking on BG on Dec. 28.

The Falcons final game in 2012 will be against the Temple Owls in Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve. The Owls are currently 6-1 on the season and their only loss came against the No. 8 ranked Duke Blue Devils at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J. They defeated MAC opponents Kent State and Buffalo on the road, and Philadelphia-rival Villanova this season.

Before taking on the Falcons, Temple will face off against Towson, Alcorn State, Canisius, the No. 4 ranked Syracuse at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and Detroit. After playing BG, the Owls will travel to Lawrence, Kan. to take on the No. 9 ranked Kansas Jayhawks before starting Atlantic-10 Conference games on Jan. 10.

The Falcons defeated the Owls 67-64 last November at the Stroh Center. Then-juniors A’uston Calhoun and Jordan Crawford scored 25 points (16 and 9 respectively) against the Owls.

BG’s game against the No. 19 ranked Michigan State Spartans is slated for a 7 p.m. tip-off time and will be televised on ESPNU. Tickets for the game are now on sale by the athletic department and prices start at $35. Students get in free as usual with their BGSU I.D.