Team play guides opening win

Team play and sharing the ball themed Saturday’s game as the BGSU men’s basketball team made light work of Denison University 89-52.

A sparse crowd of 1,575 came out to see the young Falcons begin their season. They witnessed a sound defensive performance and balanced offensive attack by the Falcons.

Four players scored in double digits for BG and everyone who saw minutes scored. Martin Samarco and Brian Moten each scored 15 for the Falcons, Erik Marschall added 13 and Ryan Sims had a productive debut with 12.

Sims cracked the starting lineup in his first career game.

“With this being my first game I just wanted to bring a lot to the table,” Sims said. “You have to keep the game intense. Make turnovers, be all over the ball.”

Defensively, the Falcons forced 24 turnovers resulting in 29 points. Brian Guerin and Darryl Clements each had three steals. Clements and Matt Lefeld tied for the team-high in rebounds with five. The Falcons were also able to hold the Big Red to 31.7-percent shooting.

BG also did a good job of getting out on the break. They outscored Denison 21-0 in fast break points, which was highlighted by a breakaway slam dunk by Ryne Hamblet early in the second half that had the crowd on its feet.

“Every time you are in a game you’re just trying to make something happen, get the crowd into it, get the team into it,” Sims said. “That’s basically what got us the big lead early.”

At the start of the game, the Falcons seemed to shy away from their expected game plan. Denison’s tallest players were both 6 feet 6 inches. That would be a good reason to go inside to 6-foot-11-inch Matt Lefeld, but the Falcons first three shots were three pointers. Samarco and Dusan Radivojevic each had a miss before Ryan Sims connected on the third for the game’s first points. Dakich was somewhat perturbed by the choice to shoot threes instead of go inside.

“I wanted it inside because you can always get a quick three,” Dakich said. “The only guy I want taking a quick three is Martin. We were going to have a size advantage, more big guys, so don’t take the first available three, move the basketball around. Go from there.”

BG outscored Denison 45-10 in the paint. Lefeld scored six, while freshmen Mark Larson and Otis Polk each added a pair. Larson also blocked two shots to keep the Falcons in control of the paint.

Moten pointed out that if the big men play well, the Falcons strategy will be more successful.

“We are trying to work on playing from the inside out, and that frees up our shooters like Dusan [Radivojevic] and [Martin] Samarco who can really knock it down,” he said.

Brian Elder led the way for Denison with 12 points, going 9-10 from the free-throw line on the day. Dan Hodgkinson added 11 points and six boards for the Big Red.