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Second half success good step for men’s basketball

The men’s basketball team’s last-second victory over Ohio will serve as a huge sigh of relief for the team.

For the past few weeks, all the Falcons have been hearing about is that they can’t win on the road, that they don’t play well in the second half, and that their season was on the brink of becoming a bad one.

Now, with a one-point win over the Bobcats, the Falcons can take a collective breather.

The win couldn’t have seemed more improbable for the Falcons coming in. The Bobcats were undefeated at home coming into the game. The Falcons, of course, were winless on the road. So naturally, this one looked like an easy one to call.

The game was also tied at the half, and again with nine minutes to play. The last three times out, the Falcons followed up a good first half by falling apart in the second.

In Kent State, the game was tied at 33 at the half. By the end of the game, the Golden Flashes were up by 20.

It was the same story when BG hosted both Akron and ESPNU. The Falcons played a solid first half, but then broke down and lost by 10 in the second.

This game against Ohio looked almost identical to the game in Kent State for the first 20 minutes. BG played a team that was favored to beat them close, and matched their point total in the first half. In the second half, BG fell behind early. But this time, instead of panicking and falling apart when Ohio hit big shots or went on runs, the Falcons kept battling back.

BG had reached a dangerous moment in their season. They had lost three straight conference games, and had dipped below .500 overall. To make matters worse, they had already dropped to straight home games to Akron and Miami. With an Ohio team that was tied for the Mid-American Conference lead, the Falcons looked to be on the verge of a 1-4 start to conference play.

Digging a hole like that would be something any team would have a challenge with. Let alone a team that can’t win on the road or finish games. So naturally, a loss to Ohio would’ve felt a bit like an early nail in the coffin of BG’s season.

Then, out of nowhere, came this great performance.

Now BG stands at 9-9(2-3 MAC) and will host Ball State at home on Wednesday. What likely would have been a case of the Falcons in panic mode will now turn into the Falcons trying to build off of one win and try to string a few more together off that.

To do so they’ll need continued results from the likes of Nate Miller, who has emerged as the team’s leading weapon on offense over the past three games. The BG offense has looked its best this season when Miller is driving to the basket. When this happens, it makes life easier on three point shooters like Brian Moten.

Moten, the team’s best deep threat, is at his best when Miller and others can take pressure off of the perimeter by driving to the basket.

Now, the men will begin matching up against opponents from the MAC West, starting with Ball State on Wednesday. BSU will pose a big challenge to the Falcons. Will they be able to build off what was possibly their biggest conference win of the season, or will they drop the ball and return to form?

The team is an interesting specimen. What becomes of it is unpredictable at best, but if they have their road and second half trouble behind them, they might have turned a minor corner.

For news, notes and opinions on all BG sports, check out www.bgnewssports.com.

Contact sports reporter Jason Jones at [email protected].

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