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February 16, 2024

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Falcons get first road win of season

Freshman+guard+Dylan+Frye+shoots+over+a+defender+in+a+game+earlier+this+season.

Freshman guard Dylan Frye shoots over a defender in a game earlier this season.

The Bowling Green mens basketball team earned their first Mid-American Conference win on Saturday with a 76-71 victory over Ball State. This win was the first road win of the season for the Falcons after losing their first six away from the Stroh. The Falcons improved to 7-8 overall on the season and 1-1 in conference play.

The close game situation has been familiar to the Falcons this year, with nine of the team’s contests being decided by 10 points or less.

Sophomore combo-guard Antwon Lillard led the team on offense, scoring an efficient 19 points for the Falcons. Lillard drained seven of his 12 attempts from the field and went 4-6 from the free throw line. He also led the team in rebounds with eight and assists with three.

Lillard was also vital to the team’s late win, making defensive plays and coming up with a big block at the basket.

“Antwon Lillard was big at the end,” said head coach Michael Huger. “On the offensive end, he carried us at the end. He made key lay-ups and key plays down the stretch that were huge for us. Hopefully his play will continue along with Demajeo Wiggins and Zack Denny. Those guys have been playing great.”

Wiggins and Denny were also essential on both ends of the ball, scoring 17 and 15 points respectively and leading the team with Lillard on the boards with eight each.

Denny was a key part of the Ball State defensive plan, which was trying to limit the three. Denny consistently forced shooters to the basket and came up with three blocks by the final buzzer. One of the rejections came in the final minutes of the game with Denny blocking a Ball State three that would have given the Cardinals a two-point lead.

“I’m very happy with the way that we defended the three-point line. We were able to close them out, and we did a great job of closing those guys out and running them off the three-point line,” Huger said. “Our guys just battled and battled, and they didn’t give up. In the first half, we gave up way too many second-chance points. We thought if we cleaned that up, we could get out in transition, and that’s what happened in the second half.”

The Falcons will look to continue this defensive effort as they continue conference play. The next game will come against 9-6 Eastern Michigan.

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