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Second half comeback not enough for Falcons

Unable to push past Toledo in the second half despite trailing by as much as 17 points in the game, the men’s basketball team (13-7, 7-5 in conference) fell to the Rockets 58-50, losing for the sixth consecutive time in Savage Hall.

In a game that began eerily similar to the first meeting on January 22, in which BG rallied from a 17-point halftime deficit to win 70-69, the Falcons came out struggling only to rebound and make a push after the half.

The Falcons were able to cut the lead down to three early after the break, but could not find their rhythm offensively, connecting on just 38.3 percent of their shots from the field, as the Rockets (11-10, 7-5) denied open looks to Josh Almanson and John Reimold which forced the Falcons to look elsewhere for scoring.

“I thought we got better shots in the second half than we got in the first half,” said Falcons coach Dan Dakich, despite his team hitting a mere 8 of 27 second half shots. “I know we got awful shots in the first half and made some of them. I thought we got great looks in the second half and just missed them.”

Steven Wright was practically the entire show on offense for BG as he dropped a career-high 23 points, 14 coming in the first half, to lead all scorers. Reimold added 11, while Almanson scored 7 on two of six shooting from the field. The duo, who are the top two scorers for the Falcons, were unable to get good looks at the basket from the start of the game and combined for only five first half points.

Coming off their win over Ohio Monday, the two appeared to be tired early and never could get into the flow of the game.

“The quick turnaround two days (from the last game) really affected John and Josh,” Dakich said.

Sammy Villegas was the high man for UT with 11 points, 10 in the first, to redeem himself after scoring only five in the first matchup. The Rockets bench played a big role as they combined to score 26 points, nine coming from Kashif Payne, compared to two points from the Falcons bench.

Toledo started this game much like the last meeting in Anderson Arena by pressuring the Falcons and forcing mistakes. BG turned the ball over 12 times before half and finished with 20 for the game.

Wright hit a three with under a minute to play to pull the Falcons within five at 55-50, but Keith Triplett his both his free throws to seal the game. The Rockets were clutch late in the game from the line as they hit seven of eight free throws in the final two minutes..

BG will look to bounce back as they head to Kent State on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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