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Almanson, Reimold lead BG to victory

For the second straight game, the senior combination of John Reimold and Josh Almanson carried the load for the men’s basketball team in their 74-66 victory over Arkansas-Little Rock Saturday.

Reimold scored a season-high 29 points, with 26 coming in the second-half. Almanson scored 27 points, 17 in the first.

The tandem marked their second game in a row of each having at least 20 points after Reimold had 28 and Almanson 20 in the Falcons 70-69 win over Ball State Wednesday.

The duo, who have both gone over 1,000 career points this season, has accounted for a staggering 72 percent of the team’s points in those contests.

The end of the game against the Trojans belonged to Reimold, who fought hard for loose balls and battled to the hoop even though he had four fouls.

With the game knotted at 56 with just under four minutes to play, Reimold put everything on his shoulders as he scored 12 points down the stretch, six of six on free throws, and grabbed three rebounds.

“It might have been (the best he’s played),” said BG head coach Dan Dakich. “He’s yelling (at me), I love Reimold, he’s yelling ‘Trust me coach, trust me. I won’t foul, trust me.’ So (I thought) what the heck, he’s a senior and he played great.”

The second-half was the most explosive half of basketball Reimold has played at BG. After hitting just one of six first-half shots, he came out after the break to make six of eight from the field, two of three on three’s, and made all 12 of his free throw attempts.

“I was feeling good in the first half,” said Reimold, who was also second on the team with five assists. “The balls just didn’t go in, but that stuff evens itself out. When I got outside shots I knew I could make them, but I really concentrated trying to go down to the post more to get baskets.”

Almanson was the offensive machine in the opening half as the Falcons built a thirteen-point halftime lead. He was seven of ten from the field and hit three of five from beyond the arc, giving him seven three’s in his last three halves of basketball. Considering that Almanson came in to the Ball State game with 13 three’s on the year, he is quickly earning respect for his outside shot by opponents.

“As the season goes on, teams will play you different,” said Almanson of his open looks from deep. “Teams are trying to take away the post (from me) a little bit more … and it’s been there.”

At the end of his electrifying first half, Almanson had his first unfortunate event of the game. He was elbowed in the face with time expiring, which resulted in the loss of a tooth and a hole in his lip, but he found it easy to brush away the pain.

“It hurts,” Almanson said. “(But) it would have hurt worse if we lost.”

The performances of these two has grown to an unseen level as their careers are winding down. Though they may not be the most well-known players nationally, Dakich believes they are as good as it gets.

“Reimold and Almanson bailed us out like, to tell you the truth, like the All-Americans that they have been,” Dakich said. “If college basketball was even across the board in terms of people choosing teams based on reality, not television and not perception, those two would be All-Americans. They’ve had All-American years and tonight they were great.

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