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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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The battle continues, but this time in Toledo

Last month, Toledo battled the Bowling Green men’s basketball team in a game for the ages at Anderson Arena.

Down 17 points at halftime against Toledo on Jan. 22, the Falcons surged in the second half, scoring 53 points on 76 percent shooting. Forward Germain Fitch’s lay-up with 28 seconds to go gave BG a 70-69 win.

Tonight is round two of the Falcons (13-6, 7-4 MAC) vs. Rockets (10-10, 6-5 MAC) match-up this season at Savage Hall. BG won the previous two meetings against the Rockets, but haven’t won at Savage Hall since the 1998-99 season.

In the last six meetings between these two, five have been decided by four points or less. BG head coach Dan Dakich said he hopes tonight’s game will continue the trend.

“I’m looking for a heck of a game and a packed house,” Dakich said. “I hope northwest Ohio supports it because it’s two teams that play really hard…and want nothing better than to beat each other like they always do.”

If BG is looking for another game winning performance from Fitch they are out of luck. When these two teams last faced, Fitch set a new career-high with 12 points on the winning basket, but a fan ran into him when students charged the floor. He tore the ACL in his left knee and is out for the remainder of the season.

In Fitch’s absence, freshman center Scott Vandermeer has filled in. He made his first ever collegiate start in the Falcons’ 78-63 victory over Ohio Monday and tied the team record with seven blocks. Vandermeer is likely to remain in the starting lineup against the Rockets.

“I just want to come out and help the team and play a role on this team,” Vandermeer said. “I’m not the scorer on this team, that’s Josh (Almanson) and John’s (Reimold) job, so I just want to come out and do whatever I can do.”

BG could use another strong performance from Vandermeer against the Rockets, who have won three of their last four games. Toledo guard Keith Triplett leads the team with 16.1 points and 2.7 steals per game. Triplett is the only Rocket to have a double-digit scoring average this season, but don’t underestimate their defense. They lead the MAC averaging 9.5 steals per game.

“Toledo always plays hard, they play good defense,” Almanson said. “I expect the best shot at us and we’re going to give them our best shot.”

The Rockets are also known for pressing which leads to many of their steals.

“I think Toledo is very physical,” Dakich said. “This team wears you out because of the frantic pace most times. They press so you can’t bring the ball down slowly.”

This is also a vital game since both teams are fighting for the MAC-West lead.

Toledo, at 6-5, is right behind the Falcons and among the teams fighting for the league crown. Almanson said this game could be big for the Falcons in order to gain some ground in the standings.

“I think the next couple of weeks will be crucial to see whose gonna jump out,” Almanson said. “There is so much left in the season and a lot to shake out and that’s probably the biggest focus right now.”

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