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Men lose to Western, get first conference loss of ’05

The men’s basketball team suffered their first conference loss of the season in a well-fought, physical game, falling to visiting Western Michigan.

The Broncos (12-3, 5-0) were led by a game-high 20 points from Levi Rost and fed off an early nine-point lead as they held off the Falcons (10-3, 4-1) 70-61 at Anderson Arena Saturday.

“I give a lot of credit to Western Michigan,” said Falcons head coach Dan Dakich. “We were coming in here playing well … I thought we had a really good environment in here and Western never flinched.”

BG was unable to get in any kind of rhythm offensively from the start. The Falcons entered the game as the top field goal percentage team in the MAC (51.8%), but Western played tough defense and limited BG to 41% shooting from the field.

“I thought that we didn’t knock in some of the looks that we’ve knocked in (during the season), and I give credit to Western because their defense has been very tough to play against,” Dakich said.

The Broncos slowed MAC three-point field goal percentage leader John Reimold (52%), preventing him from getting open off screens and limiting his scoring production.

Reimold made his only three-pointer in the second half to tie the game at 51, but could not get open late when the Falcons needed his precision and finished the game with 13 points.

“[Western] did a good job of finding John and knowing where John was,” Dakich said.

Josh Almanson, the MAC’s leading scorer coming in to the game at 18.8 PPG, led BG with 18 points on 8 of 18 shooting, but managed just three rebounds and was forced to play outside for much of the game due to Western’s physical play.

Western managed the game well, staying atop the Falcons for most of the game, but the Falcons would not go away easily and never trailed by more than nine.

BG took their first lead of the game since 2-0 on a Perrick Robinson basket to go up 40-39. After a three-point play by Ben Reed put the Broncos back up two, BG never regained the lead from then on.

Robinson, a freshman point guard, was a bright spot for BG off the bench, scoring a career-high seven points with a team-high five assists, to go with four rebounds and two steals.

Reed scored 16 points for the Broncos on 6 of 10 shooting from the field and grabbed nine rebounds.

Reed also was in the middle of a scuffle at the end of the first half that involved several players from both teams pushing and shoving each other as they made their way to the locker room. No ejections or technical fouls were given to anyone involved.

Center Joe Reitz came up big for the Broncos, pulling down four offensive rebounds and scoring 12 points.

Western played an all around better game statistically, as they outrebounded BG 40-31, made nine more free throws and hit 47.1% of their shots from the floor.

The Falcons play at Ball State tonight at 7 p.m., then face arch-rival Toledo in Anderson Arena Saturday at 6 p.m.

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