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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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Falcons look to stay in first place in MAC

The injury bug has bitten the Bowling Green basketball team hard this season. The Falcons have spent most of this season in dire need of warm bodies just so they could fill out intrasquad scrimmages in practice.

Faced with exhausting their depleted roster, BG got reinforcements from a rather unlikely place: Doyt Perry Stadium. Turns out, the cavalry of coach Dan Dakich is the BG football team. Dakich has dressed out three football players this season to bolster the roster. Cole Magner, a quaterback/wide receiver-turned-guard, made his collegiate basketball debut last month against Michigan. Since then, Will Myles and Keon Newson have also shelved their cleats in favor of sneakers, though Myles’ stay lasted just several days.

“Those guys have added toughness in practice and personality to our team,” Dakich said. “They have improved this team immensely.”

Dakich said Magner came to the hardwood against the wishes of former football coach Urban Meyer. Newson simply came right to Dakich and asked to play.

“(Newson) told me that defense was his specialty,” Dakich said. “Normally, I don’t want players to come in and say what they are, but in practice he almost had the first team wanting to quit, he had so many steals and blocked so many shots.” Magner and Newson have not gotten much playing time so far, relegated to the back end of the bench on most game nights. But they have given the Falcons some semblance of depth and at least a temporary safety net against foul trouble.

Tonight, the Falcons and their football soldiers take their show up north to Kalamazoo for a 7 p.m. tipoff against Western Michigan, one of the best defensive teams in the country. The Broncos are 10-4 overall, 2-3 in the Mid-American Conference. The conference start looks like a slow one, and indeed, Western Michigan started their MAC schedule 0-3.

However, their last two games will probably end any debate about the Broncos being a second-half dud. They dismantled Eastern Michigan 87-54 and Ball State 71-52 last week.

“Their coach (Robert McCullum) is a great guy,” Dakich said. “You could see that when Robert got the job. He’s such a good guy that he’s going to do things a certain way. When he got there, kids quit and kids didn’t like it, and that’s always a good thing.”

Western Michigan’s leading scorer is junior forward Mike Williams at 14 points per game and has a team-high 20 blocked shots. Robby Collum is the senior anchor of the backcourt with 12.3 points per game and a team-high 63 assists on the season.

The game may be decided on the perimeter as both teams try to shut the other down in the low post. Reggie Berry is the Broncos’ best outside threat, dropping 25 of 56 three-point attempts (.446). The Falcons will turn to the guys who have thrust the most daggers in BG’s 7-1 run in their last eight games: John Reimold and Cory Ryan. In Saturday’s win over Akron, the two swingmen combined for eight of BG’s nine three-pointers.

If Ryan and Reimold draw Western Michigan’s defense out of the middle, it will open up the floor for the surging Kevin Netter, BG’s leading scorer. Netter had the loudest nine-point game in recent memory Saturday, getting six of his points on emphatic second-half dunks.

Netter and the rest of the BG frontcourt will also have to contain Anthony Kann, the Broncos’ leading rebounder (7.9) and third-leading scorer (12.2). Kann has also crashed the boards for a team-high 34 offensive rebounds. Kann was the MAC Player of the Week at the end of November.

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