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CHIPPING AWAY

The Central Michigan Chippewas visited Anderson Arena for the first time since 2001 and brought a four-game Mid-American Conference losing streak with them.

This one was supposed to be little more than a routine chore for the Bowling Green State men’s basketball team before heading into Thursday’s showdown with Toledo.

Eventually, that’s how it turned out as the Falcons won their third consecutive MAC game with an 86-61 victory on Saturday in front of 2,508 fans.

BG (8-8, 4-2 MAC), shot a season-high 63.6 percent from the field and hit 61.5 percent from behind the arc, which is also a season-high.

“Our confidence is high right now,” said guard Ron Lewis, who scored all of his 15 points in the first half.

“We’re getting more close to each other and getting a better idea of knowing who can score and who can do what with the ball. So, we’re getting the ball to the right people at the right time.”

The Falcons started the game with a 9-2 run and CMU pulled to within two, 17-15 at the 12:35 mark, but it was the closest the Chippewas would get.

BG’s John Reimold scored 11 points, including three 3-point field goals during a stretch that saw the Falcons end the half by outscoring CMU 27-15 to take a 44-30 lead into the locker room. Steven Wright opened the second half by scoring six of his nine points on back-to-back three-point baskets to give BG a 50-36 lead.

The Chippewas would cut the deficit to 14 once again at 56-42, but the Falcons defense stymied CMU from getting any closer.

BG outscored the Chippewa’s 28-21 over the next 12:47 and Keon Newson’s baseline reverse layup with 29 seconds left put the finishing touches on the win.

The Falcons held CMU to 42.3 percent shooting from the field and forced 17 turnovers, while committing a season-low 11.

“I thought we played about as well as we’ve played in years,” BG coach Dan Dakich said. “Everybody who played, helped. We just played well.

“This was really the first time we made a team work to score on us,” he said. “Even when they were down 12 or 13 they had to use 20, 30 seconds to get a good shot. It seemed as if in the other two home games, when we got out to big leads we’d score, but they’d score 10 seconds later.”

The Chippewas (3-12, 0-5 MAC) were led by Gerrit Brigitha’s game-high 21 points and six rebounds, and Brandon Voorhees’ 11 points.

Reimold, who hit four of six three-point attempts, tied Kevin Netter with a team-high 20 points to lead the Falcons.

Netter also recorded a season-high four blocks and Josh Almanson came off the bench to score 16 points and grab eight rebounds.

“BG shot the ball extremely well,” CMU coach Jay Smith said.

“Netter did a fine job of posting up and Reimold did a fine job of shooting the ball. When you do that against a young team like ours, it takes the wind out of our sails.”

The win snapped a two-game losing streak against the Chippewas.

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