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Dominant defense propels Falcons to home opener victory

Sam+Towns+is+all+smiles+following+BGSUs+season-opening+win+over+Chicago+State
Drake Harlett
Sam Towns is all smiles following BGSU’s season-opening win over Chicago State

Bowling Green men’s basketball’s dominant defensive performance was the story of Monday night, as the Falcons defeated Chicago State 70-41 at the Stroh Center, marking the first win of the Todd Simon era and BG’s sixth consecutive home opener victory.  

Monday night marked the first time the Falcons held a team to 50 or fewer points since Dec. 21, 2021, when BG defeated Carlow 129-50.  

In fact, the 41 points scored by the Cougars are the fewest by a BGSU opponent since Jan. 3, 2015, when Chicago State scored just 35 against the Orange and Brown.  

BG’s stifling defense held CSU’s shooting to just 25% from the field in the victory, the lowest field goal percentage allowed since the 2011 season.  

BGSU’s suffocating defense was spotlighted in the second half, as Chicago State went just 5-28 from the field and 1-8 from three-point range over the final 20 minutes of the contest.  

A key element for the Falcons imposing second-half defense was their rim protection.   

BG went into the locker room at halftime with just one block. However, they tallied five blocks in the second half, with senior center Jason Spurgin leading the charge with three rejections.  

“We had one block at halftime, and that was kind of a challenge for bigs. We have three excellent shot blockers back there, and you know, they want and got them, and that’s what we needed to do,” Simon said. “Just need to be reminded that sometimes you need to go get it.”   

Another highlight of BGSU’s defensive performance was the lack of foul trouble with 15 turnovers forced. While they racked up 17 personal fouls throughout the game, no Falcon accounted for over three fouls or got into foul trouble. 

“It’s something we emphasize, it’s part of our deal, we don’t want to foul. The foul, in basketball, is a terrible play, to be honest with you, because you’re penalized individually, you’re penalized as a team, you end up giving up points and it changes how you defend. So, we really work on that in practice,” Simon said. “We try to really work on that, showing your hands. That’s what we’re proud of. Chicago State draws a lot of fouls traditionally.”  

Another very noticeable aspect of the defense’s performance against the Cougars was the cohesiveness of the Falcons, especially throughout the second half. 

“We’re not in it for ourselves; we’re in it for the team. And coach harped on it a lot. We’re a team, we’re not individual players,” senior forward Rashaun Agee said. “And the way you win games is playing as a team and playing defense as a team.”  

After their home opener victory, Agee believes that the potential for the defense and team overall will keep growing as the season progresses.  

“I’d say our potential is going to keep growing because our team as individuals and as together, we stay together no matter what goes on,” Agee said. “You always see teams go up and down, but I’d say, even in our down moments, we stay together. I’d say you’ll see a lot of togetherness and a lot of growing as we continue to play.”  

Next up, the Orange and Brown will return to the Stroh Center on Saturday, Nov. 11, for the first game of the MAC-Sun Belt Challenge, a matchup against Arkansas State. First tip for the contest against the Red Wolves is set for noon. 

For more stories related to BGSU Athletics, follow Falcon Media Sports Network on X (@bg_fmsn).

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