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February 22, 2024

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Falcons win third straight, defeating Southern Indiana, 54-52

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Keira Ellenberger
Jason Spurgin (#7) passing the ball.

The Bowling Green men’s basketball team (5-3) survived a low-scoring contest against Southern Indiana Saturday afternoon, defeating the Screaming Eagles by two points, 54-52.  

This marks the BG’s third straight win, following victories against Lipscomb and Canisius to close out the Northern Classic last weekend. 

FIRST HALF 

The two teams started the contest going back and forth, with both teams trading three-pointers, to even the score at seven after four minutes of play.  

After some sloppy back-and-forth play, the Falcons held Southern Indiana scoreless for nearly eight minutes, jumping out to a 15-9 lead with just over seven minutes remaining in the half.  

However, BG went scoreless for over two minutes before junior guard Marcus Hill hit two free throws, giving BG the 19-15 lead.  

But USI hit back-to-back shots, tying the game at 19 with three and a half minutes remaining in the half.  

Southern Indiana ended the half on a 17-4 run, giving the Screaming Eagles a 28-21 lead after 20 minutes of play.  

Both teams struggled mightily in the first half.  

BGSU shot 23.5% (8-34) from the field and 20% (2-10) from beyond the arc in the first half. The Falcons also committed eight fouls and turned the ball over five times.  

Meanwhile, USI shot 36.7% (11-30) from the field and 30% (3-10) from downtown, committing eight fouls and turning the ball over 10 times. 

SECOND HALF 

The two teams continued to go back and forth to start the second half, with USI leading by five, 30-25 after five minutes of play.  

Senior guard Trey Thomas and junior guard D.J. Smith hit back-to-back three-pointers, giving BG the lead, 34-33, halfway through the second half.  

The game saw four lead changes over the next three minutes, with BGSU leading 38-37 with just under eight minutes remaining in the contest.  

Although the Falcons had pulled out to a four-point lead, the Screaming Eagles hit a triple to cut the BG lead down to one with just under four minutes remaining, 46-45.  

However, Smith hit a shot from downtown to extend the Orange and Brown’s lead to four once again with two and a half minutes remaining, 49-45.  

After a foul by senior forward Sam Towns, USI hit two free throws to cut BG’s lead down to 51-49 with a minute and a half left in the contest.  

Another foul by BG, this time by senior center Jason Spurgin, sent USI to the line for two free throws. The Screaming Eagles only hit one from the charity stripe, leaving BG with just a one-point lead, 51-50, with 55 seconds remaining in the game.  

After a Thomas turnover, Spurgin forced a missed shot at the rim, which forced USI to foul Hill with 15.5 seconds left on the clock. Hill hit both free throws, giving BG a three-point advantage, 53-50.  

The Falcons fouled with 12.2 seconds left on the clock, sending USI to the line, where they cut BG’s lead down to 53-52.  

The Screaming Eagles did the same, fouling Hill with 10.2 seconds remaining. Hill missed his first attempt from the charity stripe before hitting his second, giving BG the 54-52 lead.  

On the final possession of regulation, USI hit a jumper from the corner at the buzzer. However, the replay review showed that the Screaming Eagles did not get the shot off in time, giving the Orange and Brown the two-point victory. 

REVIEW OF THE GAME 

The contest marked the first time the Falcons had won this season after trailing at halftime.  

Both teams struggled from the field throughout all 40 minutes of the game.  

BGSU shot 28.6% (18-63) from the field and 23.8% (5-21) from beyond the arc. USI shot 31.5% (17-54) from the field and 31.3% (5-16) from downtown.  

The two teams also struggled with fouls and turnovers.  

BG committed 19 personal fouls and 12 turnovers, while Southern Indiana committed 20 personal fouls and gave the ball away 18 times. USI had two players commit four fouls and another foul out of the contest.  

However, both defenses performed well.  

Bowling Green tallied eight steals and three blocks, while the Screaming Eagles finished with seven steals and six blocks. USI also won the rebounding battle by six, 47-41.   

Hill led the Falcons in scoring for the fourth straight game, tallying 15 points. Although he shot just 3-13 from the field, the reigning MAC Player of the Week went 9-10 from the charity stripe.  

Towns tallied his first double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and grabbing a team-high 11 rebounds.   

Spurgin rounded out BG’s double-digit scorers, finishing with 10 points. Spurgin also tallied two blocks, marking the third time this season he has blocked at least two shots in a game. 

NEXT UP 

The Falcons will return to the Stroh Center, starting a five-game homestand by battling Ohio Dominican on Sunday, Dec. 10, with tip-off set for 2 p.m. 

For more information related to the team, follow us on X at @bg_fmsn.

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