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April 18, 2024

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BGSU men’s basketball ends five-game skid against Toledo, defeat Rockets 76-68

Marcus Hill (0) celebrating with a win insight

The Bowling Green men’s basketball team (17-10, 8-6 MAC) avenged their loss against their archrivals earlier in the season, defeating Toledo in round two of the Battle of I-75 on Friday night at the Stroh Center, 76-68.  

“Great college basketball game; that’s what rivalries are supposed to be about, two teams just playing as hard as they possibly can, a lot of emotion, physicality, defensive effort, the whole thing,” head coach Todd Simon said postgame. “That’s what college basketball rivalries are supposed to look like. Unbelievable crowd; the student section was amazing. You just get the ebbs and flows of the game, but that’s the fun stuff, this is the fun stuff.”  

The win against the Rockets ends Bowling Green’s three-game skid.   

“This group has just doubled down after every adversity. The next practice has always been better than the last one, and they come back, they get closer together, they double down and they do it again. I’ve seen this enough; basketball rewards you at some point for being great teammates and holding each other accountable,” Simon said. “I was talking with the team and said there’s a team last year that lost six of eight in league play that was pretty good, and that was UConn. It was the same deal; they struggled to shoot in January, lost six of eight, and then they found it, and they went on a tear. I said there’s no reason we can’t be a similar model of a season.”  

The victory also ends the Falcon’s five-game losing streak against Toledo, marking the first win and home win against the Rockets since Feb. 13, 2021 and Feb. 8, 2020, respectively. 

“It’s a great rivalry. These are legacy-type games,” Simon said. “We want the community to really embrace our guys and our team and program, and you do that by making this rivalry not a lopsided affair.”  

FIRST HALF  

Bowling Green came out of the gates fast, as junior guard Marcus Hill scored the first four points of the game, including an emphatic two-handed dunk to open the contest, getting the Stroh Center crowd on their feet early.   

Following a few minutes of back-and-forth action, BG held an 11-9 lead at the first media timeout.   

After tying the game just before the second media timeout of the contest, Toledo made two free throws, taking their first lead with 11-and-a-half minutes remaining, 15-13.   

Although senior guard DaJion Humphrey responded with a three-pointer on the next possession, the Rockets went on a 6-0 run, holding a five-point advantage, 21-16.   

However, Bowling Green responded with a 5-0 run, tying the game at 21 apiece with just under eight minutes remaining in the first half.   

Both teams continued battling back and forth before Toledo took their first timeout of the game, holding a 33-29 lead with just under four minutes remaining.   

The Falcons went on an 8-4 run to close the first half, taking a 39-38 lead into halftime.   

Overall, Bowling Green shot 53.6% (15-28) from the field, 37.5% (3-8) on three-pointers and 100% (6-6) on free throws in the first half.   

On the other side, Toledo shot 48.3% (14-29) from the field, 37.5% (3-8) from beyond the arc and 87.5% (7-8) from the charity stripe in the first 20 minutes.   

SECOND HALF  

After the teams combined to miss their first three shots to start the second half, senior forward Rashaun Agee forced a turnover and turned it into two points on the other end, extending BG’s lead to 41-38.  

The Falcons scored six more unanswered points as Toledo missed their first five shots of the second half, giving BG a nine-point lead after four minutes of action.  

Toledo responded with a 5-0 run, cutting BG’s lead to four points with just over 14 minutes remaining, 47-43.  

Bowling Green held Toledo scoreless for over three minutes and went on a 6-0 run, extending their lead 56-45 with just under 11 minutes remaining.  

Toledo responded with a 5-0 run, cutting BG’s lead to 62-56 with just over six minutes remaining.  

Shortly thereafter, Toledo cut BG’s lead to just five points with four-and-a-half minutes remaining.  

However, on the next possession, Agee grabbed his fourth offensive rebound of the night and converted a putback layup, extending the Falcon’s lead to 66-59.  

After the Rockets once again cut BG’s lead to five points, senior guard Da’Shawn Phillip drained a three-pointer, giving Bowling Green an eight-point advantage with three-and-a-half minutes left in the contest, 69-61.  

In the final three-and-half minutes of the contest, Bowling Green’s defense bent but did not break, as the Falcons held on for the eight-point victory, 76-68.  

REVIEW OF THE GAME  

The Falcon’s defense clamped down in the second half, holding Toledo to just 34.6% (9-26) shooting from the field in the final 20 minutes of the contest.  

“Our defense is back. That right there shows our defense is back,” Agee said postgame. “We put a lot of effort and energy into it during our practices and the closed doors, and that game right there showed that we have been preparing for that.”  

Overall, Bowling Green shot 50% (27-54) from the field, 33.3% (4-12) on three-pointers and 85.7% (18-21) on free throws.  

Meanwhile, Toledo shot 41.8% (23-55) from the field, 45% (9-20) from beyond the arc and 81.3% (13-16) from the charity stripe.  

The Falcons outrebounded the Rockets 35 to 28 while both teams turned the ball over 13 times.  

Agee finished with a 10-point and 11-rebound double-double, his 13th of the season. Phillip scored 11 points while senior guard Trey Thomas added 10. 

However, the player of the night for the Falcons was Hill. 

The Rockford, Illinois, native dominated, finishing with 31 points, six rebounds, two steals and a block. Hill, who notched his third 30-point performance of the season, shot 11-24 from the field and 9-11 on free throws in 38 minutes of action.  

“It being my first year, I didn’t really know the history of [the Toledo rivalry], but every time I go to the [Cleveland Cavaliers games] or something, they’re like ‘you have to beat Toledo; that’s the one you have to beat,'” Hill said postgame. “So, it feels good to beat them.”  

Next up, the Orange and Brown will stay in Bowling Green home to battle Miami (OH) on Tuesday at the Stroh Center. Tip-off between the Falcons and RedHawks is set for 7 p.m.  

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

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