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BGSU men’s basketball’s season comes to an end, falling to Purdue Fort Wayne in the CIT, 77-75  

Bowling Green, OH – Falcons Senior Jason Spurgin (7) covering his face in sadness after their 77-75 loss to Purdue Fort Wayne at Stroh Center in Bowling Green, Ohio

The Bowling Green men’s basketball team’s (20-14, 10-8 MAC) season ended Wednesday night, falling to Purdue Fort Wayne (22-12, 11-9 Horizon League) in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) at the Stroh Center, 77-75.  

“Good college basketball game; two teams that didn’t want their season to end. Our guys competed. The guys were resilient like they were all year, and it was kind of symbolic of what this group is. They fought all year long through every game, and that’s kind of the hallmark of this group,” BGSU head coach Todd Simon said postgame. “Really, really proud of this group. I think their character, their pride in BG and what they did for our program won’t be forgotten.”  

FIRST HALF  

Although Bowling Green jumped out to a 5-0 lead to start the game, both teams began fast, combining to score 27 points in the first five minutes of the contest, with BG holding a 15-12 advantage at the first media timeout.  

The teams continued battling back and forth for much of the first half.  

However, the Mastodons would catch fire, going on a 14-0 run and pulling out to a 10-point lead with just over two minutes remaining, 37-27.  

While the Falcons tried to cut the deficit towards the end of the first half, they committed two turnovers in the final 27 seconds, with Purdue Fort Wayne turning the mistakes into four points, heading into the locker room with a 12-point lead, 43-31.  

The Mastodons were efficient in the first half, shooting 43.2% (16-37) from the field and 46.2% (6-13) on three-pointers.  

Meanwhile, the Falcons struggled from deep, shooting 46.2% (12-26) from the field and just 23.1% (3-13) from beyond the arc.  

SECOND HALF  

The second half started much like most of the first half, with both teams trading shots.  

However, BGSU went on a 6-0 run, cutting Purdue Fort Wayne’s lead to just seven points with 16 minutes remaining, 51-44.  

The Falcons would go on another 6-0 run a few minutes later, cutting PFW’s lead to just four points, 57-53.  

After the Mastodons responded with a layup, BG took all the momentum, going on an 8-0 run and taking a two-point lead with just under nine minutes left in the contest, 61-59.  

The teams would battle back and forth for the remainder of the contest, with Purdue Fort Wayne holding a slight advantage.  

PFW sophomore forward Eric Mulder made the game-winning layup with 20 seconds remaining, putting the Mastodons up by two points, 77-75.  

The Falcons had a chance to tie or win the game with 15 seconds remaining. However, senior forward Jason Spurgin’s three-point attempt came up short and senior forward Sam Towns was unable to convert the second-chance layup as Purdue Fort Wayne took control of the ball to end Bowling Green’s season.  

REVIEW OF THE GAME  

Purdue Fort Wayne’s offense was solid, as they shot 46.9% (30-64) from the field, 33.3% (7-21) on three-pointers and 90.9% (10-11) on free throws.  

Meanwhile, Bowling Green struggled on deep shots all night, shooting 48.3% (28-58) from the floor and 77.8% (14-18) from the charity stripe but just 25% (5-20) from beyond the arc.  

Hill capped off a phenomenal season with another standout performance, leading all scorers with 26 points, shooting 8-15 from the field, 1-3 on three-pointers and 9-11 on free throws.  

“Just a special talent; he’s a special talent and special human being. Very coachable and very driven; he’s got a competitive fire, and his work ethic is fantastic,” Simon said. “His best days are ahead of him, without question. I don’t know where that ceiling is, but I think it’s very, very high. To do what he did in year one as a [Division I college basketball player] is not normal, and we’re proud of him.”  

Spurgin led the Falcons with eight rebounds and five assists, adding 12 points in 35 minutes of action.  

Senior guards Da’Shawn Phillip and Trey Thomas rounded out BG’s double-digit scorers, finishing with 16 and 13 points, respectively.  

Towns, who started in place of senior forward Rashaun Agee, sitting out the contest due to injuries, tallied six points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks in 26 minutes.  

The lack of Agee’s presence was evident, as the Mastodons outrebounded the Falcons 34-33.  

However, depth played a significant role in the contest, with PFW’s bench outscoring BG’s 16-2.  

While the season may not have ended like they wanted, Simon and the Falcons believe this year’s campaign was successful in many ways.  

“Last year at this time, me and the staff were held up in a rental while our families were away, and we were just working 24 hours a day and trying to sell the vision of Bowling Green basketball. When you’re trying to sell something that maybe hasn’t happened yet, that’s a little difficult,” Simon said. “Now, we’ve got something to say. We’re a successful program, we won 20 games, you can play in front of a lot of fans. So, we have something now that’s more tangible, and the returns on that are already being seen…I think we checked a lot of boxes this year in terms of building an expectation, an expectation to win, an expectation in the classroom, an expectation in the weight room, an expectation off the floor and community service.” 

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Tyler Kavalecz, Sports Production Director

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