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September 21, 2023

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BG Men’s basketball falls to Temple

The Men’s basketball team didn’t fare well during the winter break as they went 1-4, ending on a four game losing streak with Temple 75-57.

The loss to Temple on New Year’s Eve was the worst the Falcons have had this season.

Temple, who was ranked just outside the top 25 nationally, was on fire in the first half shooting 59 percent and led by as many as 29.

The Falcons rallied on an 11-0 run to conclude the first half but looked flat in the second. Crawford was held to just four points which snapped his streak of 10 consecutive double-digit scoring games.

Calhoun led the Falcons with a game-high 22 points with nine rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Temple’s 1,800th win in its history.

The game was the third away game in a row for BG, and the fourth loss. The new streak dates back to Dec. 18 with a loss to Michigan State.

The Falcons last win came at the beginning of break as they started off strong by defeating Samford at home 57-42. BG dominated the second half as its defense held the Bulldogs to 27% shooting while overcoming a 14 point first half deficit.

The momentum didn’t stop there as the Falcons put up a season high 40 points in the second half. Jordon Crawford and Chauncey Orr combined for 23 points in the last 20 minutes. Crawford finished the game with 14, all in the second half, while Orr tied a career-best 11 points.

The Falcons would start their losing streak a week and a half later as they were unable to keep the momentum going on national television. They welcomed then 20th ranked Michigan State to the sold-out Stroh Center. The Spartans won a close contest 64-53 as they had to pull away in the second half.

“I think this was a great crowd and an incredible venue,” Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo said. “To me it’s one of the nicer venues I’ve been in.”

The Cinderella-team Falcons were led by Orr who again set a new career high, this time with 16 points. Crawford as well as Orr were responsible for the critical three-point shooting that kept the Falcons in the game. Crawford finished with 10 points and seven assists. The Spartans would finish the game on a 19-8 run which gave them the win.

“We did a lot of the things we needed to do to give ourselves a chance to win,” BG Head Coach Louis Orr said. “But it’s tough when they have those periods where they go on a run late and you’re not able to generate offense.”

The domino effect started and continued in trip to Tampa, Fla. to face South Florida. The Falcons would hold their own before losing in three overtimes 87-84.

South Florida plays in the Big East conference which didn’t seem to matter to Crawford. Crawford would dump a career-high 27 points all after halftime. A’uston Calhoun would add 22 points of his own with eight rebounds.

Despite the length of the game both teams caught a short break as the power went out for 20 minutes in the first overtime. The Bulls shot 40 percent from the field compared to the Falcons 43 percent, however in the end the Falcons just came up short.

Following the long trip to Tampa and the long game, the Falcons would travel to Grand Forks, ND to play North Dakota. The Falcons again would loss a close contest 56-53.

Like many other games this season BG would overcome a deficit at halftime, this time 11 points, but came up empty on the last three possessions of the game. North Dakota took advantage of this with its aggressive play which resulted in offensive rebounds and a late Jamal Webb three-pointer with 43 seconds to play.

North Dakota out-rebounded the Falcons 45-42 which proved crucial in its win.

The Falcons four straight losses moves the team to 5-8 overall this season. BG will start MAC play Wednesday against Central Michigan.

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