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September 21, 2023

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BGSU men’s basketball recorded a season high 10 blocks and eight steals in 74-62 win over Western Kentucky

The BG men’s basketball team led by junior Richaun Holmes blocked the Hilltoppers attempt at spoiling the Falcons’ homecoming with a 74-62 win.

“We are thankful for the win and I give our guys credit,” said head coach Louis Orr.

The Falcons recorded a season-high 10 blocks, five of which came from Holmes on a night that was called very tightly by the referees. There was a total of 52 fouls called during the game with each team recording 26.

Falcon forward Spencer Parker was the only person to foul out of the game for either team. Parker made up for those five fouls by scoring a career-high 20 points, 14 of which came in the second half.

Although Holmes and Parker played well for the team, things did not start out well for the Falcons as they found themselves down 9-0 within the first three minutes of the game. The Hilltoppers 9-0 was fueled by five points by their leading scorer T.J. Price.

“We came out a little flat,” Orr said. “We turned the ball over. We had to get aggressive so I thought our guys did a good job when we changed the defense.”

A time out was called by coach Orr to stop the momentum. During that time out the Stroh Center was silent and it was clear the Hilltoppers had all the momentum. Coming out of the time out, the play called worked perfectly for the Falcons as Jaevon Clark threw a lob pass to Richuan Holmes on the baseline and Holmes dunked the alley-oop pass to get the Falcons on the board. That play not only woke up the Falcons but it woke up the Stroh Center as a whole.

After that dunk the Falcons went into a full-court press that they have been known to show in their past games. The change of defense caught the Hilltoppers off guard as the Falcons were able to force some turnovers and went on 13-5 run to get their first lead of the game, which was 15-14 around the 10-minute mark of the first half.

That run was led by senior Craig Sealey’s seven-straight points off the bench. During that monster, Sealey was all over the court on the offensive boards, earning a few put back layups and getting steals in that five-minute period on the defensive end.

It was clear the Falcons missed his leadership and veteran presence on the court early in the season as he was recovering from an offseason knee injury.

“Sealey gave us a big lift in the first half with his 12 points,” Orr said. “He gave us offense and energy.”

The Falcons continued to extend their lead after another small run and they led 23-14 with seven minutes in the first half. The Hilltoppers did not fold as they went on a 10-3 run of their own to cut the lead to two points.

This was a game of runs for each team and as the Hilltoppers ended their run, the Falcons started another run to take their lead back up to eight but the Hilltoppers went on another 10-2 run and cut the score to 36-34 going into halftime.

Coming out of halftime, the Falcons seemed more focused on both ends of the court as they scored 11 straight points, seven of which were scored by Parker. They also did not allow a second half point until the 13 minute mark , pushing their lead up to 47-36.

“I just wanted to come into the game and be aggressive,” Parker said. “I knew we needed a lift because we started slow against Oral Roberts and I didn’t want that to happen again.”

From that moment on, the referees took the game over as there were 29 fouls called in the second half, 16 against the Falcons and 13 against the Hilltoppers.

“With the new rules the fouls are something we will have to live with,” Parker said. “The second half took an eternity but luckily we were able to knock down our free throws.”

The Falcons have struggled in past games with free throw shooting particularly in their recent loss to the Golden Eagles when they went 1-5 from the free throw line late in the game.

“When we arrived back in BG from Cancun we came straight to the gym and shot free throws,” Parker said. “We shot two people at each hoop for about 30 minutes.”

That extra shooting seemed to have paid off as they shot 29-42, which is just under 70 percent.

The Hilltoppers attempted to come back but after every shot they made, the Falcons walked down the court and knocked down an important shot or free throw to keep their lead.

This win pushes the Falcons’ record to 3-4. They will be back in action Saturday afternoon against Xavier University at 2 p.m.

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