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September 21, 2023

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Holmes scores 21 points, 14 rebounds, 7 blocks in 10 point victory Wednesday against the University of North Dakota

Richaun+Holmes+jumps+towards+the+basket+for+a+slam+dunk+against+the+University+of+North+Dakota+on+Wednesday.+He+scored+19+points+in+the+second+half%2C+resulting+in+the+Falcons%26%238217%3B+79-69+victory+against+UND.%26%23160%3B

Richaun Holmes jumps towards the basket for a slam dunk against the University of North Dakota on Wednesday. He scored 19 points in the second half, resulting in the Falcons’ 79-69 victory against UND.

 

The BG men’s basketball team defeated the University of North Dakota 79-69 last night in a game that showed how explosive the Falcons frontline can be when they stay out of foul trouble.

The Falcons used a huge second-half effort from junior Richaun Holmes as he totalled 21 points, 14 rebounds, seven blocks and four assists. For the amount of talent Holmes has shown all year he set a bunch of career bests; this was his first career double-double, he had a career high in rebounds, and with the seven blocks, pushed his career block total to 101, tying a school record for blocks in a game.

“I always want to make it easier on my teammates,” Holmes said. “If I see one of my teammates open I want to get them the ball. It’s the team before me all the time, whatever I can do to help the team.”

Holmes’ partner downlow center Cameron Black had a pretty good game of his own downlow as well. Black added 13 points, seven rebounds and four blocks on 22 minutes played.

With the four blocks, he surpassed Josh Almanson for fourth all time in BG history. Black left the game for a brief moment for what looked like a cramp but was quickly sent back in the game.

“It’s fun when you have us two in the front court and we are playing well together,” Holmes said. “Us playing well downlow opens up opportunities for our guards.”

With Black and Holmes playing so well all game long it opened driving lanes for the wing players like Holmes said. Spencer Parker took full advantage as everytime he seemed to have the ball he was attacking the basket. Parker ended the game with a total of 19 points and a career high eight rebounds. The big number was his ability to get to the free throw line 10 times and converting nine of them.

“Spencer is a guy that gets to the line,” head coach Louis Orr said. “We didn’t leave the line empty tonight.”

North Dakota has been a team that has won and lossed by the way its guard Troy Huff played and in the first half he looked frustrated, but other players stepped up to keep them in the game. Although Huff only scored three points in the first half they were kept in the game by Urbana, Ohio native Josh Schuler who went on a spurt of scoring eight points in a row.

Schuler, with his whole family watching in the stands, kept the game close going into halftime as the Falcons led 30-27. Huff would pick it up late in the second and finish with 19 points.

“It was tough for him to get looks around the basket,” Orr said. “But he is a gamer and he feeds off turnovers. We did a pretty good job on him but it is hard to hold a guy like him down.”

The second half was the Richaun Holmes show as he scored 19 points, had 12 rebounds, six blocks and one assist in that half. It got to the point that when Holmes was down low UND would not attempt to go down low. In one possession Holmes got a block, UND got the rebound then Holmes blocked another shot sending it out of bounds, UND came back inside and Holmes blocked that shot as well taking the ball right out of the players hand while he attempted the layup.

“Richaun stepped it up in the second half,” Orr said. “That’s an effort thing to me he did not want to lose. If you want to be a great player you have to step up and he did.”

Leading 40-38 in the second half the Falcons were able to go on an 11-0 run thanks to four points from Holmes and five from Black.

The stars of the game was Holmes and Black but what was not talked about is the team defense that the Falcons played in the halfcourt sets. Whether they were in a 2-3 zone, man to man defense or pressing they seemed to rotate as a team effortlessly everytime. UND came into the game only averaging 10 turnovers a game the Falcons were able to force 11 and score 12 points off of those turnovers.

The game, although tight defensively for the Falcons, was very sloppy and ugly turnover wise. They turned the ball over 21 times and out of those 21 maybe three or four were from the press, Orr said.

“We were our own worst enemy at times with the turnovers,” Orr said. “The 21 turnover and their 24 points off those turnovers gave them more life than we needed to.”

Craig Sealey did not play this game due to an ankle injury he picked up in the loss to Xavier Saturday afternoon and is listed as day-to-day, Orr said.

The Falcons will travel to Morehead State University Sunday at 2 p.m. for a chance to become .500 again for the second time this season.

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