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Falcons win season opener at home

Basketball
Basketball

The Bowling Green men’s basketball team started their season with a 79-61 win over New Orleans. The game was the first official game under new head coach Michael Huger.

The Falcons were led by redshirt freshman Rasheed Worrell, who had 15 points, seven rebounds and one block in the game.

In addition to Worrell there were three other Falcons who ended in double figures. Wes Alcegaire had 14, Antwon Lillard had 13 and Zack Denny had 11.

“It’s not an individualized team. We are all in the gym working,” Worrell said. “Different players have to get set for different things.”

The game was also the first for Worrell, who sat all of last year as a redshirt. In practice last season, he had the opportunity to improve his game going up against Falcon star Richaun Holmes, who is now playing NBA basketball with the Philadelphia 76ers.

“Last year I battled Richaun every day,” Worrell said. “I learned how to be explosive like him, that’s what I try to do. Play low to the ground and when the ball comes your way around the basket you have to go

up strong.”

The Falcons shot an efficient 45.5 percent from the field as a team and a less efficient 26.1 percent from the three point line. Either way, Kruger believes the team got through the beginning season jitters and are now ready to lock in for the season.

“It’s definitely a relief. Now you can just go out and play,” said Kruger. “Now our guys know we have that first win under our belt. Now we can just go out and play the next game and that’s what we’re looking for against Cincinnati.”

The team won a lot of the little battles in the stat sheet, which led to the 18 point victory. The Falcons beat out New Orleans in second chance points 13-6, fast break points 10-9, bench points 31-27, points in the paint 38-30 and tied in points off turnovers 16-16.

The team also moved the ball well, racking up 13 points in the assists column compared to New Orleans eight.

Most of that dominance came in the second half, shooting almost a full 10 percent better than in the first. At the 6:54 mark in the second the Falcons held their largest lead at 24.

The team lost a lot of experience between seasons and saw a lot of production from new faces in game one of the season.

“The new guys did a great job of stepping up,” Huger said. “Rasheed especially, he established himself early … and Wesley did the same thing. He took better shots today. And Antwon is just special. He’s a special player that you don’t come across very often.”

The team will be in action again this Wednesday against Cincinnati at 7 p.m. in the Stroh.

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