Sentinel Sports Editor
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- With a quick 7-0 start to the second half, Bowling Green’s men’s basketball team was able to gain a 40-39 lead over Ohio University Saturday. That forced Ohio head coach Jim Christian to call a time out with 17:03 remaining in the game. After a few choice works from Christian, the Bobcats out-scored the Falcons, 39-25 the rest of the way to post a 78-65 victory at the Stroh Center.
After BG took its only lead of the game, Ohio scored on eight straight possessions.
“We couldn’t really counter that,” BG’s A’uston Calhoun said. “Them getting ahead and gaining momentum like that, they just went away with it.”
“You have to either be able to get stops consistently defensively or you’ve got to be able to keep scoring, because they are going to go on runs,” BG head coach Louis Orr said.
Still the Falcons hung in the game until the final five minutes.
A steal by Luke Kraus led to a Jordon Crawford layup and the Falcons were within five, 66-61, with 5:04 left in the game.
Over the next three minutes, Ohio made an 8-0 run to put the game away. Nick Kellogg and D.J. Cooper each hit a 3-pointer in the run.
“When you dig yourself in a hole with a good team that executes so well, especially with a good point-guard (Cooper), it’s hard to come back from that. Especially when they score (on consecutive possessions) and they get a few stops,” Calhoun said. “That puts a lot of pressure on us, on offense and on defense.”
Bowling Green was hurt by turnovers the entire game, including three turnovers during Ohio’s late 8-0 run. The Falcons had 21 turnovers in the game and Ohio, with 14 steals, scored 22 points off BG’s turnovers. The Falcons had 14 turnovers, resulting in 15 points in the first half.
“You can’t help them with turnovers.” Orr said.
The Falcons also struggled to score after Ohio’s defense took away Calhoun, who finished with a game-high 24 points.
Calhoun had 18 points in the first half and made four of his first six shots in the second half.
“He’s a guy who can manufacture points when he has it going,” Orr said.
However, for the last 13:11 of the game, Calhoun did not score, although he did not play the final two minutes.
“I think they were trying to force me to pass the ball a little bit more,” Calhoun said about Ohio’s defensive strategy. “I recall myself getting double-teamed on post-ups.
“They sent a help man from the top side at times, because I guess they know I kind of like playing to the middle,” Calhoun added.
In his final 11:11 of playing time in the game, Calhoun missed one shot and had one turnover.
Without Calhoun, the Falcons could not find another scorer. Craig Sealey was BG’s second-leading scorer, coming off the bench to score nine points in seven minutes.
“We really didn’t have anyone else get going,” Orr said.
Other than Calhoun and Crawford, the Falcons may have been hesitant to shoot after missing their first few shots in a game, Orr said.
“You want your guys to be confident out there and respond confidently, and I agree it’s got to be more guys (other) than just A’uston and Jordon,” Orr said. “They have to believe in themselves and not be reluctant shooters.”
NOTES: BG is now 12-17 overall and 6-8 in the Mid-American Conference ... Ohio is 21-8, 12-2 and secured the No. 2 seed for the MAC tournament with the win ... With his 24 points, Calhoun moved into 20th on BG’s all-time scoring list with 1,299 points, passing Keith Taylor (1981-85) who had 1,283 points ... Crawford is tied for 10th on BG’s career list with 117 3-pointers ... BG held a 35-26 rebounding edge with Calhoun and Cameron Black each having seven rebounds ... Bowling Green plays at Kent State on Tuesday with tipoff at 7 p.m. Ohio is at Buffalo Tuesday (7 p.m.).