Redemption feels sweet.
BGSU men’s basketball was on one of their worst stretches of basketball since they became a MAC title contender in 2018, and then they went to Savage Arena to play the first place in the MAC Toledo Rockets.
The Falcons walked into their arch rival’s arena with a six-game losing streak, and walked out with an 88-81 upset victory.
“After losing six in a row when the final buzzer went off it was a sense of relief, joy, excitement for my guys to finally see a victory and it was a lot of fun.
The win marks the first for the Falcons since Jan. 15 when they got a then huge season sweep over Buffalo. Back then, the Falcons were 6-1 in the MAC, with today’s victory the Falcons moved to 11-9, 7-7 MAC. Toledo falls to 16-6, 11-3 in the MAC with the loss.
The Falcons came out of the game with great intensity as unlike the game at the Stroh Center two weeks ago, the Falcons never let the Rockets get a big lead.
Redshirt senior Justin Turner was his usual self in the first half, leading the Falcons with 12 points.
But what the Falcons needed in this game was for the other players around Turner to step up. Turner putting the ball in the basket is nothing new.
They stepped up and more today as freshman Kaden Metheny and Josiah Fulcher were active all game, and especially down the stretch.
Midway through the first half, the Falcons would start to take control as they saw scoring coming from every which way, including seniors Daeqwon Plowden and Trey Diggs.
Diggs had a couple of threes in the half while Plowden was fierce attacking the basket.
This all led to a scorching hot 54% shooting percentage at the half for the Falcons and a 41-37 lead headed into the locker rooms.
The Falcons didn’t lose their intensity in the second half either.
The senior leaders Plowden and Turner continued to shine, as Plowden ended up with a team-high 22 points while Turner finished just behind him with 21.
Three other players scored in double figures as well as Diggs saw 17 points, Metheny 14 and Fulcher 10.
It was a scoring outburst for the Falcons all the way down the line and it contributed to the win.
Having five guys in double figures, that’s big time for us. It just feels great to win again,” Huger said.
The defense was uncharacteristically good too for the Falcons as they held the Rockets to 43% from the field and 28% from beyond the arc for the game.
“We did a great job of talking on defense. The energy and the effort was there and the talking ignited us. We’ve been practicing really well, it just hadn’t translated to a game. Today was the first day that I saw everything translate to the game,” Huger said.
Behind those five scorers, the Falcons continued to control the game as midway through the second half they would go on a 11-1 run capped off by a Metheny transition three that would force the Rockets to call a timeout down by 12.
The rest of the game consisted of Toledo playing catchup and it was relatively successful as the Rockets forced the deficit down to five with under a minute left. But in the end it was too little too late and the Falcons walked away with the humongous win.
“They threw punches, we sustained. We threw punches and just kept trying to go. I think keeping our energy and effort and keeping up and making sure the little things were adding up and our end, I think that is what we needed to win the game,” Plowden said.
The leading scorer in the game was Marreron Jackson, who led the Rockets with 27 points.
The Falcons will be back in action on Tuesday on the road against Ball State as the Falcons will look to seek revenge from their home loss to the Cardinals earlier in the season.