Bowling Green men's basketball dominated the Fairmont State Fighting Falcons during an early 11 a.m. game on Friday. The Falcons opened up the game by going on a 12-2 run and did not look back from there, unlike last game against Tiffin. The game was really never in reach for Fairmont and BGSU won by a score of 88-66.
Key Players: Justin Turner (16 pts, 4 asts), Daeqwon Plowden (8 pts, 10 rebs), Trey Diggs (11 pts, 6 rebs)
With the return of Caleb Fields from injury, he replaced Davin Zeigler at the starting shooting guard position. Other than that, the starting lineup of Dylan Frye, Justin Turner, Daeqwon Plowden, and Taylor Mattos remained the same.
The Falcons made sure not to come out flat like they did against Tiffin and were hitting what seemed like all of their shots within the first 5 minutes. Fairmont did all they could to disrupt the Falcon offense by running a few different defensive schemes. They started off with a full-court man press and would try and trap the corner if the ball was passed in there.
The Falcons were able to beat their press by moving the ball quickly up the court. They also ran a matchup 2-3 zone as well as a diamond press. Again, the Falcons were able to pass out of those defensive looks and find open shooters. Head coach Michael Huger praised Fairmont state for their intensity on defense.
“Fairmont did a really good job of making it difficult for us and mixing up the defenses,” Huger said. “We were able to settle down and got into a rhythm.”
Not only did the Falcons do well offensively, they were all over the place on defense. Fairmont was sloppy with the ball and the Falcons were able to take advantage of that by forcing 14 turnovers in the game. They were jumping the passing lane to get steals, pick-pocketing Fairmont’s guards and seemed to come up with every 50/50 ball.
However even though they were able to force 14 turnovers, they also gave up 14 of their own. BG opened up the second half very sloppy with the ball, causing careless turnovers and adding 17 points for Fairmont off turnovers which sparked a mini comeback for them. Huger commented on how not all leads are safe in college basketball, and players start to coast at a point.
“We have to learn how to put a team away, we don’t understand yet and that takes time and experience. When I played if we had team down 20, we looked to go 30, the mentality today is different. We guys are up 20 they think it’s showtime, that’s just what it is,” he said.
Despite the bump in the road, the Falcons matched their defensive intensity with their offense shooting 47% from the field in the game. They were able to settle down and run sets in the half court as well as capitalize on Fairmont turnovers scoring 19 points just off turnovers alone. They shot well from the field but have yet to hit from behind the arc consistently this year. Frye has struggled with his three a bit as well as Matiss Kulackovskis, but it is only a matter of time before those two find their shot again from three.
Despite the minor mistakes and turnover issues, the Falcons were able to cruise past Fairmont 88-66. The boys are looking ahead to face a solid Western Kentucky team at the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands.