BGSU held the Vikings to only 7-of-32 (21.9 percent) shooting in the second half, while the Falcons shot 11-of-21 (52.4 percent) from the field and 18-of-24 (75 percent) from the free throw line over the final 20 minutes of play to register the comeback win.
The win pushes Bowling Green to 6-2 overall and 4-0 at home this season. The loss drops Cleveland State to 4-5 on the year.
"Obviously they punched us in the mouth to start the game. From the jump it seemed like we were down and we were fighting uphill for the majority of the first half,” BGSU head coach Chris Jans said. “We changed defenses there late, went to a press and went to a zone. Slowed them down a little bit. I thought we got a little momentum going into halftime. We made a shot the last play of the half which really helped us,"
The Falcons had four players score in double figures led by Richaun Holmes' 15 points and nine rebounds, while Zack Denny just missed out on his first-ever double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds.
Off the bench, Delvin Dickerson poured in a career-high 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting. Jehvon Clarke chipped in with 10 points, all in the second half, on 3-of-6 shooting and 2-of-2 from downtown. Both David Joseph and Jovan Austin dished out four assists apiece in the win.
Cleveland State was led by Tre Lewis' 14 points, seven rebounds, five steals and four assists, while guard Charlie Lee and forward Marlin Mason contributed with 13 and 11 points apiece, respectively.
Despite taking a 6-4 lead on an alley-oop dunk from Clarke to Holmes at the 16:25 mark, BGSU struggled offensively overall in the early stages of the contest as Cleveland State ran out to a 12-6 lead on a layup from Lewis at the 13:55 mark of the first half.
A 5-0 run, highlighted by a three-pointer from the left wing from Denny, over a 54-second stretch trimmed the Vikings' lead to one at 12-11, only to see the Vikings answer with three straight three-balls from Lee. That pushed the CSU lead out to 10 points at 21-11 with 11:24 to go in the opening half.
Four straight points from Dickerson off the bench put the Falcons down six at 21-15 with just over 10 minutes to play in the first half. However, the next seven minutes saw Cleveland State hit three three-pointers and outscore the Falcons 10-4 to take its largest lead of the game by 12 at 31-19 with 3:59 to play before the halftime break.
That would be the last points the Falcons would surrender for nearly the next 10 minutes of play, as BGSU ended the half out on a 5-0 run to put the score at 31-24 in favor of the visiting Vikings at the half.
The Falcons carried over the momentum from the end of the first half to the start of the second, as BGSU scored the first nine points out of the halftime break to take its second lead of the game at 33-31 on two made free throws from Joseph with 15:22 to go in the game.
Cleveland State ended its nearly 10-minute scoring drought with free throws from Kaza Keane at the 14:13 minute mark to tie the game back up at 33-33. However, the BGSU defense continued to hold the Vikings without a made field goal for another 33-seconds until a layup from Lewis tied the game up once more, this time at 35-35 at the 13:37 mark of the second half.
After an old-fashion three-point play by Mason put the Vikings down just one at 39-38, the Falcons' Clarke drained two straight three-pointers from long range to jump-start a 14-3 run for the Orange and Brown over a three minute stretch to give the home team a 12-point lead at 53-41 on a fast break alley-oop from Austin to Dickerson with 8:12 on the game clock.
The Falcons refused to relinquish the double digit lead, as free throws from Austin, a jumper from Dickerson and two more foul shots from Denny kept the BGSU lead at 13 points at 59-46 with just over four minutes to go in regulation.
BGSU closed out the contest with a total of six free throws from the trio of Holmes, Austin and Denny, as well as a one-handed windmill dunk from Holmes on a breakaway to help secure the 67-57 home win.
The Falcons out-rebounded the Vikings 42-31 for the game and edged CSU by one at 6-5 in second chance points. BGSU also outscored CSU 27-13 in bench points.
For the contest, BGSU shot 19-of-45 (42.2 percent) from the field overall, including hitting 5-of-12 (41.7 percent) from three-point range, while the Vikings shot just 20-of-61 (32.8 percent) overall and were just 6-of-27 (22.2 percent) from long distance.
Bowling Green (6-2) will remain at home to host Ferris State on Sunday, Dec. 21, at 1 p.m. in the Stroh Center.
(Courtesy of BGSU Athletics/MRO Edit)