KENT, OHIO -- Five road teams picked up victories on the opening weekend of Mid-American Conference play. None of those outcomes were more surprising than Saturday night at the MAC Center, where the Bowling Green Falcons dominated Kent State 86-64.
The win extended a Bowling Green (9-5, 1-0 MAC) winning streak to five games as the Falcons defeated Kent State (11-3, 0-1) for the third time in the last four meetings in Northeast Ohio.
“We were able to play good defense -- both individually and as a unit,” Falcons head coach Michael Huger said. “That was the best overall performance since I have been the head coach at Bowling Green.”
Senior Demajeo Wiggins had 19 points and 14 rebounds -- his 11th double-double of the season. Senior Antuwan Lillard came off the bench to score 14, hitting three-of-four shots from three point range, while fellow senior Dylan Frye added 12.
KSU saw its three-game winning streak overall and six-game streak at home come to an end. “This was one of the worst losses I have ever been involved with at Kent State.” Flashes head coach Rob Senderoff said.
They were led by freshman Anthony Roberts who came off the bench to score a career high 17 points, going 7-of-13 from the floor.
Like the Falcons, the Flashes also had four players in double figures. Senior Jalen Avery had 13, senior Jaylin Walker came off the bench to score 11, and junior Phillip Whittington contributed 10 with nine rebounds. All of his points coming in the first half.
The game took shape in the opening six minutes when the Falcons scored the first seven points and then extended the lead to 11 at the 14:343 mark on a slam dunk by sophomore Daequon Plowden.
From that point on, BGSU never trailed. The Falcons opened as much as a 14-point lead before halftime 42-28 on a slam dunk by Wiggins with a minute remaining.
It was more of the same in the second half as the Falcons opened as much as a 25-point lead on two occasions before winning by 22.
The margin of victory was the largest by BGSU against Kent State since January, 2013 when it beat the Flashes at the old Anderson Arena 70-55. The loss was Kent State’s largest at home since November, 2009 when South Florida won 75-59.
Statistically, the Orange and Brown prevailed in several key areas. Bowling Green shot 50.7 per cent from the field (35-of-69). BGSU won the rebound battle 38-32 and forced 16 KSU turnovers resulting in 24 Falcon points.
The Flashes shot only 38.7 percent over the 40 minutes (24-of-62) and were only 8-of-28 from beyond the arc.
Both teams will return to action on Tuesday with Bowling Green playing its MAC home opener against Ohio, while KSU faces Western Michigan. Tuesday games start at 7 p.m. ET