"We anticipated a Wright State team to come in here with an established culture, Coach Donlon has done a good job and they had just beat Belmont, so they came in with some confidence. Belmont is a very good program and in our scouting it really told our guys how hard they played. That was the thing that stuck out the most -- how intense they played and how they scraped and scratched and clawed. So as a staff we were really looking forward to playing a team like that to see where we are at," said head coach Chris Jans.
BGSU also improved to 17-0 in the Stroh Center when scoring 70 points or more in the game.
Sophomore guard Zack Denny led the Falcons with a career-high 18 points and seven rebounds as the sharp-shooter was 6-of-9 from the field overall and 4-of-4 from behind the three-point line in 27 minutes of play.
Junior forward Spencer Parker added 14 points, six rebounds and three steals, while senior big man Richaun Holmes had nine points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots.
The Raiders were led by Chrishawn Hopkins 13 points, as he was 4-of-8 from the floor overall, while Joe Thomasson added nine points and nine rebounds in the loss.
For the second straight game, the Falcons got on the scoreboard first as Chauncey Orr hit a layup from the left block 23 seconds into the contest to take a 2-0 lead.
BGSU pushed its lead to seven at 9-2 on a layup from Garrett Mayleben at the 14:43 mark, only to see Wright State answer with an 11-4 run over the next six minutes to tie the game up at 13-13 on a free throw from Mark Howell with 9:08 to go in the opening half.
The home team answered with a layup from Jehvon Clarke and a free throw from Parker to retake the lead at 16-13. However, Wright State responded once more with five quick points to jump-start a 15-6 run and take its largest lead of the game at 28-23 on a three-pointer from Reggie Arceneaux with 1:10 to go before the break.
Denny closed out the first half with four quick points to cut the Raiders lead to one at 28-27 at the halftime intermission.
The Falcons, who had 10 turnovers in the first half, took care of the ball in the second half, committing only four turnovers over the final 20 minutes of play, and picked up the intensity on the defensive end to hold the Raiders to only six made field goals for the entire second half.
"We settled down in the second half and our defense took hold and we continued to guard," continued Coach Jans. "I was probably most pleased in the fact that for forty minutes I felt like they were trying to defend the way we want them to."
The trend started from the opening possession of the second half, as Bowling Green's Orr drew a charge on Steven Davis of Wright State to give the ball to the Falcons.
BGSU followed with three straight layups down low in the paint to retake the lead at 33-31 on a rebound and put back basket from Holmes at the 18:03 mark.
Following an old-fashion three-point play from Hopkins of WSU to put the Raiders back on top at 34-33, the two teams traded both baskets and the lead until a free throw from Parker and a trey from Denny pushed the Falcons' lead back out to three at 41-38 with 15:41 to go in the game.
The Falcons did not look back as a turn-around jumper from Delvin Dickerson, a layup from Denny and a free throw by Holmes kept the home team in front by five at 46-41 with 12:53 left on the game clock.
After a three-pointer from Grant Evans less than 20 seconds later and a jumper by Michael Karena in the paint put the Raiders down just three at 49-46 with 10:10 left to play, the Falcons defense locked down Wright State as the visitors scored just nine points the rest of the way. All nine points came from the free throw line.
The defense fueled the offense, as the Falcons got a 12-foot jumper from Anthony Henderson at the 8:56 mark to kick off a 15-3 run, highlighted by three's from Denny and David Joseph, as well as back-to-back blocks on the same defensive possession from Holmes, to pull away from the Raiders by 15 points at 64-49 with just over three minutes to play in regulation.
Wright State hit six free throws over the final 3:03 of the game as the Falcons held on to the double digit lead on the way to a 70-55 home opening win.
BGSU outscored the Raiders 30-16 in both points in the paint and bench points, and also held an 11-point advantage in second chance points at 14-3.
The Falcons shot 42.6 percent (23-of-54) overall, including going 5-of-11 from down town, and held the Raiders of Wright State to 32.7 percent (17-of-52) shooting for the game.
Bowling Green (2-0) will return to the Stroh Center on Tuesday, Nov. 25, at 7 p.m. to host Southeast Missouri State.
(Courtesy of BGSU Athletics)