The win was Bowling Green's first road victory of the 2016-17 season. The Falcons have now won four-straight games at Worthen Arena, and have beaten the Cardinals in eight of the last nine meetings.
Bowling Green improves to 7-8, and 1-1 in Mid-American Conference play with the win. Ball State drops to 0-2 in conference play and 9-6 overall with the loss.
"It's a lot of fun. We worked . . .
"I'm very happy with the way that we defended the three-point line. We were able to close them out, and we did a great job of closing those guys out and running them off the three-point line. Our guys just battled and battled, and they didn't give up. In the first half, we gave up way too many second-chance points. We thought if we cleaned that up, we could get out in transition, and that's what happened in the second half."
Ball State countered with a 9-0 run that was capped by a Tayler Persons layup with 2:04 to go. Persons finished with a game-high 21 points. Sophomore Antwon Lillard answered immediately for the Falcons, as he drove to the lane and finished inside to give the Orange and Brown a 72-69 lead with 1:47 left on the clock.
Persons drew a foul with 45 seconds left, and pulled Ball State within a single point again at 72-71, but Lillard was up to the task again. He hit a contested layup with 25 seconds to go to inch the Falcons' lead back up to three points at 74-71.
Bowling Green then locked the Cardinals down on the defensive end. It looked like BSU's Francis Kiapway had an open look at a game-tying triple, but senior Zack Denny closed down and blocked the shot. The ball hit off Denny and went out of bounds, giving the Cardinals another look at the basket.
Sean Sellers took a very-well defended three that barely drew iron. Denny came down with the rebound, got fouled, and secured the win by knocking down two free throws.
Lillard tied his season high with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting. He also added eight rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal. Denny, who entered the game averaging 17.8 points and 11.3 rebounds in four-career games against Ball State, had another big ballgame versus the Cardinals. He finished with 15 points, eight rebounds, four steals, three blocks and two assists.
Wiggins continued his strong play with 17 points and eight rebounds. He went 6-for-11 from the field, and 5-for-5 from the three throw line. Senior Wes Alcegaire and freshman Rodrick Caldwell chipped in with eight points apiece. Caldwell went 3-for-6 from the floor, and had three rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Freshman Dylan Frye went 2-for-3 from the floor and 1-for-1 from deep to end the afternoon with five points. Redshirt-sophomore Rasheed Worrell had three points.
Sophomore guard Tayler Person led the way for BSU with 21 points. Joining him in double figures were Franko House (16, 10 rebounds), Sean Sellers (11) and Trey Moses (10 with 9 rebounds).
The Falcons will host Eastern Michigan Tuesday, while Miami is at Ball State. Both games are at 7 p.m. ET.