BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – The Bowling Green Falcons held Western Michigan to its lowest point total of the season and led from start to finish in a 65-49 MAC win Tuesday at the Stroh Center.
The Falcons, who led by as many as 24 points in the win, held WMU to just 34 percent shooting (17-of-50) overall and only 20 percent (4-of-20) from behind the three-point line in the 10th BGSU home win of the season.
Bowling Green was just one shy of its season-high in steals with 10 and also forced the Broncos into 17 turnovers, which led to 27 points for the Orange and Brown.
With the win, BGSU improves to 16-6 overall and 8-3 in MAC play. The loss drops the Broncos to 14-10 overall and 5-6 in league play.
Junior Spencer Parker poured in a season-high 19 points to lead the Falcons in scoring, as the forward was 7-of-10 from the field overall and 5-of-5 from behind the three-point arc for the game. Redshirt-senior guard Anthony Henderson added 15 points, five rebounds and three steals, while senior forward Richaun Holmes recorded 12 points, six rebounds and four blocks in the win.
With his 12 points for the game, Holmes has now scored in double digits in 11 straight contests.
The Broncos, who were without Austin Richie due to injury, were led by Thomas Wilder's 16 points, while David Brown finished with nine points on 3-of-12 shooting.
(CLICK READ MORE TO CONTINUE . . . )
Making only his second start in a BGSU uniform, junior Delvin Dickerson opened up the contest with five straight points to put the Falcons up 5-0 less than two minutes into the contest.
The WMU duo of Wilder and Brown got the visitors in black back into the game with nine points over the next five minutes of play to cut the BGSU lead down to one at 10-9 on a free throw from Brown.
BGSU answered with another quick 5-0 spurt on a jumper from Zack Denny and a three-ball from Parker to increase its lead to six at 15-9, yet it saw the Broncos respond with a jumper and three-pointer of their own to again put the Falcons lead to just one at 15-14 with 10:41 to go in the first half.
After the two teams traded baskets, the Falcons held the Broncos scoreless for the next five minutes of the game and used a 10-0 run to push their lead to double digits at 27-16 on back-to-back free throws from Jehvon Clarke.
A layup on the right block from Connar Tava at the 2:43 mark ended the Broncos' scoring drought, yet it did not slow down the Falcons' offense. Parker hit a driving layup, which was followed by a steal and a breakaway tomahawk slam by Henderson to put the home team up 13 at 31-18 with 1:35 to go before the break.
The Falcons would use a three-pointer from the right wing from Parker late in the half to offset a trey from WMU's Brown as the half closed out to take a 34-22 halftime lead over the visiting Broncos.
Western Michigan opened up the second half of play with two quick baskets, which not only clipped the BGSU lead to eight at 34-26, but evoked a Falcon timeout with 18:56 left on the game clock.
The Orange and Brown got the message, as the Falcons used a free throw from Clarke and back-to-back three-pointers from Henderson to storm out on a 7-0 run out of the timeout and take a 15-point lead at 41-26 with just under 17 minutes to play in regulation.
The visiting Broncos were able to get to within 13 points of the Falcons at 41-28 and then at 43-30, yet that was as close as they would get for the remainder of the game. Holmes, Parker and Henderson combined to score the next 11 points for BGSU, who ran out to an 18-point lead at 52-34 with 8:58 to play.
Following a 5-0 run from WMU to again put the Falcons lead at 13, Bowling Green got back-to-back layups from Parker and Holmes, and then two straight treys from Parker to soar out to a 23-point lead at 62-39 with 4:42 on the game clock.
With the game already decided, the Broncos connected on six free throws and two layups over the final four minutes of the game to cut into the BGSU lead and put the final score at 65-49.
WMU outscored the Falcons 24-22 in points in the paint and 9-6 in second chance points. However, BGSU held a 27-15 advantage in points off turnovers, 16-6 edge in fast break points and 25-12 lead in bench points.
Overall the Falcons shot 43.9 percent (25-of-57) from the field and 43.5 percent (10-of-23) from long range. BGSU was just 5-of-8 (62.5 percent) at the free throw line in the win.
Bowling Green (16-6, 8-3 MAC) will take its three-game winning streak on the road this Saturday, Feb. 14, as the Falcons face Ball State at 4:30 p.m. ET in Muncie, Indiana. BGSU defeated Ball State 58-46 at home in the Stroh Center back on Jan. 17. Western Michigan hosts Northern Illinois – also at 4:30 p.m. ET.