BOWLING GREEN - The Bowling Green men's basketball team held Samford to 27 percent shooting in the second half as the Falcons overcame a 14-point first-half deficit to defeat the Bulldogs 57-42 Saturday afternoon in the Stroh Center.
Bowling Green scored a season-high 40 second-half points and held Samford to just nine points over the first 17 minutes of the final period. The Falcons got strong second-half efforts from Jordon Crawford and Chauncey Orr as the duo combined for 23 in the last 20 minutes.
In holding Samford to 42 points, Bowling Green posted its second consecutive game in which an opponent was shut down, following a 54-41 win over Wayne State. It is the first time that a Bowling Green men's basketball team has held back-to-back opponents to 42 points or less since doing so against Loyola and Pepperdine on Dec. 22 and Dec. 27, 1949.
It didn't look great early-on as the Falcons quickly fell behind 16-6 before rallying to get within five at 18-13. A'uston Calhoun, who scored eight of those first 13 points, picked up his second foul with 7:41 to play in the half and went to the bench. Bowling Green's offense went into a funk and Samford scored the next nine points to take its biggest lead of the game at 27-13. Luke Kraus hit a pair of jumpers in the final 90 seconds of the period to get the Falcons back within 10 at the break.
As the second half began, Bowling Green began to find its rhythm, scoring on the first four offensive possessions of the period to close to within six. James Erger's three-pointer with 12:30 left made it 33-30, but Samford scored on its next possession to go ahead by five.
From there, the Bulldogs scored just one point in a 10-minute stretch as the Falcons took over. Crawford hit back-to-back three-pointers to put Bowling Green ahead for good at 36-35 as the Falcons used a 22-1 run to pull away. By the time the dust settled, the Orange and Brown led 52-36 with less than two minutes to play and the Falcons rolled to the 57-42 win.
Three players scored in double-figures for Bowling Green, led by Crawford who scored all 14 of his points in the second-half after going 0-for-9 in the opening 20 minutes. Calhoun finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, leaving him with 998 career points and putting him on the precipice of becoming the 40th player in school history to reach 1,000. Orr tied his career-best with 11 points, nine of which came in the second half.
Richaun Holmes came off the bench to post seven points, five rebounds and three blocked shots, his fifth consecutive multi-block game. Luke Kraus added six points and two steals.
As a team, Bowling Green made 15-of-17 free-throws for 88.2 percent. In the last five games, the Falcons have shot 84.3 percent from the line.
The Falcons also had a 35-27 rebounding advantage and committed just eight turnovers, seven fewer than Samford. The turnover differential accounted for a 23-7 BGSU scoring edge in points off of turnovers. Bowling Green's bench outscored an opponent for the sixth consecutive game as the Bulldogs got just four points from their non-starters.
Samford falls to 2-9 with the loss and Bowling Green moves above .500 for the first time this year at 5-4. The Falcons will have 10 days off before hosting No. 19 Michigan State Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. in the Stroh Center. The Spartans will be the first ranked men's basketball team to ever play a game in the Stroh Center.