Thursday, December 24, 2015

BGSU 62, Cleveland State 47: Cold shooting Vikings fall to Falcons

BGSU's 19-4 run sinks CSU

BY TOM MIESKOSKI

Cleveland State head coach Gary Waters usually opens every press conference by saying: "I give honor to god first."

But after Wednesday's 62-47 loss to Bowling Green State University, Waters opened with a question.

"Can you shoot any worse?" he said. "You can't beat anybody shooting 27 percent."

CSU (4-8) shot season-lows from the field (27.1 percent) and from three-point range (15 percent) and had its season-high two game winning streak snapped. They made just 16 of 59 shots from the field and were three of 20 from long range.

"The last three or four games we shot the ball better, but today we went back to not shooting it well," said Waters. "The key is to make this just one game. We got to look at this about one game that we didn't shoot well."

It was the third lowest point total (47) that CSU has had this season and the fewest points they have scored in nearly a month.

It was the fewest points that CSU has scored since Nov. 25 when the Vikings scored just 44 points in a loss to South Dakota State in Cancun, Mexico.

Despite the poor shooting, CSU was able to keep the game close because of its defense.

They trailed by two at the break and held a 34-33 lead in the second half with 13:28 to go.

But costly turnovers, paint play and poor shooting doomed CSU.

Over the next 10 minutes, BGSU started to pull away.

An Ismail Ali lay-up sparked a 19-4 run that gave BGSU a 52-38 lead and the Vikings never led again.

During that decisive 10 minute stretch, CSU turned it over seven times.  They made only one of its nine shots from the floor, while 14 of BGSU's 19 points came in the paint.

"That was a key factor," Waters said about the turnovers. "I think we were trying to force it a little bit and when that happens you're going to struggle."

BGSU (8-4) shot 52.2 percent in the second half as eight of their 12 field goals were lay-ups. The Vikings made only five field goals in the final 20 minutes.

Andre Yates had 11 points to lead the Vikings, but was 3 for 13 shooting. He was the only CSU player in double figures.

CSU's leading scorers Edwards (11.7 points per game) and Demonte Flannigan (10.7) combined for just six points.

Edwards, the Horizon League Freshmen of the Week, went scoreless in 21 minutes. He missed all eight of his shots from the floor and had five turnovers.

"You can't go with your top two guys going 3-for-15 (shooting)," said Waters. "Rob (Edwards) had a bad game. He didn't shoot this poorly ever. That happens to freshmen once in a while."

"Even our better shooter Danny Levitt can't buy a bucket," said Waters.

Levitt, a freshmen walk-on from Montreal, had eight points in 16 minutes off the bench. He made only one of his first five shots from long range. His second three-pointer of the game came with nine seconds left.

Spencer Parker and Zack Denny each scored 13 points a piece to lead the Falcons (8-4), while Demajeo Wiggins contributed a career-high 10 points off the bench.

The Vikings started off well, making two of its first three shots and took a 5-0 lead.

But then they couldn't buy a bucket.

They missed their next 11 shots as BGSU scored 11 straight points.

A Flannigan lay-up ended the scoring drought and sparked a 14-6 run that gave CSU a 19-17 lead.

However, BGSU scored the last four points of the half and took a 27-25 lead at the break.

CSU shot 11 for 37 (29.7 percent) from the field in the first half, including 2 for 13 from long range, They didn’t score a point over the final 1:44.

Yates led the Vikings with seven points in the opening half. No other Viking scored more then five points in the first 20 minutes.

BGSU shot 10 for 27 from the field in the first half and were 1 for 3 from three-point range.

"We defended fairly well (in the first half)," said Waters.

BGSU opened the second half with a Rasheed Worrell jumper, but Vinny Zollo responded with a lay-up that sparked a 9-4 run that gave CSU its only lead in the final 20 minutes (34-33).

Next up: CSU returns to action on Tuesday night, hosting Division II Cedarville in the final nonconference game.

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