Falcons Face Cleveland State In NIT Season Tip-Off Monday - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

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Falcons Face Cleveland State In NIT Season Tip-Off Monday

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QUICK HITS (SIZED FOR YOUR TWITTER ADDICTION)
* Bowling Green meets Cleveland State in the first round of the NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament.
* BGSU holds an 8-7 lead in the all-time series against Cleveland State.
* BGSU shot 33 percent in the season-opening win over Lake Erie. The Falcons did not win a game a year ago shooting below 40 percent.
* With 338 career assists, Jordon Crawford ranks eighth in BGSU history.
* BGSU blocked seven shots in the win over Lake Erie, including three from newcomer Richaun Holmes.
* Jordon Crawford is tied for the MAC lead in scoring after posting 22 in the win over Lake Erie.
* BGSU attempted 35 free-throws against Lake Erie, the most since attempting the same against Buffalo on Jan. 17, 2008.
* Anthony Henderson came off the bench to tie his career scoring high with six points.
* BGSU had 20 offensive rebounds in the victory over Lake Erie.
* Jordon Crawford will play in his 97th career game against Cleveland State.
* Transfer Richaun Holmes, who led NJCAA Division II in blocked shots a year ago, had three blocks in his BGSU debut.
* Sophomore Chauncey Orr tied his career-high in scoring (seven) and set a career-best in rebounding (seven) against Lake Erie.
* BGSU did not play a neutral site game a year ago, but will do so Monday vs. Cleveland State.
* The Falcons won their 21st straight home opener and are 86-12 all-time in home openers.
* BGSU will look for its first 2-0 start to a season since 2003-04.

FALCONS FACE CLEVELAND STATE IN NIT TIP-OFF
Bowling Green leaves the friendly confines of the Stroh Center to play Cleveland State in the first round of the NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament Monday at 6 p.m. Both teams enter the game at 1-0 on the season and the Falcons will look for a 2-0 start for the first time since 2003-04.

THE SERIES
Bowling Green holds an 8-7 lead in 15 all-time meetings with Cleveland State, but the programs have not faced each other since 2002. BGSU won that meeting 80-72 and the Falcons have won two in a row overall.

LAST GAME: FALCONS WIN SEASON OPENER AGAINST LAKE ERIE
Despite shooting just 33 percent from the field, Bowling Green won its 21st consecutive home opener, defeating Lake Erie College 63-53 Frida night. Jordon Crawford had a game-high 22 points, 16 in the first half, as the Falcons never trailed after the first five minutes. BGSU held a 44-35 rebounding advantage, turned the ball over five less times, blocked seven shots and had 10 steals, but the offensive shooting woes helped Lake Erie hang around. Richaun Holmes came off the bench in his BGSU debut to finish with eight points, four rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals.

WINNING UGLY
One sign of a good team is the ability to win games when not playing at its best. The Falcons certainly did that in their opening game, shooting just 33 percent from the field, but coming away with the 63-53 win. BGSU lost all seven games a year ago when it shot below 40 percent and had not won a contest shooting as poorly as it did Friday night since shooting 30.2 percent in a 52-49 win over Ohio on Jan. 5, 2008.

WHAT A STEAL
With 10 steals in the season opener against Lake Erie, Bowling Green has continued the pressure defense it has developed in the past three years. The Falcons led the MAC in steals in 2010-11 and ranked third a year ago. Jordon Crawford has been one of the key figures in this area and picked up a team-high three steals against Lake Erie. He now has 132 for his career, needing just 11 more to move into the top 10 in BGSU history in that category.

AT THE LINE
In the season opener, Bowling Green attempted 35 free-throws, the most since the team attempted the same number against Buffalo on Jan. 17, 2008. The Falcons went to the line 21 more times than Lake Erie, the largest advantage the program has had in a game since attempting 21 more free-throws than Eastern Michigan on Feb. 7, 2006.

BLACK OUT
Junior center Cam Black closed the 2011-12 season with three consecutive multi-block games, including a career-best four against Oakland in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. With a block in the season opener against Lake Erie, he has at least one block in four consecutive games, posting nine during that stretch.

50% IS GREATER THAN 80%
Under Head Coach Louis Orr, Bowling Green has won more than 80 percent of its games when its shoots at least 50 percent from the floor. A year ago, the Falcons went 8-3 in such games and are 37-8 in Orr's five years at Bowling Green when reaching that total.

EVEN MORE SHOOTING PROWESS
Bowling Green went 5-0 a year ago when shooting at least 54 percent from the floor, defeating Temple, Malone, Western Michigan, Morehead State, and Kent State.

HEIGHT IS OVERRATED
At 5-feet-6, junior point guard Jordon Crawford is likely the best player in the country at his height. Over the summer, Bleacher Report named him the best Division I player in the nation at his height. He scored 22 points in the team's season opener and had 30 in the exhibition victory over Central State.

THE POST GAME
Head coach Louis Orr's philosophy is always to play inside-out and the Falcons have done that well during his tenure. In the past four seasons, BGSU has scored 20 or more points in the paint in 87-of-96 games. The high-water mark came when Bowling Green scored 58 points in the paint against Malone a year ago.

LUKE'S LAY-OFF
On Jan. 7, Luke Kraus played 12 minutes in a win over Ohio. Later in the week, he broke a bone in his foot and did not return. When he finally saw action against Lake Erie on Nov. 9, it was 307 days since he last played in a game.

HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
In just over one year, the Stroh Center has proven to be a difficult place for opponents to play. The Falcons are 1-0 this year at home after going 12-4 a year ago, including a mark of 3-0 against teams that eventually went to the NCAA Tournament (victories over Detroit, Temple and Ohio).

FALCONS ON REGIONAL/NATIONAL TELEVISION
BGSU will play a minimum of three games on ESPNU and SportsTime Ohio this year. The Falcons will host Michigan State on ESPNU on Dec. 18 and will host Eastern Michigan on STO on Jan. 12. The third guaranteed contest comes on STO on Jan. 30 at home against Akron. There will be 10 more MAC games selected to be aired on ESPN/STO throughout the year.

PRESEASON ALL-MAC
A'uston Calhoun earned East Division Preseason All-MAC honors by voting of 24 members of the MAC News Media. Calhoun was one of five players selected in the East Division, joining Buffalo's Javon McCrea, Akron's Zeke Marshall, and Ohio's D.J. Cooper and Walter Offutt.

MEDIA PICKS BOWLING GREEN FIFTH
Bowling Green was picked to finish fifth in the East Division by vote of 24 members of the MAC News Media. The Falcons were chosen ahead of Miami, while Ohio was selected to win the division, followed by Akron, Kent State and Buffalo.

CSM HONORS CALHOUN, CRAWFORD
College Sports Madness released its preseason All-MAC awards, naming A'uston Calhoun first team preseason All-MAC and Jordon Crawford third team.

A'USTON IS ALL-MAC
A'uston Calhoun was named to the 2012 All-MAC Second Team by vote of the league's 12 head coaches after being named honorable mention in 2011. Calhoun ranked fifth in the MAC in scoring in league games (15.1 points per game), eighth in field-goal percentage (50.3 percent), and 12th in rebounding (5.4 per game).