Falcons Preview for Eastern Michigan - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

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Falcons Preview for Eastern Michigan

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QUICK HITS (SIZED FOR YOUR TWITTER ADDICTION)
* Bowling Green plays its first home MAC game Saturday when the Falcons host Eastern Michigan at 6 p.m. on SportsTime Ohio.
* BGSU is 46-38 all-time against Eastern Michigan, but the Eagles have won the past two contests.
* Eastern Michigan has won two of the past three contests in Bowling Green.
* BGSU has won two consecutive MAC openers and are 4-1 in league openers under Head Coach Louis Orr.
* The Falcons have won 10 of the past 11 home openers in MAC play.
* Richaun Holmes ranks 14th in the country in blocked shots at 2.9 per contest.
* According to StatSheet, Richaun Holmes is blocking 17.6 percent of opponent's shots when he is on the floor -- third-best in the country.
* Richaun Holmes is on pace to block 89 shots in the regular season, 30 more than the school record.
* Richaun Holmes already ranks seventh on the single-season blocked shot list at BGSU with 40 this year.
* Jordon Crawford has made 25 of his last 27 free-throws after making just 9-of-19 attempts to start the year.
* Jordon Crawford needs seven assists to move into fourth all-time at BGSU in that category.
* Cam Black needs two blocked shots to move into the top 10 all-time at BGSU for a career.
* BGSU has committed a MAC-low 11.8 turnovers per game. Kent State is second at 13.0 per contest.
* No BGSU team has averaged fewer than 11.8 turnovers per game since the 1982-83 team averaged 11.7.
* Jordon Crawford scored a career-high 29 points in the team's MAC opener at Central Michigan.

FALCONS FINALLY HOME TO HOST EASTERN MICHIGAN
After playing four consecutive road games, Bowling Green finally returns home to play Eastern Michigan Saturday at 6 p.m. in a game televised on SportsTime Ohio. The Falcons are 10-1 in MAC home openers over the past 11 years, but Eastern Michigan has won two of the past three meetings between the two teams in Bowling Green.

THE SERIES
The Falcons are 46-38 all-time against Eastern Michigan but the Eagles have won the past two meetings and two of the last three held in Bowling Green. Eastern Michigan was the opponent in Bowling Green's first ever varsity basketball game, with the Falcons coming up on the short end of a 33-15 score on Jan. 8, 1916. BGSU head coach Louis Orr is 2-3 against Eastern Michigan in his first five years leading the Falcons.

BGSU RALLIES BUT FALLS SHORT AGAINST CENTRAL MICHIGAN
Bowling Green rallied from a 23-point second half deficit to tie Central Michigan late, but the Chippewas made enough free-throws down the stretch to pull out a 73-67 victory Saturday in Mount Pleasant, Mich. Jordon Crawford scored a career-high 29 points, 25 in the second half, to spark the comeback attempt. Anthony Henderson, getting his first career start, added a career-best 13 points. A'uston Calhoun had nine points and tied his career-high with 14 rebounds, while Richaun Holmes came off the bench to contribute seven points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots.

THE SYRACUSE CONNECTION
Both head coaches in Saturday's meeting have connections to Syracuse University. Louis Orr was an All-American at Syracuse, playing from 1976-80. He was the first player to sign with Jim Boeheim after Boeheim was awarded the head coaching job for the Orange. Orr was also an assistant coach at Syracuse from 1996-00. Eastern Michigan head coach Rob Murphy served a seven-year stint as an assistant coach at Syracuse before earning the head coaching job for the Eagles.

BLOCK PARTY
Richaun Holmes has at least five blocked shots in three of the past four games, including a career-high six at North Dakota. With 40 in the first 14 games of the season, he already is tied for seventh on the single-season chart in BGSU history and needs just 20 more to set the record. Holmes ranks 14th in the country with 2.9 per contest and is third in the country by blocking 17.6 percent of the shots taken when he is on the floor. Holmes is on pace to end the 31-game regular season with 89 rejections, which would shatter the school record of 59 for a single-season (Cornelius Cash in 1973-74). He has blocked at least one shot in 10 consecutive games and has 21 in the last five games.

1,000 POINT TEAMMATES
Against Michigan State, A'uston Calhoun scored his 1,000th career point. With 964 points, Jordon Crawford needs just 36 more to reach that same mark. They would become just the eighth set of teammates to reach the milestone in the same season. It would also be the first time that it's happened in back-to-back seasons as Scott Thomas and Dee Brown both did it last year.

PLUS/MINUS
Although they rank just fourth and fifth on the team in scoring, Richaun Holmes and Anthony Henderson may have had the largest impact on the success of the team so far this year. Bowling Green has outscored its opponents by 25 points when Holmes is on the floor and 23 when Henderson is on the court. Those are the top two plus/minus ratings on the Falcons this year.

HEATING UP LATE
Over the past six games, senior point guard Jordon Crawford has contributed much more offensively in the second half. He has scored just 14 first-half points during that stretch on 5-of-29 (17.2 percent) shooting, but has posted 74 points after halftime on 32-of-67 (47.8 percent) shooting.

1-2 PUNCH
Senior forward A'uston Calhoun and senior guard Jordon Crawford currently rank as the second-highest scoring duo in the Mid-American Conference. Calhoun and Crawford have combined for 32.1 points per game to trail Toledo's Julius Brown and Rian Pearson at 32.8 points per contest. Kent State's Chris Evans and Randal Holt are third at 29.9 points per game.

MORE OF THE DYNAMIC DUO
Both A'uston Calhoun and Jordon Crawford are averaging at least 15.0 points per game. The last BG teammates to finish a season at 15.0 points per game or better were John Reimold (18.5 points) and Josh Almanson (17.2 points) in 2004-05.

TAKING CARE OF THE ROCK
Bowling Green is committing just 11.8 turnovers per game, easily the best in the MAC (Kent State is second with 13.0). In fact, no MAC team has ended a season with that few turnovers in more than seven years and no BGSU team has ended with that few since the 1982-83 team averaged 11.7 per contest. Overall, the Falcons rank 40th in the country in turnovers.

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. BG is yet to shoot 50 percent in a game this year.

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.

BLOCKING OUT
Bowling Green has had as many or more blocked shots than its opponent in 12-of-14 games this year, including a season-high 10 against USF. It marked the first time the Falcons had 10 blocked shots in a game since blocking 11 at Illinois State on Dec. 6, 2008. Sophomore transfer Richaun Holmes has led the way with 40 blocks, ranking second in the MAC.

WINNING UGLY
One sign of a good team is the ability to win games when not playing at its best. Three times this year, the Falcons have won games when shooting below 40 percent from the field, beating Lake Erie, Wright State and Samford. A year ago, BGSU lost all seven contests when it show below 40 percent.

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 4-2 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). The 16-6 record in the Stroh Center comes out to a .727 winning percentage, which is higher than the program's .709 winning percentage in Anderson Arena, the home for the Falcons from 1960-2011.

D-FENSE! D-FENSE!
Earlier this year, Bowling Green held Wright State and Samford to 42 points or less in back-to-back games. It was the first time the team had done that in successive games since doing so against Loyola and Pepperdine on Dec. 22 and Dec. 27, 1949. It also marked the first time the team held back-to-back opponents to 83 points or less since holding Western Ontario and Miami to 82 points on Dec. 8 and Dec. 12, 1962.

STROH IN THE 70'S
BGSU is 6-0 all-time when scoring at least 70 points in the Stroh Center. The Falcons went 5-0 last year and defeated Detroit 70-65 this year.

NOT ONE, NOT TWO, BUT THREE OVERTIMES
While the school record for overtimes in a single game is four, Bowling Green played a triple overtime contest for the first time in 20 years against South Florida earlier this year. The last time the Falcons went that deep into the night came in a 91-88 loss to Ball State on Jan. 29, 1992. Overall, the Falcons have played in four overtime sessions already this year, the most since the team played four overtime games in the 2001-02 season.

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 97-of-108 games. The high-water mark came when Bowling Green scored 58 points in the paint against Malone a year ago.

FRESH FACES
BGSU head coach Louis Orr announced the signing of three student-athletes during the fall signing period. J.D. Tisdale (Flint, Mich./Swartz Creek High School), Zach Denny (Germantown, Ohio/Valley View High School) and Garret Mayleben (Milford, Ohio/Milford High School) will join transfer Josh Gomez (Brooklyn, N.Y./Rice High School/Iona) among next year's incoming class.

LITTLE BIG MAN
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. Crawford currently ranks fourth in the MAC at 16.5 points per game.

FALCONS ON REGIONAL/NATIONAL TELEVISION
BGSU will play a minimum of three games on ESPNU and SportsTime Ohio this year. The Falcons hosted 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).