Falcons Prep for Akron - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

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Falcons Prep for Akron

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* All kids 12 and under get in free to Wednesday's BGSU vs. Akron men's basketball game.
* All Huntington Bank customers are eligible to receive two free tickets to Wednesday's game simply by showing their Huntington Bank debit card or membership card at the BGSU Ticket Office
* All fans will receive a Sam B's Mystery Card when they enter the arena Wednesday. Every card is a winner for up to $100 off at Sam B's in Bowling Green.

* Bowling Green returns home to host Akron Wednesday at 7 p.m. in a game televised by SportsTime Ohio.
* Bowling Green is 8-2 in home MAC regular season games since the start of 2011-12, the third-best record in the league.
* This is the 50th meeting between the two programs. Akron holds a 25-24 edge in the all-time series and has won seven straight.
* BGSU is one of seven MAC teams at 2-4 in the league. Akron is tied with Ohio at 6-0.
* Wednesday's match-up features the top two shot blockers in the MAC in Akron's Zeke Marshall and BGSU's Richaun Holmes.
* BGSU has been ahead or tied in the final 10 minutes in 16 of the team's 19 games this year.
* Luke Kraus scored a season-high 12 points at Toledo, making 3-of-5 three-pointers.
* BG's Jordon Crawford and A'uston Calhoun are the top scoring duo in the MAC, averaging 32.2 points per contest.
* Richaun Holmes ranks 17th in the country in blocked shots at 2.8 per contest. He is averaging 3.0 per game in league contests.
* According to StatSheet, Richaun Holmes is blocking 16.7 percent of opponent's shots when he is on the floor -- second-best in the country.
* Richaun Holmes needs seven more blocked shots to post the highest single-season total in program history.
* BGSU has committed a MAC-low 12.2 turnovers per game.
* BGSU has won four games this year when shooting below 40 percent from the field.
* Jordon Crawford has 13 assists in the past two games, his best two-game total of the year.
* Luke Kraus was 10-of-52 (19 percent) as a starter the first 13 games and is 8-of-14 (57 percent) since moving to the bench.

Bowling Green puts its stellar home record on the line Wednesday as the Falcons host Akron at 7 p.m. in a game televised on SportsTime Ohio as part of the Mid-American Conference's regional television package. BGSU is 6-2 at home this year, including a 2-0 record in MAC play. Akron is unbeaten in conference play this year and is 15-4 overall and 6-0 in conference.

Akron has won seven consecutive meetings between the two programs to take a 25-24 edge in the all-time series. In fact, the Zips have won eight straight meetings in Bowling Green since the Falcons last won in 2002-03. BGSU's last win in the series came at Akron during the 2008-09 season.

Jordon Crawford scored 20 points and Luke Kraus added a season-high 12 on 3-of-5 three-pointers but Bowling Green lost to rival Toledo for the first time since the 2007-08 season 75-62 Saturday night. After trailing 28-22 at the half, the Falcons made a number of second-half rallies but Toledo made big shots each time to stave off a run. Bowling Green had just 10 turnovers in the contest but was outrebounded 37-25 as Toledo shot 56 percent from the field in the second half.

Richaun Holmes has blocked at least four shots six times this year, including last Wednesday vs. Kent State, and has a string of 15 consecutive games with at least one. He ranks second in the Mid-American Conference in blocks (and 17th nationally) and StatSheet ranks him second in the country in block percentage at 16.7 percent (percentage of non-three-point shots taken while on the floor). With 53 blocks this year, Holmes is on pace to end the 31-game regular season with 86 rejections, which would shatter the school record of 59 for a single-season (Cornelius Cash in 1973-74). He has more blocked shots than five MAC teams have this year.

Senior Luke Kraus opened the year by starting the first 13 games. After making just 10-of-52 shots (19 percent) and 4-of-33 three-pointers (12 percent), he moved to the bench. Over the six games since that move, Kraus has made 8-of-14 shots (57 percent) and 4-of-9 three-pointers (44 percent). He had a season-high 12 points, connecting on three three-pointers, in Saturday's game at Toledo.

Bowling Green has been ahead or tied in the final 10 minutes in 16 of the team's 19 games this year, including 9-of-12 losses. Seven times, Bowling Green has had possession in the final 10 seconds of those losses with a chance to win or tie.

With a fastbreak lay-up early in the game at Buffalo, Jordon Crawford joined teammate A'uston Calhoun in reaching 1,000 career points this year. The duo are the 40th and 41st players in program history to reach that milestone. They are the eighth set of teammates to score 1,000 career points in the same season, but it is the first time that it's happened in back-to-back seasons as Scott Thomas and Dee Brown reached that total a year ago.

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 30 points when Holmes is on the floor and by 16 when Henderson is on the court. Those are the top two plus/minus ratings on the Falcons this year.

Senior forward A'uston Calhoun and senior guard Jordon Crawford currently rank as the highest scoring duo in the Mid-American Conference, averaging 32.2 points per game. Toledo's Rian Pearson and Julius Brown are second at 31.6 points, while Kent State's Chris Evans and Randal Holt are third at 31.1 points.

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.

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 37-9 in Orr's five years at Bowling Green when reaching that total. BG shot 50 percent from the field for the first time in a loss at Miami last Wednesday.

When Jordon Crawford and A'uston Calhoun each scored 21 points at Miami, it marked the second time this year that the senior duo has each reached the 20-point mark in the same game. Unfortunately, the Falcons have lost both of those contests (the other being a triple overtime loss at South Florida). In fact, Bowling Green has lost all three games in their careers when they both scored 20 points (losing at Valparaiso a year ago).

Bowling Green has had as many or more blocked shots than its opponent in 17-of-19 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 53 blocks, ranking second in the MAC.

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

In just over one year, the Stroh Center has proven to be a difficult place for opponents to play. The Falcons are 6-2 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 18-6 record in the Stroh Center comes out to a .750 winning percentage, which is higher than the program's .709 winning percentage in Anderson Arena, the home for the Falcons from 1960-2011.

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.

BGSU is 7-0 all-time when scoring at least 70 points in the Stroh Center. The Falcons went 5-0 last year and defeated Detroit 70-65 and Kent State 70-55 this year.

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.

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 101-of-113 games. The high-water mark came when Bowling Green scored 58 points in the paint against Malone a year ago.

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.

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 then played host to 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.

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.

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.

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).

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