AKRON – Sophomore Richaun Holmes broke Bowling Green's single season blocked shot record but the BGSU men's basketball team fell short late in a 67-50 loss on the road at Akron Saturday. Akron won its 17th consecutive game to move to 21-4 overall and 12-0 in MAC play.
The Falcons weathered an early shooting slump to make things interesting late. Bowling Green drew within six points with less than four minutes remaining and had four chances to get even closer. But Akron kept BGSU from scoring and eventually made its free-throws down the stretch to pull away late.
Holmes entered the game with 58 blocked shots on the season, trailing Cornelius Cash's school record of 59 by just one block. He tied the record when he blocked Pat Forsythe's lay-up attempt with 12:18 remaining in the first half and broke the mark on a swat of a Demetrius Treadwell lay-up with 8:34 to play in the first. Holmes went on to block two more shots in the contest, giving him 62 on the season. He also scored a career-best 15 points and added eight rebounds.
Bowling Green missed its first nine shots of the game and Akron took an 11-1 lead before A'uston Calhoun's jumper with 11:33 remaining in the first finally broke the slide. The Falcons clawed back to within three on a 10-3 run but Akron again extended the lead. Luke Kraus connected on the first of his three three-pointers as the first half expired to pull BGSU back within eight at 29-21.
While the two teams combined to score just nine points in the first six minutes of the first half (all nine by Akron), the teams scored 30 in the first six minutes of the second half (15 points each) as the pace picked up. Kraus' second three-pointer brought Bowling Green to within six and the Falcons still trailed 44-38 on a Holmes lay-up.
After an Akron turnover, the Falcons had two shots to take the lead but were unable to convert and the Zips quickly took momentum back on a Brian Walsh bank shot and a Treadwell lay-up.
Akron eventually pushed the lead to 12 but the Falcons used an 8-2 run, capped by a Calhoun jumper with 5:31 left, to draw within six at 55-49.
Over the next two minutes, Bowling Green had four chances to claw even closer but three missed shots and a turnover gave Akron the opportunity to slip away with the win. The Zips outscored the Falcons 12-1 the rest of the way, making all 10 of their free-throw attempts.
Holmes was 5-of-6 from the field and 5-of-5 from the free-throw line for his career-best 15 points. Calhoun was the only other Falcon in double-figures, ending with 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting – his 11th consecutive double-digit scoring output. Kraus had nine points and Jordon Crawford ended with six points and five assists.
After shooting just 24 percent in the first half, Bowling Green improved to 41 percent in the second half for 33 percent on the evening. The Falcons held Akron to just 37 percent shooting and 2-of-14 three-pointers. The Zips did hold a 43-35 rebounding advantage and committed only eight turnovers, seven fewer than BGSU.
With the loss, Bowling Green falls to 10-15 overall and 5-7 in Mid-American Conference play. The Falcons will play two games out of conference during the upcoming week, beginning with a Thursday night home game against New Orleans at 7 p.m.