The Bowling Green State University Falcons used a total team effort on both ends of the floor to hold off a feisty Detroit Titans team for a 64-62 home win on Sunday afternoon in the Stroh Center.
BG improves to 6-5 overall and 4-1 at home in the Stroh Center this season, while Detroit falls to 5-8 on the year with the loss.
With the win, the Falcons increased its current winning streak to a season-high three straight games and also posted its third straight victory over Detroit spanning each of the last three years.
BG had three players in double figures led by redshirt-junior guard Anthony Henderson's team-high 15 points, while his fellow backcourt mate Jehvon Clarke had 14 points and eight assists in the win. Forward Richaun Holmes added 13 points and five rebound, as all three Falcon players were 5-of-10 (50 percent) from the field overall on the day. Senior center Cameron Black nearly had his fourth double-double of the season, as he was a perfect 4-of-4 from the floor for eight points to go along with eight rebounds in 32 minutes of play.
Forward Juwan Howard, Jr., led the Titans with 17 points and six rebounds, while guard Anton Wilson had the hot-hand from downtown, totaling 16 points on five three-pointers in the loss.
Both teams struggled to find points at the start of the contest, as Bowling Green coughed up the ball three times over its first five possessions and found themselves down 5-0 with 17:40 to go in the opening half of play.
After back-to-back free throws from Henderson put BGSU on the scoreboard at the 17:03 mark, Detroit answered with another 5-0 run, capped off by a three-pointer from guard Matthew Grant, to take a 10-2 lead and force an early Falcons' timeout.
The Falcons responded out of the timeout with a driving layup from Clarke and a dunk from Holmes to jump-start a 9-6 run by the home team to cut the Titans' lead to three at 14-11 on a layup from the right block from Black.
Following another 10-4 spurt by the visitors, which pushed the Detroit lead to 13 at 26-13, the Falcons picked up a huge left-handed dunk along the baseline from freshman guard JD Tisdale and another dunk from the right block from Black on the next possession to start a 13-2 run over the next three minutes to cut the Titans lead to one at 27-26 on a three-pointer from the corner from Henderson with 5:35 to go in the first half.
The final five minutes of the first half would see both teams got to the free throw line multiple times, as the Titans held on to a slight 36-35 lead at the break.
The start of the second half saw the contest turn into a game of runs, as the Falcons followed an early Detroit layup with a 12-2 run over the first seven minutes of the second half to take a 47-40 lead on back-to-back free throws from Spencer Parker with 13:20 to go on the game clock.
However, it was then the Titans turn to take an offensive surge, as the visitors in red countered with a 14-3 run of its own over the next four minutes of play to retake the lead at 54-50 on a layup by Evan Bruinsma with 9:16 to play in regulation.
Bowling Green ended the Titans run with back-to-back fast break layups from Tisdale and Clarke to tie the contest up at 54-54, only to see Detroit's Howard, Jr., hit two straight free throws minutes later to push the Titans back out in front by two at 56-54 with just over six minutes remaining in the contest.
The Falcons defense picked up its intensity, as BGSU held Detroit to just one made basket and two free throws over the next five minutes of play, while on the offensive end the home team picked up a fast break two-handed slam from Holmes, a three-pointer from the right wing from Clarke and an offensive rebound and put back basket from Henderson to give the home team a 63-60 lead at the 1:36 mark of the second half.
After a tough driving layup by Howard, Jr. put the Titans down just one at 63-62 with 1:22 on the game clock, the Falcons were unsuccessful in adding to its lead on the ensuing possession yet were able to run off almost a minute of time off the game clock before the Titans took possession.
Out of a timeout, the Titans looked to retake the lead with less than 30 seconds to play; however, Detroit was called for a traveling violation which gave the ball back to the Falcons with just 23 seconds left to play.
BGSU's Holmes was fouled on the inbounds pass and strolled to the free throw line where hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to give the home team a 64-62 lead.
Detroit's Grant hoisted a contested three-pointer from just right of the top of the key with 11 seconds on the game clock, which clanged off the right side of the rim where Howard, Jr., chased down the loose ball and fired a fade away with three BGSU defenders on him from the baseline which also missed and fell into the hands of Holmes to seal the 64-62 home win for the Falcons.
BGSU outscored the Titans 36-20 in points in the paint and after surrendering 17 points to Detroit off 10 turnovers in the first half, the Falcons allowed on three points off six turnovers in the final 20 minutes of play.
Detroit, who was 6-of-12 (50 percent) from the three-point line in the first half, was only 2-of-10 (20 percent) from long range in the second half and finished the game 8-of-22 (36.4 percent) from downtown.
BG was 22-of-46 (47.8 percent) from the floor overall for the game, while the Titans, who shot only 9-of-22 (33.3 percent) in the second half of play, was 20-of-53 (37.7 percent) for the contest.
BG improves to 6-1 on the year when holding its opponents to less than 70 points for the game and is 6-0 overall on the season when shooting a better from the floor overall than its opponent.
Bowling Green (6-5) will wrap up the 2013 calendar year on the road next weekend, as the Falcons will head south down I-75 to face off with the Raiders of Wright State at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 29.