The Falcons brought in their one annual guaranteed-win cupcake last night -- the Malone Pioneers -- and for the Falcons it was a welcome respite from being the cupcake (see upcoming Michigan State game) to devouring the cupcake.
I lived in Ohio for more than 30 years. I had never heard of Malone College (or University) until they popped up on our schedule.
They are climbing the ladder of college athletics, moving from the NAIA to D-II competition. They are joining the GLIAC along with a couple of other upwardly mobile schools. Who knew that conference alignment was hitting the D-II level as well?
Obviously, they are up against it when they face a D-I team, of course on the road, and in this case, from a team that plays in the MAC, which is in the upper end of above the red line territory.
Things went even worse for Malone when their second-leading scorer was injured early in the game and did not return.
Malone played tough through much of the first half, and I thought they ran some pretty good offense on us and just couldn't get the shots to fall. With 7:00 left in the first they were only down seven (29-22), but BG went 12-2 into the locker room to lead by 17 at the half, and then went on a 13-2 run to start the second half, which put the lead at 28.
From there, the rout was on, and BG ended up doing what they were supposed to do, which is win 87-44. The Falcons shot 64% for the night and Malone shot 24% and only 22% in the second half.
BG got everyone in the game and everyone scored, even the two walk-ons.
The biggest individual story was A'uston Calhoun, who set a school record by making all nine of his field goal attempts on the way to 20 points, all in the first half. The previous record was 8-8, by two different players. Calhoun had dunks on three of BG's first four possessions.
It was the biggest win for the Falcons since 1999, when they beat Urbana by 62. That, incidentally, was the first game I ever took my son to. He was three then and sat beside me tonight at the age of 15.
Cam Black had 11 and Torian Oglesby 10...notice a trend here? The Falcon bigs were the leading scorers, because they had a huge size advantage over Malone to start with, and it only got bigger when one of their posts left the game early.
Of BG's 87 points, 58 of them came in the paint.
BG also had 25 assists, their most since defeating Towson in 2008.
So, having dispatched the win on the schedule, the Falcons now face serious challenges. They do not play at home for one full month, when the MAC schedule starts. They will play at Valpo, at Michigan State, at Florida International, at Duquesne, and at Texas-San Antonio. On the face of it, two wins would be an accomplishment and three would be great. If will be a trying stretch, but the Falcons are going to have to learn to score the ball on the road, and this looks like as good a time as any.
at BOWLING GREEN 87, MALONE 44 12/07/2011
BOWLING GREEN 5-3 (0-0) -- S. Thomas 1-6 0-0 2; J. Crawford 2-3 0-0 4; A. Calhoun 9-9 2-3 20; C. Sealey 3-7 0-0 6; T. Oglesby 5-5 0-0 10; J. Clarke 3-4 0-0 7; C. Black 5-6 1-2 11; D. Brown 4-5 0-0 9; L. Kraus 1-3 0-0 3; C. Orr 2-5 2-2 6; J. Erger 2-3 0-0 4; A. Henderson 1-3 0-0 2; D. Lyshe 0-1 1-2 1; A. Ferrell Jr. 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 39-61 6-9 87.
Three-point goals: - , BGSU 3-10 (S. Thomas 0-2; L. Kraus 1-2; J. Erger 0-1; D. Brown 1-1; A. Henderson 0-1; J. Clarke 1-2; C. Orr 0-1); Rebounds: , BGSU 40 (T. Oglesby 7); Assists: , BGSU 25 (S. Thomas 6); Total Fouls -- , BGSU 11; Fouled Out: -; BGSU-None.