MUNCIE, Ind. - Freshman forward Aaron Adeoye (Marion, Ind./Marion) posted his first career double-double, but the Ball State men's basketball team suffered a 61-54 setback to Mid-American Conference East Division foe Bowling Green Wednesday night at Worthen Arena.
"We are disappointed as we continue to be close but just let one aspect of the game hurt us," head coach Billy Taylor said. "We have been doing a good job taking care of the basketball and tonight we had 18 turnovers, which is just unacceptable."
Adeoye led all players with 10 rebounds, while posting a career-high 10 points. It was the second consecutive game Adeoye earned a career-high in scoring. Senior forward Jarrod Jones (Michigan City, Ind./Michigan City) led the Cardinals (12-10 / 4-6 MAC) in scoring with 14 second-half points.
Bowling Green's (12-11 / 6-4 MAC) A'uston Calhoun paced all players with 27 points, while collecting a team-high nine rebounds. Dee Brown also scored in double-digits for the Falcons with 12 points.
On offense, the Cardinals shot 45.1 (23-of-51) percent for the game, which is their best effort versus a MAC East opponent this season. Senior guard Randy Davis (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth) chipped in a trio of trifectas and finished the day 3-of-6 from behind the arc. As a team, BSU shot 4-of-17 from long range.
Bowling Green hit 46.2 (24-of-52) percent of its shots, including a 3-of-10 effort from long distance. However, it was the Falcons' defensive effort which forced the Cardinals into 18 turnovers, including three in the final 1:25 of the game, which doomed any chance BSU had to make a comeback.
The two teams were evenly matched in the first half with Bowling Green opening to an early 9-5 lead before Davis hit a three-pointer to narrow the gap to one. The Falcons responded with a modest 8-4 run to take a 17-12 lead.
The two teams went back-and-forth for most of the half with the Cardinals pulling within two at 24-22 as sophomore Jesse Berry (Lafayette, Ind./Jefferson) scored in transition to force a BGSU timeout. The Falcons answered with two straight baskets until sophomore Chris Bond (Gary, Ind./Bowman Academy) scored on a put-back to make it a 28-24 BGSU lead heading into the locker room.
Ball State connected on 42.3 percent (11-of-26) from the field and 20 percent (2-of-10) from long range in the first half. Adeoye led the Cardinals with six points and five rebounds in the first half while Berry added five points. Bowling Green connected on 46.4 percent (13-of-28) from the field in the first half and force the Cardinals into eight turnovers. Calhoun led the Falcons with 10 points and six rebounds in the opening frame.
The Cardinals came out of the break and quickly posted an 11-2 run to take a 38-35 lead. Junior center Zach Fields (North Vernon, Ind./Jennings County) started the run scoring in the pair, Davis nailed a three-pointer and Jones scored four straight to cap the spurt.
Bowling Green responded with a 9-2 run to take the lead back at 46-42 and force the Cardinals into a timeout. Ball State answered back with a 6-2 run to tie the game as Jones scored in the paint and Adeoye hit a pair of free throws to knot the score at 48-48 with 4:05 left.
The Falcons once again had the answer as Dee Brown nailed back-to-back three-pointers from the corner as the shot clock was winding down to put BGSU in front for good at 54-48. The Cardinals rallied and made it a one possession game three times in the final minute but Bowling Green hit seven of its last eight from the charity stripe to seal the victory.
The Cardinals wrap up MAC crossover play Saturday morning as they travel to Kent State. Game time is set for 11 a.m. against the Golden Flashes and will be nationally televised on ESPNU.