Eastern Michigan (7-8) at Bowling Green (5-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 12, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stroh Center (4,700) -- Bowling Green, Ohio. Television: SportsTime Ohio. Home Record: EMU 7-2, BGSU 4-2. Away Record: EMU 0-6, BGSU 0-5. Neutral Record: EMU 0-0, BGSU 1-2. Conference Record: EMU 0-1, BGSU 0-1. Series Record: BGSU leads, 45-39.
GAMES NOTES: After both teams dropped their conference openers the Eastern Michigan Eagles and Bowling Green Falcons will try to bounce back when they meet up at the Stroh Center for a Mid-American Conference duel on Saturday night.
A pair of free throws with less than a second remaining by Ball State's Chris Bond downed Eastern Michigan in the Eagles' 60-58 loss to the Cardinals in the MAC opener. The loss was the third-straight and sixth in the last seven games for Eastern Michigan which has dropped to 7-8 overall after a promising start to the campaign. Eastern Michigan is also winless in six road tests.
Bowling Green was topped by Central Michigan, 73-67, on Wednesday in its conference debut. The setback was the fifth straight for the Falcons who are just 5-9 this season. The bulk of the wins on the ledger have come at the Stroh Center where the Falcons are 4-2.
In just one meeting last season Eastern Michigan defeated Bowling Green, 55-50, on the Eagles' home floor. With the win the Eagles inched closer in the all-time series which they trail, 45-39.
Eastern Michigan never led in the second half against Ball State but rallied to tie the game at 58-58 with a pair of Jalen Ross free throws with eight seconds remaining. Bond was then fouled by Da'Shonte Riley to set up the game- clinching free throws.
It is clear where the Eagles put their emphasis. It is certainly not the offensive end where they rank among the worst teams in the conference. Eastern Michigan is scoring a league-low 58 points per game, while netting less than 40 percent of its shots from the field. The Eagles also hand out the third fewest assists (11.2 pg). Derek Thompson (11.7 ppg) and Glenn Bryant (10.1 ppg) are the top scoring options.
It was the Falcons' poor play in the first half that really sank them against Central Michigan. Bowling Green shot just 25 percent and trailed 37-20 at the break. The Falcons fought back in the second frame by shooting 58.6 percent from the floor, but a 21-8 deficit from the free-throw line kept them from pulling off the comeback.
The Falcons don't put up flashy scoring totals either. Bowling Green is scoring just 62.4 points per game, while shooting at a 39.7 percent clip from the field. Both of those marks are the third worst in the MAC. Bowling Green has largely kept teams within range though by allowing just 64.1 points per game on 42.5 percent shooting. In fact of its nine losses, five have come by single digits. The poor scoring has come despite the exploits of Jordon Crawford and A'uston Calhoun. Crawford (16.5 ppg) is the top scorer on the squad and also leads in assists and steals. Calhoun (15.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg) has also been racking up some impressive numbers.
A return home after a four-game road trip should help out Bowling Green especially if Crawford and Calhoun can keep up their level of play on the offensive end. That won't be an easy task against Eastern Michigan.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bowling Green 65, Eastern Michigan 61
01/12 10:31:52 ET