Bowling Green (1-0) vs. Cleveland State (1-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, November 12, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Crisler Center (12,721) -- Ann Arbor, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: BGSU 1-0, CSU 1-0. Away Record: BGSU 0-0, CSU 0-0. Neutral Record: BGSU 0-0, CSU 0-0. Conference Record: BGSU 0-0, CSU 0-0. Series Record: Bowling Green leads, 8-7.
GAME NOTES: A pair of schools from the Buckeye State will meet across state lines as the Bowling Green Falcons and Cleveland State Vikings square off at the Crisler Center in the 2012 NIT Season Tip-Off.
The winner will advance to play the winner of IUPUI and Michigan on Tuesday evening. This will be the 16th meeting in history between these programs. BGSU holds an 8-7 lead in the all-time series after winning the last encounter, 80-72, in 2002.
Bowling Green struggled offensively in its season opening 63-53 victory over Lake Erie, connecting on just 33 percent of its field goal attempts. The Falcons are not going to win games by running and gunning, but they have a blue collar style of play that translates to success. They came out aggressive and managed to attempt 35 free throws, while recording 20 offensive rebounds in their season opener. BGSU also held a 44-35 rebounding advantage and five less turnovers than its opponent. Coach Louis Orr will try to lead the program to its first 2-0 start since 2003-2004.
The Vikings are aiming for their fifth 20-plus win season in seven years under coach Gary Waters. Cleveland State has slowly become a mid-major program that the bigger schools fear playing again. Although CSU lost some of its core from last season's 22-11 finish, it did not appear to have too many voids in its 92-49 win over Grambling in its season opener. The Vikings played stifling defense and held Grambling to 17.4 percent shooting in the opening half to run away with the game. They also played well offensively, converting 56.1 percent of their field goal attempts including 8-of-16 from three-point range.
The Falcons rallied around their 5-6 senior floor general Jordon Crawford in their season opener. Crawford finished the game with 22 points, four assists, and three steals. BGSU could not finish inside as its starting front line of Craig Sealy, Chancey Orr, and A'uston Calhoun shot a collective 5-of-21 from the field. Calhoun's slow start should quickly be forgotten as he is too talented and athletic to stay cold for too long. Three-point shooting was an issue for the Falcons as they went 4-of-18 from beyond the arc. Luke Kraus could not buy a bucket in the opener, but the streaky off-guard can be dangerous when in rhythm.
CSU had six players score in double figures in its season opener. Charlie Lee led the way with 20 points and seven assists, while Bryn Forbes and Anton Grady netted 14 points each. Lee is an undersized point guard, but the sophomore makes up for his lack of size with an explosive first step. Grady grabbed nine rebounds to lead the squad in that category. The sophomore forward will consistently lead the team on the boards this season. Tim Kamczyc (12 points), Marlin Mason (10), and Sebastian Douglas (10) all made an impact offensively as well.
The point guard battle between Lee and Crawford will be a back-and-forth war. Both players bring a lot of energy to the floor which benefits their teammates. The Falcons need a much better performance out of Calhoun to advance to the next round.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cleveland State 70, Bowling Green 62
11/12 10:38:24 ET