The Falcons went into DeKalb and won their third straight, two of which were on the road. It was the kind of win that good teams get...even though the game was on the road, NIU is having a very rough year and their leading scorer was suspended and did not play.
Yet, at halftime, NIU led by one, had shredded our D for 52% shooting while BG had made 10 turnovers, and were limited only by the fact they had missed 8 of their 10 free throws.
It was clear that NIU, who needed a win, was ready to put everything onto the floor to win today.
And the second half was much the same. In fact, BG ran out to a lead a couple of times, but NIU always closed it back, and with 6:50 left NIU got a steal and a layup and tied the game.
Bowling Green did what a good team does in that spot though, and what they might not have done back in December--went on a run to put the game away, as opposed to giving up a run that put the game away.
BG scored the next 11 points, including 5 points from Otis Polk (two of them on a JUMPER!!! NO, REALLY!), and that pretty much locked the game down.
So, no, it wasn't the toughest opponent, but this was the kind of game a good team wins, and we did.
When all was said and done, we are certainly capable of playing better. We were -6 on turnovers, which is a tough way to win. But, we held them to 39.8% shooting in the second half, hit 14 of our own 17 free throws, and that was enough for us to pull away with the win. Also, we were 7-15 from beyond the "long line" and that was a 9 point difference over NIU, too.
Nate Miller had 15 points and 9 boards, and Clements had 12 points and Otis 10. Chris Knight didn't score much, but did pick up 8 boards. (We won the second half rebounding battle 21-10.)
So, you don't play your best and win on the road. There is not a thing wrong with that. We are now 11-9 and 4-3, and things are looking much better. The East lost only one game to the West today, so there isn't much doubt that we are playing in the tougher division.