WKU falls on sloppy night to BGSU

Tyler Lashbrook

Bowling Green State took advantage of a sloppy night from WKU Monday, handing the Toppers their third loss 74-62.

“We just weren’t very good,” Coach Ray Harper told WKU Radio after the game.

Harper pointed to a couple of defensive breakdowns out of timeouts.

“It’s unacceptable. (The) only way to get it fixed is go back to work on Wednesday,” he said.

Junior guard T.J. Price led all scorers with 24 points, 15 of those coming from behind the arc, but WKU as a team shot just 34.4 percent and hit only 12 of its 27 free throw attempts.

The Toppers have yet to win a game on the road, dropping its first three games away from the confines of Diddle Arena.

“We’ve got to be tough enough mentally,” Harper told WKU Radio. “And that’s how you win on the road is being mentally tough and I didn’t think we were when they hit us in the mouth.

“Anything that you need to do to win a basketball game on the road, we did not do. And, you know, we’ll get better.”

Freshman forward from England Ben Lawson got his second start in as many games. He told WKU Radio that he is trying to take advantage of the opportunities Harper is giving him.

“I need to get a lot bigger because the game is a lot more aggressive here (in the United States),” Lawson said.

He played big, scoring a career-high 11 points and grabbing four rebounds in 24 minutes.

WKU jumped out to a 9-0 lead to start the game but BGSU went on a 21-5 run to take control of the game. The Falcons put to use a pesky full court press and it gave the Toppers a lot of trouble. WKU turned the ball over 10 times in the first half.

T.J. Price led WKU in the first period with 11 points. Lawson and junior forward George Fant each chipped in eight points of their own. Freshman guard Payton Hulsey contributed three assists.

BGSU went off on a 15-0 run to start the second half, extending its lead to 17. WKU’s first points of the second half came off a reverse layup from freshman walk-on point guard Brandon Price with 13:36 left to play.

A three-pointer from the right corner by T.J. Price closed the gap to 10 with 9:03 left in the game. That gap widened a bit as the second half wore on, but he hit another three with just over four minutes to go to, again, bring the Toppers within 10. But the Falcons began double-teaming T.J. Price and the Toppers didn’t have an answer as the Falcons controlled the game

WKU (4-3) will travel to Carbondale, Ill., Saturday to take on Southern Illinois (2-6).