PREVIEW: Men’s basketball hosts Bowling Green for first time since 2012

Men%27s+basketball+takes+on+Bowling+Green+for+another+non-conference+matchup+on+Friday.+Photo+Credit%3A+Thomas+Ognibene

Men’s basketball takes on Bowling Green for another non-conference matchup on Friday. Photo Credit: Thomas Ognibene

By Tyler Gallo, Copy Editor

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa.– In place of their originally scheduled conference debut against Cleveland State (0-3), the Robert Morris men’s basketball team (1-0) will host the Bowling Green Falcons (4-2, 1-0 MAC) in a non-conference matchup on Friday at 6 p.m. This marks the first matchup between the teams since 2012 and RMU’s first game since December 5.

Last Time Out

The last time these two teams matched up was eight years ago in the 2012 NIT Season Tip-Off Tournament with Bowling Green coming to Moon Township on November 19, 2012. RMU was fueled by a 12-0 run in the late minutes of the contest, defeating the Falcons 70-61 at the Sewall Center. To date, that is the only matchup between the two schools.

Recapping RMU

RMU has had a wave of cancellations since their last game, losing a non-conference matchup with West Virginia and their first conference series with Cleveland State since December 5 due to cancellations. On December 5, they hosted Point Park (0-5) and cruised to a 75-57 win at the UPMC Events Center. AJ Bramah led the way with 18 points and 7 rebounds in the game, while Olisa Ngonadi also contributed 13 points and 3 rebounds in the game.

Scouting Bowling Green

Bowling Green has had a solid start to their season, winning four-of-six to start the campaign, including a victory in their first Mid-East Conference (MAC) game, an 86-78 victory over Buffalo (3-2, 1-1 MAC) on December 6. In their most recent action, they dropped a non-conference game against Horizon League member Wright State (2-1) 85-67. Three different players contributed double-digit points in the loss.

Players to Watch

Kahliel Spear (RMU) – The anticipated Colonials debut of Bucknell transfer Kahliel Spear could finally happen on Friday with the announcement that the NCAA Division I Council approved a blanket waiver for all transfers to be able to play this season, with Spear’s waiver previously being denied. During his time at Bucknell, Spear showed talent on both ends of the court, averaging 4.8 points-per-game and 3.2 rebounds-per-game. Spear also led the Bison in blocks with 26, and his 0.8 blocks-per-game ranked sixth in the Patriot League. Expect Spear to be amped up in his new uniform come Friday.

Olisa Ngonadi (RMU) – Ngonadi is an intriguing player for the Colonials for this game, dropping 13 points in 19 minutes of play during the Point Park matchup. After playing as mostly a reserve during his freshman season, Ngonadi thrived in an expanded role against the Pioneers and will look to continue to produce in the Bowling Green game.

Justin Turner (BGSU) – While his baseball namesake is one of the more productive players in the MLB, Turner has been equally as productive through the first six games of the season and his entire BGSU career for the Falcons. He has averaged 21.7 points and 4.2 rebounds in the six games including dropping 33 in the aforementioned Buffalo game. Turner has two consecutive First Team All-MAC honors to his name. In his Falcons career, he has averaged 17 points and 3.8 rebounds in four seasons. He is a hot shooter that RMU will have to watch out for.

Daeqwon Plowden (BGSU) – Plowden has gotten off to a hot start this season, averaging double-digit points for the first time in his Falcons career. Against South Carolina State (0-8), Plowden recorded 19 points and 16 rebounds, both season highs. He is a rebound menace as well, averaging 8.5 through six contests. Plowden earned Second Team All-MAC honors last season. He will certainly be active in grabbing boards in this game, and someone RMU needs to control in the paint.

Prediction

This matchup is a perfect non-conference game for the Colonials, as both teams match up well. I think this game will be close, but RMU will win it 77-72.