Sunday, December 13, 2009

Falcons Defense Stymies Canisius

I know it has been over 24 hours since the game ended, so here I am with my better late than never edition of the game review from Buffalo Saturday night.

In my preview, I noted that Canisius has been a poor shooting team thus far this season, and for that reason, they might be a really good match up for us, for the simple reason that we have the ability to lower that below the level where you can reasonably expect to lose.

And, as you can see below, BG held Canisius to 31% shooting, 37.5 effective field goal %, and less than .9 points per possession, all of which are very solid numbers from a defensive standpoint. As you can see, BG took care of the ball better than they have been, won the battle on the boards and only a disadvantage in free throws made it close. (Canisisus made 6 more FTs and had 3 more attempts).

Speaking of free throws, though, it wasn't all negative. With :32 left, BG was up only 2 and had the ball. Dee Brown was fouled and sunk both free throws. It goes without saying that those clutch shots are huge, pumping the lead to two-possessions that late in a game.

Just how important was made clear shortly, as the GGs hit a trey, and it was still only a 1-point game. With :13 left, they fouled Brown again, and he hit both free throws again. Canisius missed a three, and Brown was fouled again, making 1-2 and BG won, but Brown's clutch free throws were vital to the victory. With the free throw shooting we have had down the stretch in the past, this game could easily have been a loss.

Looked at another way, BG was 9-16 for the game. Before Brown went to work in the final minute, BG was 4-10. Just sayin.

Anyway, the game was close the whole way, which is exactly the kind of contest I like to see our guys in.

One last thing. Coach Orr went with a really tight player rotation in this game--more or less six men. Only the starters and Marschall got more than ten minutes. It will be interesting to see how this goes as the season unfolds, but I thought it was interesting to see.

In the end, that's a second straight road win, and this Canisius team does not appear to be good bad. It is a nice to win for our guys to get. My perception is that the team actually is improving, and with continued improvement has an excellent chance to compete in the MAC East.

Dee Brown, who led us in scoring again, is easily the most improved player on this team. As he warms to his role, I just think it makes the team all the more productive.

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