The Falcons went on the road today in Ypsilanti and came away with a really nice road win against a pretty decent EMU team. For much of the game, EMU had the better of the play, they could never extend the lead against the Falcons and BG kept making runs until they finally caught the Eagles with about three minutes left. The key point in the game was a 14-0 from 7:10 to 1:27 that saw a seven point deficit become a 7 point lead. From there, EMU was fouling to stay in the game, and BG made enough free throws to salt the game away. (Note the very flat line in EMU's chart).
In the bigger picture, BG really improved defensively in the second half. They entered the locker room down 9, but EMU scored only 24 points in the second half, and that set the stage for the Falcon victory.
Scott Thomas had a really nice game for the Falcons. He scored 18 points with 3 3FGs, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. 17 of those points were in the second half, and he scored 10 of the 14 points in BG's big run and added two assists, meaning that he had a hand in every single basket during the run that turned the game. A number of those shots were tough catch and shoot opportunities and he knocked them down. He did drive for some baskets, too and he continues to develop into a really nice player.
For much of the game, it seemed like EMU was penetrating the inside of the zone, just like Miami did. Justin Dobbins was all over us in the first half, but after that, the inside defense seemed to tighten down and that seemed to make a big difference. EMU had 8 paint points in the second half.
Otis Polk had 10 points and six boards on 4-6 shooting, and Erik Marschall also had 10 and 6. Dee Brown didn't score much, but he did have 6 assists over 1 turnover, which means there was production.
In terms of team stats, you can see here that the game was pretty evenly matched, with the major difference being BG's strong performance on the offensive boards. EMU had 9 3s, but they pumped over 27 of them, so that isn't an awful percentage. EMU had their first half lead thanks to 60% shooting from the field, but the Falcons held them to 28% in the second half, and as mentioned above, that's how you win a game on the road.
So, it was a very enjoyable night in Ypsilanti. We sat behind the Falcon bench, and Coach Orr is very different when you are behind him than he is when you are across from him, which is usually where we are. And the answer is that he is much more animated and emotional than he seems from across the court.
Finally, it was my first trip to the Convo in Ypsi. It is a terrible game environment. They had a small crowd that rivaled some of their football crowds, and they keep half the lights off to hide the second deck, but it makes the whole place feel like 1950. And the starting lineups, with the spotlight and the flames on the scoreboard looks ridiculous.
So, fresh from the road victory, now BG can await CMU and UT's trips to AA. It would obviously be nice to put together a little winning streak here. Today's game was a start--a gritty win on the road where we (again) showed that we can win a game in the last 5 minutes. I know we aren't a great team. I am enjoying watching them develop nonetheless.