Thursday, March 10, 2011

And that is that....

Just a few quick notes.  There will be a long time--months in fact--to recap a season that gave me a lot of enjoyment and pleasure.  I find that my love of college basketball grows stronger each year, and I truly enjoyed this year.  College basketball in a one-bid conference is an exciting challenge every single night.

Today, WMU was simply too much for BG...again.  They won this one by 11, but it was never legitimately close at any time that mattered.  The only time the game was closer than 9 points was early in the second half.  For the remainder of the half, WMU led by at least that much and into the mid-teens at times.

Things got tough right off the bat as Calhoun picked up two fouls about :30 apart around 15 minutes, and then BG broke with their normal practice of sitting him until the second half and he came back in with about 9 left and had this third foul about a minute later.

From there, Western just slowly moved the game away and kept it there.  BG does deserve credit for competing credibly with them on the boards, but WMU scored 1.11 points per possession and BG scored at .93 points per possession, and neither one of those numbers is in the area where you can win.  As you can see on the chart below, WMU had a huge +8 advantage in FT shooting, although many of those came at the end.  They had a modest shooting advantage--BG was actually better on 2FGS, but awful (1-12) from 3 while WMU was 6 of 16.

Finally, WMU took great care of the ball, turning it over only 8 times while BG turned it over 13 times, in itself not a terrible number, but giving 5 extra possessions to a team that you are having trouble stopping is not helpful.

Individually speaking, Dee Brown had 17 points and McElroy had 15, though they mostly game in the garbage time at the end. Calhoun played only 23 minutes and had 10/5 in that period. Crawford and Thomas both struggled badly with their shots, and that contributed to those low offensive efficiency numbers.

So, for the second straight season, the last face BG seems is Steve Hawkins.  Certainly, a run from here on in would have been really exciting, but WMU clearly established in their two games against BG who the stronger team is.

As I said, more to come in the weeks ahead.  A thanks to everyone involved in our basketball program for a good year.  It always makes me happy.

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