Duquesne beat the Falcons last night for the fourth straight year, in pretty much the same way they always have. I suppose you could say that (similar to the MSU game) that when their run came, BG wasn't able to rally back but did eventually hold the game within a semi-respectable score.
My pre-game analysis was pretty much right on. Duquesne does not defend the shot well and they didn't against BG, as the Falcons shot almost 54% from the field. Unfortunately, BG also had 18 turnovers, which meant that on over a quarter of our possessions, we didn't get a shot at all, wasting those opportunities to score.
Meanwhile, we had to keep the Dukes off the foul line, which also did not happen. BG committed 20 fouls to Duquesne's 10, and the Dukes had a +8 advantage in free throws made. They also turned the ball over only 7 times, so between the free throws and the 11 extra possessions, they were able to win the game.
The Falcons had no answer for the Dukes attack for most of the game. Duquesne had torched BG's 2-3 zone last year, so I was hopeful that we might find something in the man to man, but we started in it, and the Dukes had old-school 3-point plays on their first 3 possessions, so BG went back into the zone. That worked for a while and BG had a 12 point lead inside of 9:00 left in the first half, but Duquesne scored a blistering 28 in the remaining 9 minutes while holding BG to 10 and had a 6 point lead at the half.
BG actually nipped into the lead with about 15 left, but in a couple of minutes the Dukes were up 6 again and with 7 left the lead had gotten into double digits and from there it was just a matter of sorting out the damage.
This was actually the second time this year that a game has sort of followed this pattern...BG had a good offensive game at 1.12 points per possession but still lost because they couldn't hold the opposition to less. The other game was Valpo. Both away games, for whatever that might mean. Anyway, Duquesne got 1.26 points per possession which is exactly what BG gave up to George Washington, and it is also almost exactly the efficiency the Dukes brought last year when they got 1.27 points per possession.
This would appear to be the kind of team that gives us trouble. Duquesne is a small, athletic, guard oriented team and they present huge matchup issues for us, and it does not appear that it matters which kind of defense we use.
BG was able to do some things inside. A'uston Calhoun had a great game, with 24 points on 10 of 15 shooting to go with 8 rebounds. Coach said in his post-game that he felt like BG got away from getting touches in the post, which is too bad, because Calhoun appeared to provide matchups issues for them. Scott Thomas added 20 points on 8 of 14 shooting and 4 of 8 from outside the arc. Oglesby kept his shooting streak alive but attempting precisely 0 shots but added 8 rebounds.
One thing I don't understand is how Craig Sealey only gets 3 minutes when we are playing a team we have a hard time matching up with athletically. I'm sure there is a good reason, but I don't understand it.
Scott Thomas also went over 1,000 points, so congrats to him. He is our 38th player to reach that level. He's been a remarkable and probably undervalued player at BG, and I'll be doing some things to try and remedy that as we head through his senior season. Just a note: I had wondered if his game would get stronger or if he had reached a plateau and I think he is clearly a stronger player this year than last year.
So, BG has one more game left in the road swing against UT-San Antonio on New Year's Day. Then, the MAC wars start and they start fast, with Ohio coming to town.