Sunday, January 27, 2013

One Streak Ends, One Continues

The BG winning streak over the Rockets ended last night at Savage Hall in a game where UT was in pretty consistent control the entire way, starting with some early foul trouble for BG and then running through a second half where BG "didn't guard well" in the words of Coach Orr, punctuated by a parade of Rockets going to the FT line and never missing.

The streak that continued was BG's 0-for-the-road streak, which has now landed on 8.  The next chance to break it is the best--NIU--and if you didn't see what happened when they played EMU last night, do yourself a favor and google it.

It was a pretty good atmosphere for college basketball.  We were up in the nosebleeds and there was a group of 40-50 BGSU students near us who were just great.  They stood and chanted and cheered for the entire game and had our entire section (mostly UT fans) squirming in their seats.  It was great.  I hope those guys make it to some home games.

The first half was pretty competitive. BG was up 3 with 10:00 left when A'uston Calhoun had to hit the bench with 2 fouls.  (Orr had picked up his 2nd foul a couple of minutes earlier). BG battled them hard and the game was tied with about five minutes left in the first half but then UT scored 6 points in 1:26 (all on free throws) and had a six point lead that they took into the locker room.

Still, in all, given the foul trouble, it wasn't an awful position to be in.

We came out of the locker room, and, in Coach's words, we didn't guard well right out of the gate.  We were having real trouble with Brown in man defense and he was getting loose and hitting a big for easy layups.  BG switched to the zone and UT struggled with it for a minute or two but then adjusted.

At the 15 minute mark, the lead was 10 points.  From there, it was UT's game.  BG kept fighting and punched the lead down to 6 a couple of times, but the Rockets just ran it right back up into double digits.  When UT made a jumper to go up 11 with 5:14 left, the lead was never in single digits again.

In the second half, UT shot 56% from the field, 42% from 3 and made 16 of 17 FTS and their way to 47 points.  BG isn't going to win a game when the other team produces like that.

To illustrate, UT had 1.11 points per possession.  The most BG has allowed in a win this season is 1.04 (Detroit).  The second-most is .93.  The last time BG won a game while allowing more than 1.09 points per possession was a Buffalo game in 08-09 (1.18).

The Rockets shot 47% overall (BG has not beaten any team that shot over 40.4% this year) and 36% from 3.  But the key difference in the game was fouls and free throws.  BG--which typically is one of the nation's least fouling teams--was whistled for a Dakichesque 23 fouls--and UT shot 27 FTS, making an eye-popping 26 of them.  They had 35% of their points from the line.

Yes, some of those came as BG was fouling at the end, but it was an issue long before that.  In fact, Coach Orr was uncharacteristically demonstrative on the sidelines with the referees.  If you listen to the road radio broadcasts you can often hear Coach Orr through the mic and he works the officials more than you think but he was being more visible about it than normal.  In the post-game, he said that BG needed to adjust to how the officials were calling the game and we did not.

In the end, UT had a +19 advantage at the line.

BG's offense scored .93 points per possession.   BG shot 42% from the field and only 25% from the 3 range.  BG attempted only 10 FTs, and the Rockets absolutely dominated the Falcons on the boards, allowing BG to rebound only 14% of its missed shots.  (Season average is 31%).  Both teams took care of the ball pretty well for the game--BG had a slight advantage--but UT's stronger shooting and huge advantage at the line was just too much.

The individual stats are about what you would expect.  Jordon Crawford had 20 points with 7 assists and only 2 turnovers.  However, he was 8 of 22 shooting and 1 of 7 from 3.  Remember, though, that he played most of the first half without his 2nd and 3rd scoring options and some of those shots weren't great but they had to be taken.  Calhoun finished with 12 on 5 of 12 shooting.  Luke Kraus (Luke Kraus!) actually scored points that kept BG in the game, finishing with 12 points on 4 of 6 shooting and 3 of 5 from beyond the arc.

Beyond that, Holmes had a team high 5 rebounds and 3 blocks in 21 minutes.  Anthony Henderson had 6 points and 4 rebounds in 20 minutes (3 of 5 shooting).

From the injured Falcons, James Erger played 6 minutes.  Jehvon Clarke got into the game, made one cut and limped back off the floor, so his ankle clearly has a ways to go.

BG is now 7-12 and 2-4 on the year.  That's 5-12 against D-1 opposition.  Akron comes to the Stroh next and BG will get to see how big a home court advantage it actually has.  The Zips are very, very good.

No comments :