Sunday, February 17, 2013

Zips Finish Sweep of Falcons...

The Akron Zips finished up their two-game sweep of Bowling Green last night at the JAR with a 17 point victory that is not as close as the game actually was.  Not that it was close, but it wasn't a 17 point game.

In fact, BG had a chance to get back late, as unlikely as that might have seemed early.  In fact, the Falcons went down 9-0 and did not score for the first 6:10 of the game.  BG pushed it back to 3 with about 9 minutes left, but then Akron took control again, leading by as much as 11 and then ended up being +8 at the half when Luke Kraus hit a late three.

The Falcons talked about how they "retreated" during the game at the Stroh.  In this case, you can't say that.  BG was down 11 got back to 6 and then went down 12 and got it back to 6 with 5:31 left.  

At this point, the game's key sequence occurred.  BG got a series of 3 stops and had 4 chances with the ball to cut the lead inside 6, but Crawford missed twice, Calhoun missed once and Kraus turned the ball over once and then Akron finally scored to go up 8 and from there the Zips went 10-1 to wrap up the game.

So, for a short period of time we had the game close and got the stops we needed and couldn't score to take advantage.  The problem is that when you play a team that is better than you, you have almost no margin for error, and our margin was about four possessions.

BG had .76 points per possession, their worst offensive game of the season.  BG only shot 24% in the first half on their way to 32.8% for the game.  BG was also 3-12 from beyond the arc.  The Zips didn't shoot a lot better, but were +7 on turnovers and +10 on free throws and got 41% of their offensive rebounds, and that was enough for them to get the victory.

If you turn the ball over on 23% of your possessions and then when you do get a shot off you only make it 33% of the time, you are going to have trouble winning that game.  You're going to need exemplary defense, and BG only got slightly below average defense (for the game, Akron had 1.02 points per possession, which is well below their average for the season but well above where BG typically needs to be to win) and that's just how Team A beats Team B.

Individually, BG had a great game from Richaun Holmes, who had 15 points on 5 of 6 shooting and 5 of 5 FTS to go with 8 rebounds and 4 blocks in 28 minutes.  Calhoun had 11 on 5 of 10 shooting, though for the second straight game he was held off the boards.  However, BG's guards were 7 of 30 from the field, including a mind-boggling 3 of 17 from Jordon Crawford.  Orr and Black were also a combined 2 for 10.

In other words, beyond Holmes and Calhoun, the shooting woes were widespread.  Kraus did have 3 treys and Crawford had 5 assists over 3 turnovers.

Sealey played 11 scoreless minutes and Anthony Henderson made it in the game for 3 minutes.

BG falls to 10-15 overall and 5-7 in the MAC.  For all that, if OU beats EMU Wednesday in Athens, as expected, BG will be in the 5th slot and the lead for the last bye spot into the MAC tourney.  Also, BG plays 3 of the last 4 at home.  BG is only 1 game behind Buffalo, who has to play Akron and OU (admittedly both at home) and then comes to BG to finish the season.  So, as imperfect as it has been, there are still things to keep us interested.

Beyond EMU-OU make up game, this is an off-week in MAC play.  No other conference games until a week from Wednesday.  Of course, the bracket busters are up next weekend, and BGSU has New Orleans coming in on Thursday, but the MAC play gets a little breather before racing down the home stretch.

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