Friday, March 01, 2013

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

And here they are...the OU Bobcats, heading into the Stroh Center for a rematch of the game played earlier this year at the Convo.

This is a huge opportunity for BG. A win and the Falcons have an excellent shot at the #4 seed.  Obviously, the Falcons are probably pretty significant underdogs, but we are playing well at home and if the team can muster a strong performance, a win is not out of the question.

FWIW, OU has a 2 game lead over WMU for one of the two semi-final byes with 3 to play and they win the tie they have more or less locked up that #2 seed.  The loss to Akron has to have been painful, though.  They had a huge lead early and blew it on their home floor in OT.  How they respond will be interesting--either hungry or worn out.

Since the two teams played, OU is only 3-2, but those losses are to Akron (in Athens) and @Belmont, two teams with top 40 RPIs.  They won @CMU and beat EMU and Kent in Athens.  They come to BG at 20-8  and 11-2, with an RPI of 81 and a kenpom of 72.

I don't think there is much to say preview wise that we didn't say before, which you can see here.  This is a team with a very strong defense--especially against the 3--and they are the 3rd best offensive team in the MAC, based on points per possession.

They are led by DJ Cooper, who is playing a much more efficient game this season...shooting better and also 3rd in the nation in assists in first in assist percentage.  But, they have more than just Cooper.  Walter Offut, Reggie Keely, Ivo Baltic, Nick Kellogg, TJ Hall, this is a team with a bunch of good players that is just slightly less good than Akron, which swept BG.

OU won the initial contest 72-63.  OU only led by 1 at halftime but came out storming and had an 11 point lead 5 minutes into the game.  From there, it was not close and they led by 16 points at one point in the second half.  In fact, the entire game really came down to those first five minutes of the second half...the rest of the game was pretty competitive.

OU ended up 1.04 points per possession, and based on its track record, BG will need to keep them down closer to .9 or .93 to win the game. They have only been held that low six times this year and once in the conference.  Calhoun had 19 and 8 and Crawford had 17 points with 4 assists and 4 turnovers.  Sealey, Holmes and Orr also made contributions to the effort.

For OU, Keely had 15 and 10 rebounds, Offut and Hall 12 and Cooper 10 with 8 assists.

So there you go.  OU is a very good team.  They are only 5-6 on the road this year.  Clearly, they are favorites tomorrow but I give the Falcons a puncher's chance on home floor.

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