Wednesday, March 06, 2013

No Surprises in Kent

Things went pretty much as expected last night in Kent, as the Falcons lost, fell into the 8th seed and 9th place in the MAC and lost nearly any chance of grabbing the #5 seed.  Further, Buffalo appears to be red hot and BG's final home game Friday would look to be anything but a cake walk.

The Falcons finish the year 1-12 on the road.  We are the only team in the MAC with 1 road win on the season, so we are, officially, the worst road team in the conference.

It wasn't that BG didn't have its moments last night.  The first 18 minutes were an abject disaster...with 2:25 left in the first half, BG was down 17 points and it was looking like Kent was going to run the Falcons right out of the gym.  

Then, the Falcons scored 11 points in 1:54 in an offensive streak unlike any we have seen this year.  Sealey had 5 points and Orr had 6 in that stretch, which is encouraging given that neither is a senior.  The run was aided by a technical foul on Kent, but still, BG scored 11 points in 2 minutes and at times (make a note of this) have struggled to score that much in 10 minutes.

So, BG heads into the locker room down 6.  At this point, they have the opportunity to make a statement, to actually change the outcome of the game.  The second half was much more tightly contested...BG got it down to 1 and Kent had it as high as 8.  

Then the Falcons took the lead with 7:29 left, 58-57.  Again, here is an opportunity to get a pretty big road win and you are leading inside of 8 minutes.  In the actual event, Kent asserted total superiority in the last 7 minutes, holding a Falcon team that had scored 11 points in 2 minutes to 3 points in 7 minutes while scoring 12 on their own and ending up with a 8 point win.

During that streak, BG was 1-12 from the field with one turnover.  Crawford missed 7 shots in that streak, Calhoun 3, and Orr and Kraus one each.

In his presser, Coach Orr said this..."I respect the courage of our older guys, but we gotta make better plays...and it doesn't have to be one guy."

Richaun Holmes had all 3 points.

It was another quick game, at 69 possessions.  BG's defense held Kent to 1 point per possession, which is well below their season average of 1.07 points per possession.  So a decent defensive performance, but not close to where BG needs to be to win.  As we have noted ad naseum, BG is now 2-17 when allowing more than .93 points per possession, and in this game even that would not have been enough as BG only scored .88 points per possession.  (Though, in theory, more stops would have led to more transition chances, where BG was more successful).

Here's a big part of the story.  In terms of overall FG%, BG and Kent were almost equal at 42% and change.  However, Kent was 9 of 20 from 3 and BG was 0 of 9, yielding a huge actual shooting advantage for the Flashes.  The other facets of the game were pretty came down to making baskets and preventing baskets, which is, of course, the object of the game.

Calhoun had 13 points on 6 of 12 shooting and 7 rebounds, while Crawford has 12 points on a very weak 5 of 17 to go with 8 assists and 5 turnovers.  Holmes had 11 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks in 20 minutes.  Orr added 8 and Craig Sealey scored 7 points and 3 rebounds in 5 minutes.

One last note.  In listening to the presser, I thought Coach Orr sounded tired.  He struggled for words when talking about the 12-3 run at the end.  I just thought it stood out.  He praised his team for fighting, which they did, but kept ending sentences with something like "we just have to be able to make baskets."

BG falls to 12-18 on the season and 6-9 in the MAC.  The regular season finishes on Friday with a peaking Buffalo team and then, in all probability we will be home on Monday for a tournament game.

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