Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Falcons Win "Foul" Contest

Let me say this...these new interpretations had better yield a pretty good college basketball product over the years because right now it is creating a pretty turgid spectator event.  More on that later.

This was a really nice win for BG.  They were slight underdogs on their home floor and brought a complete game to get the win over a team that I would suspect would be a decent team in the MAC.  But, the Falcons held a double-digit lead for most of the 2nd half and had a very convincing and solid win.

So, there has been plenty of doom and gloom for the team, and last night they played a really nice game and beat a quality opponent...credit is due.

It did not start out with much promise.  WKU jumped out to a 9-0 lead.  BG called time out and switched to a press than fell back into a zone defense.  It worked.  BG went on a 23-5 run to take a 9-point lead of their own with about 7 minutes left in the half.

WKU battled back and tied the game with 1:00 or so left in the first half and BG led by 2 at the break.

Coach Hopson said that their expected that WKU would spend half time preparing for the zone, so BG came out in the 2nd half in a man defense again--the same defense that had led to a 9-0 WKU lead.  Except, BG went on a 15-0 run, holding the 'Toppers scoreless for 6:30.  At that point, the Falcons were up 17 and essentially never led by 10 for the remainder of the game as they salted away a convincing victory.

Coach Orr has talked about BG being able to play both man and zone effectively, but this is the first time I can remember us being able to use both in the same game so effectively.

The main storyline was free throws.  Oy.  The refs called 52 fouls in this game and there were 69 free throws attempted by both teams.  In a regulation game.  In the past games, that would have spelled doom for BG.  Except last night BG was nailing 70% of its FTs and 78% in the 2nd half while WKU shot a dismal 44%.  That's 29 of 42 for BG...a +17 advantage at the line for the game.

Not that BG generated that advantage from the same number of fouls (26 each way) meaning that BG's fouls were more likely to be shooting and come from attacking the basket.

This was not a program record for FTs attempted.  The record was actually set in 1953...against WKU.  No kidding.

BG shot 42 free throws and attempted only 46 Field Goals, making the free throw ratio .91, the highest since January, 2006 when BG won at the MAC Center making 34 of 35 FTs.

From the field, BG had a typical shooting night, with 43.5%.  The other difference in the game was that BG got some efficient 3FG shooting...going 5 of 11.  Overall, BG had 1.09 points per possession, which is a very good offensive night.

The defense was also effective.  WKU shot only 34% from the field and 31% from beyond the arc.  They were heavily 3-dependent.  They made 13 2FGs and 8 3FGs, so that helped their effective FG% a little bit, but it was still below their average.  On paper they did well on the offensive boards, but it seemed like a decent number of those were long boards from the barrage of 3s they took.

Like I said, a very complete team victory.

On an individual basis, the continuing story continues to be the break-out season for Spencer Parker.  He has made a huge difference for this team.  He is long and athletic and presents match up issues and he attacks the basket, something BG has had trouble with in the past couple years.  He had 20 efficient points (on 5 of 7 shooting and 9 of 12 from line) to go with 6 rebounds.  He did make 6 turnovers, but as he corrects that, I think he gets better.

Richaun Holmes also had a very nice night.  He had 18...4 of 10 shooting but 9 of 10 from the line and added 7 rebounds and 5 blocked shots.

The Falcons also got a nice contribution from Craig Sealey, who is not 100% healthy following off-season surgery.  He provided points in the first half run for BG, and ended up with 13 and 8 rebounds in 28 minutes.  If he ever gets to the point where he contributes like this on a regular basis, this team takes  clear step forward.

Anthony Henderson also had a nice game, with 12 points and 3 of 5 beyond the arc.  He doesn't need to make a ton of those shots, but anything threat at all is meaningful as the team tries to cobble together an offensive attack.

Jehvon Clarke struggled a little bit, with 3 of 10 shooting and 6 assists over 4 turnovers.

BG played without Chauncey Orr...the Blade says his knee continues to experience swelling.

Anyway, last night was a good night for the Falcons and something I hope they can build on.  The issue is consistency--especially from the line--but you can't have two good games until you have one.

No comments :