Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Men's Home Season Ends in defeat

The home season for men's basketball ended at the Stroh last night, and it ended with a quiet thud.  After a season of dramatics, it was a loss to OU that was never much in doubt as OU took a 5-point lead with 6 minutes left in the first half, had it over 10 a couple of minutes later and the game was never closer than 7 at any point the remainder of the way.

On the post-game, Coach Stone said the biggest problem was defense, and he was exactly correct.  The success BG has had this year has come from playing outstanding defense.  Last night, OU simply shredded BG.  Coach Stone said it was BG's worst defensive game of the year, and in context he might have been right.  The Falcons allowed 1.14 points per possession, which is actually their 4th worst game of the season.  However, that includes Wisconsin and Toledo--two pretty good offensive teams.  The only game in true close competition would be the South Florida game, where BG allowed 1.21 points per possession to the nation's 303rd ranked offense.

Anyway, that's an academic point.  Worst, second wasn't a good night.  It was the worst shooting night BG has allowed all season.  The Bobcats shot 58% overall and 56% from beyond the arc, on 10 of 18 shooting.  BG salvaged what they did by winning the turnover battle and have an advantage in fouls that resulted in 8 more FT attempts and 5 more FTs made.

For its part, BG had a decent offensive game (for them), at .97 points per possession.  BG shot 45% overall, but was 2 of 10 from 3FG and almost no offensive rebounds.  Coach Stone said that BG had chosen not to exploit OU's weak rebounding in favor of protecting against transition baskets, which even he conceded had not worked, as OU still did quite a bit of work in transition.

Note that OU's second leading scorer, Maurice Ndour, did not play, and OU still delivered the offensive onslaught.

Individually for BG, Richaun Holmes had 20 points on 5 of 11 shooting and 5 rebounds. He was also 9 of 10 at the line.  Anthony Henderson had 12 points on 4 of 7 shooting and 5 steals and Parker had 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting.  Jehvon Clarke shot 3 of 13 and had 3 assists over 3 turnovers.

BG finishes the season with a 7-8 record at home, and 3-6 in MAC play.  There were 1,798 people at last night's game, including an always spirited OU faction.  Clearly, not much of a home advantage for BG this year, which is always disappointing.

The Falcons travel to Buffalo Saturday and then a road game Monday in the MAC tournament.  BG is likely to finish 10th and will not get an unwinnable first round game, for whatever that is worth.

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