Sunday, December 07, 2014

Men's Basketball Saves the Weekend

They were who we thought they were...and they provided what they were supposed to provide.  The Falcon Men's Basketball team got the win they expected against the SWAC's Alabama A&M with a 64-47 win over the Bulldogs.

While BG went wire to wire with the lead, it wasn't a blow out wire to wire.  BG didn't get its first 10 point lead until there was 2 minutes left in the first half and then the lead was back down to 10 with 7 minutes left in the game.  So, the Falcons were never threatened, but there were significant periods of the game that were competitive.

We noted in the preview that Alabama A&M was challenged when it came to scoring the ball, and that's exactly what you see here.  It was a VERY SLOW game...with only 54 possessions.  The last game BG played that was that slow was Samford in 12-13.

Anyway, the low number of possessions puts the low score in some perspective.  It means that BG had 1.18 points per possession, which is really good, against .87 for AA&M, which is a good number if you are playing defense.

In a neat trick, AA&M shot 35% on 2FG and 35% on 3FG.  Don't see that too often.  Anyway, they had 11 turnovers (remember, there were a low number of overall possessions, so that number is worse), had a below average day on the offensive boards and hardly got to the line at all.

In comparison, BG shot 50% overall and 35% from beyond the arc.  That alone was probably enough to win the game, but BG had a better day with turnovers, a decent day on the offensive boards and a minor advantage at the FT line.

BG really spread the minutes around...another factor in the final score...15 people played in total and no one played more than 26 minutes. Holmes had 12 points and 7 rebounds and Denny had 10 with 2 3FGs as he battles a shooting slump. Clarke scored 11 points and Joseph contributed 8 assists.

So the Falcons move to 5-1.  Certainly, you have to be pleased with the results to date.  Keep in mind that, according to kenpom, BG has played a schedule somewhere in the 300s in terms of rank, so let's enjoy it and hope to see the team continue to get better as they approach conference play.

BG's next assignment is a tough one.  They head on Tuesday to Dayton to take on the Flyers.  They are 6-1 and with early wins over Miami and EMU they have taken the early lead in the MAC.  That's the Elite 8 Dayton Flyers, and while they lost 3 starters off that team they are still picked to finish 3rd in the A-10.

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