Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Falcons Rebound Basketball and Rebound With Win

See what I did there?

I think Coach Jans said it best when he said "he was as curious as anyone" about how his team would respond to last week's losses and being under pressure to win.

What he saw had to please him.  BG dominated OU at the Convo, leading by as much as 23 and winning by 11 in the final analysis after a late run by the Bobcats.

Let's get all the disclaimers out there.  OU is having a rough year.  (Turns out Jim Christian might be smarter than we thought).  Not only are they struggling, but their best player, Bean Willis, played only 9 minutes due to an in-game injury.  BG was set up for success.

The point is that they delivered on it.  When you have a bad team like OU, you are supposed to drub them, and the Falcons more or less did.  With 12 minutes left, OU led 14-13.  From there to the end of the half, BG had a 27-8 run to head into the half with a 40-22 lead.  BG led by as much as 23 in the 2nd half.

OU went on a run late (this time with most of BG's starters in the game) and brought the lead down to 9 with :40 left, but were never in a serious position to get back into the game, though that might have been different if a couple of late 3s had fallen.

So how did that happen?  Well, BG shot better overall (45%) while still struggling from the 3FG. (24%).  From the quotes after the game, it sounds like BG's priorities were to rebound and to get the ball in the paint--and shoot fewer 3FGs.  So BG had OK shooting, took very good care of the ball while doing an outstanding job on the boards.  BG got 47% of its available offensive boards--its best game of the season--and held OU to 28%, which is also a good result.  Meanwhile, BG had one more foul than OU, but BG shot 17 FTs and OU shot 8, a sign that BG was getting the ball inside, per the game plan.  BG also made 14 of 17 FTs, their third best FT% of the season.

The other big news was that BG succeeded on someone's else game than Richaun Holmes.  Holmes struggled--though he did keep his double-figure scoring streak alive--scoring only 11 points on 3 of 12 shooting.  He added 8 rebounds.  Spencer Parker was the lead guy picking him up, with 19 points on 7 of 14 shooting and 3 of 6 on 3FG, along with 10 rebounds.  Jehvon Clarke scored 13 on 6 of 13 shooting and Henderson had 10 on 5 of 9 shooting.

Coach Jans shook the lineup up a little, starting Parker for Dickerson and Clarke for Denny, who is in a big slump as his first season as a D1 player seems to be wearing on him.  BG got minutes out of Josh Gomez--6 points and 3 rebounds in 10 minutes.  He could be very valuable to BG even in that role moving forward.

Delvin Dickerson played only 8 minutes.  Finally, the PG split has slowly moved to Joseph, who played 27 minutes to 9 for Austin.

So, BG now moves on to play Miami in Oxford on Saturday.  Miami beat BG and is playing really well.  They have won 4 straight, the last 3 against BG, Akron and Kent.  They pressured BG and also had success with dribble penetration against BG in the first game, and it will be critical to see how BG responds to those challenges at Millett.

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