Sunday, February 15, 2015

Falcons take sole possession of first with win

BG came into Muncie in a position that they have not been in much prior to this year...on the road against a bad team they expected to beat.  Ball State had lost 9 straight coming into the game and BG just needed to finish the job and deliver #10.  Which they did.

The only bump in the road came when Coach Jans pulled his starters out with 6:30 left to play and BG leading by 22 points.  He admitted later that was a rookie mistake.  It was one thing against WMU because they had already pulled their starters, but we found that while BG's starters were 24 points better than Ball State's starters, the reserves were no match.  Ball State sliced the lead to 10 in less than 4 minutes and BG had to put everybody back in to close the game out 79-65.

Except for that 4 minutes, BG was in control the whole way.  The Falcons led wire to wire, had an 11 point lead at the half, opened the second half with an 11-4 run to go up and 18 and the score never got closer than 10 again and was as high as 24.

With Akron and Toledo losing, BG is now in an unthinkable place...unthinkable when the season started and even at Christmas.  BG is in sole possession of first place with 2 home games coming next week.

Enjoy it Falcon fans.  We have waited a long time for this.

It is not how BG is used to winning.  When you see that 79-65 score, it is important to remember that the game consisted of only 61 possessions.  BG had 1.3 points per possession--the second best offensive game of the season, after the South Florida win.  BG shot 51% and 44%, with 12 3FG,  the best shooting game of the season--and turned the ball over only 5 times, a great number even in a low possession game (in fact, tempo free the best game of the year on that measure as well.  When you get shots up or fouled on 92% of your possessions and then shoot like that, you are going to be tough to beat.

BG did not have its normal defensive performance.  Ball State actually shot better than BG at 54% and 50%, but turned the ball over 16 times.  It was better than any team has shot against BG this year.  With the turnovers, BSU had 1.07 points per possession, which is the fourth worst game for BG's defense this season.

Neither team did much on  the offensive boards and free throws were not a factor.  Both teams shot well, and BG's ability to take care of the ball was the difference.

Richaun Holmes has another big game, with 20 points on 8 of 13 shooting, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocks.  Zack Denny broke out of a slump with 18 on 6 of 10 and 4 of 6 to go with 6 rebounds.  Anthony Henderson had 11 points on 4 of 7 shooting.  Pep Joseph had 4 assists and 1 turnover in 25 minutes.

And the beat goes on.  The first place Falcons now host Miami and Buffalo this week.  7 games remain in the MAC schedule.  What will be will be...BG has tie breaker issues with Akron and with UT--but the Falcons are showing themselves every week to have a legitimate shot at making a run in Cleveland and--if they can beat Akron and UT--to have a shot to break back into the Big Dance.



Anonymous said...

Any way to calculate BSU points per possession taking out the 4 min the reserves were in?

Ken said...

Thanks. Enjoying this indeed.

Typo, probably thinking of the next game. "BG has tie breaker issues with Miami and with UT". Should be Akron, not Miami.

Orange said...

Thanks ken. Fixed.