Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sadness Accrues--Falcons Lose to Miami

That one, I fear, is going to leave a mark.

The Falcons came into the game against Miami last night--a game they really needed to win against a team with no quality MAC wins, 1 road win, etc.  And Miami simply outplayed BG and beat BG on the Stroh Center floor.  The other teams with home games in the MAC held serve, UT got a huge road win at the JAR and now there's a four-way tie at the top of the MAC, with BG provisionally in 2nd right now, helped immensely by having Akron in 5th and not in the tie breaker right now.

It was a disappointing night.  Miami played really hard and had a great game plan.  They pressured BG all night and the Falcons never got into an offensive rhythm.  Sometimes the pressure was full-court and sometimes it was a half-court trap...BG didn't handle either one very well and by the time they got into their offense it just seemed like they couldn't generate any kind of shot.  When there was a shot, it didn't go down.  I'm really happy with the season we are having and the team is better on almost all fronts, but this team does not handle pressure very well and we don't seem to be getting any better at it, even compared to last year.

The other issue was half court defense.  BG played good defense from time to time, but late in the game, Miami would run the shot clock down and then Eric Washington would isolate up top and without benefit of a screen get by his defender and into the lane.

The key phase of the game came in the second half.  BG was up 4 with 13 minutes left and Miami went on an 11-0 run in 2:06 and led the rest of the way.  BG had it within 3, missed a shot in transition off a steal and then on the next possession missed two shots at the hoop before Miami got a basket and soon enough the score was +7.  BG did not make a serious run late.

Miami didn't shoot great (42% and 33%), but they shot better than BG, which shot 36% and 23%, which includes no made 3FGs in the 2nd half.  Miami supplemented that by shooting 20 of 21 from the line, and all else being essentially equal that was the difference.

Individually, it is not possible for Richaun Holmes to be more productive than he was.  He had 21 points on 7 of 9 shooting, 12 rebounds 5 blocks and 2 steals.  The remainder of the team shot 11 of 41.  Holmes was 3 of 4 from 3FG....the remainder of the team was 3 of 22.  There's no reason to delve into that, it is a team failure.

The optimistic view from here is that BG has not lost two straight all year and has typically played well after a loss and the game is at home.  Buffalo is under performing but dangerous and BG needs to return to previous levels of play.  They are still tied for first with a favorable schedule coming home, though less favorable today than at this time yesterday

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