Thursday, December 24, 2015

Falcons MBB end '15 with needed win, beat Cleveland State

So, Dan Dakich used to say that you remember three things in your life:  the day you got married, the day your kids were born and roads wins.

The order depends on who you beat.

I suspect that's how the Falcons were feeling last night as they wrapped up the 2015 portion of the schedule with a sometimes ugly road win over the Cleveland State Vikings.  Cleveland State is certainly far from a top flight team, but with the Falcons coming off a couple tough losses, it was a good one to get.  Everyone can enjoy the holiday...enjoy being 8-4...before coming back and getting ready for conferene play.

The first half was prett competitive.  BG led by 6 mid-way through the half, but CSU came back and took the lead and were leading late in the half.  BG scored the last 4 points to go up 27-25 at the half.

BG led most of the second half.  CSU took the lead with about 13 minutes but BG took it right back and led for the remainder of the game.  In fact, the basket that took the lead over was that start of an 8-0 that gave BG a lead of 7 with 11 minutes left.  The game then sunk into the scoring doldrums bigtime, with both teams tallying a basket apiece over four minutes.

Which is fine when you have the lead.

BG was up 9 with 4:47 left and then changed the game dynamics by scoring on consecutive possesions to go up 14 and at that point it was over.  BG led by as much as 18 before winning 62-47.

Looking at the stats, BG had a slightly above average game with 1.03 points per possession.  However, after giving up huge offensive production to Wright State, BG held CSU to a very poor offensive night, as the Vikings scored .78 points per possession, which is not good.

The reason is pretty clear below.  CSU had the worst shooting night I can remember.  They shot 30% from the field and 15% from 3FG.  That's just awful.  BG didn't shoot great, at 44% and 3-7 from beyond the arc...and with that many 2FG attempts, you really should shoot much better.  Anyway, it was certainly good enough and better than BG shot in Dayton.  BG was -2 in turnovers.  Both teams were big on the offensive boards, it was probably BG's best offensive rebounding game of the season.  Finally, BG was excellent from the FT line, shooting 15-18, also probably their best game of the season.

Individually, Spencer Parker had 13 points in 14 minutes, as he battled foul trouble.  He shot 4 of 5 from the field.  Zack Denny had 13 points and 10 rebounds on 5 of 10 shooting.  Finally, FR Damajeo Wiggins had 10 points and 7 rebonds in the best game to date in his young career.  Ish Ali, who is BG's most productive PG right now, had 6 assists.

BG has one more non-conference game left against Oakland City, which I have no idea what that is.  BG is 8-4.  There are positive signs, especially the road wins.  There are reasons to be cautious, too.  This was a very soft schedule--intentionally--and I suspect there will be some growing pains in conference play.

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