BG gets its rematch against Miami today. As detailed in yesterday's post, this is a huge game. BG continues to have a legit shot at getting one of the 4 byes--a significant accomplishment given the expectations for this year. But, this one is very worrisome.
Yes, Miami is a lower-ranked team in our conference. However, they have now won 4 in a row--the last 3 over Akron, Kent and BG--and it appears that the John Cooper program might be kicking in down there. This is a dangerous time to be playing them and a dangerous time to be playing them in Oxford.
Miami is now 7-8 in MAC play. Furthermore, the game at BG was not especially close by the end. The Falcons need to bring a significant effort out there to get this game won.
Miami put a lot of pressure on BG and switched defenses a lot. There was full court pressure and half court trap. BG was driven right out of its offense and struggled to make shots, especially in the 2nd half when BG shot 32%, missed all 11 3FGs and scored 23 points.
BG has had an extra day to look at this and they are going to have to get something figured out. Coach Jans is a good Coach and I think he will prepare his team to handle what Miami will want to do.
The other thing Miami did effectively was create dribble penetration. Late in the game, they would run the clock down and then Eric Washington would drive into the key, without benefit of a screen. Obviously that's a killer when you are trying to catch up.
Miami beat BG on both ends of the floor. Miami scored 1.08 points per possession and BG scored .9. Miami shot 42% and 33%...though they tried only 9 3FGs. BG shot 36% and 23%. The other stats were pretty even, and FTAs were the same both ways, but Miami made 20 out of 21 and BG made 14 out of 20.
This was a game where BG had trouble getting anyone going except Richaun Holmes. He had 21 points, 7 of 9 shooting, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks. As we noted, the rest of BG's team shot 11 of 41 and 3 of 22 shooting.
For Miami, the leading scorer was Australian Jaryd Eustace, who had 14 points in 11 freaking minutes. Geovanie McKnight, who had an inefficient 13 on 4 of 14 shooting and 10 rebounds. Will Sullivan had 11 points on 6 of 6 FT shooting and 6 rebounds. Eric Washington looked like a player late, but he was 2 of 9 shooting with 4 assists over 5 turnovers.
The last time BG competed at this level was 2009, when BG finished with a regular season title. That was the year the Falcons wrenched a win out at the JAR to set the whole thing in motion. The next 3 are big, starting with this one. It's going to be a test.