Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Rockets Win Fifth Straight over BG

Look, the football winning streak is one thing, because while BG has lost 6 straight to UT, the Falcons have won 2 Championships in that time frame, while the Rockets have not even played in the title know, it feels like a little more of a fluke.

There's no mystery to this basketball thing.  UT has had a better team than BG each of the last 5 years. That's true today.  The early signs are that we have the right coach to turn that around--to rebuild the program to be back to a place it really hasn't been since Michael Huger was in HS--but for now, UT is just better.

Watching Nathan Boothe play is a pleasure.  He's so elegant, there is no wasted movement and yet he has incredible basketball skills...a soft shooting touch, he's a great passer, handles the ball well.  He's just pretty to watch and a very accomplished player.  I admire that he has taken his game beyond just being fact, he's the kind of big man you used to see in basketball but have grown extinct.  Hats off to him.

The game flow was pretty simple.  UT was up 9, BG pushed it back to being tied at 16 but about 2 minutes later UT was up 10 again.  BG rallied again to tie the game at the half after trailing by 12 with about 6 minutes left...BG actually led early in the second half and the game was tied with 11:31 left when the Rockets went on a 10-0 run to build the lead BG could finally not erase.

The Falcons did get the deficit down to 2 with about a minute left, but Boothe was fouled, nailed both free throws to go up 4 and then BG failed to score on the other end, followed by another Rocket FT and at that point you're in desperation mode.

I give our guys credit.  They fought hard and are ahead of schedule.  They just don't have the offense to win a game where they aren't getting stops, and UT was too good on offense for BG to get those stops.

The game was relatively fast-paced, at 72 possessions.  UT scored 1.12 points per possession, which is what they came in at (about) and BG had 1.02, which is less than their season average.

The key was shooting, in a couple ways.  UT shot 49% and 54% from 3FG, both of which are just tough numbers for a team like BG to beat.  BG shot 44% and 36%, which is an average night by D1 standards.  BG actually got a few more turnovers than you might have expected and no one was doing any offensive rebounding.  The other difference was FTs.  UT shoots them well, and they did last 77%.  BG was OK for the game at about 70%.

Zack Denny and Spencer Parker continued to pace BG on scoring.  Denny had 19 on 7 of 15 and 2 of 6 shooting and Parker had 16 points on a slightly less efficient 6 of 16 shooting.  Denny had 7 rebounds and Parker had 5.  Wes Alcegaire had 12 points on 4 of 7 shooting (2nd straight game in double figures) and Ish Ali had 11 points, 4 assists and 0 turnovers in 25 minutes.  Demajeo Wiggins had 9 boards and bodied Boothe a couple of times.

Also, really nice crowd for the game...I have a feeling that Huger is bringing back some lost fans and will help to create the kind of atmosphere the team needs.

Kent is next Saturday for a heavily promoted Centennial Game.  That's another tough assignment, but BG has rarely played two bad (or "bad") games in a row, so let's bring home a big Saturday W.

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