I have to give a lot of credit to our guys. Getting in a losing streak like the one they were in is really tough...the season's ending, there isn't much to play for...and you're playing a team that is as good as OU is, and you're down 9-0. Your starters (4 of them) were benched for what we later heard was an academic issue that involved some "running"...anyway, that's a hole when a lot of teams just wallow and go through the motions.
So, I give credit to the guys. They did fight through, never letting the lead get under 10 in the first half and even ending the half down 1 on a Lillard tip in. OU led for the first 10 minutes of the second half, too, but our guys stayed engaged and fighting and finally took the lead for the first time with 9:40 left on a Rasheed Worrell slam. From there it was an extremely entertaining game...good shooting, low turnovers, low fouls...good college basketball.
BG led almost the entire last 9:40. OU took a 1-point with 3:47 left but then after the teams traded stops Wes Alcegaire hit a jumper to put BG up 1 with 2:54 left. BG never trailed again, and the hoop was the start of a door-slamming 10-2 run that left BG up 7 inside of a minute to play and BG made 9 of 12 from the line in the last minute and the game was never a one-possession game again.
BG won the game despite being outshot. Both teams had a similar overall percentage, but OU made 12 3s and BG only made 6. However, BG won every other aspect of the game. Both teams took great care of the ball, and BG was very effective on the offensive boards while keeping OU off the glass very effectively. And BG was +11 at the line. The Falcons shot 17 of 22 from the line, while OU was only 6 of 8 for the whole game. The Falcons committed only 11 fouls.
BG was led by its front court and swing players. Wes Alcegaire had a great night, scoring 20 points on 7 of 14 and 4 of 8 shooting and added 5 rebounds. Spencer Parker also had 20 on 6 of 12 shooting, 2 of 3 from 3FG and 6 of 6 from the line. Antwon Lillard had 15 on 5 of 19 shooting and 7 rebounds and Rasheed Worrell had 14 on 6 of 10 shooting (including a series of power dunks during the game's key phase in the last 10 minutes) and 7 rebounds. It was a nice bounceback for both of the last 2 guys. Lillard dropped a bagel in Buffalo and Worrell had 7 points over the last 3 games.
Ish Ali contributed 6 assists and no turnovers.
Isn't it amazing how much better things look with a win? Incredible. Anyway, Akron on Friday. That's going to be tough, but HEY, they lost to Miami, right?