Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Zips Continue to Exert Their Will Over BG

Akron continued their mastery of the Falcons last night with an 83-68 win over the Falcons.  The Zips are just too much for BG.  Their shooting is ridiculous from 3FG, and when they get tired of that they have the ability to go into Johnson and Forsythe and we have no one in the post who can touch those guys either.

The Falcons battled, made a couple impressive runs, but just could not sustain the level of play that would be needed to beat Akron, who simply have the superior team.

BG started off great.  The Zips were having trouble getting shots to fall and BG led 20-9 with 12 minutes left in the first half.  Less than three minutes later the game was tied and with 5 minutes left in the half Akron was up 8 and then up 14 with a minute left.  That right there is an 11-minute 32-7 run.  That's an astounding amount of points to give up in 11 minutes.

BG hacked it down to 9 by half and then came out hard in the second half, tying the game about five minutes in.  A 10-1 run put them back up 9 with 11 minutes left.  BG was still battling and got it back to 2 with 8:23 left.  From there, Akron closed the door.  They went on a 24-11 run over the last 8 minutes...with BG again allowing 3 points per minute and getting more or less locked down on their end.

The difference for the game was 3-point shooting.  Akron set a Stroh Center record by making 16 and with ridiculous efficiency...a straight 50%.  That helped them to a 1.19 points per possession, which is well above their average in MAC games.  It wasn't just that, Isaiah Johnson was 6 of 7 before leaving with what was reported as a sprained ankle that Dambrot called "not good"  Meanwhile, BG shot decently at 48% overall...the 33% from beyond the arc isn't great, but basically BG had an average shooting night that was nowhere near good enough.

In fact, BG finished with .98 points per possession, which is below average.  BG did manage to goose the tempo a little bit to almost 70 possessions, which is faster than Akron likes to play.  It is amazing.  Early in the game, they were perfectly willing to pound the ball until the clock was down to 6 before running any offense at all.

BG took good care of the ball, nobody did any offensive rebounding, but BG was especially weak, and nobody really got to the line either.  The game came down to Akron's ability and they have it.  If you are wondering about BG's defense, there were certainly times where Akron landed contested looks.  They were also plays where they had open looks.  The are excellent passers...they look like the Spurs...they would get dribble penetration and kick out to the corner.  BG would close out on it and there would be one more pass to a player on the wing who would be wide open.  Great team basketball, how it was designed to be played.

Individually, Spencer Parker had a big night for the Falcons.  After a game where BG was struggling to shoot and he took only 6 shots, this time he was assertive and strong.  He scored 23 points on 6 of 12 shooting and 8 of 11 from the line.  Rasheed Worrell also had a nice game, with 15 points on 7 of 11 shooting while operating in the presence of two huge human beings.  He's an important part of BG's future and he has been in double figures three of the last five games and it would be great to see his game continue to grow from here until the end of the season.

Zack Denny had 7 rebounds to go with 7 points.

Last thing, there were only 1,554 in the Stroh last night and that can't make anybody feel good.  BG has lost their last 5 home games...have not won at home since January 6.  This season was expected to be a struggle and while BG exceeded some early expectations, they've now lost 4 straight and 6 out of their last 7.  BG has an RPI of 220 which is 10th in the MAC, ahead of only Miami and WMU.  BG is currently one game out of where they would have to be to get a home game, and we play that team on the road.  In BG's last 7 games, they play Akron once and Buffalo twice and at Kent.

No comments :