Saturday, March 05, 2016

Senior Night Disappointment

It was a very exciting game and the Falcons played hard on senior night, competing hard against a team in Buffalo that had a lot to play for.  In the end it wasn't enough, as BG didn't execute in the final minutes and lost a game they probably should have won...though Buffalo has a strong team and a strong style of player.  They are not easy to beat.

For most of the first half, it looked like Buffalo was going to take it wire-to-wire.  They led the whole way, stretching it to 10 with 2 minutes left in the first half.  BG scored the last 6 points of the half to head to the locker room down 4.  The run continued in the second half.  BG took its first lead with about 16 left in the game and led by 6 with 8 minutes left.

It cannot have escaped anyone's notice that this was almost the exact position BG was in the game in Buffalo, a game that they went on to lose by 14 points.  This time was different.  Buffalo tied the game with 5 minutes left but BG was up 5 against a couple minutes later.  

With 2:11 BG was up 4.  Worrell picked up a huge blocked shot in the key and did it with enough tough that it stayed in play and Alcegaire ran it down.  At this point, BG is up 4 with the ball with 2 minutes left on its home court and that's something you want to be able to close out.

BG scores on this possession and its probably game over.  Lillard (who had a great night) lined up a dagger-3 but it wouldn't go down.  UB had the ball...BG got them to miss a shot but the rebound bounced long and the Bulls had another shot and Hamilton converted an and-1 to make it a 1 point lead.

That's a tough sequence.  BG missed another 3 on its possession with 1:10 left and Worrell committed a foul on the rebound.  UB was only in the 1-1 and they missed the front end...but the rebound caromed long and they had the ball back and Bearden did what he does, which is finish near the rim and the Bulls were up 1 with  1:00 left.  Parker matched it with a jumper with :48 left to put BG up 1 again.  

Bearden got into the lane again and this time BG fouled him.  He hit both FTs and UB was up 1 with :32 to play.

BG took a time out to set the play up.  In what has been an issue for this program for a long time, what came out of the time out was not what you'd like to see for a key possession.  BG seemed to have trouble handling the ball, Buffalo was clearly dictating the action.  The ball ended up inside to Worrell but he didn't have the handle and Buffalo stole it with :12 left.  BG fouled him.

He split the FTs so BG still had a shot, down 2 with :12 left.  No time outs.

And one of those things happened.  I don't know what to say...Ish Ali was dribbling the ball upcourt, on his own, under no pressure, short of the timeline and he just dribbled the ball off the leg out of bounds.  No criticism here, it's just one of those things.  It's happened to you and me.  It reminded me of the Holmes-Clarke over and back last year...just a crazy, random mind-fart at the worst possible time.

Anyway, UB made both FTs off the next possession and that was the game.

This was a very evenly matched game.  First, it happened at 74 possessions, which is the fastest BG game since the game at UD.  As you can see below, shooting was equal, both teams were effective on the offensive boards, BG got to the line more and neither team made FTs effectively, BG ended up +2.  

The difference was turnovers...BG ended up with 3 more and 2 of those in the last minute of the game.  So, the difference was also clutch-time execution, which was poor for BG.  And then the other difference was 3 or 4 times when BG scored a big basket and UB literally ran the ball down the court and scored 3 seconds later.  You'd like those back.

Individually, Spencer Parker had a big night for his senior night.  He scored 20 on 7 of 14 shooting and 5 rebounds.  Antwon Lillard--who I think has a shot to be a real player in this conference--had a monster night.  He scored 19 on 8 of 11 shooting and added 6 rebounds.  The rebounding includes one offensive rebound and one hand stick back that belongs on any highlight reel you want to see, anytime.

Pep had a career high 13 points on his senior night on 5 of 10 shooting.  Wes Alcegaire scored 11, though on 4 of 12 shooting.

Wiggins had 7 rebounds in 19 minutes.  Worrell had 5 rebounds and 2 monster blocks.

I think UB has a really nice team.  Bearden is amazing around the rim and Hamilton is a really nice player.  With Justin Moss, they'd have dominated the MAC this year, and they still have a shot to win in Cleveland.  

Speaking of which....

Here you go.  BG finishes in last place in the MAC...remember, this was expected to be a tough year and it was.  BG goes to Kent...the Flashes beat BG by 3 at the Stroh and 16 at the MAC just this week, prompting the Coach's frustrated comments about a selfish team.  The winner takes on CMU, also a team that beat BG twice.

No comments :