On to the Q we go. BG will now face the #4 seed CMU, who had a bye and has been waiting since Friday for tomorrow's game. CMU beat BG twice this year, by 12 both times. In fact, at 79-67 at the Stroh and 77-65 at McGuirk, even the scores were almost identical. Now, BG had beaten us twice, too, so maybe the third time is the charm.
The two previous games were actually different ways of getting to the same thing. In the first game, CMU had incredible shooting, at 50% and 40%, that's just really good, especially when you get to the line and make 78% of those shots. They had 1.22 points per possession and you are going to be very hard to beat.
In the second game, BG did a better job making it hard for CMU to shoot, but in turn had a dreadful day shooting the ball. That combined with turnover issues cost BG the win. Game 2 featured BG being down 9 at the half and then giving up 10 straight points to start the second half. Last note, that shooting is especially bad (BG's) when you consider all those offensive rebounds, which usually led to high percentage shots.
CMU is a lot like Akron, but without the strong inside presence. They are 2nd in the MAC in offensive efficiency. That comes from two things....they are #5 in shooting and #1 in not turning the ball over. That's a potent combination. They are only 11th in offensive rebounding and 12th in getting to the FT line. They are, however, the best FT% team in the MAC, when they get there. They are not great from 3--3rd in proportion of FG attempts and 6th in making them. They are 3rd from 2FG and that all combines to being a very good offensive team.
They are not a strong defensive team. They are 9th in the MAC in defensive efficiency. They are 5th in defending the shot, 8th in turnovers and 11th in offensive rebounding allowed. And they are 4th in allowing teams to the line. They are very effective defending the 3--which BG doesn't do much of anyway--and they are 8th in defending 2FG, which is where BG usually goes.
Their leading players are no surprise. They are led by two-time, first-team all-MAC Chris Fowler, who is scoring 17 PPG and shooting 46%. He also averages 6 assists, and 4 rebounds a game. He has also had some monster games against BG.
Third-team All-MAC Braylon Rayson is their second leading scorer at 16 ppg and shooting only 41%. However, he is 87% at the FT line. They also have Rayshaun Simmons in double figures, with 11 PPG on 43% shooting and about 4.5 assists.
Look, on paper CMU should beat BG. Having said that, BG has put together two good games in a row, has some players coming into their own and is now playing with house money. I'm looking very forward to seeing how we fare against the Chips.