Saturday, March 12, 2016

Zips Too Good, End BG Run

And that's that.

BG's big run came to an end against the Akron Zips at the Q.  BG battled them for a while, but has been demonstrated now three times, Akron just has too much for BG to handle.  I like our team, though, and I'm really looking forward to seeing Coach Huger put our program where theirs is.

Meanwhile, it was a great way for our guys to end the season.  After the struggles through February and the first part of March, beating Kent on the road and then CMU were nice rewards and a good way to send the team into the off-season.

The first 15 minutes of the 1st half were close, but with about 5 minutes left the Zips were up 12.  They were still up 10 with 3 left and then BG battled back to cut it to 6 by the half (and could have been 4 as Worrell missed a close shot at the buzzer).

BG came out fighting hard in the 2nd half.  The game got progressively closer until BG cut the lead to 1 with 13 minutes left.  Akron is just good, though, and they came down and Johnson had an old-school 3-point play to put them up 4.  BG had 2 possessions to try and get the lead back inside 4 but Akron got stops on both and then Johnson scored again and the lead was up to 6.

In fact, that was the start of BG going 6 minutes without a FG, and during that time Johnson scored 9 points on his own.  Akron pushed the lead up to 11 with about 8 minutes left and the lead never got inside 8 again as the Zips did what they do, which is to close out a game once they have the team beaten.

My preview said that what Akron does is provide great shooting while they take care of the ball.  They certainly did that again last night.  They ended up with 1.22 points per possession, which is very efficient and well above even their own season average.  You shoot 63% in an EFG%, you are tough to beat, especially when you only turn it over 14% of the time.  This was not a fast paced game...there were only 65 possessions.  You score 80 in a game like that?  Ouch.

BG just didn't match that and probably can't.  BG shot very poorly, had more turnovers and while BG did get a lot of offensive boards, 12 in the 2nd half, and had 19 second chance points, which was about 30% of their total offense.  To put it in perspective, BG shot 85% from the line and was +5 in FTs and still lost by 14.  The Falcons had only 1.01 points per possession.

Antwon Lillard led BG again with 12 points on 4 of 9 shooting.  Spencer Parker, making his last appearance, scored 11 on 4 of 10 shooting.  Pep Joseph, also in his last game, scored 11 on 4 of 6 shooting.  Rasheed Worrell had 11 rebounds in 17 minutes played.

For the Zips, 5 of the players were in double figures, but Isaiah Johnson remains the guy BG can't handle.  He had 23 points on 9 of 11 shooting and 6 rebounds.

BG finishes 16-18.  There will be more coming in terms of a review of the year.  I've said it before, expectations were long and it was a tough season.  However, there's reason to think this team is in a position to build moving forward.

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