Saturday, December 10, 2016

Falcon Freshmen Spark Win

BG got a win they really needed on Saturday, beating the Detroit-Mercy Titans in Saturday afternoon game at the Stroh.  It wasn't always pretty and BG didn't roll the entire way...BG led for only 18 minutes of the game and in fact trailed at halftime by 7.  But, the Falcons came out and played some improved basketball in the second half on the backs of a personnel shift, didn't let the Titans back into the game late and won 74-61.  BG is now 4-6 and UDM is 1-9.

As mentioned, it wasn't so great at halftime.  BG was down 7 at the half.  There was an extra-long halftime because the teams broke the basket on the East side of the arena, and it took a while to haul a new one out and get it set up.  When BG came out, Coach Huger made a change.  He sat Lillard and Ali down and moved Frye and Caldwell into their spot.

And it made a difference right away.  You could just sense the team playing with more intensity--coach called it energy in the post-game--and the results started to appear immediately on both ends of the floor.  In five minutes BG had the game tied and in about 7 had a 7-point lead on a 16-2 run.  UDM never got closer than 5 again.  With 7:47 left in the game, the Titans had 7 points in the half.  BG was struggling on offense about this time as well, keeping UDM afloat.  

With 5 minutes left, BG was up 5.  A key sequence occurred.  A scramble under the basket occurred and UDM was fouled for a common foul and a flagrant foul.  Caldwell made 3 of the 4 FTs and then Dylan Frye followed his own missed shot to get a basket and in a few seconds the lead had doubled to 10.

The Titans got the lead back to 9 right away, but an Alcegaire FT pushed it back to 10 with 4:04 left.  Here, during a time when BG has typically struggled to execute, the Falcons ground it out, never letting the lead get inside 10 points on their way to the win.

Caldwell played 18 minutes in the half, scoring 11 points and Dylan Frye played 17 minutes and had 10 points.  Ali played 2 minutes and Lillard played 0.  BG outscored UDM by 20 points and held UDM to 33% shooting, 0 for 6 from 3FG and forced 10 turnovers.  They had .68 points per possession.

For the whole game, BG managed 1.03 points per possession against a pretty poor UDM defense.  They allowed UDM only .85 points per possession, however.  The victory was built more on stops than it was on scoring.  Anyway, you can see here how they stacked up.  BG shot very well and UDM didn't.  BG wasn't great at taking care of the ball, but UDM was worse.  BG did an unusually poor job on defensive rebounding, but got to the line a lot more.  BG took 25 free throws and UDM took 18.  However, BG was dreadful for most of the game at shooting them, and it ended up with both teams making 13 FTs for the game.  BG at one point had missed something like 10 out of 12.  Anyway, with better FT shooting BG could have had an even easier win.

Four Falcons scored in double figures.  Dylan Frye had 18 points for BG, shooting 7 of 11 overall and 4 of 7 on 3 assists.  Pretty good night.  Wes Alcegaire had 16 on 6 of 13 shooting--though only 2 of 7 on 3FG--to go with 4 assists and 4 turnovers.  Rodrick Caldwell had 13, with 3 of 7 shooting and 6 of 8 from the line.  Zack Denny had one of those games...10 points, on 3 of 11 shooting, but 8 rebounds.

A couple things that don't show up on the stat sheet.  UDM likes to run half court pressure with a big guy out top trapping the ball.  Teams used to run this on Jordan Crawford.  Caldwell was very composed and effective in that setting, spinning out of trouble.  Second, while he is at first known as a shooter, Dylan Frye also handles the ball really well and helps break the press a lot.

Lastly, you'd like to have Jaleel Hogan on your team.  Guy had 16 points and 6 rebounds on 6 of 9 shooting.  He killed BG in the first half until the Falcons picked their game up.  He fouled out in the final minutes, something that helped BG feel secure about the win.

So, it is finals at BG next week.  The Falcons take the week off.  Next Sunday, they play at San Jose State.

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