Riding high off the road win @Ball State, the Falcons responded with a lifeless and unenergetic performance on the way to being destroyed 81-53 by the EMU Eagles...at the Stroh.
The most surprising thing is that Coach Huger talked about this being the third time this year that the team has battled this particular affliction. In other words, it is surprising to me how little prosperity it takes to trigger it.
So, back to the drawing board.
The game was never especially close. The first half wasn't too bad. Although EMU led by as much as 13, the Falcons had it down to 7 by halftime. The Eagles scored the first 10 points of the second half to go up 17 and the game was never closer than 12 the rest of the way. EMU led by 20+ points for the last 6 minutes of the game. That's a 45-24 second half beating. BG shot 8 of 23 with 9 turnovers while EMU shot 65% with 7 turnovers.
And you just hate to see that in front of your home fans. It just is so disappointing to not even be competitive at home against a team in our conference...this wasn't UC. They are a fine team, but they are a MAC team and a 28-point defeat at home is extremely disappointing. After the game, Coach talked about players who don't play hard riding the bench. In this case, Ali played 4 minutes and Alcegaire 3 in the second half. Meanwhile, Frye played 18, Caldwell 16 and Fox 12.
(Note: Justin Turner re-injured his hamstring against Ball State and is out for an uncertain period of time).
The stats are pretty much what you would expect. BG had their worst shooting and turnover games of the year, and couldn't make that up with good offensive rebounds and FT rate (BG made only 57% of its free throws). Meanwhile, EMU had a huge shooting day, took average care of the ball, was equally good on the offensive boards and didn't get to the line as much but made 86% of the shots.
Zack Denny had a tough 14 to lead BG in scoring. He shot 3 of 8 and had 6 rebounds. Wiggins had 11 and 7 on 4 of 7 shooting. Frye had 8 on 4 of 10 shooting and Caldwell had 7 points on 2 of 4 shooting, 5 assists and 0 turnovers.
So, next up is NIU. At 1-2 with a home game, this is the kind of game you need. It won't be easy but it is doable. I continue to be concerned at the times that our team has effort issues. (Note, this isn't me talking, it is Coach Huger). It is a reflection on the entire program.