Friday, November 24, 2017

Falcon MBB Wins #1 at Creek Classic

BG opened the Creek Classic with USC-Upstate, a team you'd like to think you'd beat most of the time on a neutral floor.  Still, BG is young and still finding its way and so you don't know really know what to think.

It was a competitive game most of the way.  BG went on a run in the first half to lead by as much as ten in the last minute and then 9 at the buzzer.  That didn't last, though, as the Spartans rallied and had the lead 7 minutes into the half.  The game was tight for the next 8 minutes and was tied with about 5 minutes left.

There, the show was turned over to Mr. Rodrick Caldwell.  At this point, he had already scored the last 6 BG points, and then he hit a 3FG with 5:19 left to put BG up 3, a 3fg with 2:20 to put BG up 5 and then one at 1:26 to put BG up 8 and put the game out of reach, that one with the shot clock running out.  BG won 83-74.

That makes BG 4-1, the best start in the Huger era.  There have not been really tough tests, but winning is the first step and BG is getting the wins.

It was a 72 possession game, which is somewhere around an average pace for a D1 game.  USC-U did something which has traditionally caused BG huge problems, which is, play a tightly packed in zone defense.  Over recent years, BG has generally not had the outside shooters to attack the zone.  The results were good.  BG scored 1.14 points per possession, which is their second-best total of the season.  The Falcons made 11 of 22 3FGs, which obviously is really good.  BG has made 11 3FGs in two straight games, which is the same total that they had for the whole year last season.

So, that ended up with a pretty good EFG of 56%.  BG combined that with taking good care of the ball to get the offensive efficiency they had.  If you make shots and take care of the ball, you're tough to beat.  BG wasn't great on the offensive boards, but they did an OK job of getting to the line and made 74% of their FT attempts.

FTs were key.  The Spartans got to the line only 8 times, making 7, which means BG was +7 at the free throw line.  BG defended the shot well--which they have, in general, done so far this year.  USC-U also took good care of the ball and was OK on their offensive boards.  Overall, they had 1.02 points per possession, which is an average total.

Demajeo Wiggins and Dylan Frye led BG with 20 points each.  Wiggins was 8 of 13 shooting and added 12 rebounds, and that's simply a really good line.  Frye was 5 of 10 and 5 of 7 from 3FG and made 5 of 6 of his FTs.  Also a really good line.

Rod Caldwell had 18 points, and that was 6 of 10 and 5 of 8 from 3FG.  He also had 7 assists.

Justin Turner was back from injury and put in 36 minutes.  He had 10 on 4 of 12 shooting and 5 rebounds.  Plowden added 10 points on 4 of 7 shooting.

So, a good night for the Falcons.  Could have gone either way, but it did not.  The Falcons did what they have failed to do so often over the past few years, which is bring the hammer in the last 8 minutes and put the opponent away.

Saturday they play the host, Campbell.  More on them a little later.

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