Monday, December 31, 2018

BG wraps up non-conference with a win

The BG MBB wrapped up the non-conference portion of the schedule today with an easy win, as expected, over Tennessee-Martin.  BG finishes the pre-season 8-5 with 7 straight wins at the Stroh.  I believe I saw somewhere that it was 2001-2 since BG opened 7-0 at home.

The final was 94-80 but the game was not that close.  The first 13 minutes were competitive, but BG outscored the Skyhawks 25-9 over the last 7 minutes of the first half to lead by 16 at halftime.  The second half was never competitive, with BG leading by over 20 most of the way and then leading by 27 with 3 minutes left before the Skyhawks made some baskets against the BG bench to lower the final margin.

The preview had noted that UTM struggled to defend the shot, and BG pretty much shot it where they were used to defending.  BG shot 50% from 2FG and 45% from 3FG, a combo that's going to make you hard to beat.  BG's 1.23 points per possession was its best of the year.  The Falcons also took good care of the ball, and had a dominating game on the offensive glass.  The preview had also noted that UTM didn't foul much, and they actually shot more FTs than BG.  The Falcons were 10-15 from the line.  Last note, UTM played a decent amount of zone and BG was able to hit from the outside and pull them out.

On defense, BG defended well most of the way.  You saw the energy and communication and switching.  The Skyhawks shot 42% and 36%, so a below average day.  They took good care of the ball, BG did a good job on the defensive boards against a team with strong offensive rebounding and as noted UTM did OK getting to the line.

The individual star for this one was Caleb Fields.  He scored 24 points and made 8 of 11 overall and 6 of 7 from distance.  He added four assists, all in 28 minutes.

Wiggins was back on the double-double train, scoring 20 on 8 of 13 shooting and adding 13 rebounds.  He had 4 assists over 1 turnover.

Antwon Lillard came off the bench for 14 points on 5-9/4-5 shooting.  Justin Turner had 12 points on 5 of 9 shooting to go with 6 rebounds and 6 assists.  Dylan Frye had 7 assists.

BG finishes the calendar year on a 4-game winning streak.  Next up is Kent on Saturday.  It will be exactly one month since BG last played on the road, where they looked like a much different team than this one.  Kent will be an excellent test of whether they can take this success on the road against a much better team.

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