Sunday, December 02, 2018

Falcons Fall in Hartford

The Falcon MBB team had a disappointing result Saturday in Hartford when they lost 76-63 to the Hartford Hawks.  The Hawks were 2-6 coming in and the oddsmakers had this one as even when it tipped, but in the end, BG lost a game they could have won to a team that would probably be in the lower half of the MAC.  It pairs with the Detroit loss to give BG 2 losses to teams with over 200 kenpom rankings and does not lend any hope to the idea BG will exceed expectations this year.

Hartford led for almost all of the first half, going up by as much as 14 and leading by 9 at the break.  They were back up 40-27 in the second half when BG went on a 14-0 run to take a 1-point lead with 11:00 left.

And then, Hartford proceeded to score 36 points in the final 11 minutes against BG's 22 to get the easy win.  They led by as much as 17 in the final minute of the game.  Giving up that many points in 11 minutes is going to make it difficult to win any game, particularly when its the last 11 minutes.  

BG falls to 4-4, with 1 non-D1 win.

It was a slow-paced game at 67 possessions, which was the second slowest game of the season for BG.  The Falcons had a poor offensive game at .95 points per possession.  When you shoot 43% overall and turn the ball over on 27% of your possessions, you will have a hard time getting enough points to win.  BG was effective at 2FG, shooting 55%, but made only 7 of 32 3FGs...that's awful on two fronts.  First, it's 22%.  It's also a huge amount of the overall FGAs...BG hasn't tried 32 treys since the 2017 season and this was a slow-paced game.  In fact, I believe my preview said that BG would be in trouble if they were jacking up 3s against a team that was struggling to defend the 2 and that was just what happened.

Hartford didn't do anything special with field goal shooting...that's right on the national average.  They took really good care of the ball, though, and then got to the line for 24 FTs.  The Hawks were outstanding...making 23 of those 24, while BG was poor, making only 10 of 19. (BG is currently #313 in FT% in the nation).  And that was the difference in the game.  

Individually, Demajeo Wiggins got himself over 1,000 points for his career.  He double-doubled, but was not effective.  He scored 11 on 3 of 7 shooting and 5 of 8 from the line to go with 14 rebounds.  He also had 6 turnovers.  Justin Turner had 17 points, making 7 of 15 overall but only 2 of 7 from 3FG.  Dylan Frye had 10 on 3 of 9 shooting---all 3s.  Five players--Uju, Matiss, Lillard, Laster and Plowden--were 9 of 29 and 2 of 16 from 3FG. Frye and Lillard also had 3 turnovers each.

Anyway, not that it should have been a slam dunk win, but it was certainly a disappointing loss that does not bode well for MAC play.  They have another winnable road game coming up against Cleveland State in a couple days and we'll continue to watch to see BG begin to upgrade its play.

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