Sunday, December 09, 2018

Falcons Stun Green Bay with Blowout Win

Well, of all the things I expected to see yesterday at the Stroh, a blow out win was not one of them.  BG, which had two straight poor to very poor road losses, came back at home and played its best game of the season to beat Green Bay.

BG won 97-68 and the outcome was never really in doubt.  In fact, Green Bay never led.  With about 8 minutes left in the first half, BG was up 20-14.  Over the next four minutes, BG went on a 13-6 run to inflate the lead to 13.  BG kept it rolling and led 49-29 at halftime, meaning over the last 8 minutes the outscored the Phoenix 29-15.

In the second half, BG did what they had to go, which was to prevent any kind of comeback.  The lead never got inside 18 and BG led by as much as 35.

It was a remarkable game.  BG had their best game of the year on both ends of the floor.  BG is a much different team at home so far (undefeated) and a much different team when they are getting stops and playing in transition, an observation echoed by Justin Turner and Coach Huger last night.

As advertised, it was a fast game, with 81 possessions.  BG scored 1.2 ppp and allowed .84, both of which were season highs in D1 games.  The only comparable offensive performance against decent competition was last year vs. WMU.  The defense was also as good as a couple of BG's non-D1 opponents last year.

BG held GB to 40% shooting on 2FGs and 32% 3FG shooting.  In comparison, BG shot 64% from 2FGs and 41% from 3FG.  That's going to win you games.  That's as compared to the national average of about 50% EFG%.  BG did have some turnovers, but dominated the boards on both ends and got to the line more. BG was 19 of 39 at the line, which is 69% and about average while GB was only 13 of 24.  There were 45 fouls called.

Hard to put to fine a point on this.  BG dominated both ends of the court and this is a decent team.  They gave Belmont their only loss, beat NIU (a team picked ahead of BG in the MAC).  They battled Oregon and Iowa tough.  This was a good opponent.

Obviously, you're going to see some individual performances buried inside that.  Justin Turner was just spectacular.  He scored 25 points, shooting 8 of 14 from the field with 6 assists and 1 turnover.  He was 7 of 9 on his 2 FGs and 8 of 10 at the line.  He was very efficient.  He's so effective finishing at the rim, it would just open so much up.  There was one play when he went coast to coast into three guys at the rim and scored with the foul.  He's just a sophomore and I think he's playing better this year than last.

Wiggins double-doubled in the first 10 minutes of the game.  He ended up with 12 points on 4 of 7 shooting and at the line.  He added 19 rebounds, the second most of his career. 

Dylan Frye, who is struggling with his shot, made 5 of 9 overall and 2 of 5 from 3FGs to break into double figures

BG got really good minutes out of Fields, Laster, and Sierra.  Sierra was especially good with 7 points and 8 rebounds in 20 minutes.  He can handle the ball and shoot from outside as well as play inside.  Not sure why he's not getting more minutes in general.   Matiss made 2 3FGs in 6 minutes.

BG started Fields, Plowden, Frye, Wiggins and Turner for the second straight game.

Anyway, right now it appears that we have a team that plays well at home and struggles on the road.  The next three are at home and very winnable.  BG's goal needs to be to hit the MAC season at 8-4, when we open @Kent, the surprise pre-season team in the MAC.  Once BG is on the road again, they're going to need to get some consistency.

The frustrating thing is that you can see some ability and a critical mass of players.  You figure, you take the starters and mix Lillard, Matiss, Sierra and Laster in, if they were playing effectively for longer stretches of time, you could be OK.

You just don't see it all come together very often, and when its bad its pretty bad.

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