Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Turner Time.

And the beat goes on.

BG moved to 11-2 in MAC play.  Let's be clear about this:  no BG team has ever been 11-2 after 13 MAC games.  In fact, it is only the 11th time we have ever won 11 games.

Also, the game represents BG's 3rd win against Akron since 2005.

It did not come easy.

Look, Groce can coach and he has those guys battling like they are in the snake pit.  Last night was no exception.  BG jumped out 14-4, but then got a snootful of the MAC's leading defense.  BG went 8 full minutes without scoring anything.  The saving grace was that Akron isn't great on offense either and BG can defend.  At the end of that 8 minutes, the Zips were still only up 5 points and for at the half.

The second half was about two words:


Holy shit.  No points in the first half, 23 in the second half, shooting 9 of 11 and 3 of 4 from 3FG.  BG scored 48 total in the half.  What you saw was one player taking a game over.

BG comes out pretty strong in the second half, but UA was ready for that.  With two FTs coming out of the first media timeout, they were still up 4.

From there, things turned.  BG went on a 9-0 with Turner scoring 7 of them.  BG was up 5 at that point.  Akron never got the lead again, but that didn't mean the game didn't get a little hairy.

With 6 minutes left, BG was up 9 and still up 8 with 6 left.  With inside of a minute, BG was up 6 and you'd like to think that's a pretty decent place to be.  BG had an 84% win probability at that point.

Utomi hit a 3FG with :47 left to cut the lead to 3.  Lillard was fouled and sank both FTs, so it's a seemingly safe 5 point lead with :44 to play.

Then, disaster strikes.  With :35 left, Ivey hit a 3FG and was fouled, and completed the 4-point play to cut the lead to 1.  BG runs :07 of clock to :28 and then Plowden was fouled.  He made them both to make it 3, but that extra point off the foul is a killer and with :19 left Jackson nailed a 3 and the game was tied.

BG did not call timeout.  There was actually no reason to call a play.  BG spread the floor while Turner dribbled time to make sure BG had the last shot.  He started to drive with :05, got into the lane, took some contact and got the ball up in a forest of arms, found an angle off the glass and put the ball in with less than a second to play.

After an incomprehensible delay micromanaging tenths of seconds, BG ended up with the win.  It was a thrilling win, and all but salted away a first round bye.  It was a well-earned, hard fought win where BG road the back of a great player....the first sophomore to score 1,000 points in BG history.'

BG finished with .97 points per possession,  It's the lowest amount in a winning game this year.  Again, Akron is the best defensive team in the MAC.  BG shot 46% from 2FG and 32% from 3, all well below what we are used to seeing.  The good thing was, they held Akron to .92 points per possession, 42% and 31% shooting.  That was the difference, along with BG having an 11-7 advantage in made FTs.  BG had a slight rebounding edge, too, and lost the turnover battle narrowly.

Star of the game is Turner.  He scored 23 on 9 of 15 shooting, 3 of 6 from 3 and seven rebounds.

Frye scored 16 on 6 of 16 and 3 of 9 shooting, so not the most efficient night ever.  He also had 5 rebounds and 2 steals.  Plowden had 10 to go with 6 rebounds and 2 blocked (and several altered) shots.  Laster Also had 10. 

Wiggins led the team with 12 rebounds.  He only shot 1 of 5 from the field and only got to the line for 2 shots.  It was a rough offensive night.  Coach said after the game that he did make a contribution to protecting the rim, which is something he seems to be working harder to do.

And the beat goes on.  BG is in uncharted territory, believe it or not.  They can clinch a bye with one win, which we all hope comes Friday.  And, of course, they continue to play for a title.

Good times.

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