Monday, March 04, 2019

Quick ZIp Re-Match

So, the final week of the regular season is here.  BG has played its last home game and starts the week at the JAR.

Akron is struggling.  They've lost 6 out of their last 8 and 5 out of their last 6.  They were just bludgeoned on Saturday by Ohio U, in Akron.  The Bobcats won by 24.  Nobody would have seen that coming.  The Zips are 6-2 at the JAR in MAC play, which is pretty normal.

The two teams played just a couple weeks ago, with BG winning a buzzer beater on home floor.

Here's how things shook out.  It was more of a defensive struggle, with neither team shooting well and BG getting a slight advantage at the FT line.  You'll recall this is the game where Justin Turner went nuts in the second half and essentially took the game over.

So, not much has changed in terms of the matchup, so I'll just point you to the breakdown from the previous game.

Just to recap, Akron is the worst offensive team in the MAC and the 2nd best defensive team.  They are last in shooting the 2FG and the 3FG.  They are last in offensive rebounding and they are 11th in getting to the line.  This is a team that struggles to score points.

We've seen BG allow offensively challenged opponents to score in the last couple weeks, so BG's first challenge is to keep Akron off the scoreboard.

On the other side, Akron is the hardest team in the MAC to shoot against.  They are the hardest to shoot the 3FG against but only #6 against the 2FG.  My diagnosis here would be that BG needs to play the kind of offense they played against Kent...get to the rim and then shoot the 3FG off ball movement.  If you see the Falcons jacking shots up, you know we're in trouble.

I talked before the last game about slaying Zip dragons.  The Zips have won 18 out of the last 20 with BG and before that 2009 win there was another long winning streak.  BG has lost their last 9 at the JAR and there was that 2009 win and then before that BG had lost 3 in a row.  So, 12 of 13 at the JAR.

This is a chance to turn that around, too.  Akron is tough at home, but BG needs to be tuning up to play at a high level and getting this win on the road would fall in that category.  I'm not sure how Akron will react to getting killed by OU--those things can go either way--but it will probably keep the home crowd down.  AK is in the bottom 50 in the NCAA in terms on bench the past, BG teams have been in that situation and it just wears a team down, so maybe that's happening.

Either way, this is a tough assignment and an opportunity for BG to show themselves that they still can string tough wins together.

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