Sunday, January 12, 2020

Road Win!

Dakich used to say that when you grow old as a coach, you remember three things.

  • The day you got married
  • The day your kids were born
  • Road wins

The order depends on who you beat.

And the Falcons picked up that road win Saturday at the Convo, moving to 2-1.  No doubt, it wasn't a flawless performance and no doubt that OU is not a top team in the MAC, but BG needed the win and they got it.

At the beginning, BG was playing very poorly.  The defense was a mess and OU was sinking 3FGs like layups.  It wasn't hot shooting...they had guys wide open with time to gather their shot.  Many of them were little more than warm up shots.  OU led 11-2 and midway through the first half they were up 28-14--the exact same deficit BG faced against Miami.  It never got closer than 7 in the first half.  It was 13 late when Dylan Swingle his an and-on to get it to 10.

The second half was another story and shows how good this team can be when they are on their game.  Early in the half, BG went on a 7-0 run---in one minute--to cut the lead to 3.  With 14 left the game was tied and with 13 left BG had the lead.  It was a close affair for a few minutes, but then Trey Diggs hit a 3FG with 8 left to put BG up 6 and it wasn't a one possession game again.

BG closed out the game the way you need to.  Just inside 4 minutes, BG was up 6 and Dylan Frye drained a 3 after being cold the entire night.  Preston made an and-on to get it back to 6 and Frye nailed another one to make it 9 again with 3 left.  OU got it to 5 with a minute left, they fouled Frye, who had been missing FTs all night but on this one he dropped them both and the lead was 7 again.  He made 2 more to get the final to 83-74.

Here's the way the numbers played out.  BG made 57% of its 2FGs and 33% from 3FG, while OU was 50% on 2FG and 41% on 3FG.  BG won the turnover battle, had its best game of the season on the offensive boards and got to the line more.

How does this add up to a win, if both teams shot the same?  First, BG was +1 on FTs.  Next, BG took 64 shots, making 32, while OU was only able to shoot 56 and make 26.  BG picked up 8 extra attempts at the being +3 on turnovers and +4 on offensive rebounds.

BG scored 1.29 points per possession, their best game of the season.  They also allowed 1.15 points per possession, their worst defensive game of the season.

For fun, I ran the number for just the second half.  In the second half, BG scored 1.61 points per possession and allowed 1 point per possession, outscoring OU 50-31.  OU made 9 of 15 3FGs in the first half and was 1-9 in the second half.  BG shot great, took care of the ball and was great on the offensive boards.  This was what the second half looked like.

Individually, the biggest story was Justin Turner, who almost single-handedly kept BG in the game in the first half.  For the game, he finished with 29 points on 12 of 23 like to see it over 50%.  He still doesn't have his 3FG stroke back (1-5) but he was willing to take the ball in the first half when no one else seemed to want it.  You can clearly see his game coming back.  He also had 5 rebounds.

Dylan Frye had 19 on 6 of 10 and 2 of 5 shooting, both of the 3s clutch, 4 clutch FTs, 5 assists over 2 turnovers.

Plowden had 10 on 4 of 8 and 1 of 2 shooting. 

The other key was the bench.  Marlon Sierra played 20 minutes, had 7 points on 3 of 6 shooting and 9 rebounds.  Mattiss had 6 points in 12 effective minutes, Diggs and Swingle each had a big was a full effort for the win.

So, BG is now 2-1 with another winnable road game Tuesday at WMU.  This is definitely a soft part of the schedule, so BG needs to take advantage with Ws.  Obviously, you'd like to start better in games and not be down far would we be behind, say, Kent, with the same performance--but we don't apologize for winning. 

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