Thursday, March 05, 2020

Buffalo Redux

And now we came to the end.  Hard to believe, but this is the end of the regular season.

BG matches up with Buffalo at the Stroh, where the Falcons have been very difficult to beat for two years.  Meanwhile, UB is playing for a bye.  They are currently tied for the last spot with Ball State and would win a tie-breaker with Ball State, so a win guarantees they are in.

BG won the game in Buffalo to start the series.  They were down 11 at the half, stormed out of the gate in the second half and evened that out and then gutted out the 1-point win.  It was a big win on the road for BG and a key tiebreaker helping them right up until now.

Since that game, UB is 5-3, winning over CMU, @UT, BSU, @KSU and Miami and losing @EMU, @OU and Akron.  The Akron game is notable because UB led much of the way before Akron finally caught up to them.

Clearly, this is not the UB team we had last year.  This is still a good team, though, and capable of winning in Cleveland and certainly capable of beating us on Friday.

The first game was pretty illustrative of these two teams and their games.  First, UB plays at the fastest pace in the MAC.  They are 5th in the MAC in offense and defense, while BG is 4th and 9th.  Neither team shoots the ball very well...and they didn't when we played the first time.  UB is 11th in shooting and 11th in 3FG%.  Both teams take pretty good care of the ball and are good on the offensive boards....except in the first game UB was ridiculously good on the offensive boards.  The Bulls don't get to the line and are 8th in FT shooting.

The most worrisome thing about their defense is that they are #2 in guarding the 3FG.  BG is going to have to overcome that or figure out a way to score on non-3s, which they are 11th in the MAC at.  Beyond that, as a style of play thing, I think BG matches up OK with UB.

First time around, Turner had an efficient 23 and Frye added 17--he's been in single digits in 4 of the 5 games he has played since then and the one exception was Akron.  Plowden and Mattos both had 10.

Jayvon Graves had 24, Jeenathin Williams 14 and Mballa had 12 points and 15 rebounds.

No secret, BG has played poorly in their last two games.  This is a chance to get the #1 seed (with help) but more importantly establish the team's confidence heading to Cleveland.  I know we did fine last year coming in playing poorly, but I'd prefer to go in with a strong game under our belts.

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