The Falcons went out yesterday and got a win they pretty much had to have. It many ways, it was far from a perfect effort; on the other hand, they took a poor team and beat them pretty easily, and that's what you are supposed to do with poor teams. (Final: 71-58).
I was surprised, in fact, at how negative BG radio announcers Todd Walker and Kirk Cowan were when I got out to my car. While acknowledging that it was far from a great effort and we might have lacked intensity here and there, BG took the lead eight minutes into the game and never lost it again. In fact, it was not a one-possession game for the last 26 minutes of the game.
BG had a 17-point lead in the second half, and yeah, they did run it down to 9 with about 10 minutes left, but it was back to 15 within 2 minutes or so and never within 10 again.
I know Central is not a great team, I covered it in the preview. I just think we did what we had to do to a poor team on our floor, which is beat them soundly.
Now, there is one area of the game that was poor--historically poor, in fact--and that was BG's work on its own defensive boards. CMU...the WORST offensive rebounding team in the MAC...rebounded 55.6% of their missed shots. That is an incredible number. I use statsheet.com for this kind of thing, and it is the highest rebounding percentage allowed by BG since their stats start in 2000-2001. That's a lot of basketball, and a lot of games against teams who were set up to outrebound us--like MSU--and they never did that kind of damage. This year, MSU only got 44% and last year 52.9%.
And CMU was not set up to outrebound us, they were set up not to outrebound anybody.
So, that can't happen. Hopefully, we can make it a teachable moment off a win...
The other facets of the game, however, were squarely in the Falcons' hands. BG shot 51.7% and held CMU to 36.5%, had better 3-point shooting, won the free throw war by 10 and had fewer turnovers. CMU was held to only 4 3s ... so while rebounding was very poor, the remainder of the game was all BG and the Falcons had an easy home win.
BG had three strong scorers. Crawford, Thomas and Calhoun each scored 14 points, and Crawford added 7 assists over 2 turnovers, and Thomas added 8 rebounds and 4 steals and Calhoun had 11 rebounds and was 4 of 6 shooting and 6-of-6 at the line, providing efficiency we have not seen from him often. Dee Brown added 12 points, and Oglesby brought 8, all in the first half and all when BG needed someone to step up and score.
Cam Black continues to look more mature in every game. He had 6 points, 3 rebounds, 3 blocks, 3 steals and 2 assists in 25 minutes. Coach Hopson said in the post-game that Calhoun is drawing consistent double teams now, and I continue to think that a player with Black's skills can really exploit that on the offensive end. Coach Hopson said he only needs confidence.
On the CMU side, big-time recruit Trey Zeigler had 17 points and 10 rebounds. He's a good player, though if we had a MAC draft, I wouldn't pick him first. The rest of the starting backcourt shot 5 of 25, and Trey is only one guy, and they just didn't have nearly enough last night.
So, for the Falcons, two road games loom. First, against EMU, the upstart of the conference, and then @WMU, a place BG had struggled to close out close games. I did agree with Walker and Cowan on one thing ... this Falcon team is not a serious contender for anything until they start to string together some wins ... and their season-long winning streak of two doesn't cut it. And the next opportunity to change that comes Saturday in Ypsi.
at BOWLING GREEN 71, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 58 01/25/2012
CENTRAL MICHIGAN 7-12 (2-4) -- A. Coimbra 3-9 5-6 12; T. Zeigler 8-14 1-5 17; D. Jackson 1-6 1-2 3; O. Mbaigoto 3-14 0-0 7; A. McBroom 1-5 0-0 3; F. Craddock 3-6 0-0 7; J. Morris 0-1 0-0 0; J. Harden 2-2 0-0 4; A. Keel 0-1 0-0 0; J. Myrick 2-4 1-2 5; Z. Saylor 0-1 0-0 0; N. Jordan 0-0 0-0 0; L. Wiest 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-63 8-15 58. BOWLING GREEN 9-10 (3-3) -- J. Crawford 6-10 2-2 14; S. Thomas 5-12 1-2 14; D. Brown 3-8 4-4 12; A. Calhoun 4-6 6-6 14; C. Black 3-4 0-0 6; T. Oglesby 3-3 2-3 8; C. Sealey 0-1 3-4 3; C. Orr 0-1 0-0 0; J. Erger 0-0 0-0 0; A. Henderson 0-2 0-0 0; J. Clarke 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-47 18-21 71.
Three-point goals: CMU 4-17 (F. Craddock 1-3; A. Coimbra 1-1; D. Jackson 0-3; T. Zeigler 0-1; A. Keel 0-1; O. Mbaigoto 1-6; A. McBroom 1-2), BGSU 5-14 (S. Thomas 3-7; J. Crawford 0-2; D. Brown 2-4; C. Orr 0-1); Rebounds: CMU 39 (T. Zeigler 10), BGSU 28 (A. Calhoun 11); Assists: CMU 9 (T. Zeigler 3), BGSU 14 (J. Crawford 7); Total Fouls -- CMU 17, BGSU 18; Fouled Out: CMU-None; BGSU-None.