The BG men's basketball team suffered a 75-61 loss to South Florida on Friday, Nov. 15 at the Stroh Center. The Falcons stayed close through most of the first half before a late run by the Bulls gave them a halftime lead, and BG never was able to close the gap. Here is a closer look at this victory. ...
BiG TWITTER POST: Falcons, down to 8 players, stay close to USF thru most of 1st half but never able to close gap in 75-61 loss to Bulls at Stroh Center Friday
BiG GAME STORY: There were six ties a three lead changes through the first 18 minutes of the first half, the last coming when Josh Gomez scored with 2:33 left in the period to make the score 27-27. But South Florida scored the next eight points, and a free throw by Spencer Parker with six seconds left in the half made the score 35-28 Bulls at the break. The Falcons scored the first basket of the second half, but USF responded with the next six points and BG never was able to cut the gap to closer than five points the rest of the way. South Florida never led by more than 13 points, though, until scoring the final four points of the contest to win by 14.
BiG OVERVIEW: The Falcons were led in scoring by Jehvon Clarke, who finished with 17 points, four assists, four rebounds and a pair of steals. Spencer Parker scored 11 points in his first college start, adding four rebounds and a pair of assists. Richaun Holmes finished with 10 points and seven rebounds, all in the second half as he played limited minutes in the first half because of foul trouble.
BiG PLAY: The Falcons had managed a 5-0 run to cut South Florida's lead to 45-40 with 13:08 left in the second half. The Bulls made a pair of free throws to push the lead to seven, but BG got a foul call that sent Spencer Parker to the foul line at 11:54. Coming out of a media timeout, Parker missed both free throws, but Richaun Holmes snagged the rebounds. But Holmes turned the ball over, and that miscue led to a USF layup. It was an opportunity lost for Bowling Green to put some pressure on the Bulls, and it turned out to be the last best challenge by the Falcons of the game.
BiG PLAYER OF THE GAME: I'm not going to choose a player of the game, and I'll explain why ... Jehvon Clarke finished wtih 17 points, four rebounds and four assists. But Clarke was 6-of-24 from the field (25 percent, and more than one-third of the team's shots) and also had four turnovers to go with four assists. ... Spencer Parker had 11 points and four rebounds in his first college start. But Parker was just 3-of-7 from the foul line (BG made just 11-of-20 FTs in the contest) and had just three points and one rebounds in 20 second-half minutes. ... Richaun Holmes posted 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds. But he got into early foul trouble and didn't play much in the first half; he also had three turnovers. ... Anthony Henderson had well-rounded final numbers with eight points, four rebounds, three assists (with no turnovers) and four steals. But Henderson was 4-of-15 (26.7 percent) from the field and missed all four of his 3-point attempts.
BiG NUMBERS: Unfortunately for the Falcons, the BiG numbers were produced by the South Florida offense. The Bulls made 27-of-46 shots in the contest (58.7 percent) and shot well throughout the game. USF made 12-of-22 first-half shots (54.5 percent, then shot better in the second half, making 15-of-24 from the field (62.5 percent). The Bulls made just 4-of-13 3-pointers (30.8 percent), so their shooting numbers could have been better. South Florida had 68 possessions in the game and scored 75 points, so their offensive efficiency was 1.10 for the game; an efficiency rating of one point per possession is good, so this is extremely good. Or extremely bad, from a BG perspective.
BiG NOTE: The Falcons entered the game with a short bench as injuries kept three players -- Chauncey Orr, Craig Sealey and Zack Denny -- out of uniform. The bench became significantly shorter in the second half as three BG starters -- Spencer Parker, Richaun Holmes and Jehvon Clarke -- played the entire 20 minutes. Josh Gomez spelled Cameron Black for four minutes, and J.D. Tisdale had three minutes in place of Anthony Henderson. And Gomez, the first of the two subs, didn't enter the game until the 9:38 mark of the second half. The bench, which provided just nine points, five rebounds and no assists, will need to step forward and provide at least quality minutes, if not production.
BiG THOUGHT: Believe it or not, the Falcons did some good things on offense. BG finished with just 10 turnovers, which is excellent. The Falcons also grabbed 19 offensive rebounds, or roughly 38 percent of their missed shots, with led to 19 second-chance points -- all good numbers as well. But Bowling Green's struggles shooting the ball cost them a chance to win the game. BG made just 35.9 percent of their shots from the field, and many of the misses were slashes into the lane and potentially make-able shots in the lane. I would be worried if I thought the shooting was "wild," but I don't. I do think the Falcons had trouble finishing around the basket, and that has to change if this team wishes to be successful. I though South Florida "affected" BG's shooting, blocking seven shots and changing numerous others. In short, the Falcons have to shoot better -- take better, make-able shots and make them -- to have success this season.
BiG QUESTION: When will the injured players return? The Falcons will be better offensively when Chauncey Orr returns, and a healthy Craig Sealey would aid the front line, giving the team another experienced player to help at both ends of the court. Seeing that three players were on the court for 37 of 40 minutes isn't a good sign, especially early in the season..
WANT MORE? Here are a few post-game quotes from the contest ...
- “That really was a lot of minutes for our guys,” coach Louis Orr said. “Not having guys like Chauncey and Craig, two veteran guys, shortens our team. Against a team like South Florida, you need all of your horses.”
- “We knew they were great shot-blockers on the defensive end, and we knew scoring around the rim wasn’t going to be easy,” Orr said. “You have to be smart: When you have penetration, you have to continue to look to kick it out for open shots. … When you get dribble penetration, those guys are tough because you can release the ball and they can still block the shot.”