Lights-out shooting yields another win

The perfect game does not come along often, a game where the stars align and everything goes right on both offense and defense.

On Saturday, BG men’s basketball nearly had it.

In defeating Morehead State 86-70, the Falcons did almost everything right. The team shot 67 percent from the field. They made seven of their 12 3-pointers and had 19 assists.

The team also saw all five starters reach double figures, and three players off the bench were able to contribute 19 points.

Nate Miller and Ryne Hamblet led the way for the Falcons by each scoring 16 points. Marc Larson, Darryl Clements and Chris Knight followed by scoring 14, 11 and 10 points respectively.

“Offensively, I don’t know if we can play much better as far as percentages – maybe a couple less turnovers,” said BG coach Louis Orr. “We scored just about every way we wanted to score. We trusted the offense and that’s a good sign.”

Where the Falcons lost their shot at perfection was on the defensive end. The team gave up 13 offensive rebounds to Morehead State in the game after they only shot 39 percent from the field.

They also committed 23 fouls on the day. This made the Eagles feel very comfortable at the line. They shot 36 free throws and made 27 of them. Forward Leon Buchanan made all 15 of his tosses en route to 35 points for the day.

“[Buchanan] just works,” Orr said. “Nothing fancy, just a hard worker. Just scrappy and clawed his way to 35 points.”

Aside from that, the Falcons were on top of their game all day. They never trailed, and the closest the Eagles got in the second half was eight points and that quickly turned into 13 after Ryne Hamblet made a 3-pointer and Nate Miller made a jumper.

“The main thing that our coaches always talk about is trusting the offense and they always say if we do trust the offense, we will get the shots that we want,” Miller said. “We got the shots we wanted and today we knocked them down.”

Joe Jakubowski had a big day off the bench by scoring nine points, dishing out six assists and grabbing three rebounds in 31 inspired minutes. He was just one of many contributors for the Falcons.

All this stellar offensive production from all the other players lifted the load off Chris Knight’s shoulders to do everything like he did in Cincinnati last weekend. The red-shirt freshman had 10 points in 24 minutes while hindered by foul trouble.

Shooting 67 percent from the field and having five players in double figures allowed Knight to have an off-night by his own standards.

“Coach Dakich, in my humble opinion, did not leave the cupboard bare – they have some very good players over there,” said MSU coach Donnie Tyndall. “Those guys have been through these types of games before – they don’t get rattled.”

It was not quite perfect, but Orr will take a 16-point victory in his home debut with the Falcons. Besides, there is still a whole season left to play that perfect game. No need to rush.