Falcons defend winning streak

Adam Hritzak and Adam Hritzak

Though it may not be the most anticipated game on the home schedule, the Falcon basketball team (3-1) is poised to not look past Bluffton (3-3).

The early success and determination to play shut-down defense, which has been key in BG’s current three-game win streak, is what coach Dan Dakich is trying to get out of his team, and the players are listening.

“This year, guys have approached the defensive end with a real focus,” said senior forward Cory Eyink, who is averaging 4.5 points and 20 minutes per game. “Guys are real focused to get done what coach Dakich and our coaching staff wants us to get done.”

During the winning streak, BG has outscored their opponents 67.7 to 56.3, a good sign considering the Falcons are 22-1 since the 2000-01 season when they allow 59 points or less. In the last three games, opposing teams have hit a mere 37.2 percent of their shots.

The Falcons continued their solid defensive play over the weekend, allowing just 53 points on the road against a quick Detroit team.

It is that type of stifling defense that has created other opportunities.

Eyink said, “Our defense generates a lot of our offense. Our coaches do a great job of getting us prepared for the games. We take such pride on the defensive end.”

John Reimold got on track in the game against Detroit, dropping 28 points and hitting six of eight three-point attempts. Though Reimold’s numbers stood out, BG has had several players step up thus far, especially the play of Josh Almanson and Steven Wright, and is focusing on a team concept.

“I think last year we had a lot of selfishness … guys with their own agendas,” Dakich said. “This year, we have a lot of guys, quite frankly, that have a team agenda and I can’t tell you a guy that I would say has his own agenda.”

Playing host to Bluffton, who is coming off a 74-64 loss to Adrian College on Saturday, would seem like a lock to win, but this team knows they have to go to work with the same intensity they bring everyday.

“It’s not about who we’re playing, it’s about how we’re gonna play,” said guard John Floyd, who is averaging 5.5 assists per game.

BG has done a good job of maintaining a consistent work regime that has been reflected on the court.

“We have that same mindset every time we’ve come out. How we’ve practiced is how we’ve played in the games. That mindset has been carried over very well,” Floyd said.

The Beavers are coached by Guy Neal, a 1982 BG graduate, whom Dakich knows very well.

Neal’s team has put up impressive offensive numbers, albeit against much weaker opponents.

The Beavers are led by junior guard Scott Bergman, who is pouring in 20 points a game and has connected on 13 threes.

The game begins at 7 pm in Anderson Arena.