The Bisons lost 89-61 this afternoon against a very tough Northwestern State team in Natchitoches, Louisiana. NSU was coming off a road victory at Oklahoma State (Eddie Sutton’s second non-conference home loss in his illustrious career), so this was not entirely surprising. Northwestern State also made Jay Bilas’ Power 16 on ESPN.com this week, although probably undeservedly. As for today’s game, the Bisons struggled in pretty much every aspect of the game, but they picked up some experience against a very solid D-I team.
The four keys:
If you couldn’t tell by the final score, these stats can show you how the Bisons were overmatched today. The edge in free throw shooting is only a small consolation when you are outplayed in the other three areas. I’d like to do a study at some point to see the relative impact of an edge in each key area, but I would imagine that free throw shooting is the least important. It’s hard to win games when you get out-shot by 16%, out-rebounded by a phenomenal 46%, and turn the ball over 38% more often.
I’m willing to chalk this one up to a solid effort from a very good D-I team, rather than any fault of our own. I rated NSU a 69 for my subjective Player Leveling Factor purposes, based on their play so far this season. That may be a bit low, since their RPI ranks them #41 in all of D-I, but I’m not going to give them that much credit unless they reach and somehow win a game in the NCAA Tournament.
As far as individual performances go, there was nothing to write home about. Brandon Sims had a nice game shooting from behind the arc, but he was the only Bison in double figures for the game score. Lonnie Smith had 16 points, but it was a cold shooting night, just 4-of-16 from the field, bumping his game score t0 8.1, snapping a four-game double-digit streak. Alassane Savadogo and Cole Kee scored in double-figures themselves, but Savadogo had an uncharacteristically poor night on the boards, with just one in 16 minutes on the floor.
Here are the game scores and other useful stats:
The Bisons will have 22 days to rest up for their next game, which is January 2nd at Missouri-Rolla. The next home game is against Delta State on the 7th (the Saturday before classes start). The dorms should be open by then, so I would encourage everyone to come back early for the game.