Harding 70, Ouachita Baptist 64
Call it a win, but it sure doesn’t feel like one. The Bisons played one of the worst games they’ve played all year, but they ran into an OBU team that couldn’t dribble their way out of the train wreck that was tonight’s game. The Tigers committed an astounding 26 turnovers (17 Harding steals), so despite out-shooting the Bisons, they still managed to lose the game. Also, for the first time in what seems like years, the Bisons out-rebounded their opponents. Still, the margin was extremely small (1.2% in favor of HU, and yes the real margin was 38-37 OBU, but when you factor in which offense missed the shots, that’s how it ends up).
Here are the keys, for further inspection:
|6.5||Predicted net efficiency|
|9.0||Actual net efficiency|
Ceso Sprewell and Alassane Savadogo were the Bisons who notched 10+ in Game Score, with 12.7 and 11.6 respectively. Yet again, there was a situation where it was clear that a player should be on the court (Savadogo when he had 3 fouls early in the second half), but mysteriously he was left to rot on the bench as the game stagnated. The problem is that OBU only had one guy who really had any chance to handle Savadogo defensively, 6’9″ Travis Carrington, who usually doesn’t play much for the Tigers. When Carrington picked up his fourth foul early in the second half (soon after Savadogo’s third), both came out of the game. OBU stayed in it while Savadogo sat, but then when he came in with about 10 minutes remaining, the Bisons got the ball to him inside, and Alassane finished with one of his best games of the season (and the Bisons finished with a win).
Lonnie Smith led the Bisons with 15 points despite missing the end of the first half due to an injury. Also, it was nice to see Brandon Sims being active on the glass again. Even though his shot was off (3-of-12 shooting), his rebounding stats lead me to believe that his injury is either healing, or he has learned to deal with the pain more effectively.
Lucky Butler and Brandon Dawson led the Tigers with 18 and 14 points, and no Tiger had more than four rebounds. Jaranimo Marks was one of three OBU players to turn the ball over five times or more, leading the way with eight and more than negating his five assists. Dawson and backup PG Rowan Ledbetter had five turnovers each.
The Bisons have two winnable games to finish out the first half of the conference season, with one at last-place Arkansas Tech and a home game against the hated Henderson State Reddies to close out the week.
Delta State 84, Christian Brothers 40
That was not a typo. Delta State actually did beat Christian Brothers by 44, and it was the most dominating performance (on paper, at least) that I’ve come across this year. This should erase any lingering doubts about whether or not this team is legit. Christian Brothers had been playing well, but their offense ran into all kinds of trouble. They committed 23 turnovers, pulled down just 13% of the available offensive rebounds, and had a putrid 38.8% shooting percentage. The Statesmen could do no wrong, placing four players over a 12.0 game score, starting with Turmaine Rice at 16.4. The DSU backups played a good portion of the game, so it’s hard to believe just how ugly this came could have become. Needless to say, there were no standout performances by the Bucs, who should probably crawl into a cave and hide at this point.
Central Arkansas 54, Arkansas-Monticello 53
This looks like it was exciting, at least as far as slow, plodding, defensive hackfests go. The Bears’ leading scorer in this one had just 11 points, yet they still won the game, showing off some of their team balance. UAM, on the other hand, played four of its starters for more than 38 minutes each (essentially the whole game), but all three of their best players had trouble putting the ball in the basket. Billy McDaniel, J.B. Williams, and Nate Newell were a combined 10-of-39 from the field.
Henderson State 63, Arkansas Tech 60 (OT)
The Wonder Boys can’t catch a break in the GSC regular season, and tonight’s loss sends them into last place by themselves (after Harding’s win). The Reddies presented a balanced scoring attack (4 players in double figures, led by Kelvin Brown’s 12), while Rone Smith played an excellent game for ATU but was sabotaged by his teammates’ poor ball control. Four Wonder Boys turned over the ball at least 4 times, totaling 24 in all. Smith’s 17 points and 12 rebounds on efficient 8-of-13 shooting were ultimately wasted efforts. Both teams’ next games are against Harding (ATU at home on Thursday and HSU on the road Saturday).
Computer: 3-1 (17-11 overall)
Me: 3-1 (17-11 overall)
Team with higher net efficiency entering the game: 1-3 (18-10 overall)
Team with better record: 3-1 (16-12 overall)
Home team: 4-0 (15-13 overall)