The first two days of the GSC Tournament have passed, and nearly everyone who was supposed to advance did advance. On Wednesday, the season ended for both of the West Division lower seeds. Both of them needed to win the tournament to realistically have a shot at the NCAAs. Here’s a quick summary:
#4E Valdosta State 79, #5W Christian Brothers 67
|Eff||94.0||109.1||-15.0||Actual net efficiency|
|-16.1||Predicted net efficiency|
Christian Brothers suffered from an uncharacteristically poor shooting night at the wrong time. Either the Blazers were playing excellent defense, or the Bucs just weren’t ready to play in this tournament. Perhaps they’re saving their best for next year, when the tourney moves to Southaven, just outside Memphis.
Kevin Weybright and Nick Kohs both shot 7-of-17 from the field, and Sam Bradley only managed 2-of-8, so it’s easy to understand why the Bucs dropped this one. Jon Rogers and Jon Banks both had double-doubles for VSU, combining for 41 points and 22 rebounds in the victory.
#5E West Georgia 57, #4W Henderson State 54, OT
|Eff||80.1||85.4||-5.3||Actual net efficiency|
|-10.8||Predicted net efficiency|
Neither offense was really on track in this one, with both having ratings around 80-85. My guess is that it was a typical “physical” (read: “dirty”) Henderson State game. There were 43 fouls called, but I suppose the referees can only do so much. Of course, this is speculation, and I actually have no idea what happened. The Reddies seem to have reverted to their days of poor discipline in this loss because of the large discrepancy between their assist ratio (a low 6.6) and turnover ratio (a high 22.1). They did a terrific job rebounding the ball, but Ryan Johnson helped them throw the game away with seven turnovers of his own (out of the team’s 20). UWG’s top scorer, gunner Michael Ford, threw up shot after shot (7-of-25 from the field), but he got 26 points to be the game’s leading scorer.
Yesterday was the quarterfinals, which saw these winners matched up against the 1-seeds, as well as some 2-3 matchups. Here’s how they went down:
#1W Delta State 74, #4E Valdosta State 70
|Eff||105.5||103.2||2.3||Actual net efficiency|
|2.3||Predicted net efficiency|
Fresh off their victory over Christian Brothers, Valdosta State was not able to hold its own against the machine that is the DSU Statesmen. Delta State hasn’t lost since November, and games like this help show you why. Even when they had a poor shooting night, they ended up taking 26 more shots than their opponent to pick up the win. It takes a tremendous edge in rebounding and turnovers to pull that off, but the Statesmen did it. Jasper Johnson led the way with 27 points for DSU, and Travis DeGroot had 9 assists. All of the VSU starters scored in double figures, but it just wasn’t enough. Mistakes killed them on the offensive end, turning an excellent shooting game for them (.663 TS%) into a merely average game overall.
#2E Alabama-Huntsville 48, #3W Central Arkansas 46
|Eff||89.9||91.5||-1.5||Actual net efficiency|
|-4.3||Predicted net efficiency|
The UCA Bears’ last Division-II season came to an unceremonious end yesterday, since this loss means the unranked Bears will not have the chance to move up in the regional polls. On the other end, the surprising UAH Chargers marched on, probably securing an NCAA tournament bid with this win. It wasn’t easy, though.
It’s a good thing for the Chargers that they were able to play good defense and not turn the ball over, because this game was not their best rebounding effort. In the largest discrepancy I can remember seeing in a while, UCA out-rebounded UAH nearly 4 times over on the offensive end, helping them to get a few more shots and make it the close game that it turned out to be. Darryl Jones had 16 points to lead UCA, and David Ivey had 14 to lead the Chargers, who will advance to face Delta State in the semis.
#1E Montevallo 75, #5E West Georgia 72
|Eff||98.0||96.7||1.3||Actual net efficiency|
|1.9||Predicted net efficiency|
This one played out like the DSU-Valdosta game, except that the team with the most shots didn’t come out on top. West Georgia did a terrific job rebounding the ball, but it wasn’t enough to overcome their cold shooting. Montevallo advances behind 20-plus point games by Marcus Kennedy and Greg Brown, while Chris Burras had to lead the way for the Braves with 24. Michael Ford had just 13 points on 5-of-22 shooting for a forgettable final outing of the season.
#2W Arkansas-Monticello 81, #3E North Alabama 62
|Eff||120.2||90.7||29.6||Actual net efficiency|
|27.5||Predicted net efficiency|
This was the first game of the tournament that wasn’t really that close, and UAM came out on top. Strong efforts in all areas of the game, particularly turnovers, powered the Weevils into the semifinals, where they will face Montevallo. Billy McDaniel’s 25 points and 11 rebounds paced UAM, but DeMarcus Wilson’s 19 points on 9 shots is perhaps a bit more impressive. Wilson had the game’s highest game score. A.J. Gordon was the only Lion to crack 10.0 in game score with a 19 point, 7 rebound (and 5 turnover) game.
#1W Delta State vs. #2E Alabama-Huntsville today at 5:30
#1E Montevallo vs. #2W Arkansas-Monticello immediately following