Matt Hall, Matt Hall, Matt Hall. Every post must start with Matt Hall. That seems to be the case this year, which is remarkable given his injury last year and the pressure he has faced this year. None of that seemed to matter in this game, which was nearly perfect for the junior forward. Hall made all six of his shot attempts (two from long range) and all eight of his free throw attempts to lead the Bisons with 22 points.
Here are the stats:
Shooting was the story in this one, as the Bisons had a 58.0 TS% to the Bucs’ 42.3, marking the main difference in the 21-point efficiency differential. Christian Brothers was actually the better rebounding team and forced a slightly higher turnover ratio defensively, but it didn’t matter because of the Bucs’ outstandingly poor outside shooting. The Bucs made just one of their 27 three-point attempts. Kyle Couvion was responsibe for the only made shot, but he missed seven others, while Weybright (6), Reggie Peyton (4), Justin Ray (4), Brandon Shane (3), and Colin Flynn (2) combined for the other misses. The Bisons’ 6-for-24 performance from outside must have looked positively unstoppable in comparison.
Two turnovers were the difference between Hall’s amazing 186.9 rating and a truly astonishing 200+ rating. The rest of the team wasn’t bad, but the other scorers weren’t shooting particularly well, and Brandon Sims was the only other Bison in double figures.
Reggie Bibb played an uncomfortably large number of minutes (27), so I’m wondering if anything was wrong with Steven Barnett, whether it was an injury or just a coach’s decision. On the other hand, Jacob Thies played only seven minutes as the Bisons went small against the Bucs from the beginning, starting Andrepont, Hall, Sims, Hamilton, and Barnett. This arrangement seems to have worked, so it will be interesting to see if Coach Morgan sticks with it.
The Bisons basically stifled Kevin Weybright, holding him to 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting. Reggie Peyton was actually the Buccaneers’ leading scorer with 19. Nick Kohs, who has been CBU’s second-best player this year, was notably absent with an injury. So, the Bucs were short-handed, but the Bisons’ effort is impressive nonetheless.
Elsewhere in the GSC
Memo Rodriguez’ 28 points powered the OBU Tigers to a home win over winless (in-conference) Arkansas Tech. Derrick Woods added 17, helping to overcome the 30 scored by ATU’s Brandon Friedel. Three-point shooting was not a problem in this game, as the teams combined to hit 18-of-36 (50%) from outside the arc. Ouachita pulled into a three-way tie for third place at 4-3 with the win, while ATU is now 0-7.
Henderson State beat Delta State to take sole possession of first place in the conference. Led by Dee Dee Drake’s 21 points and 7 rebounds, the Reddies remained very efficient on offense while shutting down the division’s top offensive team on the other end. Johnny Hodge led the Statesmen with 17 points, but his team is now 5-2, alone in second place.
Arkansas-Monticello made an improbable turnaround after their impressive big win over Christian Brothers, immediately losing to one of the conference’s worst teams in Southern Arkansas. The Nate Newell Experience turned out a 3-for-16, 13-point performance, prompting Coach Dad to become very displeased. To be fair, J.B. Williams missed 9 of his 12 chances, and Ryan Nelson had six turnovers. Mori Turpin scored 21 for the victorious Muleriders, who are now 2-5 in conference play. UAM falls to 3-4 and sixth place.
Two GSC teams play non-conference games on Tuesday, with Arkansas Tech hosting Rhema and Delta State hosting Central State, a D-II opponent. All 8 teams will be back in action on Thursday, with Arkansas Tech hosting Henderson State, the Bisons at home against UAM, Delta State visiting OBU, and Christian Brothers hosting SAU.