Sure, it was Central Baptist, but a win’s a win, at least unless you’re the NCAA Selection Committee. The Bisons forced turnovers on over 25% of CBC possessions and held their True Shooting percentage under 40, which meant CBC just wasn’t going to score a lot of points in this one. That turned out to be the case, as the Bisons blew them out 86-45.
Pretty much everyone got playing time in this one, and only Trent Morgan played more than 30 minutes. Matt Hall had an efficient night on the floor, scoring 17 points in just 15 minutes of play. Matt Garner and Kevin Brown were the other double-figure scorers, with Brown shooting a perfect 6-for-6 (and 2-for-2 on FTs). I know it’s a weak opponent, but the calls to free Kevin Brown will only be getting stronger now.
Three Bisons scored exactly nine points: Morgan, Calvin Rayford, and Jesse Bynum, who was again impressive offensively in his 18 minutes of play. Bynum’s height advantage was probably the key here against a small CBC club, but I’m starting to have a tougher time seeing how he shouldn’t at least get the same minutes as Thies on a nightly basis. I can’t quantify Jacob’s defensive presence, but I can’t imagine it’s any better than Bynum is offensively, and I can definitively say that Jacob doesn’t add much himself on the offensive end. Thies’ minutes have gone down recently, but I don’t know if it’s due to his play or because of an injury. It’s also worth mentioning that Bynum had four steals in this game, which is certainly one way to start creating defensive value.
Overall, the offense was clicking pretty well. Morgan and Barnett had four turnovers each, but the team as a whole held on to the ball fairly well. Three-point shooting was an area of weakness: Calvin Rayford was 3-for-4 and the rest of the team was 1-for-13. The team did a good job finding higher-percentage shots, though, only relying on the three for 30% of field goal attempts (a low figure for HU at least) and making 65% of two-point tries and 22 of 27 free throws.
This was an encouraging game, to see the team play a dominant game and not have to rely on up-and-down three-point shooters. That’s to be expected against a slower, less-athletic team, and the Bisons successfully accomplished that. They’ll have to be totally focused on Saturday, when they visit #8 Drury in Springfield, Missouri.
Lastly, I’m almost done with my work on the stat pages. It’s mostly been catching up my spreadsheets, but hopefully the format will be easy to interpret.
One thought on “Harding homestand ends with dominant win”
The first basket of the game was a Morgan 3, then nada except for Garner.
Morgan’s minutes? He had to be in the game to get the ball up the floor when Barnett rested. Their are no others capable. Central’s small defenders were excellent on the ball and harassed Barnett as well as any I’ve seen.
Basically Harding’s size overcame them all in the end. Must hit the 3’s to win in the GSC.