#8 Drury gets 33 Christmas presents in home win over Harding

Harding shot and rebounded well enough to pick up a huge road victory over Drury this afternoon in Springfield, Missouri, but the Bisons must have been feeling charitable. After all, Christmas is just around the corner. They turned the ball over 33 times en route to a frustrating close defeat against a good Division-II team.

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Any time you hand over the ball on a third of your possessions, you’re going to have to shoot and rebound exceptionally well to make up for it. The Bisons were merely good, and they fell 7 points short against one of the top teams in Division-II basketball. The result was a very poor 83.2 offensive rating, which won’t get it done against much of anyone, although the Bison defensive effort was solid enough to keep the team in the game.

The chief culprit on the offensive end was Steven Barnett, who despite a solid 14-point scoring effort, gave up an astounding 11 turnovers. Those numbers are simply unacceptable for a point guard, especially one for whom turnovers have been a persistent problem in his career. I don’t know that the Bisons have other options, and it’s entirely possible that this was a one-time heroic effort by the Drury defense, but Barnett is going to have to do something to keep his team strong offensively. Games like this just won’t cut it.

To be totally forthcoming, every Bison who played at least 10 minutes turned the ball over at least twice, except for Jacob Thies. The problem with turning the ball over so much, aside from simply killing offensive possessions, was that Matt Hall couldn’t get his game going all the way. Hall had just 15 points on 10 shots.

The other problem for the Bisons on the other end of the floor was staying out of foul trouble. Hall, Chris Dixon, and Kevin Brown all fouled out of the game, while Barnett and Trent Morgan finished with four fouls each. The result was a 25-for-35 free throw shooting performance for Drury. Harding actually kept Drury from shooting that well and held star Collins Harris to 8-of-20 shooting (even though he did score 21 points).

Strangely, Jesse Bynum did not play in this one. I’m kind of hoping that’s because of an injury, since he’s been playing well of late. Jacob Thies still only played 12 minutes, so most of the leftover playing time went to Kevin Brown (19 minutes) and Brian Howard (13 minutes). Matt Ragsdale also played 11 minutes, and Calvin Rayford was on the floor most of the game. Rayford again proved to be a solid outside scoring threat, knocking down 3 of 4 treys (half of the Bisons team total).

Harding nearly mounted a comeback on several occasions, even though they trailed for most of the game. They led by 2 late in the first half before a Drury run made it a six-point game at the half, and Drury held the Bisons (closely) behind them in the second half. It’s frustrating to lose a big game in such a sloppy way, but it gives the Bisons one more thing to work on before the conference season. They’ll face Ecclesia a week from tonight at home before taking a break for the holidays.

[UPDATE: For some reason, Drury’s box score gave HU 33 turnovers, while HU’s only gave them 32.  I’m leaving everything the way I had it.]

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4 thoughts on “#8 Drury gets 33 Christmas presents in home win over Harding

  1. Bynum was out with a sore back.

    Again, players are not failing as much as they are being failed.

    When you ask one player (Barnett)to bring the ball up against pressure on every possession and then he plays as hard as he does on the defensive end, he will tire out and turn the ball over some. He is also apparently being asked to force penetration a lot this year to generate some inside/out game. He is carrying a tremendous load without much help.

  2. From: http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/sports_house.asp

    Harding Bison

    12/10/2007 9:18:47 AM

    Roy Scheider appeared on “Saturday Night Live” in the early 80s and told an awful joke during his monologue, somehow tying the New York Knicks with Pepperidge Farms because they both make “lots of turnovers.” It was so bad that we still remember that zinger 25 years later. That joke may be a groaner, but so was Harding’s performance against Drury on Saturday. The Bisons committed a season-high 32 turnovers along with 31 fouls in Drury’s 73-66 win. With a score that close, it’s easy to figure that the Bisons may have won out if they had only committed half of their offenses.

  3. Well-put. I don’t think it’s too harsh to say that Harding can’t afford to stick to an offensive strategy and/or set of players that results in the offense hemorrhaging turnovers. I also don’t think that’s anything revolutionary.

  4. Roy Scheider made a hysterical appearance on Family Guy, voicing himself in an instructional video for toilet training.

    I don’t remember Roy Scheider’s “zinger” about Pepperidge Farm (apparently the sportswriter at Arkansas Sports360.com does), but I always loved Mitch Hedberg’s bit about Pepperidge Farm Bread.

    “You know that Pepperidge Farm bread, that stuff is fancy. That stuff is wrapped twice. You open it, and then still ain’t open. That’s why I don’t buy it, I don’t need another step between me and toast.”

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