The scouting report on Harding probably goes something like this:
Double-cover Hall because he will be taking a lot of shots from everywhere on the floor. Don’t let the outside shooters beat you, because no one’s really going to post up that often. When someone does go inside, it’s probably okay to make contact. GSC refs allow a lot of contact anyway, and the Bisons struggle at the line.
Despite the apparent chinks in the Harding armor, the Boll Weevils were unable to stop much of anything in this game. The Bisons missed a bunch of shots inside, but when you can take over half of your shots from long range and still make over 40%, you’re probably not that bad off.
Here are the team stats:
Matt Hall attempted 19 of the Bisons’ 51 shots, scoring 33 points and pulling down 11 rebounds in a huge game. Harding’s star made six of nine from beyond the arc and seven of nine at the line, while shooting just 40% from inside.
It wasn’t a strong offensive game for either team, except in the rebounding department. Both teams missed a lot of shots and got plenty of put-back attempts. Boxing out the offensive players apparently wasn’t on the agenda, as both teams recovered nearly half of their missed shots.
Both teams were also in the giving spirit, as Harding topped a 20% turnover ratio and UAM came very close to that figure. Monticello big man Ray Wright had 17 points, but he also had 7 turnovers, making him the main culprit for either side. Steven Barnett had five steals in his return to action. I’m sure the team was thrilled to have his defensive playmaking ability back on the floor.
No Bison other than Hall scored in double figures, which is something I’m sure everyone is used to seeing. Freshman Kevin Brown, who seems like the best bet to consistently be able to take some of the pressure off of Hall, played just 15 minutes in this one. Some combination of a) Thies and Dixon staying out of foul trouble and b) the return of Barnett would probably be the reason he dropped back to role player status and the Bisons played small.
Thursday night’s game will be in Cleveland, Mississippi at Delta State, so I’ll plan on having a review Friday (and probably notes for you on Thursday). My goal is to get the stats up to date in the meantime, and I’ll have new D-I rankings and probably one other post before that during this week.