Up by 2 at half, lose by 16 to Valpariso. Key stats: FT 1-5 for the GAME??? Did anyone see this game? FG % 19-56?? They scored 13 points in the 2nd half. Here’s to the Cougs tonight!!!
In the first 30 seconds of the second half their center got two marginal fouls called on him. That was strange to me. From there on they kind of lost it and never recovered. Am I blaming the officials? Not particularly, but 5 free throws isn’t going to help much and 13 points in a half won’t either. Sometimes I wonder what officials are doing or thinking. There is nothing worse than a ref who wants to make their influence an important part of the game. It’s the worst.
Anyhow, they weren’t great away from home and Valpo is great at home so that was an influence as well… and the refs didn’t help their cause much. They just didn’t show up much in the second half, that is the biggest reason they lost.
I would add that Valpo’s defense is one of the elite defenses.
And the old saw goes defense wins championships.
SMC played really badly. This year they’v tended to play badly on the road and they don’t tend to play well against good defences…They lost to both BYU and Gonzaga, and now Valpo, when the Bulldog’s and the Coug’s defences bothered to show up on the court.
Valpo also plays an extremely slow tempo which of course does make their defencive numbers look more impressive than they would be otherwise.
It will be interesting to see the Cougs in the biggest tempo mismatch of the season next Tuesday.
They are averaging 76 points per game and limit their opponents to an average of 63 points per game. Their non-conference record is 9-0 at home, 4-3 away, and 0-1 on neutral courts.
Valpo is eighth in scoring margin.
BYU is 19th.
BYU needs to study the game plan of Wright State, who swept Valpo this season. Also, Belmont split the series with them and BYU beat Belmont at home.
If both teams play their best game of the season I would give the edge to BYU. In November, Valpo beat Oregon State and lost to Oregon. It didn’t help them get an invite to the ncaa tourney but losing to Valpo didn’t keep Oregon State out.
On the other hand, BYU losing to Long Beach, Utah and Colorado didn’t help them but neither did beating Northern Iowa or Gonzaga.
Those kinds of wins and losses only help the P-5 teams… but then again the ncaa selection process is all clean and legitimate, there is no favoritism to leagues that get 6 or 7 bids… LOL!