Thursday, February 14, 2013

BC Defeats Wake 66-63 to Get 3rd ACC Win

I predicted a let-down game after the close loss to Duke, but didn't think the team would play as badly as it did last night.  Last night was a defensive nightmare, with WF shooting better than 50% from the field.  If it wasn't for some key mistakes down the stretch, Wake would have won this game comfortably.  Still, given that BC has had its share of terrible luck this year, you could say we deserved to catch a break in this game.
If there are any positives to be taken from last night's game, it certainly is on the offensive end.  Not only did BC have a decent night shooting from the field (.438), we were shooting a .462 clip from beyond the arc and  hit nearly 90% of our free throws.  The clutch 3's and free throws really saved the team down the stretch, but the diversity on offense was outstanding.  Five players had nine or more points, and Eddie Odio contributed another seven.  We really did a nice job of making Wake guard all of the guys on the court throughout the game.

Clifford made another cameo appearance, showing up for 12 minutes, scoring two points, and registering two boards and three blocks.  Again, his numbers are poor but this team is simply way better defensively with a big man in the paint.  I thought that Anderson had a poor game tonight, going just 5-13 from the field. His lower field goal percentage is often a function of him consistently drawing the other team's "lock-down" defender night after night, but he has the capability to back defenders down in the paint and get high percentage shots.  He settles for longer mid-range jumpers far too often, perhaps out of frustration.  It's hard to get down on Anderson because he's the guy we always go to when someone needs to make a tough bucket, but I would like to see him pass off on the longer two-point shots more often.  

Heckmann quietly led the team in scoring, racking up 14 points.  He was really valuable to the team when Hanlan left temporarily with a bloody eye.  He is a liability defensively because of how many fouls he draws, and sometimes he is a little slow to recognize where he is supposed to be on offense but his ability to create his own shot is invaluable when this team is in a rut.  I do think he should be getting 20+ minutes a game, although playing time is going to be harder to come by next year with one graduation (Van Nest at 4 minutes last night) and two players coming in.  It will be interesting to see if Donahue decides to red shirt Owens. 

I really felt like we needed this win to avoid backsliding as a program.  After four ACC wins last year, anything less than that would be a disappointment.  We should look to win another ACC road game against FSU on Saturday.  FSU has had a less-than-stellar year so far, losing 56-36(!) to UVA, 71-47 to Miami, and 71-46 to Wake.  If we can hang tight defensively we would seem to stand a decent chance of knocking the Seminoles off and achieving that 4th win.

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