Sunday, January 07, 2007

Dogs hold off USU-Trip to the Islands awaits

-A solid effort from Mr. Kevin Bell-
15 pts-7 assts-1 to-2 rebs-2 stls

FSU-USU Recap:

The Bulldogs came into Saturday nights game up against a desperate opponent in the Utah State Aggies at the SMC. The Aggies came in already with one WAC loss and were looking to steal one from the Dogs on the road. The Bulldogs came off of an uninspiring 19 point victory (doesnt seem possible, but if you were there you would agree)over a weak Idaho squad. The question coming into this game from myself was simple:How would the Dogs respond coming off of a lackluster effort? Well, the response in this game came in the form of the best first half the team has put together all season, culminating in a 46-29 lead at the break. The Dogs shot a blistering 59% from the field in the 1st while holding the Aggies to a 35% clip. Also of note was the Bulldogs ability to protect the ball and only commit 2 turnovers, both were given away on suspect calls that have become the norm on the homecourt that the SMC is supposed to be. The defense of both guards Javance Coleman and Eddie Miller on Aggie standout junior guard Jaycee Carroll was outstanding and played a large part in the 17 point halftime lead.

The lead ballooned to 20 in the second half, but Utah State charged back behind 15 of reserve forward Chaz Spicers career high 20 points. Carroll was also able to get himself to the free throw line thanks to the officials calling it tightly on the Dogs defensively, yet allowing Carroll to push and grab to get himself open looks. The lead eventually shrunk to 5, but following a turnover by Quinton Hosley the defense was able to force an Aggie 5 second violation. The Bulldogs were then able to hit 2-4 from the line, then McGuire came up with a steal, found Hosley and he was able to finish with his left after being fouled. Hosley hit the free throw and pushed the lead to 78-68, and 23 seconds later the final score was 79-70, a big home win for the Bulldogs.

Worth mentioning:

-Kevin Bell matched a career high with 15 pts and added 7 assists with only one turnover

-4 players scored in double figures for the 13th time in 15 games

-Shot 50% from the floor for the game

-Defense added 10 blocks and 10 steals

-Junior forward Dominic McGuire continued his stellar play with 19 pts 10 rebs and 4 blks

-Senior guard Javance Coleman found his way back into the starting lineup and responded with 16 points. This is Colemans third solid outing in a row coming out of a horrific slump.

-FSU had 27 points off turnover to USUs 9

-15-25 from the free throw line is a point of concern, 60% will not get it done and will end up costing this team a WAC game. Needs to be around 75-78% considering the shooting abilities of the lineups they put on the floor.

Box Score

Up next:

The Bulldogs are heading into their first WAC road games of the season and need to take two out of three to keep a leg up on the conference challengers. First up is a Thursday night game on the islands against a struggling Hawaii squad. Hawaii will come into this game angry and the Bulldogs are going to face a team that needs a win. I hate to sound trite hear but to me the biggest factors in this game will be the officiating and how well Hawaii is able to shoot the 3 in their friendly confines. With 5 staters playing over 30 minutes a game, the Dogs cannot afford to lose one of their big-guns to foul trouble in a hostile environment. The lingering question for this team is how will they play on the road, because their previous efforts leave me wondering and definately worried.

After the Hawaii game, the Bulldogs travel back to the mainland to San Jose to face a Spartan team that should not be the most difficult to overcome. The Thursday following figures to be the most difficult road task the Dogs will face this season when they travel to Reno to face Nevada. The Wolfpack and all-everything seems like hes been there for 6 years center Nick Fazekas are the obvious favorite to march through the WAC and win the conference again. I wont comment on this game at all at this point because it is more important to focus on getting out of Hawaii with a crucial road win and following it up by taking care of business in San Jose to set up the showdown with the Wolfpack.

1 comment:

nsc said...

MB nice writing man, exactly what happened at the game and good outlook into the next three games. We will be fine, I just hope they can take 2 out of 3.