Saturday, February 10, 2007

'Dogs with solid effort to defeat Aggies 75-69

-Player of the game Quinton Hosley-

The first 5 minutes:

After the opening tip and until Coach Steve Cleveland called a timeout at the 15:40 mark, things look bad for the third straight home game for the Bulldogs. After two games that featured awful starts, this one was similar yet the Dogs were able to compose themselves and climb back into it. Thank goodness the Aggies were shaky to start things also.

Player Breakdown:

-Quinton Hosley-

Player of the game with a huge night. Efficient in shooting the ball at 8-11 from the field and 6-8 from the line. He pounded the offensive glass and finished with 5 offensive rebounds. He ended up with 10 rebounds total to go with 2 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.

He was the heart and soul of the team tonight and was all over the floor. He played 4 inches taller than his 6'6" height. It was a pleasure to watch him fight and scrap for every rebound and loose ball. Great job Q.

-Kevin Bell-

Two great outings in a row for Bell against the top two teams in the WAC. Handled the pressure well all night (played all 40 minutes) and distributed 7 assists. Shot 5-7 from the field and was selective in shot attempts and chose to shoot at the right times.

Took it to the rim well and finished strong. Also must mention the outstanding job he did on the NMSU PGs he was matched up with. He was stifling at times and frustrated the Aggie guards and did not allow them to do what they wanted. Great game KB.

-Dominic McGuire-

A nice night for McGuire with 8 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 4 assists. Not a good job of decision making on the defensive end when he got himself in foul trouble early in the second half. He attempted to block two shots against Tyrone Nelson and Hatila Passos when he should have let them score.

He forced Cleveland to set him down for extended minutes and he got out of sync. It was a night that it worked out okay because of the huge effort from Hosley. Also having free throw issues in back to back games only shot 1-4 against the Aggies. One missed layup, but at least the number of them is falling. Solid effort Dom.

-Eddie Miller-

Miller found his shooting stroke again and he needed to in a bad way. He made a huge three that was the Bulldogs first points of the game out of a timeout when they were in desperate need. He finished with 14 points and shot 4-9 on threes.

He needed that kind of effort after two less than stellar efforts prior. Miller also helped keep the Aggies off the offensive glass with 4 rebounds and added two steals in a solid defensive effort. Welcome back E Miller.

-Alex Blair-

Alex Blair was a big surprise and he was brought in early and was a huge lift. Cleveland entered Blair into the fray after forward Hector Hernadez was obviously providing nothing for the Bulldogs. Blair responded immediately with inspired play on both ends of the floor.

He hit the offensive glass and had a putback. He cut to the rim in transition and Bell found him for a layup. He also played great on the defensive end and would not be pushed around by the taller Aggie post players. He was fiery and gave an effort that made Quinton Hosley proud. Big time showing Mr. Blair.

-Hector Hernandez-

This wasnt pretty and hasnt been for quite a few games now. Ill advised shots early in the shot clock, poor decision making, lack of effort on defensive end. Not allowing game to come to him. A one dimsional player that doesnt provide anything if he can shoot. 6'9" and no defensive rebounds in the last two games that he has played 50 minutes combined. I will commend him for sticking his nose in and taking two charges. How bout diving on floor sometime, it will do you a lot of good.

Coach Cleveland:

He has had back to back solid coaching efforts even though he only won the NMSU game. He put his team in great position to have success on the offensive end in both games. The difference was they finished around the rim versus the Aggies and failed to against the Wolfpack. Good utilization of the timeouts and also a great job substituting. The quick hook on Hernandez and the confidence in Alex Blair was a huge move that proved highly rewarding. Keep it up coach.

Odds and ends:

-The Bulldogs had 34 points in the paint to the Aggies 20. This was done against a frontline that had a huge size advantage. Nice job moving the ball around and flashing Hosley to the free throw line area. They also shared the ball well and finished strong at the rim.

-Had 8 steals and forced quite a few turnovers. Played inspired basketball on the defensive end. Although they gave up 17 offensive rebounds, the Aggies only finished with 15 second chance points.

-Capitalized off of NMSU turnovers to the tune of 30 points. Huge key to victory.

-Shot 47.4% from the field which was a huge climb from the mid 30s where they have been recently. Shot selection was much improved.

MBs key to the win:

What I think was the key to the game as much as anything was the overrall shot selection. Although they only finished 6-24 from the three, all but 2 or 3 of those shots were good. There was solid ball movement and the players were more than willing to make the extra pass to set up their teammates.

Also key along with the shot selection was the patience displayed on the offensive end. Very few quick shots in transition or force the issue plays that result in turnovers. Got the ball to the high post and kicked it out, swung the ball around the perimeter fast, and actually utilized some head fakes on three point attempts.

By running the shot clock into the low teens and high single digits, it forced NMSU to play 25-30 seconds of defense and allowed them to find higher percentage shots. When this is done it makes it much more difficult for teams to make a run. Usually the runs arent as big and the point differential is minimized. Instead of that 10-0 run in 1:10, you now have a 10-4 score over 2:10.

Up Next:

The Bulldogs will get some rest and get themselves a fair amount of practice time next week as they prepare for a game against Sam Houston State Saturday night at 7pm at the Save Mart Center. This matchup is a result of ESPNs Bracketbuster package but the FSU-SHSU game will not be one of the 16 televised games. Look for the game preview and overview of the Sam
Houston State Bearkats on Thursday.


FSU-NMSU Boxscore

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