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Another tough loss

November 22nd, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

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There were probably a couple of things you could expect from the Mustangs on Friday night at they took on Benedictine University in Mesa AZ. First, maybe they’d have a bit of a let down after the emotionally draining loss against NNM; second, Willie McCray would not have a good night after exploding for 39 on Monday. I think both came true, at least to some extent.

The Mustangs had been shooting well, not great, averaging about 40% overall while still shooting poorly, about 27%, from downtown. That goes against what the coaches thought might be the character of this team before the season started. There was a feeling that the team wouldn’t be able to get a lot of inside shots and might have to live and die off of the three point shot. But we’ve done a pretty good job of getting to the bucket so far; albeit against lesser defenses.

But they fell to 38% shooting overall against BenU, and still can’t hit a 3 point bucket; 5-22 (22.7%) on the night. They did shoot well from the line, 10-13 but BenU hit 17 out of 23 from the charity stripe. From what we saw, there was a bit of home cooking but the Mustangs don’t do a great job of creating contact to draw the foul.

Once again the Stangs out rebounded their opponents, 37-36, which continues a positive trend. And a big stat, Western only turned the ball over 12 times on the night, while creating 13 for their opponents.

The difference in the 8 point loss came on 3 more made three point shots and 7 more made FT’s. I know the math doesn’t add up, based upon that it should have been a 10 point win, not 8. But it’s BenU, in their first year of the program and it showed in their game management.

Emery Range didn’t continue his streak of double/doubles but led the team with 12 points on much better shooting, 6-12, than he’s had this season. Makhtar Fall tied for the rebounding lead with 8 in just 24 minutes after getting into foul trouble. Big thing for him was the zero in the turnover column.

As expected, Jordan moved to the bench and while it wasn’t a great performance, he did finally find the bucket, hitting 3-9 and 3-4 from the charity stripe, ending the night with 10 points. That’s what we need from him at this point in early in his career.

The scoring was fairly even on down the line, Tanter 9; McCray 7; Loucks 6; Aby 7; Kesler 6; Saenz & Fall 4. That’s nice to have everyone scoring in that range except that 2 of your starters, Loucks & McCray have got to score more. Between them and Tanter, they were 8-27 from the floor including 2-12 from downtown. Tanter did not get to the free throw line at all. While our offense is not necessarily predicated on the inside-out game, he’s still got to be getting inside and drawing some fouls to keep the defense honest.

While BenU didn’t provide the stats on how points were scored; our impression is that the WNMU defense allowed way to many inside the paint points. BenU had 17 assists as a team and got a lot of inside shots. We’ve got to be tougher inside; now understanding that Loucks and Fall both got called for tic-tac fouls inside which keeps them from being more aggressive.

The Stangs will get another chance at BenU in Silver City on the first. We’ll see if home cooking can spark them to their first win.

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