Saturday, February 20, 2010

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: Houston Baptist at NJIT

by Ray Floriani

NEWARK, NJ - In a Great Western Conference meeting, Houston Baptist edged NJIT , the conference’s Eastern most school, 62-58 at the Prudential Center on Thursday.

In a 70 possession game (Houston Baptist 71 NJIT 68), the Efficiency and Factors:


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Each media time out we were supplied with a box score. Did a run down of the time of the media time out, the score and offensive efficiency. For instance at 15:47 NJIT had an OE of 86 while Houston Baptist was 33.

TimeScoringO. Eff.
15:476-2 NJIT86-33 NJIT
11:5612-4 NJIT86-31 NJIT
5:5624-15 NJIT100-58 NJIT
3:4326-20 NJIT90-65 NJIT
Half31-22 NJIT91-63 NJIT
14:5837-34 HB84-79 HB
11:0741-39 HB80-78 HB
7:2045-44 HB82-82
3:3954-53 NJIT87-83 NJIT
0:0062-58 HB87-85 HB

The appreciable damage was the first four minutes of the second half. Houston Baptist was the aggressor, shooting 4 of 6, forcing turnovers and going on a momentum altering 11-4 run.

Both team’s efficiencies were relatively close. NJIT certainly defended and rebounded well enough to win. Coach Jim Engles attributed the loss to a ‘lack of focus’ at key times. That was certainly evident in the 27% turnover rate. The foul line also hurt. The visiting Huskies went to the line more but also took advantage. They were 21 of 23 from the charity stripe while NJIT was 6 of 15. NJIT actually shot better from three 8 of 17 for 47% than they did from the line (40%).

In the stretch NJIT could not make he necessary stops. Andrew Gonzalez, a 6-6 forward and one of the conference’s marquee players did most of the damage with a game high 31 points. Ironically Gonzalez had the only two misses fro the line for his team but he did go 14 of 16 from the stripe. Isaiah Wilkerson led NJIT with 19 points.

Houston Baptist improved to 6-2 in the GWC (7-19 overall) while NJIT is 2-3 in conference and 7-15 on the season.

At the Rock

Prior to the men’s game the women of the respective schools had the opportunity to play at the Rock. Houston Baptist entered the game with 3 wins and a -30 efficiency margin so the outcome was not too surprising. NJIT rolled 72-46 in a 78 possession game.


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NJIT jumped out to a 43-18 halftime lead and was never seriously threatened. Houston Baptist did not break down their conference stats on the game notes so I computed the overall numbers from 22 games. The Huskies entered with an offensive efficiency of 72 and a turnover rate of 32%. The efficiency was a little lower than normal and the TO rate, thanks to 29 turnovers, higher than their normally excessive average.

Jessica Gerald led NJIT with 22 points in 22 minutes as coach Margaret McKeon gave every one of her ten players at least 12 minutes of playing time. Houston Baptist had one double figure scorer, sophomore guard Taniqua Hollis with 10 points. Houston Baptist is now 3-20 and 1-7 in the GWC. NJIT is 9-12 and a challenging 4-1 in the conference.

In blowouts of this magnitude, NJIT led by 39 with just under 15 minutes left, the style of play often degenerates. Not so in NJIT’s case as they assisted on 64% (14 of 22) of their field goals. That added up to less one on one and more ball movement even with the outcome not in doubt.

Hospitality. From AD Lenny Kaplan on down the keynote at NJIT is hospitality. And that extends to the fans as well as media. On Thursday the NJIT staff took it a step farther. For the media pre-game meal in the press room they invited the NJIT cheer leading squad (pictured) to enjoy a bill of fare that included chicken parm and penne pasta. Bon apatite ladies.

A league of their own. Both coaches in the NJIT program are extremely happy with their respective teams now playing in a conference.

“It’s great because our kids follow the conference and will go online and check the other team’s results. They knew they had to be ready tonight with a big game (Texas-Pan American) on Saturday. - Women’s coach Margaret McKeon

“Being in a conference is great because now your players have a pre-conference part of their schedule. Once conference play and post season comes around that’s like two new seasons to look forward to.” - Men’s coach Jim Engles
The Pregame Meal

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