Wednesday, March 4, 2015

FDU 84, Sacred Heart 75: Ray Floriani's Tempo-Free Analysis

FDU and Sacred Heart in the postgame handshake line. (Photo courtesy of Ray Floriani)

Teaneck, NJ - They are both playoff bound in the Northeast Conference women’s tournament. On Monday night, the two teams closed the conference regular season. FDU defeated Sacred Heart 84-75 at the Rothman Center. The pace and possessions:

Pace: FDU 73 possessions, Sacred Heart 72
Offensive Efficiency: FDU 115, Sacred Heart 104

Four Factors: 
eFG: FDU 58, Sacred Heart 44
FT Rate: FDU 30, Sacred Heart 22
OREB Pct.: Sacred Heart 41, FDU 36
TO Rate: Sacred Heart 15, FDU 21

What Sacred Heart did well: Rebound. The raw numbers showed the Pioneers deadlocked with FDU at 40 rebounds each. The offensive rebounding percentage told otherwise. The Pioneers grabbed 20 offensive boards for a 41% OREB percentage. Getting those offensive boards extends the possession and can render advantageous second shot opportunities. 

What FDU did well: Run an efficient offense. The Knights' efficiency of 115 was outstanding, and largely due to the gaudy 58% eFG percentage. They shot 8-of-17 (47%) from beyond the arc. The TO rate was above acceptable but here was an example of excellent shooting atoning for transgressions of turning the ball over.  

Leading scorers and OE: 
Sacred Heart: Hannah Kimmel 18 points OE .400.
FDU: Erika Livermore 31 points, OE .857.

Livermore led the way with 18 rebounds (eight on the offensive end). Kimmel paced Sacred Heart with 12 rebounds (four offensive).
Both clubs had three players in double figures while FDU, thanks to Livermore’s work inside, enjoyed a 34-30 advantage on points in the paint. Despite the turnovers committed by FDU, they were even at 14 in points off turnovers.
Neither team was timid about shooting the three, and both shot it well. Sacred Heart was 10-of-23 (44%) while the Knights, as noted previously, checked in at 47%.
A tale of two halves: FDU led at the break 42-39, but those turnovers…they committed 11 on 37 possessions for a 30% TO rate the first half. The final twenty minutes was much better, four turnovers in 36 possessions, giving an excellent 11% TO rate after intermission. 
FDU avenged a one-point loss at Sacred Heart on February 25. Sacred Heart finishes the regular season 16-12 (11-7 NEC). FDU ended up 10-19 (7-11 NEC).

Sacred Heart hosts St. Francis Brooklyn while FDU travels to Robert Morris in the NEC quarterfinal on Sunday.

Final Thoughts
“We have to be at our best every time out. We have to stay mentally tough. It’s a case of playing with emotion not playing emotionally.” – Sacred Heart coach Jessica Mannetti

“This was our most offensively efficient game of the season. Our field goal percentage was great, and we cut down on our turnovers the second half. “ – FDU coach Pete Cinella

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