First of all, I have to admit to a bit of technological naivete here. I forgot to set my DVR to record past the scheduled ending of the game yesterday, so I only got two hours worth of coverage. As I'm sure you all know, that means I didn't even see the end of regulation, much less the overtime period. So let me have it. I've set a DVR before, I swear, but for some reason this time I forgot that two hours wouldn't cover a basketball game.
As such, I didn't get to see the full collapse at the end of regulation that led to overtime, nor the apparently infamous Darren Kent travel in overtime. Someone else will have to react to that. Either way, while it wasn't pretty, it gets us in the win column in conference play.
What I liked...
...a better start to the game. The Cats came out moving the ball well and jumped to an early lead. Despite quickly blowing that early lead, it was nice not to see the team get buried in the first 10 minutes of the game.
...keeping the turnovers down. Yes, 15 turnovers is still more than we'd like, but it's a lot better than those 20+ turnover debacles against Oklahoma and KU.
...a better shooting performance by Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente. The pair combined 11-22 from the field, including 5-12 from three-point range. Not great numbers, but much better than previous outings, and it resulted in a combined 32 points for the pair. We need Pullen and Clemente to play like this if we're going to get things turned around this season.
...the return of Luis Colon. Big Lu has been a little quiet since his abbreviated outing at KU, but he showed up yesterday and provided some nice scoring punch down low with 10 points.
What I didn't like...
...letting another team shoot better than 50 percent or better from the field and from three-point range. We really need to find our defensive groove again.
...not stepping on CU's throat late. A ten-point lead in the second half should have led to an easy win. It didn't. Credit to the Buffs for fighting until the end, but we need to learn to finish better.
...another big night for a "who?" opposing player. Dwight Thorne II (all together now: "Who?!") scored 30 points against us last night. Add him to the list, along with Paul Velander of Nebraska.
What it means and where we're going...
Now that we have finally managed a conference win, it will be very interesting to see where we go from here. The upcoming week isn't really conducive to using this win to go on a run, with a home game against surging Missouri and a trip to Austin to visit nationally ranked Texas on the horizon. If we want to salvage something out of this season, it would really help us to protect our home court against a fellow North opponent in Mizzou. Yes, the Tigers are good this year. Yes, they're playing well right now. But they're not invincible, as previous games with Illinois and Nebraska have shown. We need to get that game, then see what happens in Austin. If we can pick up a few wins here in the next two weeks, the concluding leg of the schedule is much easier.