Thursday, January 12, 2012
Lock it Down
--Ken Sadler and Co. grabbed their first Big 10 basketball win in history by beating Penn State handily, in a sloppy-but-effective 70-58 win. The Nittany Lions had one player in double figures (Tim Frazier with 30) and the rest put on one of the worst shooting displays PYB has ever seen in 30 years of watching college hoops. As a Nebraska fan, that says a lot.
PSU shot .333 from the field (20/60) and an amazing .125 (3/24) from three-point range. Sure, we've seen cold-shooting nights, but these shots weren't close. They weren't in & out. They weren't misfortune. They were off from the point of release. They were bad.
So, for one night, NU got to look like Tony Delk and a mid-1990s Kentucky team in comparison and locked down their first B10 win. They were more athletic. They were better. They covered the five points. Everyone went home happy. Now, go have fun on Sunday playing at Wisconsin, a team who bottle blasted the Huskers 64-40 two weeks ago.
We'll revel in the win for a few hours more, though, as NU put four player into double figures--led by Bo Spencer's 19 points and five assists. His six turnovers were way too many, but given how much he has to do for the offense that's collateral damage. Toney McCray, Dylan Talley and Caleb Walker also cracked double figures, and George Diaz manned up enough to pussyfoot around the Devaney Center floor for four points and five rebounds in 27 minutes.
NU shot over .500 from the field for the second straight game, and if they can sustain the effort and avoid more injuries, there are a few potential wins left. We count 10 possibly winnable games. Eight realistically winnable games. Not good, but not as disastrous as it looked two days back.
--It was fun watching Northwestern lose to Michigan on BTN just before the NU-PSU game. Danny Crawford's (longtime NBA ref for you racists in NE that don't follow the League) son Drew got jobbed on a no-call on a play at the end of regulation where he was clearly fouled twice. Possibly, this was payback for all the money he's cost Wednesday night's zebras on NBA games over the years with his trumped-up calls. Just a theory. Crawford still racked up 20 points, while Tim Hardaway Jr. two-stepped his way to 19 points and five threes for 13th-rated Bitchigan.
--As some things change, more stay the same. LeQueen James helps tank another game, this time a meaningless regular-season tilt vs. the LA Clippers, by missing free throws and leading his team's game-ending scoring drought. Miami didn't score a field goal in the last 12+ minutes of regulation. Heat lose, 95-89. An icon, indeed.
All for now. PYB.