The game really was a game of quarters not halves. In the first quarter, the Demons set the pace with a pressing and scrappy defensive effort. They out hustled the Cats at both ends of the floor. The Cats helped them out by continuing their trend of turning over the ball in the first half. The Cats committed fewer turnovers than in earlier games but the Demons seemed to pounce on each opportunity.THE GOOD
The second quarter the Wildcats came storming back from a 19 to 10 deficit to take the lead late in the quarter. They stepped up their intensity and ran the offense much better than earlier in the game.
The third quarter was looking tenuous after about five minutes when Senior guard Jitim Young picked up his fourth foul. Later in the half, Vedran Vukusic picked up his third and both took their seats on the bench. Evan Seacat and Vince Scott stepped up and produced. They both shot well and the offense was almost as effective with them in. Scott has really come on in the last few games.
The fourth quarter was a story of both NU shooting well and NWS missing shots. Three 3-pointers by Mohamed Hachad, one by Scott and one by Seacat iced the game.
The Demons helped the Cats out by playing sloppily. They threw up too many prayers and were wildly trying to make the great pass instead of making the smart one. They played like they start 5 sophomores.
The Cats shot much better than earlier games in spite of good defensive pressure by the Demons. Many rebounds or steals led to easy fast-break baskets as the Cats ran well. We hit many of our three-point shots. It is amazing how well the offense runs when the Cats are making their outside shots and shooting them within the offense.
- TJ Parker looked much better. He was in the game throughout. He opened up the defense by slick penetration with and without the ball.
- Davor Duvancic took a beating while covering their big guys but was great driving to the basket for layups or hook shots.
- Vedran Vukusic found his shot the second half and made some slick assist.
- Mohamed Hachad played under control for most of the game.
- Vince Scott and Evan Seacat both improved and gained important playing time.
- Jitim, Duvancic and Vukusic all got in a little foul trouble. A team with as little depth as NU can ill afford to lose anyone.
- There were still too many turnovers in the first half. The Cats are improving in this area but should be doing better. We still missed too many free throws especially in the first half.
- On defense, the Cats looked improved but still need to block out better. We never seem to get second chance attempts due to poor rebounding of missed shots.
The Demons lost the game. The Cats didn't win it. They still lack the killer instinct. The game was still close late in the second half due to a few crucial mistakes.
The Cats must learn to take care of the ball better. The Demons were a quick and aggressive team but played a ragged game. The Cats would have had trouble if they had been playing a more disciplined team.BOTTOM LINE
We saw improvement in many areas. Shooting, defense, offensive execution and less turnovers all showed improvement.
We are closer to putting a whole game together. If we can do this while playing a tough opponent, we will have arrived.
We aren't there yet.
Michael Jackson in a Wildcat Fan who can be found cheering on his team from under the basket.
Beat 'em All!
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