It wasn't a great win, but it was one we needed.
Our offense looked like it was running the best it had all year, but it didn't make a whole lot of difference in the first half, as the opposite was true with the defense. Alex Thompson getting in early foul trouble crippled the post defense, leading to UNI players drawing fouls down low.
But, Craig Brackins came through with one of the best games of his career with 32 points and 16 rebounds. UNI, for some reason, refused to double team Brackins until overtime, leaving him to shoot at will.
The offense wasn't hitting shots at a great rate tonight, but it was providing the looks that it was meant to. The dribble-drive, as well as the two man game, were working virtually at will.
Brackins and Diante Garrett provided 49 of the 71 points tonight, showing once again that these two sophomores will have to be the ones carrying our team this season. No one else could get it in gear on offense. Lucca Staiger just can't seem to get it going, while Sean Haluska seems to have reverted into a fouling, brick laying machine. Ideally, Jamie Vanderbeken will increase his scoring output, or Alex Thompson will just start to score, period.
Greg McDermott's willingness to switch to the zone at time also contributed to the win. Colossal fatass Jordan Eglseder was held to just seven points while UNI chucked up 32 threes....just six of which fell. ISU was 2-14. So maybe the zone isn't totally evil.
If we can run this game plan again in the future...and the three's actually go in, maybe we can dispose of mediocre teams like we're fully capable of. And I think we're one scorer away from being not-so-mediocre...
This game was a needed stepping stone in the season. Next up comes Oregon State on Saturday. A 6-1 start would be a boon for this program.