It's tough to win on the road. The last time Nebraska won a non-conference road game was when they beat the pre-Bruce Pearl Tennessee Volunteers on the last day of 2004. Nearly four years later, the Huskers finally added another one, 62-50 over TCU.
It was certainly a bizarre game. Four Huskers finished the game with 4 fouls -- there were 26 Nebraska fouls that seemed to always come in shooting situations, as TCU shot 38 free throws. The Huskers endured another bizarre second-half scoring drought, when they scored no points for 6:28 and only 4 over 9:49, and still managed to win.
Some things stood out to me:
- 10 Huskers played double digit minutes again this week, and nine of them scored.
- There weren't as many steals by NU (or TOs by TCU) as last time. I couldn't watch the game, but I'm guessing that may have been a result of a very tightly called game.
- Chris Balham started once again, but only played 10 minutes. As athletic as he was when he arrived, it's a shame that his leg problems continue to limit his effectiveness.
- TCU was in the bonus shortly after the first media timeout and had more free throw attempts than shots from the floor. This was a mostly Big 12 officiating crew -- I wonder if this is a sign of what's to come in conference play?
Offense: C. Again, this might be an "A" if not for another ridiculous 2nd-half slump. Doc's going to have to find a way to get this team in the groove after halftime before the big games with Creighton and Arizona State, or there's going to be trouble. Nebraska shot 43% for the game and 8-18 from behind the arc -- which amounts to an impressive 52.2 eFG% (which is [FGM+(1/2 * 3pt FGM)]/FGA, for you non-stat folks), which is very good for recent Husker road history. 10 of 12 in second-half free throws was also nice.
Defense: A. Hard to argue with the defensive performance here. Would have liked more steals and turnovers, but holding TCU to a miniscule 10 made buckets for the game was impressive -- that's a decent half for some defenses.
Rebounding: B. Nebraska won the rebounding battle yet again, by 1. There was the issue of TCU's 8 offensive boards, but they did miss a lot of shots.
Ball-Handling: A. 12 Turnovers is pretty good for a game's work. Would have liked to see some more balance to this, though.
Coaching: B+. Doc's not going to get another A while the boys keep coming out flat in the second half. However, the rotation of players seems to be working, as he's using the depth he has on the bench to an advantage.
Webcast Technology: F. The live radio link on Huskers.com didn't work. ChannelSurfing.net (as it often is) was filled with fail. GameTracker would forget to update for 3 or 4 minutes at a time. Makes following the game at work difficult.
Overall: A-. This was a good showing on the road, and broke a streak of 5 straight losses in the first game of the year away from Lincoln. The depth of this team is looking to be a key here -- a sort of no-name barrage.
Player of the Game: Paul Velander. In a game with a wide scoring distribution, you might think player of the game goes to the only Husker in double figures. That's not why he gets the award though. Six of Paul's points came to start & cap the 11-3 first-half run that put the Huskers in control.
Next Up: Saturday, vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff. 1 PM at the Devaney Center. It's the annual Toys for Tots game, so Marines will be collecting toy donations.
Next Week: Two bigger games, both at home & on FSN: Saint Louis on Wednesday night and the rivalry game Saturday night against Creighton.