A lot changes in a year. Last year our young team traveled into Lincoln, and walked away heads bowed after a 47-62 loss. Harden had 8 points, our team had 19 turnvoers, and we were completely outplayed.
A year later, this time in Tempe, we dominated on both ends of the court. We held Nebraska to 44 points - their lowest total in two years. Sendek's zone is fierce and the players are putting in a lot of energy into playing D. We held them to 29% shooting! That D is critical, and it will be key to carry over this defensive energy to some of the tougher Pac-10 teams.
Offensively, we looked solid. Harden took his time to find his groove, but his teammates picked him up. Rihards Kuksiks matched his career high with 18 points and 6 rebounds. After fighting his way onto the court halfway through last season, Kuksiks is averaging double digits in points, and is shooting 46% from deep. He looks good, and has surprised with his activeness in the paint on defense.
Abbott had probably his second best game of the season with 15 points and 8 rebounds. He also had an amazing block, where he raced down the court on a fast break to block Steve Harley off the glass. Pimp.
Harden was a stud again, with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and continues to hit 50% of his threes. He started slow, but dominated in the second half.
I would like to see more from the bench. 5 guys played a total of 21 minutes, produced 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, and 3 turnovers. Weak.
IUPUI up next on Sunday the 14th.