- I was at a holiday gathering and checked my phone about 3:20 for the score. So much for a Happy Festivus. 20-0 at the point. Not sure it really got any better...although some of the folks I was with joked that it did. Only down 39-16 at the half meant that it was fairly even after the start.
- But it got to 50-18, which is pretty embarrassing. We can try to drink the Mount Kool-Aid and say that Northwestern is really good. And the fact is they are better than most of the teams the Mount has played thus far (exception being Cincinnati) and better than most they are going to play the rest of the way (exception being Virginia Tech). But this is still a team that is questionable. They have played one tournament caliber team this year and lost. Handily. They will likely be underdogs everytime they go on the road in the Big Ten (except for at Penn State). The will struggle to finish .500 in the Big Ten, and if they make the tournament, it will be because they expanded the field.
- I kind of thought this was the type of game the Mount might be able to steal or stay close with the Wildcats. The fact that Northwestern had played late on Tuesday night. Were now playing a game looking forward to the Christmas Break. The Mount had flown out Tuesday. Should have been the more mentally prepared team. But it didn't happen.
- I think this team has lost a lot of confidence in itself over the last few weeks. The losses seem to be taking a lot out of them. Three of the last four efforts have been questionable. But we knew that the schedule was going to get more difficult when we got into December. And it will level out when we get back into the conference season. I hope the losses haven't had too much of an effect.
- Biggest positive number for me was 8 rebounds from Evan Cleveland. I've harped on the poor rebounding numbers. And even though Northwestern had 11 offensive rebounds, it was only at at 31% clip. The Mount had needed support rebounding from the wing. Really miss Will Holland and Kelly Beidler in that regard. And Cleveland just might be able to give them some of that.
- Norfleet's 21 on 8-of-12 shooting was also a good thing. The kid can shoot the basketball. Sometimes he has struggled by trying to do too much. Sometimes not all of his shots have been good shots. But if he's making more than he's taking, he's going to be an real asset.
So the Pre Christmas portion of the schedule is over. Nobody expected this to be easy. But I'm not sure that anybody was sure what to expect. Vermont and Virginia Tech await before the conference schedule gets into full gear. I still think this team can be highly competitive in the conference. But they've got to continue to believe in themselves.
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