It wasn't pretty, but we finally found a way to win against a decent team away from Tuscaloosa to take 3rd place in the CBE Hall of Fame tournament. Hopefully this will give us the confidence we need going into December. I watched the game on ESPN3 on my laptop, and for the most part the quality was decent, although the picture did get blurry on a couple of instances. At one point, they were showing an injured Sun Devil on the sideline, you heard a whistle and the commentator said "offensive foul called." We had the ball, they never showed the replay or told us who the foul was on.
Unlike the ISU game, we couldn't throw the ball in the ocean in the opening minutes. Both teams looked flat for much of the first half. Once again we fell down 8 early in the second half, but continued to battle and found a way to win the game.
We had a difficult time defending in the post, and still continued to have defensive lapses at bad times. The substitution patterns did not make any sense to me. I still think Justin Coleman should be playing more. It doesn't show in the box score, but his quickness on the dribble drive really opens up scoring opportunities for everyone else. He only played 16 minutes and barely saw the floor in the second half. I would like to see more of Coleman and Tarrant on the floor together. I think each could play about 30 minutes, giving them 20 minutes of shared time per game.
Arizona State built their second half lead primarily on second chance opportunities. We simply could not get a rebound, and with both Jimmie Taylor and Rodney Cooper sitting on the bench, that should not have been surprising.
Levi Randolph had another great game and Ricky Tarrant got hot at the right time to lead the comeback. We won the game at the free throw line, where Levi has not missed all season (I felt like the announcers were trying to jinx him by reminding us of that fact literally before every single shot).
It's great to finally win a close one away from home, and hopefully this is a win the young team can build on. Up next, the South Florida Bulls make their return trip to Tuscaloosa for a 8 p.m. CST tipoff Tuesday night. Unfortunately, the day job will have me in Florida next week, so hopefully one of the other contributors here can make it to the game and give us a recap. Happy Thanksgiving and Roll Tide.