Yes, OBC they did win, but for a while I wondered how. GC went 6 minutes or so in the 1st half without scoring a point, ending the 1st half with miserable 38% shooting - 22% from 3 pt range. They literally couldn't hit the broad side of a battleship. Somehow they managed to cling to a 2 or 3 pt lead even during the worst of that slump. 2nd half was MUCH improved, when after a few minutes the 3's started to fall. GC did a great job of finding the hot hand during that period, and for a few minutes Taylor was unstoppable from outside.
Free throws: Monmouth couldn't hit em. Evenly called game, both teams had plenty of opportunity to complain...and did. Amazing that one official was obviously hurt - he could barely run during his pre game stretch and noticeably limped throughout the game. This guy stopped the game so many times to pick up the tiniest pieces of paper, to talk to players about whatever, to check at the scoring table...he really shouldn't have been on the court. It was hilarious towards the end watching the discussion between the MC coach and this ref about traveling. It honestly looked like they were doing the Hokey Pokey. Left foot in, left foot out, hoppin' all about...and for about 5 seconds not even paying attention to the action.
Monmouth is young. VERY young. 0 seniors, 1 junior, and equal numbers of 1st and 2nd years. They have some good young talent and at times seemed to just blow past the GC big guys down under. When GC started to light it up in the 2nd half, they tried everything to adjust, including a brief stint with a 4 corner offense that GC just destroyed. Did I say this team is young? I do see a lot of potential as the youngins mature, but unless thing change I'm afraid this will be a learning year for them.
There is one thing that never seems to be tried in the MWC to beat Grinnell. It is something that every team does against other opponents but never against GC. It baffles me to no end...and no I ain't gonna say what it is since it has apparently been kept secret for 20 years now. OBC, i'll explain my theory the next time we talk in person.
GC will not be able to beat St Norbert shooting the way they did in the 1st half, but may have a chance if they shoot consistently from the field as they did in the 2nd. Mr The Roop noted that there was more of a GC inside game than years past when they played Beloit. That is kinda fun to see since they aren't particularly tall, but when a team puts so much pressure on the outside, the only way to loosen it up is to go inside for a few shots. For that 6 minute stretch in the 1st half, going inside didn't even work. It looked like they were shooting medicine balls at pin holes. All in all, a good game to watch from the GC perspective against a team that has the capability of playing well at times and not so very well at others. Top 4 will be a stretch this year, Scottie, but the next two could be a different story.