One note before we start. I have the presser video, going to have to get it up Friday, had some camera trouble.

Now, about tonight:
Survive and advance. That's the old saying, and never was it more applicable than it was Thursday night in New Britain.

Central did not play well on offense. Scoring points felt like pulling teeth for long stretches. But where there's a will there's a way. Central did a good job driving the lane, and its defense was masterful at times. For the first time in weeks, the Blue Devils played the kind of defense they did when they were winning every night.

Great defense can mask bad offense. And while Central's offense wasn't as bad as it has been, it must be better heading into Sunday's game at LIU. But we'll get to that one. Before we do, let's look back at Central's first win win in the NEC Tournament since 2007.

Let's go man-to-man.

Shemik Thompson: Nice to see him have a good game in what is his true final game in NB. He did a little of everything, was aggressive and clutch late. Really nice performance, exhibited the leadership you'd like to see from the captain.

De'Angelo Speech: 12 rebounds and stellar defense. The freshman stepped up at the right time. Most importantly, he brought an energy Central had lacked of late. When he is going 100 mph, it makes the rest of the Blue Devils speed up to match him. He turned it over 4 times, but when you're playing that hard, those things can be forgiven. Really the unsung hero of the night.

Joe Efese: He's thiiiiis close to having it figured out, I swear. Really aggressive tonight, dominated the game early. If he can figure out how to do that without fouling as much, watch out world. Until then, he has to learn to play with fouls and to harness that energy for the whole game, not just stretches.

Robby Ptacek: Started 0-for-7, then made 4 of his last 7. Made big shots late in a close game, and you can't ask for much more than that. Howie Dickenman said he called Ptacek out a bit at halftime. Apparently the speech worked.

Ken Horton: He must be relieved that Central proved it can win without him scoring 20-30 points. MUST stay out of foul trouble, however, Sunday. He still gets a little to three happy at times, but can take over a game better than any player in the NEC.

Devan Bailey: Just didn't have much to offer tonight for whatever the reason.

Chris Baskerville: I think the long pass from him to Horton should be Central's new offense, since it always seems to work. Didn't do as much tonight as I thought he would, but that was a great pass, and he had a great block. Ok but not great. Will need to be great Sunday against LIU's bigs.

Terrell Allen: Another pleasant surprise. Six boards, and he made a jumper. Not bad for 16 minutes. I think he's going to be a player.

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