Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Lady Cards head into the Storm
Outside threat Becky Burke will need a big game to quell the St. John's Red Storm women's basketball team Wednesday Night.
The Lady Cards are chasing the winter storm into New York to take on the St. John's Red Storm. It could be tough sledding in more ways than one. Kim Barnes Arico's surprising St.John's team is 19-4 on the season and an impressive 7-3 in Big East play. They have lost to three opponents that have bested the Lady Cards (11-12, 3-7) this year...Cincinnati, Georgetown and West Virginia.
The Red Storm does it with team work and tough defense. Only two St John's players average in double figures for the year (Da'Shena Stevens 13.9 ppg. and Shenneika Smith Smith 11.9 ppg.) but eight Red Storm hoopsters do see 17 or more minutes per game and eight players average 6.0 or more points a game.
St. John's holds a +5.8 advantage in the turnover column over opponents this year and holds opponents to 56.8 points per game while scoring 70.8. They are 10-1 in their home venue Carneseca Arena and went 12-1 against non-conference opponents.
They haven't played powerhouses UConn or Notre Dame yet this year..but they did defeat good DePaul and Syracuse teams earlier in the season and romped Seton Hall by 18 on Super Bowl Sunday. They're the best kept secret in Gotham City..barely 800 show up for home games.
For Louisville to have a fighting chance to win in Queens, they'll need consistancy in the offensive set and some players willing to shoot the ball. Too many times against UConn on Sunday, the Cards passed the ball around the perimeter and seemed reluctant to put up anything that wasn't uncontested or 3 feet from the basket.
The Red Storm will pack back into a matchup zone and force you to beat them from the perimeter before they transition out of it. With the addition of sharpshooter Brandie Radde to the lineup and the hot shooting Shelby Harper assisting Burke around the arc...the Cards have three better than average long distance specialists. They must put the ball up, though and allow Hines, Reid, Rainey and the rest of the UofL front line a chance to rebound, create and eventually draw man to man coverage.
Game time is 7 p.m. Wednesday. Next up for Louisville is a Valentine's Day visit to Pittsburgh. They probably won't be waiting with roses and candy.
Written by Paul