Tough times continue for Jeff Walz's University of Louisville women's basketball team...falling on the road today against St. John's. Louisville (11-13, 3-8) dressed only eight players for the game. Ashley Rainey did not make the trip due to circumstances at home and a minor vehicle accident in Bowling Green while there. LaToya Johnson is suffering complications from her hip injury and did not dress for the game.
Louisville fell behind early after a 4-2 start to the game, watching St. John's (20-4, 8-3) go on a 11-2 run to lead 13-4 with 15:34 remaining in the first half. By that time, Keisha Hines was already on the bench with 3 fouls. The Cards managed to climb within 6 points at 18-12 before St. John took off on a 11-0 run to lead 29-12 midway thru the first half.
With six minutes remaining, Louisville already had 16 turnovers and trailed the Red Storm 33-20. Asia Taylor headed to the bench with her third foul with 5:44 to go in the first half. St John's responded to the lack of Cardinal height and went on a 11-2 run to take a 43-22 lead with 1:43 in the first stanza. St. John's took a 46-24 lead into the locker room after 20 minutes. The Cards committed 24 turnovers in the first half and made a single free throw in the first 20 minutes. The Red Storm had 14 steals in the first half.
I debated whether to listen to the second half, but a quick trip outside during halftime convinced me that inside the warm, cozy house was the best option, no matter how bad the basketball action was.
St.John's started the second half on a 11-4 run and led the Cards 59-30 with 14:33 left in the game. Eventually, the Cards figured out that Shelby Harper needed a little help getting the ball up the court after three straight St. John's steals and that getting the ball inside to Hines and Monique Reid could produce points. Hines, however picked up her 4th foul and went to the bench at 59-32 and Louisviile trailed 62-36 with 11 minutes left.
St. John led 74-44 with 8 minutes remaining. Hines fouled out with 4:25 to go, after scoring 10 second half points. Louisville trailed 87-50 with 3 minutes left in the game but outscored the Red Storm the rest of the way...losing by 35 points.
All in all, a dismal effort by Walz's crew. Another drubbing by a top 25 opponent. Louisville goes to Pitt to take on the Panthers next, a 5:30 p.m. Sunday night tipoff. With five games remaining in the season, the Cards would need to sweep all to go into Big East tournament play at .500. They also need to finish with a 4-1 run to be elgible for WNIT action.