Sunday, February 7, 2010
UConn romps the Lady Cards 84-38
(It wasn't as bad as a seal bashing event...but the first twenty minutes was pretty close.)
Maybe it was because it was Sunday. Maybe Geno wanted to talk Super Bowl scenarios with his assistant coaches. For whatever reason, he called off the lead Huskies in the final twenty minutes in the Sunday afternoon game at Freedom Hall and UConn cruised home to a 46 point romp over Louisville.
The first twenty got ugly. Louisville, playing on emotion and heart, was down 11-9 with four minutes gone in the game. Freedom Hall crowd roaring and UConn looking to be a bit disoriented on defense. Too early to think upset...but a darn fun start to the game.
When in doubt...press. The Huskies started to, in earnest, and the score escalated. 16-9 in with less than a minute elasped. 20-11 with 13 minutes to go. 31-11 with 8 minutes left. 39-16 at the five minutes mark and a 54-18 advantage when they mercifully blew the whistle to end the first half. The only remaining question was if the Huskies would reach 100 and if Louisville could get over 30.
Fortunately, Auriemma has a heart. Maybe it was the jovial chat he and Louisville head coach Jeff Walz had before tipoff. The Huskies out scored Louisville 30-20 in the final 20 minutes with their second string in. Only 1-2 All-Americans in that bunch.
Folks in Freedom Hall got to see how a well-conditioned, coached and disciplined team plays basketball. Paul kept pointing out the spacing, cuts and shooting selections UConn displayed in the first half. I finally told him to shut up. Teasingly, of course. For Louisville, it was a struggle for all 30 seconds on the shot clock when they had the ball. Consider that 11 of UofL's 38 points came from the free throw line today. Also realize the Cards had only 3 assists for the game and 20 turnovers. UConn notched 12 steals and 12 blocked shots. I could go on...but you get the point.
Eleven three pointers today for the Huskies, most of them uncontested and wide open looks. Three for Louisville, two from Becky Burke early and one from Shelby Harper late. 37 of UConn's 54 first half points came from the dominating front line combo of Tina Charles, Maya Moore and slashing wing Carolyn Doty. Charles and Moore may be two of the best players in women's college basketball this year. Or in a decade.
This type of drubbing is not a novelty or anything new for the Huskies this year. What was surprising is that Geno took the foot off the gas for the final twenty and let the young Cards get some valuable game experience against the Husky scrubs. Scrubs that could probably finish second in the Big East if they were in different jerseys.
The Cards saw what it takes to compete on the next level today. 27 of Louisville's points today came from freshmen and sophomores, the future does at least look promising for Louisville. As for today game...like John L. Smith used to say...time to tear off the rear view mirror and keep driving.
The Cards head to New York Wednesday to face a surprisingly good St.John's squad next. 6-3 in Big East play so far with a tilt against Seton Hall Sunday. They take on the Huskies next weekend. They just might be able to stay within thirty of them...