Sunday, February 28, 2010
USF clips Cards 63-60 with late three.
Everyone expected overtime in Freedom Hall Saturday. Everyone except USF guard Allyson Speed, that is. With four seconds remaining in regulation, she demanded the ball from the top of the key and calmly released what would be her 8th 3-point connection of the game to put Louisville away.
As it had been thruout the game, when the Cards left Speed open...she made them pay. Her 24 points came from beyond the arc. Walz used everyone but P.A. announcer Sean Moth to try and stop the hot shooting guard.
Far from fitting and eerily ironic that the guard with the nickname "Cat" sinks the Lady Cards in the Freedom Hall farewell. Speed was expected to add valuable depth and three point prowess for Jose Fernandez's Lady Bulls squad this year. The senior guard lived up to her byline yesterday...rolling off picks to launch three point bombs against a step slow Cardinal defense.
Questionable strategy for the final sequence by the Cards skipper Jeff Walz, who removed Rachel Story from the game. Story had been the sole Card able to contain Speed...but Walz went with a taller lineup and no point guard in the final 30. Charlie Springer, over at UofL Card Game offers a nice video of the final sequence and winning shot. Not sure what happened at the end of the video...but Charlie got a great shot of the littered floor in the stands at Freedom Hall.
Such as been the tale of the Lady Cards this season. Close but no cigar. Rallies that fall just short. Outstanding individual efforts (witness Monique Reid's 32 points yesterday) and players who disappear at crucial times. A lack of cohesion, especially on defense and a frustrating and trying season for us in the seats...who continue to cheer loud and proud for our Cardinals.
Hats off to Keisha Hines with 11 hard earned points and 12 boards against the taller, more physical Bulls front line. Reid was magnificent in defeat...11 rebounds to go with her career high in points. Monique going in the paint with Angel skills and seemingly scoring at will inside on USF. Questions about Becky Burke...two points in 31 minutes with 1-8 shooting. A nice final appearance in the Hall for Brandie Radde, nailing a late, key three and finishing with eight points. Rachel Story, to use a horse term... seems to be a stretch runner..going nowhere early in the season and having her best back to back games as the season ends.
The regular season ends for the Lady Cards with a Monday trip to Rutgers. Not the star studded, All-American teams of the past for C. Vivian Stringer...but a solid team with a shot at NCAA postseason play and one that will be very difficult to beat in the RAC. Brittany Ray is a next level player...and they even have a Sykes on the team (no relation).
Next year looks promising. As far as this year...the Walz post game words sum it up very well.
"The whole season has been full of a lot of frustration and heartbreak. Look at our bench. There were no other players to put it. Dez, Nikki, Chauntise unable to play. That's where the frustration sets in. I'm not saying we'd be a 20 win team with them..but we certainly wouldn't be 13-15."
A tip of the hat to horse trainer Jeffrey Sheets who scored a win in the first race at Turfway on Friday with Steve's Revenge. Off at 6-1, Steve benefitted from a breakneck early pace and swept down the stretch passing the other horses to win going away. Two in a row for Steve's Revenge now and a pat on the back for our favorite trainer. Jeff does not run a lot of them but puts quality ones out there when he does.
Those stable fees and transportation costs seem a little less worrisome today.
Written by Sonja