Monday, March 1, 2010
Lady Cards fall (and fight) at Rutgers 72-52
Foul trouble sends the talented sophomore to the bench for the final eight minutes in the first half. She wasn't the only one committing them out there..but seemed to be the only one getting whistles early on. The end of the game featured a shove-fest that drew two technicals with .5 seconds remaining in the game. Where's Tise when you need her?
Give the Lady Cards credit for hanging tough with Rutgers early on the road tonight. Keisha Hines battling in the paint against Rutgers. The Cards keeping up on the scoreboard. Tied at 9-9 after 4 minutes. Jeff Walz, battling the officials and getting a "T". 13-13 halfway thru the first half. Leading 18-15 with 8 minutes to go after a Becky Burke 3-ball. A chance to increase that but horrific officiating by Tina Napier after the Cards grabbed the lead...Rutgers players knocking Cardinals to the floor right in front of Napier and no whistles. Chelsey Lee and Hines wrestling in the paint on both ends of the court.
A typical Rutgers vs. Louisville slugfest.
Louisville regained a 3 point lead 20-17 after a Hines inside move but the Scarlet Knights tied it back up at 20-20 on a basket plus one by April Sykes with 6:00 to go.
Both teams creating and forcing turnovers partially because of the hectic defense. No scoring for three minutes by either team until Sykes drops a layup thru after a steal. Louisville turnovers and cold shooting contributing to a 12-0 Rutgers run before Asia Taylor connected on a couple of free throws with 1:45 to go. Louisville headed to the locker room down 34-23...with the Cards making just one basket in the final 8:40. 14 first half turnovers for the Cards, leading to 15 Rutgers points and Monique Reid sitting out the final eight minutes. Reid on the bench and one Cardinal basket.
Louisville to the foul line only twice in the first half and Rutgers seeming to spend the latter part of the first half there. Big East officiating ineptitude at it's best. And, these two teams definitely aren't best of friends...
The second half start saw Reid return but Hines sitting on the bench with 3 fouls. A Burke three cut the lead to 36-27 with two minutes gone but Rutgers aggressiveness and Louisville careless ball movement and lazy defense helped put Rutgers up 43-27 at the 15:11 mark. After that, Rutgers used their speed and rebounding to continue to pull away from Louisville and lead 59-34 with 7:40 to go. The Cards managed to cut the lead to 63-46 with a Reid jumper at 3:28 but Rutgers ended up a 20 point victor.
A weird ending sequence to the game tonight. With time running out, instead of holding the ball...Rutgers' Sykes decided to drive to the basket with three seconds remaining and try a shot. She was fouled by Gwen Rucker who then was shoved by Rutgers sub Erica Wheeler. Rachel Story then shoved Wheeler and techincals were called on Story and Wheeler. The refs decided to give Rutgers the ball inbounds with .5 seconds remaining, with no technical or foul free throws despite Louisville having 10 fouls on them in the second half. Sykes then threw the ball off Reid's back from out of bounds on the ensuing play. More shoving followed before both teams were sent to their benches. Maybe Sykes was mad from the bloody nose received from a Rucker elbow midway thru the second half...but good sportsmanship dictates you hold the ball up by 20 with seconds left in the game. Also, the refs could have stepped in and prevented Wheeler from shoving Rucker. Despite being the top conference in women's college basketball, the Big East is seriously lacking in good officiating.
Sub Rachel Story led the Cards in scoring with 16 points and Monique Reid added 13. Louisville (13-16, 5-11) will draw the #13 seed in the Big East tournament, which begins Friday. They'll play in the first game Friday at noon against Pittsburgh.
Written by Paul