FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-Cards win Hardwood of Hope Tournament with 61-43 triumph over Oregon State
Louisville got 17 points from Sara Hammond and 15 from Shoni Schimmel in a 18 point win over the Oregon State Beavers Thanksgiving night in Puerto Vallerta, Mexico. Louisville used a 16-2 run over a five minute stretch in the second half to put OSU away.
Starters for Louisville were the same they've been all season -- Hammond, Shoni, Smith, Dyer and Deines. The teams played evenly for the first four minutes and were tied at 5-5 before a Shoni three gave the Cards the lead. A Nita Slaughter three put UofL put 11-7 and a Shoni three made it 14-9 Louisville with 12 minutes to go.
It was 17-14 Cards with 9:02 to go. Louisville took off on a 8-0 run, though...over the next five minutes. A Jude Schimmel layup started the run, Slaughter connected on a jumper and Sara Hammond had back-to-back scores and Louisville led 25-14.
OSU would record three three-point plays in the next three minutes and close it to 27-23, but a Hammond putback and free throw with 1:25 left gave Louisville a seven point lead at 30-23 and the first half ended that way. Hammond led Louisville with 11 points, Slaughter added eight, Shoni with six, Dyer and Jude with two each and Bria Smith one. All eleven Cards played...Hammond had Louisville's last nine points.
The Cards got a basket from Shawnta Dyer to start the second half and after two Slaughter free throws...led 35-28 with 15:10 to go. A Hammond jumper made it 37-28 but two OSU scores had it 37-32 with 13 minutes left. The Cards were having trouble putting the Beavers away, but that was about to change.
Hammond hit two free throws to give the Cards a seven-point advantage. Monique Reid finally got on the scoreboard with two free throws at the 11:43 mark and it was 41-32 Louisville. Shoni drained back-to-back threes and a Hammond jumper gave Louisville a 49-34 advantage. Smith's layup with 8:54 left put the Cards up by 17 and Reid's layup made it 53-34. The Cards had gone a 16-2 run over the past five minutes and for all intents and purposes...this one was over.
Smith's jumper gave UofL a 55-37 advantage at the six minute mark. Shoni scored her final three of the night with 4:29 to go and Shelby Harper closed out the Cards scoring...hitting a deep three with 37 seconds left for the final 61-43 score.
Hammond's 17 points led all scorers and Shoni finished with 15...all from beyond the three-point arc. Slaughter was also a double figure scorer with 10. Smith and Dyer added five each, Reid with four, Harper three and Jude two. Deines, Vails and Walton played but did not score.
THINGS WE LIKED
1) Jammin' Hammond. Strong effort by sophomore Sara Hammond tonight with 17 points and seven rebounds. She is becoming a major force on the boards for Louisville and her 11 first-half points included a Sara 9 - Oregon State 9 end to the first half.
2) Let "Threedom" rain!. Cards hit 8 out of 18 trifectas tonight for 44%. Shoni and Nita with seven of them. Despite a 0 for game shooting performance from Deines, the Cards look to have three legitimate threats from the deep this year.
3) Building With Boards. Despite having a smaller front line, UofL out-rebounded OSU 41-30. Blocking out and positioning works...
4) Assistance provided. Birthday girl Jude Schimmel with seven of the 15 Louisville assists for the night. She also had several steals and is proving to be a strong asset to the Cards in her sophomore year.
5) Defense! Defense! Louisville closing the lid to the opponent's basket tonight with another sub-50 point opponent effort and allowing OSU just 20 points in the final 20 minutes. Offense grabs headlines...but defense wins games and the Cards are now 6-0.
THINGS TO WORK ON
1) Stick it in the cylinder. Louisville shot 37% for the game (22-60) which may not win a lot of contests in BIG EAST play. Reid just couldn't seem to find the basket tonight and neither could Deines...after big games against Gonzaga the night before.
2) Zoned Out. OSU had success with the 2-3 zone they employed for the entire game. Even though Louisville hit eight threes, recognition and passing need to improve...several times the shot clock whittled down to zero without the Cards getting a good look.
3) Free Throws. We'll harp on this one until the Cards shoot over 70% from the line. They were 9-16 tonight for 56%, although they did go 7-9 in the second half. Can't leave money on the table when no one's guarding you.
With the win, Louisville goes to 6-0 on the season. They'll leave early Friday morning to return to the states and go up against Tennessee-Martin on the road next on Monday. OVC-TV will show it live. Game time is 8 p.m.
A good win against a Oregon State team that could give opponents in PAC-12 conference fits this year. A taller team than Louisville but a squad that couldn't shoot very well (36% for the game and 5-18 from deep).
Mission accomplish in Mexico. Shoni and Sara named to the All-Tournament team. Shoni the MVP of the tournament. Guacamole and Margaritas finished, it's time for these Birds to fly back north and continue to fly past opponents.
Junior wing Sydney Brackemyre (Clinton-Massie, OH) is considering the University of Louisville as one of her final three choices for college. She's a pretty incredible young lady, as the article below points out. Louisville, Michigan and Dayton are in the running for her services.
She'd be a great addition to the Louisville squad. Her drive, desire and dedication to hard work is a remarkable thing. Link below: