WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-Cards first half run corral Cougars
Louisville used a 24-3 run over the final nine minutes of the first half Tuesday night in the KFC YUM! Center to break open a 11-11 tie and grab a 35-14 lead over the visiting Washington State Cougars. After a Carly Noyes score in the paint for WSU to tie it up, Louisville ran off 12 straight unanswered points, six of them from sophomore forward Sara Hammond to grab a 23-11 lead with 5:43 remaining in the first half. Hammond and Bria Smith combined for 18 of the points in the run and Shoni Schimmel's three with five seconds left in the half put the Cards in the locker room up 21 on the Cougars.
With Shawnta Dyer sidelined with a season-ending ACL and MCL knee injury, the Cards starte Hammond, Nita Slaughter, Sherrone Vails, Shoni Schimmel and Megan Deines and the line up roared out to a 11-4 lead in the first six and a half minutes of the game. WSU countered with a 7-0 run over the next three minutes, including five points from freshman Lia Galdeira, before the Cards went on the half-ending streak.
Sara Hammond led the Cards scoring attack in the first twenty minutes with 12 points, Bria Smith added nine, Shoni had six with two threes, Megan Deines totaled four and Sherrone Vails and Cortnee Walton had two each for Louisville...who shot 44.1% from the floor in the first half and forced 19 first-half Cougar miscues.
All eleven Cards played, Monique Reid with just two minutes because of a sore knee. Louisville had 20 points off the turnovers and 22 in the paint.
The Cards started the second half with the same lineup and led 46-20 after a layup plus one by Hammond with 16:19 to go. That lead ballooned to 54-23 after Shoni drained another three, and Walz began to empty the bench. A Sherrone Vails jumper had the Cards up 59-23 at the 10:28 mark and Jude Schimmel cashed in on a jumper with 5:49 to go to make it 70-31 UofL. The Cards led by 41 when Vails scored in the paint with 2:46 remaining to set the score at 75-34...WSU scored the final five of the game for the 75-39 finish.
Hammond led all scorers with 19 points (including 8-13 from the floor). She was joined in double-figures by Smith (13), Shoni (12) and Jude (10...all in the second half). Megan Deines added nine, Cortnee Walton finished with seven and Vails had six on 3-5 shooting. Surprisingly, Nita Slaughter did not score in 28 minutes, Shelby Harper missed all three threes in 11 minutes and Mo did not play in the second half.
The Cards (10-2) out-rebounded the Cougars 46-34, led the points off turnovers stat 30-7 and finished the game shooting 31-67 for 46.3%.
Galderia led WSU (3-6) with 11 points and Katie Grad added 11.
THINGS WE LIKED:
1) Big-Game Bria. The sophomore guard turned in perhaps her best performance of the season with 13 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals...while only committing two turnovers in 22 minutes. Her defense and hustle during the first half run was the Bria of old.
2) Hustlin' Hammer. Sara turned in a solid performance with seven rebounds and two assists to go with her 18 points. She also had the play of the game...hustling for a loose ball and knocking down a three with the shot-clock expiring at the 16:41 mark. Smooth...
3) Shoni Sink 'Em. Her shooting eye returned on the friendly confines of Denny Crum Court...the junior knocking down four from beyond the arc.
4) Allude to Jude. Strong second half for the sophomore...nailing a three, grabbing four boards and a assist to go with her 10 points. Each game, she keeps getting better....
5) No let up. With a 21 point first half lead, one wondered if the Cards would keep up the same intensity in the final twenty. They did that and more...leading by 41 twice in the final four minutes.
THINGS TO WORK ON:
1) You know I'm going to bring it up until it gets where I'd like it to be...but Louisville shot a dismal 6-15 from the foul line (40%). It didn't really matter tonight, but down the road...
2) Off night for Nita. After pacing the Cards in Colorado, she went 0-4 from the field and 0-2 from the three range. On defense, she did have seven boards, two steals and a block...but we'd like game-in, game out consistency from her.
3) 13 first half turnovers. 10 of them in the first ten minutes. Once again, really didn't matter tonight and they only resulted in three Cougar points, but 10 turnovers in 10 minutes in the BIG EAST will probably result in 15-20 points from a UConn or Notre Dame.
We love the up-side potential we see in Cortnee. She could become a great one by the time her four years here are done.
Coach Walz stressed rebounding and passing the ball in the pre-game to the team, and they responded with a +12 on the boards and 17 assists. Coach expected a game that might go down to the wire, so he was pleased with the margin of victory tonight. When asked if he was pleased with the 10-2 start for the season, though...he quickly pointed out that he'd rather be 12-0 and have a healthy Dyer, Gibbs and Taylor...and will need more minutes out of Monique Reid once they get into BIG EAST play.
( Louisville returns to action on 12/21/12 against Wagner College in the KFC YUM! CENTER. Game time is 7 p.m. If the Mayan calender is wrong, that is...)