Saturday, December 22, 2012
SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
- Cards wallop Wagner 106-32
The University of Louisville womens' basketball squad left the 7876 in attendance at the KFC YUM! Center with tidings of comfort and joy Friday night with a 106-32 pasting of the Wagner Seahawks...placing eight players in double figures in the 74 point win.
Despite being tied with Wagner early on at 5-5, the Lady Cards shook off the cold weather of the first day of winter and went on a first half closing run of 42-7 to go into the locker room up 47-12. The world did not come to an end as the Mayans predicted on 12-21-12...but the Seahawks had suffered through their own personal Armageddon on their first ever trip to the state of Kentucky.
The 106 points were the second highest in UofL womens' basketball history. The Cards have reached 109 twice over the past 37 years...most recently against Coastal Carolina in 1996.
Louisville shot a sizzling 61% from the field (39-64) and even banged in seven threes out of 16 attempts for 47%. The Cards also broke the 70% mark from the charity stripe...making 21 of 27.
Megan Deines led the balanced Cardinal attack with 19 points. Jude Schimmel reached a career high with 15 and eight steals. Sara Hammond added 14...10 of those in the first 20 minutes. Bria Smith continued her hot streak, tossing in 13 on six of seven shooting from the floor and Cortnee Walton came off the bench to impress again with 12. Sheronne Vails contributed 11 and Nita Slaughter tied Shoni Schimmel with 10 points each. Shelby Harper had two points and five assists. Monique Reid did not play, still nursing a sore knee.
Louisville (10-2) utilized full court, trapping pressure to go on the first half blitz against the Seahawks (1-8) but relented in the final twenty minutes and stuck to the half-court offense. Even then, they out-scored Wagner 59-20.
The Cards get a 10-day break before returning the the KFC YUM! Center for a Dec.31st., New Year's Eve game against Tennessee State at 6 p.m.
THINGS WE LIKED
1) Louisville played as close to 40 minutes of intense basketball as they have all season. The passing, recognition and hustle were as good as we've seen of them this year.
2) Free throw shooting. We always point out when the Cards are under 70% at the line, but we're just as quick to compliment when they achieve better. They did last night.
3) Jude Schimmel was last night's spark plug off the bench with her intensity on both ends of the court. Better each game...the younger Schimmel impresses more and more.
4) The aggressive nature of the defensive attack tonight was fun to watch. Tying up ball-handlers, going after loose balls and plenty of steals...all things needed from this team further down the road in conference play.
5) Giving the fans a holiday treat. With the Christmas break coming up and a weak opponent on the court...the potential was there for a less than stellar effort. Didn't happen, these Cards were hungry and thrilled the crowd.
THINGS TO WORK ON
1) Blocking off on the defensive boards. Wagner did manage 12 offensive rebounds against Louisville. Not a major thing, especially in a blowout win, but something to work on.
2) Opening minutes. There were four lead changes in this one early and we'd like to see Louisville erase all doubt of a possible upset or close game from the opening tip against the "Wagner's" of college basketball.
Another feel-good, fun to watch romp for the Cards as the non-conference schedule draws near to a close. Steals, threes, defense and the thrill of scoring 100+ all made for a great holiday gift to the Cardinal fans. Almost 8000 in attendance for a game close to Christmas, on a cold night and a uninspiring opponent. A balanced effort by Louisville which can only do wonders for the collective confidence of the team as BIG EAST play draws near. We're getting quite impressed with The Hammer's domination in the paint, Jude's steady piloting of the offense and Megan's ability to score big chunks of points in short stretches of time.
These nine (add Mo for ten) are playing well as a unit over the last two games and whether Tia or Asia hit the court again this year or not...the team that is out on the court currently is going to cause a lot of headaches for BIG EAST opponents this season. Syracuse and Pitt totaled less than 70 each on Wagner. If the Cards can continue to create opportunities through their defense on opponents down the road, we can see a high finish in the BIG EAST and deep penetration in the NCAA Tournament.
Post Game Walz