SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
- Cards vaporize Valparaiso by 56.
|Adorable kids provided the National Anthem|
Maybe it was the starting lineup change. Breaking from the traditional starting five we've seen most of the season, Sherrone Vails and Antonita Slaughter joined Megan Deines, Shoni Schimmel and Shawnta Dyer at half-court for the opening tip and Louisville proceeded to score the first seven points of the game.
No post-UK letdown tonight.
Dyer and Slaughter were responsible for the first five points and after a Jude Schimmel three, it was 15-2 Louisville three minutes into the game. The Cards would roll that up to 22-4 when Monique Reid connected on two free throws with 13:15 left. It was 35-4 when Megan Deines nailed a layup with 9:44 to go and the only thing left to debate on press row was if the Cards could get to 100 tonight.
The Crusader offensive eventually got rolling but Louisville kept pace. Two Bria Smith free throws with 4:34 remaining made it 44-14. A rare three from Vails put Louisville ahead 50-17 at the 1:21 mark and Vails nailed a jumper with 12 second left in the half to send Louisville to the locker room up 55-19.
They had cookies in the media room at halftime. They probably ran out of turnovers...Valpo had 15 of them in the first half...Louisville only two.
Louisville had 30 points in the paint, Valpo 10. The Cards had 25 points off turnovers, led 16-2 on 2nd chance points and grabbed 23 boards to Valpo's 15.
Walz started the same five that began the game in the second half...but with different results. The Crusaders jumped out on a 6-2 run in the first 2:30...which necessitated a 30 second Louisville time-out and five new players on the court. The combination of Walton, Jude, Harper, Hammond and Reid took off on a 7-2 run over the next 2:30...capped by a 1-2 performance by Walton at the free throw line with 15:13 to go to make it 64-29.
It was one of two free throws the Cards would miss in 40 minutes...going 18 for 20 from the charity stripe.
Shoni became the last Cardinal to score...after a jumper in the paint went in at the 9:42 mark....making it 72-30
Louisville led 75-30 with 9:14 left after a Vails score and free throw and 82-33 when Slaughter hit a jumper with 5:54 left on the clock. It was 90-40 with 2:49 remaining after a Walton layup and Jude Schimmel completed the Cards' 8-0 game ending run with a steal and layup with 44 seconds to go.
Cards win 96-40
Sara Hammond led the balanced Cardinal attack with 13 points and eight rebounds. Slaughter finished with 13 also and Jude, Dyer and Vails scoring 12 each. Dyer added 10 rebounds to record a double-double. Deines and Reid finished with nine each, Walton seven, Harper five, Shoni and Smith two each.
That's right...the usual starting point and two guard for the Cards combined for four points. Smith did not see playing time in the second half...sore knee the report on her.
Louisville shot 45% from the floor (36-80) and 33% from the arc (6-18)...missing all seven three point attempts in the final twenty minutes. The Cards won the rebounding battle 45-28, forced 31 Crusader turnovers while committing just nine of their own and had twenty steals.
THINGS WE LIKED
1) 18-20 from the foul line. We ask each game for 70%. We got 90% tonight. Well done, ladies!
2) 6-11 three point shooting in the first half against a team that came into the game allowing 24.8% by opponents.
3) 38-4 advantage on fast break points for the Cards
4) A 45-28 advantage on the boards by Louisville.
5) Only nine fouls for the entire game...four of them by Walton. The starters committed one.
THINGS TO WORK ON
1) 40 minutes of consistency. The 6-2 run by Valparaiso to begin the second half was aided by two quick Cardinal turnovers and two missed three-pointers.
2) Keeping Sonja awake during 56 point wins.
The Cards came out with the foot on the accelerator and didn't let up. The lineup change, due in part because of Smith's sore knee and Hammond's late arrival because of a family matter, clicked and worked well together. But, it was Valpo. Would it do the same against a DePaul or Notre Dame? Hard to say, but games like this are fun to watch and it's always good to see Shelby sink a three. Shoni's low point total surprising but it came on a night where she really wasn't needed. Jude's big night a ever-growing sign that she's improved dramatically since her freshman year. The Louisville front line combined for 66 points and 34 boards.
The Cards take to the road next out for a trip to Colorado and a game against the surprising 8-0 Buffaloes Friday night. Louisville at 9-1 and Colorado possibly at 10-0 after Tuesday's upcoming game. It should be a great battle!
Post game Walz interview link below
This vid from earlier in the day at the Rick Pitino press conference. Coach takes a call for Bob Domine, who was using his cell phone to record Pitino's remarks.
As someone who (after watching the second half of the KY game over and over again) was hugely critical of Walz, both for the way he coached the KY game and for his comments after that game, I found Walz's comments after the VALPO game at least somewhat heartening. He talked about the importance of playing inside out (he actually used that phrase), noting that shots are easier for guards when they are getting passes back out from the post, and about the importance of offensive players moving without the ball. (Look at Hammond's cut off the back screen that got her one of the easy buckets at the start of the second half against KY.) So, it may be that Walz learned something from the KY game after all. Also, with Bria Smith suffering from knee problems, he had the good sense to start Slaughter. I think earlier in the year he would have started J. Schimmel or S. Harper instead. That would not have made any difference in the outcome of this game, but in a competitive game, it would make a difference. I would still like to see Vails or Slaughter start instead of Smith or Denies for defense and rebounding, but I think that Walz is at least moving in the right direction with respect to line-up decisions.ReplyDelete
After being disgusted a week ago, I am now pondering whether to scrap buying a Christmas tree and presents for my family next Saturday morning and making a quick trip from Portland to Boulder for the game Friday night instead.
Take the fam with u Phil and welcome back on the bus. Colorado ain't no warmed over toast. This one will be a good one. Hoping for TV on this one.ReplyDelete