Saturday, January 12, 2013
SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
CARDS ROLL EARLY, HANG ON LATE AGAINST PROVIDENCE
- Shoni, Bria score 17 each in Louisville's 70-62 win
The University of Louisville put together a 19-0 run in the first half to take a commanding lead against Providence and then held on late in the game to win by eight against the pesky Frairs Saturday afternoon in Provience, Rhode Island.
Ten first half points by Shoni Schimmel and nine by Monique Reid in the first twenty minutes and 12 by Bria Smith in the final twenty minutes allowed #13 Louisville to improve to 14-3 overall and 2-1 in BIG EAST play.
The Cards started Smith, Shoni, Sara Hammond, Sherrone Vails and Nita Slaughter against the Friars and found the going rough early...knotted at 9-9 after PC's Tori Rule hit a three with 14:30 left in the first half. Five straight points from Shoni pushed the Cards to a 14-9 advantage two minutes later, though, and after scores by Cortnee Walton and two back-to-back buckets by Reid, the Cards held a 21-9 lead at the 10:25 mark.
Slaughter added the next five points and Reid scored again with 8:20 on the clock to complete the 19-0 run and put Louisville in charge 28-9. The Cards switch to a 2-3 zone had the Friars baffled and on their heels. Louisville largest lead of the game came a few minutes later when Shoni connected on the three to put UofL ahead 34-14. A four minute 10-4 run by Providence to end the first half cut into the Cards advantage, but Jeff Walz's squad hit the locker room still comfortably ahead 38-24 at halftime.
Shoni had 10 first half points, hitting two trifectas to lead the Cards in the first half, Reid added nine, Slaughter seven, Smith and Hammond produced five each and Walton four for Louisville, who shot a sizzling 16-25 (64%) in the first frame. Jude, Megan Deines, and Vails played but did not score.
Tori Rule led all scorers with 11 first half points. The Cards held leading scorer on the season for the Friars Symone Roberts to just two first half points.
Providence came out in the second half with more energy and effort than the Cards and cut the lead to 40-33 on a 9-2 run after Rule scored with 17 minutes to go. The Cards responded with a 10-0 run over the next five minutes...a basket plus one by Smith put Louisville up 50-33 with 11:34 remaining in the game. Things still looked to be going the Cards way when Monique Reid got her only two points of the second half on a layup to set the score at 58-43 with six minutes to play.
Providence wasn't ready to toss in the towel, though. A 5-0 run capped by a Brianna Edwards basket plus one made it 58-48 with 4:56 left. Symone Roberts scored thirty seconds later to cut the Cardinal advantage to eight. Shoni's three gave the Cards some breathing room at the 3:22 mark to make it 63-52...but a 6-0 Providence rally, keyed by a Roberts steal and score had the score at 63-58 with 1:20 on the clock. Slaughter's double dribble gave the ball back to PC with 1:04 remaining but the Friars couldn't capitalize and two Shoni free throws gave Louisville a 65-58 edge and 30 second remaining.
Providence scored quickly on the following possesion to return it to a five point Cardinal margin but five straight points from Smith set the tally at 70-60 with nine seconds on the clock. A meaningless Friar hoop made it 70-62 as time ran out.
Smith and Shoni led Louisville with 17 each. Slaughter added 12 and Reid finished with 11. Hammond narrowly missed being in double figures with nine and Walton ended with four to complete the Cardinal scoring. All but two of the Cards' 32 second half points came from Smith, Schimmel, Slaughter and Hammond.
Rule finished with 20 for the Friars and Roberts added 11 second half points to end up with 13 for Providence.
The Cards shot 52% for the game (27-52), went 5-10 from the three point arc and 11-18 from the charity stripe. The Cards committed a season high 26 turnovers in the game. They held Providence to 34% from the field.
A game that Louisville seemingly had in hand all the way to the six-minute mark in the second half...but the Cards were outscored 19-12 down the stretch.
THINGS WE LIKED
1) She shoots, she scores! The 64% first half shooting and 52% for the game is one of the best efforts of the year for Walz's warriors. They'll need this type of showing, at the least, to hang with UConn Tuesday night.
2) Suffocating stretches. The 19-0 run in the first half was a thing of beauty. The Cards took a close contest and made it a temporary runaway. Five Cards scored during it, showing the balance on this team. Same for the 10-0 run in the second half. If they could only find a way to keep the opposite from happening.
3) Jude's distribution. Although the sophomore did not score, she dished out eight assists. Every nail in the coffin needs a hammer to put it there and that's what Jude did today.
THINGS TO WORK ON
1) Fresh out of the oven...turnovers! 26 by the Cards is simply too many. 26 against a good but not spectacular Providence back court means what...40 against UConn? Take care of the ball, ladies.
2) 27 Providence offensive rebounds. They took about 20 more shots than Louisville but allowing 27 potential extra chances to score will kill the Cards Tuesday if UConn gets a similar number. Blocking out. Is it a lost art?
3) Failing to seal the deal. Letting a 15 point lead dwindle to 5 in a span of 3 1/2 minutes late in the game didn't lose this one tonight for Louisville...but it probably will down the road if the Cards allow it to happen again against a better opponent. Providence was picked to finish in the cellar of the BIG EAST. Louisville made them look NCAA Tournament worthy during stretches.
Louisville will remain in the East Coast area the next couple of days in preparation for a Tuesday throwdown against the UConn Huskies Tuesday night in the Hartford, Connecticut XL Center. Obviously not an easy task for the Cards....UConn is 13-1 and romped Marquette Saturday by 34 points...85-51.
The game against Geno and the Huskies Tuesday will tip at 9 p.m. and can be seen on the CBS Sports Network.