Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Tuesday Cardinal Couple - Cards toss Tigers by the tail.
TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-Lady Cards ring in New Year over Tigers 88-25
Jumping out to a 23-0 lead in the first eight minutes of the game, the University of Louisville women's basketball team left little doubt who would be ringing in the new year with cheer...demolishing the Tennessee State Tigers by 63 points Monday night in the KFC YUM! Center.
The 25 points by TSU tied an all-time low by an opponent against UofL...Louisville holding Centre College to 25 points in 1977. Five Cardinals reached double figures...Monique Reid leading all scorers with 20 points in 18 minutes. Sara Hammond recorded a double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, as did Sherrone Vails with 10 points and ten boards.
The Cards shot a blistering 55.9% (33-59) for the game while holding TSU to 16.7% (9-54).
Starters Megan Deines, Sherrone Vails, Shoni Schimmel, Sara Hammond and Nita Slaughter hit the ground running after the opening tip...Deines scoring on an assist from Shoni just three seconds into the game. A Vails +1, Hammond layup, and Vails jumper had it 9-0 barely three minutes into the game. Slaughter, Schimmel, Reid and Smith got into the act and it was 17-0 Louisville with 14:34 left.
The Tigers finally got on the board with 12:02 left on a Simone Hopes jumper to make it 23-2 and actually played the Cards to a 5-5 tie over the next four minutes before a Hammond jumper in the paint made in 30-7 Louisville. It started a 12-3 Cards run over the final 8:13 of first half that took Louisville into the locker room up 40-10.
Reid had 11 of the Cards points on 5-8 shooting, Hammond and Slaughter added six each, Jude and Vails had five each, Smith three and Shoni and Deines two each. Shelby Harper played but didn't score in the first twenty. Cortnee Walton did not dress because of back pain. Louisville held a 30-2 advantage in the paint and 24-3 in points off turnovers.
We fielded several texts in the first half about the absence of Walton and Asia Taylor from the Cardinal bench during the first half. Both were receiving treatments in the Cardinal locker room. Taylor did return to the bench to watch the second half. She goes in for a checkup today to see if she can be cleared for play and Gibbs is supposed to begin a light running pattern soon to see how her hip holds up.
The Cards began the second half in almost mirror fashion to the the first, roaring out to a 24-2 run in the first eight minutes...getting two threes by Shoni in the run that saw six Cardinals score. The rout was on... a Jude three made it 74-17 with 8:32 left and Louisville held their biggest lead of the game (69 points) when Shoni nailed a jumper with 4:31 left to make it 86-17.
The Tigers actually outscored Louisville 8-2 the rest of the way...Rachel Allen getting the final bucket of the game to make it 88-25 with 1:03 to go.
Reid finished with 20 on 8-12 shooting, Hammond added 16, Shoni 12, Slaughter and Vails with 10 each. Jude and Smith totaled eight each and Deines finished with four. Harper failed to score in 16 minutes, but only attempted one shot and had two rebounds.
Louisville out-rebounded the Tigers 51-23, scored 33 points off 22 TSU turnovers and went 18-23 from the foul line (78.3%).
Coach Walz was complimentary of the Cards hustle and effort in the contest and how Louisville was able to combat TSU's athleticism with a 33-10 advantage on the defensive boards.
A feel-good win before an appreciative crowd of 9023 in the KFC YUM! Center. The road gets tougher for Louisville beginning Jan. 5th. with a conference-opening trip to DePaul. The Cards play four games in 11 days, three of them on the road...hosting Rutgers on Jan. 8th. at home before trips to Providence and Connecticut.
THINGS WE LIKED.
1) Hustle. Coach Walz's pre-game objective for the Cards was to play hard and they did...putting together runs of 23-0 and 24-2. In the first fifteen minutes of the second half, Louisville outscored TSU 46-7.
2) Assists. 24 tonight for Louisville, showcased by seven from Shoni. She's showing more all-around skills and concern for over-all team success than we've seen out of the junior in a long time. We hope it continues.
3) Free throws. WE like to see 70%+. Tonight brought 18-23 for 78.3%, which gets a big OK!
4) Hammer-Time! The Mt. Vernon sophomore went 5-6 from the court, 6-6 from the charity stripe, 11 boards, 4 assists and 3 steals. We swear we saw two of her out on the court at times...
5) Yo, Mo! Classic Reid tonight...scoring pretty much any time she desired and playing solid defense. She'll be needed heavily in BIG EAST plays and it looks like she is tuned-up and ready to roll.
THINGS TO WORK ON.
1) Offensive boards. The Cards only had a 18-13 advantage here. Of course, they made 24 more shots than TSU. More crashing after missed shots would help.
2) Three-point accuracy. The Cards went 4-14 (28.6%) from beyond the mark. Shoni WILL find that accuracy in time (2-8 tonight) and Louisville did get 16 second-chance points...several off Shoni misses, but there aren't any Tennessee State's waiting in the BIG EAST.
It was what most people expected it to be tonight -- a Cardinal blowout. Walz has found eight solid players to inter-change pretty easily with no drop-off in talent level and the aggressive, hustling nature of the team will win one or two close ones on the road this year because of this, if they can maintain it. Walz would have probably played another five players over the last ten minutes if he had them dressed and on the bench. The scary thing is...if Gibbs and Taylor do return...just how powerful and dominating could this squad really be? Everyone saw at least 20 minutes tonight except Reid and Harper and there are currently no "weak" combinations on the court.
Tougher times are coming, but this group has been quite impressive for three games in a row now. Although against competition that's been obviously weaker than what lies ahead, it still shows that there is a wealth of scoring options, a dedication to hustle and plenty of players to share the responsibility and load.
Coach's post game link below. (He didn't have to come give me a ride home, either.)
HAPPY NEW YEAR, CARDINAL COUPLE READERS!
Post game Walz