MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-Smith's 21 leads Louisville WBB in 81-55 win.
-Softball shuts out Stony Brook in final day at Jacksonville
The University of Louisville women's basketball squad broke open a close game at halftime by starting the second half on a 10-3 run in the first three minutes and cruised to a 26-point crushing of DePaul Sunday afternoon in the KFC YUM! Center in front of 10,906 fans.
Sara Hammond had 13 of her 17 points in the final 20 minutes and Bria Smith went 13-15 from the free throw line as Louisville improves to 21-5 and 9-3 in the BIG EAST.
Louisville got off to a hot start and led 10-2 after the first six minutes of the game. The Cards had pushed the advantage to 19-7 with 9:44 remaining on a Monique Reid free throw...Reid making her appearance to the court at the 10:30 mark to a roaring approval from the crowd. Smith had ten of Louisville's first 19 points and was making free-throws, to the delight of her coach and the crowd.
Louisville took their biggest first half lead at 23-9 after two more Smith free throws with 7:36 on the clock. DePaul, though, wasn't throwing in the towel and responded with a seven-minute 14-4 run that pulled them within four at 27-23 after two Megan Podkowa free throws. The Cards got a layup from Hammond with two seconds left in the half to take a 29-23 lead to the locker room.
|Ref Al Titus always likes making cameos in my pics...|
Walz called a specific play to get Shoni untracked at the start of the second half and she responded with a three only 13 seconds into the final stanza. The Cards pushed the nine-point lead to 46-31 after a Reid layup at the 15:45 mark...and the rout was on.
A Hammond layup made it 57-38 with 9:45 to go. Hammond canned a jumper to stretch the Louisville lead to 68-42 with 6:11 on the scoreboard and the Cards led by 30 after a Vails layup with 2:43 showing to push the score to 77-47. Vails and Cortnee Walton added layups the rest of the way and the Cards won going away 81-55.
Smith's 21 led all scorers. Hammond finished with 17 and 13 boards for a double-double. Vails also reached double digits in scoring with ten points. It was good to see Mo back in action...finishing with eight points. She left the game at the 12:37 mark after hitting a layup and noticeably limping...but she was fine, according to Coach Walz in the post-game presser. Slaughter added nine points, Shoni eight and Walton four. Harper and Jude had two each. Megan Deines played six minutes but did not score.
Louisville finished 29-67 (43.3%) but was 1-17 from trifecta-land. They out-rebounded the Blue Demons 50-45 and won the points-in-the-paint battle convincingly 50-10. They forced 13 DePaul turnovers and had seven steals.
DePaul was led by freshman guard Chanise Jenkins' 16 and Megan Podkowa, another freshman added 14. Senior standout Katherine Harry had eight points, all in the first half and 13 boards. Doug Bruno was without the services of leading scorer Anna Martin (knee).
WHAT WE LIKED
1) Free throws! Cards were 22-28 for 78.6%. Bria's 13-15 was impressive (we like this Bria Smith). Only Reid had less than stellar line appearance with 3-5.
2) Points in the paint. 50-10. We thought it was a mis-print at first...but the Cards were getting Smith and Hammond plenty of great looks inside and Mo was connecting, also, before she left.
3) Assists to turnovers. The Cards dished out 18 assists (Shoni seven) and made only 9 turnovers. Coach Walz is happy when the assists out-number the turnovers. We like Coach Walz happy...
4) Doug Bruno. Despite losing by 26, Coach came to the post game presser and gave excellent answers to numerous questions for over 17 minutes.
(Cliff notes here....He misses Anna Martin daily and isn't sure when she'll be back. It's day-to-day with the knee. He thinks Bria Smith and Mo are great, he's thankful to have been a part of the BIG EAST for eight years and trusts in the university leaders and administration to chart a successful course for DePaul Athletics in the future. He loves the YUM! Center. He thinks the BIG EAST is the best conference in women's basketball and he wondered if anyone saw THE WHO Saturday Night in the KFC YUM! Center.)
Great guy, that Doug is...funny at times but also very passionate about his team, his profession and women's basketball. One of the good guys in WBB.
WHAT NEEDS IMPROVING
1) Threes. Shoni was 1-7. Four other players combined for 0-10. Neither team was impressive from deep...DePaul was 4-29. It wasn't all attributable to defense, either. Maybe THE WHO'S appearance in the YUM! Saturday night messed up the atmosphere or air patterns in the arena...
2) Second chance points. Louisville lost this category 16 to 11. Louisville could use a Katherine Harry inside. The Cards do go up strong with follow-up shots, but they aren't very accurate most of the time. Trailing DePaul guards were getting easy put-backs.
3) First-half lag. Louisville led by 14 in the first half with 7:36 to go. They were lucky to lead by six at the half. Not a factor in the whole scheme of things today...Louisville won big...but something to work on.
The Cards took care of business at home and in a large way. A big difference from this one and the six-point loss in Chi-Town in January. Getting Mo back seemed to boost the crowd and the team's spirit. Seeing Bria have a big game against a quality opponent is refreshing.
I was surprised they handled DePaul the way they did in the second half. Bruno misses the fire in Anna Martin immensely. As a fan mentioned to me before the game...it's good to see ten players out there again for UofL. Especially Mo. She's been through it lately and she was back to having a good time today.
Cards hosts USF Wednesday night. 7 p.m tip.
Coach Walz post-game comments below. You can find Bria Smith, Sara Hammond and Doug Bruno's abbreviated post-game remarks at courier-journal.com
POST GAME WALZ
The University of Louisville softball team shut out Stony Brook 5-0 to improve to 8-2 Sunday in the Jacksonville University Softball Tournament. A big day for senior Jordy Trimble, going 2 for 3 with three runs. Rachel LeCoq drew the starting assignment and picks up her second shutout of the season.
The Cards plated their first run in the second inning when Trimble, who attended Louisville Manual High School, got to first safely on a Stony Brook error and scored when Hannah Kiyohara (Sonja's favorite player) singled her home.
Louisville tacked on two runs in the fourth. Trimble and Kayla Soles started the inning with singles and Kiyohara drew a base on balls to load the bags with Cardinals. A walk to Jennifer Esteban plated Trimble and, with two outs, Kiyohara scored on a Stony Brook wild pitch.
UofL made it 5-0 in the fifth...Trimble smashing a double to left-center and Soles delivering her first home run of the season. Soles had a big game as well for Sandy Pearsall...2 for 3 with RBI's and a run scored.
Le Coq allowed only five SeaWolf hits and did not walk anyone.
The Cards return home and face Kent State at 2:30 p.m. Friday.