MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
- Cards control 'Noles in O.T.
Asia Taylor scored six of her eight points in overtime and Louisville outscored FSU 15-5 in the extra session in the KFC YUM! Center Sunday afternoon to defeat their future ACC opponent 69-59 in front of a crowd of 10045 on banner revealing day for last year's runner-ups in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.
Louisville hardly looked like the second best team in the nation to start this one today...falling behind 19-4 in the first seven and one half minutes of play to the visitors from Florida. Down early 4-0, Sara Hammond produced a couple of baskets to tie the contest with 16:50 to go. It would be almost six minutes before UofL would score again...missing six shots and committing three turnovers before a Shoni three got the CARDS within 12.
The Seminoles still had plenty of fight in them, though...and pushed the lead back out to 24-12 when All-American candidate Natasha Howard hit a layup and free throw with 5:30 left in the half.
Louisville got the message. A 9-0 run over the next three minutes...with Nita Slaughter getting seven of the points...drew UofL within three at 24-21. The final two minutes saw FSU push the advantage back out to 29-22 before Shoni drilled a three with five second left in the half to get within four at 29-25.
A pretty ugly first half of basketball for the Cards...shooting 28.6% (8-28) from the floor and committing 13 turnovers. FSU was getting easy looks inside and Louisville seemed a step slow and out of position.
Whatever Walz and the staff said to the players at halftime worked. Louisville took their first lead of the game just 49 seconds into the final half of play when Shoni buried a three. The teams battled tooth and nail after that...neither team leading by more than four until the Cards capped a 8-2 run on a Cortnee Walton layup with 6:53 left in the game. .Louisville was up 46-40 and looked poised to run away with this one
FSU came back. They tied the contest at 46-46 with 4:39 showing and grabbed the lead 48-46 when Ivey Slaughter (no relation to Nita) put in a layup. Asia Taylor knocked in a couple of free throws to tie it back up but diminutive guard Cheetah Delgado led the 'Noles on a 6-2 run and it looked iffy for Louisville...behind 54-50 and 1:14 left in regulation.
A Tia Gibbs steal led to two made free throws and with 29 seconds left...Jude Schimmel pilfered another steal and drove the length of the court. Her twisting layup went miraculously through the net and she was fouled as well. The free throw missed, though, and a three bomb from Delgado fell short. Jude drove the length of the court again but couldn't get a shot off as time in regulation expired.
The extra session was all Louisville. With FSU's Howard on the bench with five fouls, it was time for the Cards to go to work.
Shoni connected on two free throws to put Louisville up to stay. 30 seconds later, Asia scored inside. She hit again 40 seconds later and Louisville was up 60-54 with 3:14 to play. A Gibbs steal led to a Nita layup and it was UofL by eight. FSU finally got on the board when their Slaughter hit a jumper. The Cards responded with a layup by Asia, layup by Gibbs an three from Shoni.
69-56 with 70 ticks of the clock left. FSU...you got "Taylored", "Schimmeled" and "Slaughtered". A late FSU three cut the margin to ten...but the victory belong to the Cards.
Louisville travels to Bowling Green for a Thanksgiving Eve tilt with WKU next. Game time is 8 p.m.
Game box score below:
THE FINAL WORD
It was a fun start to the afternoon...watching the banner getting revealed and seeing Shelby Harper and Mo Reid back in the YUM! for the festivities. Walz addressed the crowd briefly and it was hoops time.
The afternoon then got a bit gloomier. If this is to be the mode of operation that the Cards start out against quality opponents...I may start arriving for games at halftime. Louisville looked awful early on against FSU. The Cards couldn't buy a shot, stop anyone inside or hold onto the ball when they weren't missing open looks.
FSU is a very good team and I expect they'll be in the top 25 before they start the ACC slate...they have six palookas in a row before what looks like a very interesting matchup against UT Martin on Dec. 28th. They managed to do what no one else has been able to this year (along with some Cardinal help) by holding UofL to under 70 points. 54 in 40 minutes before the depleted FSU roster (they dress eight players) got tired.
The Cards go to 6-0 but the next two could be a definite challenge. WKU Wednesday night in front of what will be a loud and rowdy group of Topper fans. Michelle Clark-Heard, C.B., Laura Terry...it'll be like homecoming in a fashion, I suppose...but a tough test.
Then the Wildcats to start out December. Fun (and) tough times ahead, Cardinal WBB fans. Roll out on the road with the team for these next two!
NOTES OF NOTE:
Some notes from the Louisville WBB SID department on yesterday's game: