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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cards fly early, hang on late in 65-58 win over NC State -- Thursday Cardinal Couple



20-0 first half run keys #4 UofL WBB win



Wolfpack warms up for the contest
The University of Louisville women's basketball team went on a 20-0 run over ten and a half minutes in the first half to jump out on ACC foe NC State...but struggled to hang on late in their 65-58 win Wednesday night in the KFC YUM! Center. 

Down 6-2 at the 17:22 mark, Louisville employed their pressure defense to take a 22-6 lead with 6:47 left in the half. Myisha Hines-Allen got the run started with basket in the paint and Sara Hammond and Shawnta' Dyer followed with scores inside to give the Cards the lead in a two minute stretch. 

Bria Smith nailed a jumper, Dyer connected again inside and Hammond found the mark on a jumper and suddenly it was 14-6 Louisville with 12 minutes to go. Megan Deines, just off the bench, knocked one through...and then followed with a free throw to give Louisville a double digit lead at 17-6. Hammond drilled a three ball next and Emmonnie Henderson muscled one in from the paint to give the Cards a 22-6 advantage.


NC State's Carlee Schuhmacher finally ended the Wolfpack drought with a putback with 6:47 left in the half. During the scoreless stretch, NC State missed 13 shots and committed seven turnovers due to the UofL defensive efforts. 

The Wolfpack regained their shooting eye and actually outscored the Cards 13-10 to end the half...benefitting from two threes from a wide open Ashley Williams in the final minute of the half. 

Still, it was Louisville up 32-19 and the feeling on media row was that Louisville was on their way to a 20 or so point win.  

Shows what we know on media row...right?



Ladybirds avert their eyes away from Paulie
NC State came out in the final half and battled the Cards on even terms for the first seven minutes. A three-pointer fro Lenique Brown-Hoskins cut the NC State deficit to 42-28 with 13:12 left in the game. The Cards weren't pulling away and the Wolfpack were finding success with their guards using the dribble-drive against the Cards interior. 



Photo by Charlie Springer - UofLCardgame.com
UofL still held a comfortable 55-42 advantage after Jude Schimmel popped in a jumper with seven minutes left. NC State was not ready to concede the battle, though and tossed a 9-0 run at the Cards over the next three minutes...Chesla Nelson's putback of her own missed shot had the scoreboard reading 55-51 and four minutes left to play. 

Louisville regrouped during the media timeout. Walz was
Photo by Charlie Springer - UofLCardgame.com
imploring his crew to block out, cover the guards and use their judgement for better shot selection. The strategy worked...Louisville responded with a 7-2 run that featured free throws from Moore and Schimmel and a jumper from Hammond. A big time steal by Moore led to a contested layup finding the mark and Louisville had ballooned the lead to 62-51 with 1:52 left to play. 




Photo by Charlie Springer - UofLCardGame.com
Len'Nique Brown-Hoskins tried to shoot the Pack back into the contest...her five straight points cut the Louisville lead to 62-56...but the clock showed less than a minute to go and the Cards got three free throws from Moore to ice the 65-58 win.





Parts of this one were a pleasure to watch...especially the 20-0 run. Other stretches were a little painful...especially in the second half...when the Wolfpack was clearly out-playing Louisville. Consistency remains a obstacle that Walz's women haven't seemed to achieve yet...

It's a win, though...and the Cards improve to 16-1 with it.



Katie George. Photo by Charlie Springer - UofLCardGame.com
Moore led the way for Louisville with 17 points and nine rebounds. She was impressive from the line...going 9-12 for a team that ended up 13-22 from the charity stripe. Joining her in double figures was Hammond with 13 (plus 10 rebounds for the only Cards double-double of the night) and Dyer with 11. 

Questions remain. Hines-Allen, saddled with early foul trouble saw just 12 minutes and grabbed one rebound to go with her four points. Henderson got two first half minutes and never returned. Louisville went 2-10 from three point land...Jude and Sara getting one each. 

Walz wasn't happy with the second half performance and he had every right to be disappointed. Any team with two or three good guards will present a challenge to Louisville the rest of the year if the Cards can't find a way to shut down the dribble-drive. 41 of the Pack's point came from three guards. Louisville got 16 points combined from Smith, Schimmel, Deines and Carter. 

Virginia visits Sunday. Their lone conference loss comes against a very good Syracuse squad. 

It doesn't get any easier this time of year. The #4 ranking isn't something that the Cards say think about very often. We can only hope that they put in extra hours of brain power and study on delivering a full 40 minutes next time out. 

(A special thanks to Charlie Springer for the excellent photos. BE sure to check out his gallery...and articles...at UofLCardGame.com) 

paulie 

  

  

18 comments:

  1. 4-0 in ACC, I'll take it! Hard to believe we shot 47% but NC State did a good job limiting our possessions.

    Bench is a big weakness for this team. Other then Dyer, there have been no bright spots. I'll give Arica a pass since she is a frosh but Megan and E could do much better.

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    1. That's a good point I didn't even notice how weak our bench is.

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    2. The Cards bench had 18 points. Dyer had 11 of them, Deines three and "E" and Carter with two each. Out of the 200 possible minutes available in a regulation game, the bench got 55 minutes on the court...Dyer's 23 leading the way.

      Paulie

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  2. I had to turn the sound off and just go with the video on ESPN3 Don Russell is fine Sara White I couldn't listen to her delivery too monotonous I certainly hope she doesn't do anymore games. Did she use to be associated with Louisville WBB?

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    1. Got to talk to Don a bit before the game and it was fun catching up with him. He'd love to do more games. Sara White was a co-head coach at UofL from 1997-2000 with her husband Martin Clapp. She moved to Director of basketball operations in 2001 and did that for two seasons.

      When Clapp failed to show up for the Cards final regular season game in 2003, calling the players "uncoachable" it was a combination of Greg Collins and White that got the team through the C-USA Tournament. Louisville made it past one round before losing to DePaul. The Cards did not appear in the NCAA Tournament that season...going 15-14. Louisville had been on a six game losing streak and ended the conference season with a loss at Memphis...where Clapp was a no-show.

      Tom Collen replaced Clapp as head coach for the 2003-04 season and White did not return as director of operations.

      Delete
  3. Nice to get the W. I didn't get a chance to watch the game but based on the stats and Walz's comments it seems Moore and Hammond came to play and the bench really didn't. I'm not as down on our Bench as some are. We're stronger than most by far. I don't believe for a minute that our bench is a weakness. We've lost one game this year in spite of three freshmen playing a major role on the team. That's pretty strong.

    Walz was pretty candid in his comments although I think the "we might lose five in a row" blurb was a bit heavy on the melodrama. I imagine he believes that will motivate our kids. We're not losing five in a row.

    Was also impressed with both Hammond and Dyer's comments in the presser. Lotsa maturity evident. They totally understand the mission and team strategy.

    Texas just lost their second game in a row to an unranked opponent (Oklamoma) so I'm doubting we'll be tied with them in the rankings next week.

    Just read Charlie's piece on Moore over at UofLCardGame and it seems the's on board the Mariya Train. Good for him.

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    1. Charlie taught me everything I know about sportswriting. I limped through with a C- average. He'd probably tell me that our articles are still too long and we need to concentrate more on perspectives and not straight out game reply reporting.

      Good man.... that Charlie Springer is. Despite his political philosophies. LOL

      Paulie

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  4. Paulie, was "E" specifically mentioned in Walz's post-game comments? I see from the U of L website that he talked about unnamed players who make the same mistakes in 2-3 minutes of playing time and have their playing time limited as a result. My take on "E" last night was that she got her first foul on a play where someone out front got beat and she fouled trying to stop the open driver and got her second foul on a scramble-type play where the foul was pretty much unavoidable. She got benched after the two fouls (as Walz almost always does, to everyone) and I felt like she never saw the floor in the second half because Hammond played so well and played all 20 minutes. She did have that really nice offensive rebound and putback.

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    1. He didn't call out anyone specifically in the presser, but on the court he seemed to be perturbed by Deines' and Carter's performances. I expect the rotation will tighten up a bit as the upcoming stretch of opponents is pretty strong. Barring foul trouble or injuries...my guess is that Dyer will still be first off the bench, Carter will be the backup guard and Deines could get a few spot minutes.

      This is, of course, just conjecture and hypothesizing. The Mad Scientest might start Vails, Freeman, Henderson, Sonja and Katie George in the next game and have a perfectly rational and solid explaination for doing so.

      Don't mess with genius.

      Paulie

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    2. As I said the other day, I've learned to never ever doubt that Katie George will accomplish whatever it is that she set's out to do. I suspect she could make a fine 3 or 4. I think her technique would compare favorably to: http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/01/utah-jazzs-trevor-booker-volleyball-bumps-the-ball-over-his-head-and-into-the-basket

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    3. I don't think we have a lot of talent on the team overall. I wish Walz would start Freeman just for the heck of it.. she is going to transfer if he doesn't start getting her some minutes... bless Deines's heart, she is not built for contact and "E" can't avoid it. "E" had a tremendous offensive rebound and basket in the game. Best play I have seen her make. Very well done. Walz is too hard on "E" and I predict she might transfer too. Dyer is close to being a stalwart on defense and gets her share of points that help. If only she could handle the ball better. Collectively we get the most we can out of our players and they play hard. Individually from our starters to the back ups we are offensive talent. Of the ACC teams I've seen us play I have not seen a talented team yet. That's 4 games!

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    4. HA! You are #4 in the country and you don't think you have a lot of talent? There are over 300 schools out there who would LOVE to have Hines Allen, Moore, Hammond, Smith, Dyer, Shimmel or half your bench.

      Quit your whining, buttercup.

      Xavier Muskie

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    5. LOLOLOL....They see us rollin' , they be hatin'

      Maybe we could reassemble the Houston Comets great WNBA teams and see if any of them have any eligibility left. Maybe Taurasi and Bird would like to re-enroll in college under assumed names...

      Talent abounds on this team. Utilization of that talent is a completely different issue...me thinks.

      Paulie (who has no talent)

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  5. I think Walz squeezes all he can out of the talent. We have a bunch of role players mixed together. That's why a team like KY makes oatmeal out of us. They have the guard play to take advantage of our weaknesses. We cant guard good players that can put the ball in the basket especially if they are guards. I did see Fl State play and I wasn't impressed even when they beat Notre Dame. Notre Dame was short handed. I still project us to lose to 6 conference games and we are 4-0 now. We need Asia Durr bad. The athletes we have don't have the all around game that can run the court and make baskets a variety of ways.

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    1. No doubt that Walz does a great job with the kids he has and starting next year we'll have a richer talent pool, but right now we have what we have and we don't have to apologize to anyone. I've watched a bunch of ACC ball this year and there's no way we're losing half of our final twelve conference games. That ain't happening. We're facing tougher teams but we're getting better.

      I thought that Dyer's comments in the presser were right on...to our team the only thing that really matters is how they play in March. If we continue to improve through the rest of the conference we'll probably lose a few, but as long as we pull at least a two seed in the NCAA we'll be well positioned for the NCAAs.

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  6. This just in.....THE LACROSSE SCHEDULE IS OUT !!! THE LACROSSE SCHEDULE IS OUT!!! (Doing happy dance across the floor) LAX ROCKS!

    Paulie

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  7. Looking forward to the lacrosse home opener on Feb 15. I presume that Mother Nature has been informed that we will need some warm temps, no snow/rain, etc.

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  8. Syracuse had 340 people at their game last night. Virgina had 3500 on hand and 4 double figure scorers Outside of one guard who went 3/10 on 3 pointers the rest of the squad hit 10/16 3 pointers

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