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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Cards sleep early..wake up late against Wake for 79-68 win in Winston-Salem -- Monday Cardinal Couple

Hines-Allen's 20 and 10 lead UofL to win

The University of Louisville WBB squad used a second half 8-0 run to get back in their Sunday afternoon game at Wake Forest and then employed a 10-0 run a few minutes later to put the Demon Deacons away in front of 700 people in ACC women's basketball action in the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum to improve to 3-0 in ACC play and 15-1 overall.

As for the first twenty minutes of the contest, it may have been Louisville's worst first half of the season. 

Louisville fell behind the Demon Deacons 6-2 in the first three minutes of action and missed interior shots led to a Louisville 3-16 early shooting performance while Wake kicked out to a 20-11 first half lead with 12:39 to go.

The Cards would manage to get within four on a Sara Hammond three halfway through the half at 22-18. WFU starter Taylor Gordon would hobble off the court a minute later (not returning) but the Cards could not provide an answer for Dearica Hamby inside and when Sara Hammond limped off at the 7:12 mark...the Cards trailed 29-20. 

The Cards would cut the WFU advantage to seven at 31-24 after Emmonnie Henderson scored inside with 4:47 remaining but Wake finished strong from that point on.

Wake led by 11 after Amber Campbell hit two free throws with 41 seconds on the clock at 40-29. Sara Hammond did return to action for the remainder of the half but Louisville was faced with their largest first half deficit of the season at 42-31...when Atajah Taylor drove past a unaware Cardinal defense for a layup at the buzzer. 

Louisville was getting off shots (42 to WFU's 27) but had made only 14 (33%) while Wake was hitting 15 of theirs for 55%. 

What was Walz's halftime adjustment strategy?

Basically nothing.

He pointed out their lackadaisical first half effort, told them that if they wanted to play that way...they were in for a "very interesting Monday practice" if they didn't want to expend any effort on Sunday.

"I had to say a few things — a little motivational speech — but it was unacceptable to come out and play the way we did in the first half."

It took a few minutes, but the Cards got the message and turned things around. Hines-Allen connected on a jumper for the second half's first score...but the Deacs went on a responding 5-2 run to lead 47-35 with 17 minutes left. 

Jude Schimmel first basket of the game cut the lead to ten. Mariya Moore followed with a layup and a Sara Hammond three with 15:59 made it 47-42.  A Bria Smith free throw cut it to four and Louisville's 8-0 run had gotten them back in the game.

The final Louisville surge was yet to come.

Wake managed to stay ahead and a Floyd free throw on Sara Hammond's fourth foul gave them a 59-55 lead halfway through the half. Hines-Allen started the Cards second run with a putback, Dyer tied it at 59-59 inside with 8:30 remaining and Hines-Allen got her point total up to 19 with a score inside that made it 61-59 Cards as the clock showed 7:57

It was Louisville's first lead of the game since the opening minutes. 

Arica Carter got into the mix with a inside drive to put Louisville up 63-59 and then the freshman put back a missed free throw to give UofL some breathing room at 65-59.

Louisville had produced a 10-0 run over a three minute stretch.

Hamby got the Demon Deacons back to within three with a score and free throw but Louisville responded with a Moore layup and free throw and two Dyer free throws to push the advantage to 70-62 and 4:45 to go. The Deacons were beginning to tire and the Cards were finally showing tenacity and a more consistent effort. 

Two Smith free throws made it 72-64 and a Smith layup against Hamby (who had four fouls) with two minutes left made it 75-68 Cards. Free throws from Smith, Schimmel and Moore the rest of the way preserved the win and a Smith steal with 19 seconds locked up the 79-68 win.

So, for the second game in a row...the Cards go on the road, under perform in the first half but roar back to win in the final twenty minutes. 

If this keeps up, it might be an option to just skip watching the first twenty and tune in as the second half starts. 

Nevertheless, it was a Louisville win and despite the horrible first half...the Cards get huge performances out of the freshmen Hines-Allen, Moore and a strong finish from Smith. 

Hines-Allen had 20 points and 10 grabs in 24 minutes. Moore added 16, Smith 13 and Dyer 10. 

Louisville goes back into action Weds when they host NC State. for a 7 p.m. tipoff. 

It's a home game, so show up for the first half...


Our hearts and get well wishes go out to UK junior guard Janee Thompson...who suffered a broken leg and dislocated ankle late in UK's loss to South Carolina yesterday. 

Sometimes the sports world needs to climb above rivalries and take a moment to show care and compassion. Thompson's injury was hard to watch and the screams of pain while receiving on the court treatment hard to listen to. 

The junior has been a driving force in beating Louisville the last three years and we hope she can recover fully and completely to participate in the 2015 rematch.



  1. We are an awful looking 15-1 team. I can"t figure out how we win but we do. Bria Smith had 13 points, 4 steals some assists and boards and I still creep out when she gets the ball. She puts up goofy shots inside. Am I being too critical? I can take honest feedback.

    1. I wouldn't go all the way to awful but inconsistent and frustrating to watch sometimes is surely true. The good news is that we always seem to have someone step up and fill the void when we need it. Myisha had been kinda below the radar for the past several games and she comes up huge in this one. I love her attitude. No BS at all. She's going to be a great one before she finishes up at UofL. Arica continues to get better and better which we're going to need as a back up for Jude going deeper into the season and in games like this one where Jude just isn't as effective as we need her to be. These three freshmen are really, really doing well for only being halfway through their first season. Pretty amazing actually.

      With exception of Dyer who I think has been great off the bench, the seniors continue to be a bit of a mystery, particularly Sara and Bria who have been starters for several years now. Bria's kamikaze drives to the hoop haven't changed much over the years which is disappointing, but she's grown her mid-range game a bit and always brings energy, rebounding and defense to the table. Was also hoping to get more consistency from Sara by this stage of her career and the season so hopefully she'll settle down a bit and get there. Jude has come along more slowly that we'd like but seems to be hitting stride, although yesterday she seemed to slide back a bit.

      The fact that Walz has put together this team and record in their first season in the ACC is nothing short of amazing. There were some folks out there that were just hoping we wouldn't embarrass ourselves this season. Instead we're leading the conference and are in or near the top five in the nation in the most important statistical categories. Unless the wheels fall Walz he should be a sho-in for the ACC coach of the year. His ability to understand the overall capabilities of his players, manage their playing time and keep them all working together and motivated says a ton about his approach to the game and his program.

      It's kinda basic basketball this year. Defense, rebounding, passing and hustle has taken us a long way so far. If we can just bump up our free throw shooting to about 75% and start hitting 5+ threes every game we'll be "cooking with gas".

    2. Awful is a bit heavy. Even though the last two on the road had UofL coming from behind by at least eight points at the half...they did win the games. Look at what Pitt did to UNC after playing us. I think the road games will continue to be a challenge for Walz and crew. Florida State, Duke and Notre Dame especially. I'm also hoping a couple of other things. First, that MHA is back after her sabbatical. Who was that girl in her uniform over the last few games until yesterday? Secondly, that "E" can get her head back into the game. Physically, she's the best we've got.

      After NC State Weds...this shooting match gets muy difficult, amigos. Virginia, Florida State, Miami, Syracuse, Duke and Pitt again. If Walz can pull the sweep in those six....we should nominate him for sainthood. Not sure how the Vatican would accept that....but it would be a divine miracle nevertheless.


    3. Paulie I am predicting
      Win NC State
      Win Virginia
      LOSE 4 straight to FSU, Miami, Syracuse and Duke
      Win Pitt again
      So we go 3-4 over next 7.
      7-0 or 6-1 would be incredible!

  2. OT:If I wrote articles, this would be an article.

    First to be clear: I absolutely hate and was upset to the point of shedding tears while hearing the screams from Kentucky's Janee Thompson who was severely injured in their game against South Carolina yesterday. Fortunately, before leaving the arena it appeared that her injury was serious but not life threatening and for that I and I am sure that all of the UL flock are grateful.

    During her on the floor treatment I did hear one of the commentators compare her injury to that of Kevin Ware's. I presume that this person was not familiar with the extent of his injury. Let's be clear, Kevin had bones sticking out from the skin of his lower leg while that portion of his leg was at a scary angle. I don't think the 2 injuries, and the information the remaining players had when their teammate was taken from the arena came close to comparing.

    Also on the women's side: Nita Slaughter's situation at the time she was taken from the arena was that of someone who was unconscious and unresponsive to stimuli which obviously was off the scale in comparison to Jeanee's serious situation.

    The point of this statement is to make us aware of a major difference between our teams.
    Coach Petino was able to harness then maintain control of himself to the point where he was a steadying influence and provider of strength to his players throughout the rest of the game and at the hospital afterwards.

    Likewise Coach Walz also was able to be a true leader to his players and provided the needed emotional stability to them throughout the remainder of the game and at the hospital afterwards.

    In the alternative:
    Upon resumption of the KY game, within a period of about 2 minutes elapsing on the game clock Coach Mitchell's behavior resulted in not one but 2 consecutive technical fouls which resulted in his automatic ejection from the playing floor. It was truly unfortunate that the needed source of a calming influence and of strength to his players and staff was absent during this critical time both emotionally and in the needed direction of what was still a winnable game.

    Speaking of the games outcome may seem cold but Coach Walz stated that his mentor at WKU had taught him that in various situations everyone has their roles to maintain. The role of the medical staff was to take care of the player but that his duty and role was to steady and lead his team while keeping them up to date and informed as there was information to be shared. This makes sense as I don't really think that any of the injured players would have told their coaches or teammates to fall apart due to worrying about them and loose the game in the process.

    I have written this not as a means of shaming Coach Mitchell for his lack of composure but instead as a reminder to celebrate the UL basketball teams Coaches ( and those of other UL sports).

    We are indeed very fortunate to have such great coaches who were able to rise above their personal emotions and provide the leadership needed by our staff and players during times of crisis.

    1. Indeed, I agree with you on basically all of this. I didn't see the last part of the UK game as we had switched back over to CardsTV to catch the rest of the red blobs vs the white blobs, so I didn't see the events leading up to Coach Mitchell's 2 technicals and ejection, but I do agree that after an injury like that its likely that everyone in the arena, but most especially teammates, need a calming influence, and frankly Coach Mitchell, for better or worse, is almost never a calming influence.

    2. Mitchell has a flair for the dramatics and it's probably why the Cats never advance far in the NCAA Tournament. WHen you reach the Sweet Sixteen and need a coach, not a second rate actor.


    3. Maybe you should write articles....well put. We're always looking for a qualified person to send us a little "sumthin, sumthin" from time to time.


    4. Remember the Baylor game when Mo knocked down the two free throws to save Jeff Walz rear. end when he let his "personal emotions" almost blow the game in the closing minutes with the technical.

  3. In other news, Katie George, setter on the volleyball team, was just named Miss Kentucky USA. Congratulations to Katie.

    1. Shout out to Katie! Do they do a talent portion of the show? If so, I bet she set all the judges up for kill shots at the net on unsuspecting audience members.


    2. I dunno. We all had Jude but she missed the swimsuit competition and was dq'd.

    3. I'm not a big volleyball fan but I just watched her U of L presser. She seems like a great person. Very down to earth and sincere. She'll represent U of L and the State well.

      I've never listened to a beauty contest winner for ten minutes before...

    4. She really is. And what you saw in that presser, is Katie, pure and simple. She's every bit as goofy, effervescent, and lovable as she was in that presser.

      There are only a handful of people that I have looked at and said that I would never (again) doubt that they would achieve whatever it is that they set out to accomplish. One celebrity that I use as an example is Queen Latifah after she had her role in Chicago, and became a Covergirl spokesmodel. Katie is one of the few people that I've known personally that I would say that of. It's funny that you mentioned Jude, because she's another.

    5. There you go. There are always people that just have the aura of sincerity and success about them from early on and both Katie and Jude belong in that group.

      One of the things that is great about athletics is that it tends to magnify personality traits, both positive and negative, in the real world. We see that in men's and women's athletics every day.

      Full Credit is due to the U of L women's sports programs to bring kids in that fit that success profile. That is really what sports are all about in the end.

  4. Miah Spencer pg for NC State last game numbers were 25 pts on 8 for 12, 8 rebounds, 7 assists

  5. Prayers to Janee Thompson. I felt sick to my stomach when I heard her screams on TV.

    On the Wake Forest game, it was good to see many freshmen step up and lead us to victory again. That will pay off next year when we have an even younger team. Also, I thought the zone we showed really helped us slow WAKE down in the 2nd half. I wish coach Walz would use it more.

    1. Thanks for the words about Janae. One of the most sad moments I've seen in WBB.

      Matthew Mitchell For Governor

  6. The WNBA draft is in April. Looks like we will have two more Cards players drafted

    1. That's an interesting comment. Which two? It appears Sara is trying to make herself into a stretch four and with her background and honors I'm thinking she'll be drafted although based on pure stats this year it isn't that clear.

      So if we assume Sara goes who is the second draftee?

    2. I assume the other would be Bria. Both she and Sara will probably be drafted, although I'm not 100% certain about either one. Will either one make a WNBA roster? Both will almost certainly be able to play in Europe somewhere.

    3. I agree that they both could play in Europe. If they finish the year strong both of them may get drafted into the W. I hope so. Just not sure either has a rounded enough game right now to get drafted. Let's hope we hammer through the rest of the year and have another good tourney showing. That should help them.

    4. Sara and Bria are the two I think will be drafted. The draft class is thin so I am confident both will be. I don't think they will make a roster but who thought Asia was going to stick with the Lynx of all teams in the 3rd round. Just three 3rd rounders made WNBA rosters last year. It would be nice if both can play in Europe.

    5. It would be great to followup last year's three with two this year. I'm sure last year's draft helped Walz a ton in the recruiting game.


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