FOUR IN DOUBLE FIGURES FOR WALZ'S 200th WIN
|Photo by Charlie Springer -- UofL Card Game. Check out Charlie's gallery at|
As much as the final twenty minutes were a priceless work of art by Louisville, the first twenty were rough to watch at times. The Cards missed their first five shots and continued to watch the ball fail to drop through the cylinder...falling behind early and trailing 10-7 with 13:30 remaining...thanks to a shot clock buzzer-beater three by Brianna Butler.
Louisville was 2-10 from the field at that point and Walz inserted both Myisha Hines-Allen and Sherrone Vails into the contest to spark some life into the weak paint play the Cards were producing.
It didn't work...at first. Syracuse jumped ahead 19-11 after forward Taylor Ford got one of her four first half baskets with seven minutes of first half action left. Louisville started to battle back from that point, though...A Jude Schimmel three drew Louisville within two at 21-19 at the 3:25 mark. Hines-Allen tied it up with 50 seconds left and the Cards went in at halftime down just one at 30-29 when Hines-Allen took a Schimmel feed a with six seconds left and scored in the paint.
Louisville managed to shoot 38.7% for the first twenty after starting 3 for 14. Hines-Allen's strong ten minutes off the bench produced 12 points to lead the Cardinal scorers and
reserve Taylor Ford and 10 for the 'Cuse.
We were all hoping for a little better Cardinal shooting and production in the final twenty and we got our wish.
A designed start-of-the-half three look for Mariya Moore produced a trifecta and the Cards went on a 13-2 run capped by a Jude three to grab a 42-32 advantage barely three minutes into action.
"Q" got a time out for his baffled and step-slow Orange (and nearly a technical for protesting a Hammond steal we thought was a foul) but the adjustments and pep talk could not rally Syracuse. They didn't get closer than seven points the rest of the way.
The officials stopped action with 14:57 to play when Hammond took a hard slap to the face from a Syracuse player after a Alexis Peterson jumper. Both coaches were called to half-court to confer with the referees over the incident...Walz arguing vehemently for a foul and "Q" protesting just as loudly that it wasn't intentional. No foul was called, which led Walz to ask if open hand slaps to player's faces were now OK...
The Cards took off on another run three minutes later...sparked by seven straight points by MHA over a 90 second stretch. Hammond's put back changed to scoreboard to 70-45 Louisville with 7:17...a 16-2 UofL run over a four minute stretch.
The Cards coasted in from there...enjoying their biggest lead of the night after a Moore three put them up 75-49 with 3:51 left in action. Syracuse's 9-3 run to end the game was too little, too late and Walz replaced all five on the court with 1:21 with Deines, Freeman, Vails, Henderson and Carter. Cards win...the Cards win!!! by a final of 78-58.
It is probably the best second half of basketball Louisville has played this season. Consider they shot 65% in the final twenty to finish the game 31-60 (51.7%) After holding Syracuse to 28.9% shooting in the first twenty...the Cards kept the pressure on and "Q"'s squad ended 21-66 from the floor for 31.8%
HInes-Allen led all scorers with 23 points (in 23 minutes)...her second game in a row off the bench and second game in a row she's led Louisville in scoring.
We're seeing a trend here.
Moore had 21 (after just two first half points) and Schimmel's three threes helped her get to 13 ponts. Hammond ended up with 13 points, 12 boards and eight assists.
Only three other Cards scored in the contest...Smith ended with five, Sherrone Vails had two points and Shawnta Dyer hit a free throw in the first half for her only score. Deines saw a puzzling one minute of play and "E" was on the floor for five.
A nice post-game video montage preceded the presentation of a framed and player signed 200 game wins poster to Walz. He was gracious in acceptance, both to the crowd that stayed around to see it and the media afterward.
Unfortunately, "Q" and the "Cuse" crew got on the bus and out of the arena before I could get over to try and catch a few words from him. He was in rare form during the contest, though...dancing the sidelines, charging back and forth like a sprinter out of the blocks and even giving up on the game-watch for a minute or so stretch with 13 minutes left in the game to carry on an impromptu sideline chat with a bemused Matt and AJ during action.
He probably should have continued the conversation. Right after that, Louisville went on their 16-2 run.
If anyone listened to the radio feed, please let us know what he was talking to them about. He had them in stitches...from what I could see at half-court.
Nice win over a ranked and dangerous opponent. Louisville shut down scoring machine Peterson to just nine points on the night and powerful center Day finished with just five points. Reserve Diamond Henderson led the way for the "Cuse" with 20 points in 28 minutes.
The Cards end January going 7-1. February promises to start with a bang when Louisville heads to Duke for a Monday "Groundhog Day" battle in Cameron that will show on ESPN2. The Cards are 19-2 overall and face a Duke "Coach P" squad that is an unexpected 14-6 overall.
As for "Q" ...he'll take his road show to Tallahassee Monday night to battle Seminoles. At 5-3 in conference now, the "Cuse" could drop to .500...with North Carolina in the wings after the FSU contest
Dan Wilson wins the January Contest and a fabulous CARDINAL COUPLE T-Shirt by guessing closest to the points that Mariya Moore scored in January. She ended up with 117 and he guessed 116. Vivian McAdams finished second with 115 and Nick LeTomassio gets third with his guess of 119.
Thanks to all that took part in the contest. We had 12 entries that got within five points of the final number....including four that chose 120 and three with 114. You all are stinkin' geniuses!
The February Contest is to pick the Cards leading scorer for the month and how many points will the leader get. E-mail your entries to us at firstname.lastname@example.org by 6 p.m. Feb. 2nd.