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Sunday, January 4, 2015

WBB escapes at Pitt 63-57 --- Monday Cardinal Couple


Louisville held Pitt scoreless for the final 3:10 of the game and sank 8 of 10 free throws down the stretch to come from behind in the Petersen Event Center Sunday in Pittsburgh. 

Pitt missed their final seven shots after Brianna Kiesel's three gave the Panthers a 57-55 lead with 3:10 on the clock. Although the Cards failed to score from the court in the same stretch, they capitalized from the charity stripe to go to 14-1 overall and 2-0 in the ACC.

This one looked like it might be a Cardinal blowout early on. The Cards were up 7-0 five minutes into the contest after a Shawnta' Dyer free throw.

Then, the wheel stopped spinning...

Pitt responded with a 13-0 run over the next five minutes to grab a 13-7 lead...which featured two Fred Potvin threes and it wasn't until Dyer connected inside with 10:52 on the scoreboard that the Pitt shutout was ended. The Cards couldn't find the hoop underneath and were breaking down defensively and making foolish turnovers when they managed to get the ball in scoring position. Pitt would blow out to a 27-17 lead with two minutes left in the half before the Cards countered with a 4-0 run to end the half.

It was 29-21 Panthers after twenty minutes and Louisville needed answers and some consistency. Sara Hammond led Louisville with six points. It was the lowest scoring half of the season for UofL.

The Cards came out strong, fortunately, to start the second half and a 10-4 run in the first four minutes drew the score to 33-31 Pitt after a Bria Smith steal and layup. After several minutes of exchanging baskets and misses...the Cards tied it 41-41 after a Myshia Hines-Allen free throw with 12:11 on the clock. 

Louisville wouldn't regain the lead until a Moore three made it 50-48 with 8:30 left to play. The Cards had trailed or been tied for 25 minutes. Pitt responded with a 5-0 run, keyed by a Kiesel three and Louisville would not regain the lead until a clutch Jude three made it 55-53 with 4:33 left.

It was Kiesel's turn and she responded with two free throws and a basket to put Pitt back in the lead 57-55 and 3:10 to play. 

It was Pitt's final points of the game.

Dyer hit a free throw to draw the Cards within one. Arica Carter stepped up and hit two pressure-packed free tosses to put the Cards ahead 58-57 with 40 seconds left in the game. After a Kiesel turnover from a Cardinal double team, Moore was fouled and sank two for a three-point lead with 27 seconds remaining. Jude converted on 1 of 2 from the line to make it 61-57 UofL and Dyer dropped in two from the charity stripe with six seconds left for the 63-57 final.

Pressure Cards defense in the final three minutes made the difference in the win...Pitt missed their final seven shots. 

Jude led Louisville with 11 points. Moore was the only other Card in double figures with ten points...all in the second half. Hines-Allen and Bria finished with nine points, Dyer added seven points and 12 rebounds and Carter and Hammond had six each...Sara's all in the first half and Arica's in the final twenty minutes. Cortnee Walton had four points but Walz mentioned she was experiencing foot pain after the game and would be evaluated when the team returns to Louisville. Megan Deines added a free throw and Emmonnie Henderson saw a minute of action with no points which was explained as being a failure to follow instructions while in the game.

Kiesel led the Panthers with 19 and Monica Wignot added 11. The Panthers did sink eight threes against the Cards...Moore and Jude had two each from the deep for UofL.

A needed win from behind on the road...maybe...but not a very pretty game to watch. The Cards ended up shooting 41% for the game after a 8-27 (29%) first half effort. The Cards outscored Pitt 42-28 in the second half. They took Pitt's best punches early, staggered off the ropes and got the decision. Louisville's 63 points ranks as the lowest point output of the season. 

Another week off before Louisville returns to action with a visit to Wake Forest next Sunday. Plenty of time to work on consistency, accuracy and two-foot jump shots...

Trying to listen to the UofL radio call and watch the ESPN3 feed was ridiculous...since they were about two minutes out-of-sync. I gave up on the duality at halftime and let Matt and AJ bring the win home for my ears. From what I saw and heard, though...Jeff Hathhorn and Jen Tuscano did a OK job as the Pitt based TV crew. Maybe they'll learn how to pronounce Deines before they call the Cards again in February. 


Like the rest of the sports world...we are saddened by the
death of Stuart Scott at age 49. The ESPN commentator brought us the catch phrases "Booyah!" and "Cool as the other side of the pillow" and his street approach toward delivering sports news made him a must watch on SportsCenter. 

His death serves as a reminder to live each day to the fullest and never take things too seriously. We'll miss you, Stewie...



  1. I'm pretty sure that we will see more games like this, especially on the road. This is not a dominant team but it's a team that can win with defense if they can keep games close.

    I wondered why "E" never got back on the court until I heard Walz's post-game comments. Then I went back and looked at the replay on ESPN3. "E" was really slow in getting out on the Pitt 3-point shooting post - apparently after Walz made a point of telling the team not to let that happen.

    Team will need "E" especially since (a) it sure sounds like Walton will be shut down to preserve the year and (b) it seems evident that Vails isn't getting any playing time when it matters. They're getting a lot more out of Dyer than I ever expected, but "E" has to play if team hopes to compete in March.

    1. Totally agree. We are going to have to scrape and claw for victories with our "D" because our shooting won't cut it. I know we like to feed into whoever is low post but our guys just don't convert much . Our inside points usually come off put backs . (Dyer/Walton) Another solid offensive game by Jude and boy did Arica really came through when it counted most. The element we're missing is that true scorer or someone who can create for others consistently.

    2. Agreed. I feel like we will be just as good if not better next season, just because of the high level guards we have coming in. If you have seen Durr, Cole, and Jones play you will get my point. They can create for themselves and others at a high level.

    3. Coach Walz please let Asia Durr know she has a right hand otherwise she will arrive on campus tilted. Just being a little crazy but I have never seen her use her right hand to shoot the ball even from the right side of the basket. Maybe make juggling a mandatory skill Cole is a lefty too and I hope we don't have to wait two years for these kids to be ambidexterous

    4. Does anyone have any news on who Lauren Cox is considering for schools yet?

    5. Cox has pared down the list of 29 schools to seventeen, the paper reports—which still gives her a whole lot of options, and a serious decision to be made. While the family is adamant about keeping the names on that list to themselves, and refuses to offer a timetable for the decision, they do admit that it includes “the usual suspects.”

      If that means it includes the top ten programs in the country, there’s a decent chance that Cox might be staying in Texas for college: A&M, Baylor, and UT all rank at #5, #8, and #9, respectively. But wherever she ends up, Cox is part of a ongoing trend of Texas natives who are excelling in the sports world on a national level.

      That being said, Jeff Walz is busy recruiting before the next UofL WBB game this week. He mentioned he was going "down south" to evaluate some talent. Texas is down south...we don't know if UofL is in the list of 17...but her friend and USA U 17 teammate Asia Durr is headed we may be in the running?


  2. Not particularly pretty but we got it done! Nice to see everyone rowed together at the end and made it happen.

    Arica had six points in just twelve minutes including those crucial free throws. She's already matured a ton just since the first of the year.

    Looking forward to Wake Forest. They gave Duke a tough game today in Durham and ended up losing by seven. We'd better be ready to play. Looks like Duke is having some problems of their own. Starting freshman guard Sierra Calhoun is leaving the school. She was averaging over 10 ppg and almost 4 rebounds. Pretty interesting.

  3. didn't know Calhoun is leaving. Duke has no true point guard Calhoun and Greenwell were filling the role. Next year they have the super-duper Spaniard coming in at point guard.
    Also, Luticia Romero is eligible for Fl State and played against Notre Dame
    here is a quote about her on the ESPN WBB website
    "For a long stretch of the first half, almost from the moment she checked in with only two minutes elapsed, Romero looked like the proverbial best player on the court in South Bend. That is saying something when Jewell Loyd is one of the other players on that court. Romero -- even after she ceded her opponent a head start by beginning the game seated next to associate head coach Lance White and getting instruction from Semrau as the coach walked the sideline -- at one point had personally outscored the fourth-ranked team in the nation 10-8."

    1. Romero is a baller. FSU has a legit shot in conference with her. Looks like she hit the ground running.

      The ACC looks like it's going to be fun. No pushovers and we've got a legit shot at winning every game, unlike the old days with UConn. Two down, fourteen to go.

  4. The one thing that worries me is when Mariya gets in foul trouble. Deines has not given many productive minutes off the bench for the cards this year (not counting the game @CAL) Losing Cortnee is going to hurt. We will miss her defense on the inside. Henderson is going to have to get it on the defensive end of the floor eventually. . and Myisha seems to have gotten her minutes cut too.

  5. They were OK but they kept pronouncing Megan's last name as Deenus. I got used to it.

    1. alluded to in the was DEE-nus. I still hand it to Grand Canyon for the best produced WBB show/game. They start 1/2 before tipoff with a sideline/feature type reporter who does some great interviews with people associated with the program or people of local interest. This is on Cox Broadcasting...of course...not part of the ESPN/Raycom/WAVE TV/ACC conglomeration that the Cards are currently saddled into. Still, what is preventing UofL from having a 1/2 pregame show like it...whether it is on TV or just internet? My guess is that it is the complacency of Learfield Sports. WBB Cardinal fans who can't attend the game deserve better than what they are getting currently. A mid-major school in Arizona is blowing the doors off the #6 team in the nation in terms of media coverage of women's basketball. Regrettable.


    2. Agree with you on GCU. First class operation. I just took a look at their record since playing our Cards. Three wins in a row and the first time this season they've had any successive wins. I thought they looked better against the Cards than their early season record indicated. Good for them.

    3. Paulie, it takes effort and "want to" to do TV production like GCU does. They are sold on providing a quality product. I got the impression the GCU handled the TV product as well since most segments tied into the GCU experience. The scoreboard video prior to player intro's was tremendous as well. I thought it was cool they said a prayer pregame too since it's a Xtian school. I bet that surprised a some folks watching lol

  6. We need to run more back door from the off side instead of always these mechanical post ups that aren't there . Coach is tremendous defensively and with out of bounds plays and end of game plays and bunch of other stuff but he doesn't use back door plays like he should. Mariya hit Jude with a beauty a few games ago. That needs to be a staple Coach.

    1. My only problem with Coach Walz's out of bounds plays is that he usually has the smallest player on the court inbounding the ball. This sets up an easy defense for the opposing teams. Would like to see him utilize the bigs more often.


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