Thursday, February 12, 2015
Cards tame Tigers 81-49 -- Friday Cardinal Couple
32-3 run boosts Cards past Clemson
Louisville used a 32-3 run beginning in the first half and continuing halfway through the second half to bury Clemson 81-49 in Littlejohn Arena Thursday night in ACC action.
Shawnta' Dyer had 20 points, 8 rebounds and no turnovers to lead the Cards to their 21st. win of the season. Four Cardinals ended up in double figures in the 32-point win. Louisville actually led by 39 in the contest...buoyed by that 32-3 run...at 63-24 halfway through the final half.
The Cards started strong with a surprising starting lineup of Myshia Hines-Allen, Sara Hammond, Mariya Moore, Sherrone Vails and Jude Schimmel. Bria Smith did not see action until eight minutes left in the game...a move by Jeff Walz because of "on the court, off the court issues" by the senior guard.
Nevertheless, the Cards roared out to a 9-0 start in the first three minutes on a Sara Hammond jumper and led 21-5 after Shawnta' Dyer connected inside at the 12:28 mark.
Clemson would cut the Cardinal lead to 31-21 with 2:47 left in the first half...but Louisville would score the final eight points of the first twenty minutes...an Arianna Freeman putback with six seconds remaining gave UofL a 39-21 lead.
The Cards began the second half with the same intensity they ended the first half and held Clemson to just three points in the first ten minutes...roaring out to a 63-24 lead.
It was a 32-3 run and keyed by Dyer, two Hammond threes and Jude getting the first five UofL points to start the second half.
Smith would finally step on the court for Louisville with eight minutes remaining in the game but did not score in the contest.
Clemson would get no closer than 28 the rest of the way and Louisville led 81-46 with 1:32 left after two Emmonnie Henderson free throws. A late Clemson three set the final at 81-49...Louisville outscoring the Tigers 42-28 in the final half.
Besides Dyer's twenty...Moore had 15 points, Sara 12 and Hines-Allen 10. Jude Schimmel added seven points and seven assists and both "E" and Arianna Freeman saw extensive action in both halves.
An expected blowout against a ACC cellar dweller. Louisville had 27 baskets on 21 assists and that speaks volumes. The Cards also out-rebounded the Paws 47-19. Louisville also hit 5-9 from the trifecta arc and was over 70% from the charity line.
Megan Deines sat again with the ankle injury. She's questionable for UNC. Arica Carter saw action but did not score...as the Cards played all nine they brought.
Clemson had neither the height or the physicality to challenge the Cards. Louisville used the game plan that has been successful so many times this season. Get the ball to the bigs, outrun and wear down the opponent and put stifling defense against the stars in the different jerseys.
It gets tougher Sunday for UofL. North Carolina will enter the KFC YUM! Center for a 1 p.m. "Pink" Cancer Awareness game fresh off a six point win over Florida State.
On "sorority night" in Littlejohn Arena...the Cards passed the pledge tests with flying colors and remain in the hunt for the top of the ACC standings. Whatever the issue is with Bria...Louisville prospered without meaningful playing time from her. If the lesson was that the Cards could play well without her 'buying in' and off the court...it was delivered (and hopefully learned) last night.
Smith's absence from the Louisville front court wasn't a factor against the talent-challenged Tigers. Against UNC, the abilities that Smith has exhibited at times just might be needed...but Arianna Freeman did deliver in a back-up role.
Stranger things have happened in the history of UofL WBB...