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Saturday, March 7, 2015

LOUISVILLE DOWNS UNC 77-75 IN OVERTIME IN ACC QUARTERFINALS -- Saturday Cardinal Couple



FREE THROWS LEAD CARDS TO WIN

When looking at the UofL WBB 2014-15 season so far, it wouldn't be that far of a stretch to call this one:

The Game


The Cards roared back from a 10-point second half deficit, had victory pulled out from under the rug on them at the end of regulation and sank free throws (yes, you read that right) in overtime to take a wild and exciting 77-75 win over North Carolina last night in ACC Quarterfinal action at the Greensboro Coliseum last night. 

Sara Hammond described it as "being on adrenalin" for 45 minutes as the Cards sent All-ACC performers Alisha Gray and Stephanie Mavunga to the bench and Sylvia Hatchell to the sidelines by sinking 7-11 free throws in overtime for the win. Keep the meds coming for "00"..she had 20 points for the Cards and their final seven in regulation. 

It may have been just a quarterfinal conference tournament game...but it had the feel of an NCAA Regional Final. Even Fox Sports South announcer Deb Antonelli (who was blatantly an UNC "homer") started spouting Dick Vitale non-sequiturs.

The squads exchanged runs in the first half..Louisville unable to hit the ocean with a tennis ball early...but put together a 12-2 run to go up eight. UNC slugged right back and the Cards found themselves up 32-31 at the intermission. 

UNC was missing wide open putback and second chance shots and the Cards were throwing the ball to anyone but their own teammates...but the action was fast an furious and Louisville was keeping Mavunga fairly quiet in the paint

The first ten minutes of the second half were nightmarish for Walz's crew...UNC finding a second gear and racing out to a 54-44 advantage with 9:24 remaining. 

" At that situation you've got two ways to go." Walz would comment after the game. "and that's get buried and beat by about 18 or 20 or come back and make a game of it."



The Cards chose the latter and a 15-2 Louisville run over the next five minutes propelled the Cards into a 59-56 lead after a Shawnta' Dyer score inside with 4:30 to play. 

It turned into the Sara Hammond show for the Cards for the rest of regulation. She scored the Cards final seven points of the half, utilizing her 3 on 3 skills from last summer...going to the hoop and scoring or getting fouled.


The Cards looked to be the winners with seven seconds left...Hammond hitting two clutch free throws to make it 66-63. 

Hatchell inserted freshman Jamie Cherry into the game, to give her an extra three-point threat and she rose above Shawnta' Dyer to nail an improbable 40 footer from center court as time expired to send the contest to extra sessions. 

I almost fell off the couch. It was Cherry's first points of the contest. 

UNC, buoyed by the miracle, led early in overtime but the TarHeels were "foul happy" and the Cards were converting. It came down to the final minute. 

Louisville trailed 73-72 after a Brittany Roundtree layup with 48 seconds to play but the Cards raced down the court and Dyer hit one of those patented hook shots nine second later to make it 74-73 UofL.

UNC couldn't convert on the ensuing possession and fouled Mariya Moore...who calmly sank two free throws to give the Cards a 76-73 advantage with 16 seconds to play.

Sonja was howling at the TV for Louisville to play defense and I headed to the back porch to listen to the rest on the radio. Deb's UNC platitudes were getting on my nerves. 

Cherry drove the lane and shot three times...grabbing her second miss and sticking it back in to draw UNC within one. Sylvia Hatchell would say after the game that she wanted the ball kicked out for a three attempt. The freshman didn't listen. UNC fouled Myisha Hines-Allen before the clock started and Louisville could get the ball in with 4.6 seconds to play.


Hines-Allen converted one of two and you knew what the Tar Heels were going to do. This time, though...Cherry's shot went wide left of the rim...launched from almost the identical spot she hit from earlier...and the Cards had earned a hard fought 77-75 win over #16 Carolina. 

Survive and advance...take a deep breath and smile.

Louisville advances to the semis to face #2 seed Florida State...who did pretty much anything they wanted in a 82-43 walloping of upstart Virginia Tech. This one goes around 2:30 p.m. today on ESPNU. Prior to it, the Dookies and Irish slug it out in the other semifinal matchup...starting at noon.

Fatigue for the Cards today? Yeah, probably...but there's no time for tiredness at this stage of the season. Jude logged 42 of the 45 minutes available last night and five more Cards saw 25+ minutes in Louisville's 25th win of the season

The Cards will be looking for a little payback today...losing the regular season conference matchup in Tallahassee earlier this year. 

If the intensity in this one matches what went down last night...I may need a tranquilizer...not Sara's adrenalin.  

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Softball today at Ulmer cancelled. The squads (minus Massachusetts) will complete Sunday and Monday in the Louisville Classic. 

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Lacrosse will have a go at it today at the UofL Lacrosse Stadium...facing William and Mary @ 1 p.m. 

Louisville owns an overall record of 4-0 record and is ranked 12th in the nation by the IWLCA poll and 14th in the Inside Lacrosse Poll. The Cardinals are 3-0 at home this season with wins over Cincinnati, Canisius, and Duquesne. As a team, UL is averaging 15.75 goals per game and allowing just 5.0 goals per contest. Additionally, the Cardinals rank third in the nation in draw controls, averaging 17.25. Kaylin Morissette ranks second in the nation in draw controls, averaging 11.25 per game. She also leads the team with 18 points (16 goals and two assists), 45 draw controls and 12 ground balls, while Faye Brust (14 goals and two assists) and Cortnee Daley (12 goals and four assists) have totaled 16 points apiece.


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We'll be doing radio today on WCHQ 100.9 FM and on the internet at crescenthillradio.com The broadcast starts at 11 a.m. and we may talk just a little hoops...

We bring Sam Draut ( hereafter known as Sam the Radio Intern) in to join us. First assignment? Hot tea for Jeff and coffee for me. Plus pastries. Walking the radio station dog. Doing oil changes on Worldwide and my vehicles. Shovelling snow. 

Yep, we got us an intern. (Evil chuckle and wink)  



paulie
xxxxx





8 comments:

  1. The UNC-Louisville game was exceptionally intense and exhausting. I often enjoy these types of games when other teams are playing but not when the game includes Cardinal teams. We should always win buy blowout.

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  2. Very happy to see that my prediction of an ND-UNC final is history.

    The last 10 minutes of the second half validated the season for me....Walz wasn't kidding when he said it could have been a blowout when Cards got down 10. Instead Cards stayed with the game plan and toughed it out against a good team in front of a lot of Carolina Blue.

    Great play late by the seniors - I was glad to see that. The bench was animated - "E" jumped a foot in the air when Dyer made that little hook shot in OT. Hammond would not be denied.

    FSU will be tough but Cards got the win they needed last night - now they're the underdog...let's see what the Professor cooks up?

    Hope Jude got a good night's sleep and that Bria is OK - looked like a cramp.

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  3. It was a late night...following that one and listening to Purcell in the postgame radio report. Then, switching over and watching UK dismantle Miss. St. More coffee, please

    Paulie

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    Replies
    1. I enjoyed listening to Purcell. Is he always as animated as he has appeared on the bench lately? At one point (in OT, I think) he was down on his hands and knees.

      Gotta admit - Epps would look a lot better in Red than she does in Blue.

      One more quick takeaway from last night - you gotta love Walz...when the clock operator screws up and starts the clock on the double-pass inbounds play, Walz runs a variation of the same play again. The first time Hammond sets a screen. The second time she fakes setting the screen and turns to receive the ball.

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    2. Sam P. can get pretty demonstrative on the sidelines. Jeff and Dee Kanter had a brief exchange after the clock operator screw up and it looked like Dee said (not positive on this) "Yeah, he screwed up." Walz replied with a description of "what a male cow might do in a field".

      Classic.

      I was looking for World Wide Wes in the stands...attempting to fix another basketball game. LOL

      Paulie

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  4. Great Summary Paulie. There's nothing better than tourney time. Amazing senior leadership. Had to feel good for Sara having this kind of a game on a national stage. If she keeps it up her WNBA stock should rise significantly.

    I had to smile a bit at the expense of UNC. Their two all conference sophomores foul out in crunch time while Jude and Sara play through the end with four fouls apiece. That's maturity and experience.

    We got outrebounded, had over twenty turnovers, went down by ten in the second half and still stuck with it and got it done. A great win at the perfect time for this club. Impressive and a great way to break in those new tournament uniforms.

    Now we get Florida State on a neutral court. Bring it on.

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  5. "For recreational purposes only"....FSU favored by 3 1/2.

    I'll take the points....I think Cards pull off the mild upset.

    ND favored over Duke by 10 1/2. That sounds about right.

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  6. What's great is NC has more athletes and scorers and NC's coach doesn't respect us and we beat them twice! Of course, if they had McDaniel we would not have won those games but injuries hampered us for several years. We have been injury free this year. Walton's injury actually helped us since Dyer got her minutes and gives Walton another year!

    ReplyDelete

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