28-10 run sinks UofL on Wahoo Senior Day
Louisville WBB got a dose of the medicine they've been serving ACC opponents this season...Virginia blowing by the Cards in the final eight minutes to put a 75-59 drubbing on Jeff Walz's crew on Senior Day in Charlottesville, VA Sunday afternoon.
The potentially bad thing for Louisville and the rest of the ACC is that the Wahoos (17-12, 7-9) graduate just one and have a nice recruiting class coming in for 2015-16. UK transfer Sara Beth Barnette the lone loss. We had originally thought Sarah Imovbioh was leaving (and wouldn't mind seeing that 22 point, 17 rebound performance from today disappear) but she'll be a redshirt senior next year.
Louisville led early in this one. Mariya Moore nailing an opening three a minute into the contest and Jude Schimmel's trifecta had the Cards up 8-7 five minutes in.
The homestanding Cavs went on a 6-0 run to regain the lead over a three minute stretch but the Cards did return the favor with their own 6-0 run...capped by a Dyer putback to lead 14-13 at the 9:27 mark. The teams battled evenly as the half wore down...Virginia leading 32-31 at the break.
The Cards were having trouble containing UVA stars Faith Randolph and Imovbioh from scoring and Imovbioh owned the boards, especially on the defensive end.
Louisville saw Virginia go on a 11-3 run over the first five minutes of the final half but the Cards mustered one last rally over the next seven minutes...getting strong interior play from Emmonnie Henderson, Sara Hammond and Shawnta' Dyer.
Unfortunately, the Cards became the gang that couldn't shoot straight over the final 1/5th of the game...Louisville battling back to lead 49-47 at the 8:06 mark after a Shawnta' Dyer jumper...after being down by 43-34 with 15:56 in the half.
It got ugly for the Cards after that. UVA shot 53% in the second half and made 20-25 free throws to pull away. The Cards starters (Sherrone, Jude, Dyer, Sara and Myisha) ended up with only 31 of UofL's 59 total points. The offensive uncertainly was glaring at times.
Henderson led Louisville with 13 points in 13 minutes. In typical "E" fashion, though...she committed five fouls in that space of time and watched from the bench as UVA pulled away. Dyer joined her in double figures with 12. the Cards shot 33% (25% in the second half) and were outrebounded 39-28.
In the final eight of the game, the Cards defense seemed a step slow and almost resigned to the defeat and Virginia scored time after time and grabbed the Cards missed shots. It got hard to watch, honestly. A memory one would like to forget as the regular season ends.
On an afternoon where Louisville hope to gain momentum going into the ACC Tournament on Friday, it was Virginia who climbed on the back of Uncle Mo and rode him to the wire to secure a #9 seed in the ACC Tournament and avoid a necessity to play on Wednesday.
Louisville will have plenty of time to review and improve on this one....they'll play the final game Friday night against whoever emerges from the first and second round battles in their half of the bracket into the quarterfinals.
Imovbioh is now what we all believe Henderson could eventually be. Randolph is a top five guard in the ACC, maybe top 10 in the nation. Yesterday, they combined to pull off their biggest win of the season...and give Louisville something to ponder as they head to Greensboro.
Softball stings Yellow Jackets series finale
Louisville softball finished their stay in Atlanta with a sweep of the Yellow Jackets Sunday afternoon. The Cards got the bats unpacked for this one, winning 15-2 in six innings.
Madi Norman (3-4) got the win for the Cards, allowing the two runs on just two hits in 3.2 innings...Maryssa Becker finishing up with 2.1 inning of shutout ball and just one hit.
The Cards loaded the bags in the first but got just one run across. They atoned for that with four in the second, Hailey Smith with a two RBI single and Becker delivering the same.
Brittany Sims had a solo home run in the third to make it 6-1 UofL. It was her second round-tripper of the season.
The Cards tacked on two more in the fifth when Sydney Benz drove home Becker and Nicole Puhafl to make it 8-2 .
They saved the fireworks for the end...the top of the sixth produced seven UofL runs...Becker blasting a three run homer with Kayla Soles and Smith on board and Whitney Arion sending one out that brought home Benz and Puhafl.
Louisville will open up play at home with the Louisville Classic March 6-8. Illinois State, Ball State, Massachusetts and Northwestern come to town.