WBB to face WKU Saturday in Bowling Green
Micah Jones, Tasha Brown, Ivy Brown (no relation) and Kendall Noble drew the introductions Thursday night in a 74-60 loss at Ball State that was the opening regular season game for Western Kentucky. The other returnee Jalynn McClain sees time off the bench...as does Dee Givens, Ima Akpan and Taylor Brown (once again...no relation to the other two Browns).
A game where WKU led by 15 midway through the second period but some hot shooting by the Cardinals Nathalie Fontaine in the final 20 allowed them to blow by the Toppers in a decisive 4th. quarter where they out-scored their guests 31-18. Fontaine ended up with 30 points...the vast majority of them inside the paint.
WKU's best overall player may actually be their fifth starter freshman Kayla Smith...a 6'1"guard/forward who hit for 13 points to lead WKU in scoring and showed a nice range of shot-making ability, including the three ball.
The Toppers do love to put it up from behind the arc...bombing away for 31 trifectas against BSU. They are shooters but weren't great at being makers from the deep...hitting only eight. Watching them last night revealed several things. They run a very patient side-to-side offense...working for the open look. They'll use the entire shot clock. They also go to the offensive boards fairly well for a small team but had a hard time stopping BSU inside when the Cardinals had the ball.
Micah Jones is the primary ball handler...the point guard has a nice touch from the deep also and distributes well. Noble is the best defensive stopper and will probably draw Louisville's Briahanna Jackson...WKU plays a lot of man-to-man defense. Tasha and Ivy Brown, along with McClain are the major post scoring, interior defense and rebounding threats, but Ball State was scoring pretty easily against them in the paint and the Toppers do not work the ball into the paint very often in their offensive sets.
WKU doesn't employ a fast break transition game very often and there were lapses where they didn't get back quickly on defense. Ball State must have missed a dozen wide open layup or inside attempts...especially in the early going when WKU jumped out to the sizable lead.
If Louisville can utilize their quickness and find some semblance of an inside game, the Cards should find plenty of opportunities to score on WKU. The dribble-drive could be quite effective against the sometimes step-slow Toppers defense and Louisville's height advantage could make a difference as well, if that part of the offense has improved. Jackson, Moore and the other guards would be well-advised to push the tempo as often as possible against the foe. WKU looked pretty worn out most of the the final period.
That being said, teams tend to improve after their first game of the season...and Louisville and WKU will both play their second game of the year Saturday.
It should be a fun one in E.A. Diddle Arena Saturday afternoon. Tipoff is 3:30...part of a doubleheader that will start with the WKU men's squad playing Stony Brook in the opener.
We'll be doing our CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR live on-site in the facility beginning at 11 a.m. EST so be sure to tune us in on WCHQ 100.9 FM or on the Internet at www.crescenthillradio.com
VOLLEYBALL LOOKS TO REMAIN ATOP THE ACC AGAINST CLEMSON.
The VolleyCards will host Clemson tonight at 7 p.m. in the KFC YUM! Center in exciting ACC action. Louisville romped the Tigers earlier this season in South Carolina in three sets 25-14, 25-15 25-19.
It's been that kind of season for the Tigers who are tied for last place in the ACC with a 1-15 conference record. Louisville, on the other hand, is 15-1 and holds a one-half game edge over North Carolina for first place in the conference.
Hopefully, a chance for Anne Kordes to get deep into the bench tonight (although the Volleyball players never actually sit on the bench) and a straight set sweep for the Cards would be a great way to start a weekend of Cardinal sports.