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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Louisville women's basketball grounds Skyhawks 88-66 -- Tuesday CARDINAL COUPLE



18-2 run in third quarter sends Cards flying past UTM.


The University of Louisville women's basketball team used a 18-2 third quarter run over six minutes to turn a one-point lead into a 19-point advantage Monday night in the KFC YUM! Center before a "red-out" crowd of 8690 in their final non-conference test before ACC play by defeating UT-Martin 88-66.  

The Cards held a 41-33 lead over UTM at the end of the first half but the SkyHawks ran off seven straight points to begin the final half to cut the Cardinal lead to 41-40 after Katie Schubert connected with a jumper in the paint with 7:51 remaining.



The Cards caught on fire after two missed shots, though, and goals from Mariya Moore, Briahanna Jackson and then threes from Moore, Asia Durr and Taja Cole put the Cards ahead 55-42 with 3:05 to play. Cole hit two more shots in the next 75 seconds and UofL had expanded the margin to 59-42 with 1:50 left in the third quarter.  

Mariya Moore commented on the run: 

"It was just a different mind-set. We knew we shouldn't have had a break-down in the beginning [of the half]...so just buckling down, remembering how the first half went and how we got that lead..playing defense, getting stops and capitalizing on our opportunities around the basket." 

Cortnee Walton spoke of the offensive spurt:

"When they first started coming back, Coach Walz had warned us to not let them get on a run...so we came back and we were scoring at will, scoring whenever we wanted to. We were getting stops, too, and when we get stops it makes it easier to get good shots and score." 


The Cards jumped out to an 11-0 lead in this one and led 16-4 after a Durr layup with 4:11 left in the first. Myisha Hines-Allen had 11 of Louisville's 20 first period points and the Cards led by eight. They were able to maintain that eight point lead going into the half...watching it shrink to two with 3:21 remaining before Walton and Carter scored four each in a 8-2 run to end the half. 


Six Cards hit double figures for the contest. Hines-Allen (13), Walton (12), Jackson (12), Durr (12) Moore (11) and Cole (11). Nine of the ten Cards that played scored. Erin DeGrate sat out the contest with a bruised knee. All players saw at least six minutes and no one played more than 33 in Louisville's seventh win in their last eight games.

THREE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT THE WIN: 

-- Shooting. 15-16 from the free throw line and 54% from the floor

-- Freshmen contributions. The four freshmen had 32 points and just two turnovers in 52 minutes of playing time. Sam Fuehring had seven points in the final period...Cole and Durr combined for 12 in the pivotal third quarter. 

-- Points off turnovers. 40 points off 24 turnovers. 

AREAS TO IMPROVE:

-- Shooting defense. UTM also shot 54% from the floor. How many games do you think the Cards will win in the ACC when the opponent shoots over 50%? Louisville wanted to limit UTM's threes...and they did....holding them to 6-16 beyond the arc. The Skyhawks were 21-34 on two-pointers, though...and that's almost 62%.

-- Paint protection. Louisville outscored UTM by only 46-40 in the paint. DaiJia Ruffin and Shy Copney had a field day on the dribble-drive. 

-- Visiting S.I.D. press release. We were shocked to find out from the UT-Martin press guide that the Cards had returned to the American Athletic Conference. Journalists...always the last to know. Might wanna proof-read that thing next time, Sundance...

And, for God's sake, people...Louisville's team nickname is the Cardinals...not the Cardinal. The Cardinal is a fine student-newspaper on campus. Or the Stanford nickname. 

FINAL, DELUSIONAL THOUGHTS AND MUTTERINGS

So, with conference play looming Friday against powerhouse Florida State...is Louisville ready for ACC play? I posed the question to Jeff Walz in the post-game press conference. Without batting an eye, here was his reply:

"We play Friday at 4. Ask me at 6." 

(Gotta love a coach who so eloquently pontificates on his squad's potential preparedness...)



Could me and my buddies here from Clemson
shoot 50% against Louisville? 
Let's be brutally frank and honest here. Teams seems to find easy ways to score on Louisville. The Cards let substantial leads disappear at different stages of the contests. The freshmen are getting better...encouraging but will this improvement stand the test of the FSU's, Duke's, Miami's, Syracuses' and Notre Dame's of the ACC? 

We discussed the "dependables" yesterday and they were...well...dependable. Carter, Cole and Durr had good efforts against the OVC Skyhawks and that was somewhat expected. If games were one quarter, Sam Fuehring might make All-ACC First team. 

But...as of now...this isn't the third best team in the ACC or the eighth best team in the nation. 

I'll call the Cards to task on the need for improving "FRED" .

Free Throws
Rebounding
Easy Shots
Defense

Cards, meet FRED. Get to know FRED really well over the rest of this season. Make FRED your best friend and inspiration. Without FRED, any long stay in the NCAA Tournament hopes or maybe even a .500 conference record are dead.

paulie
xxxxx



paulie

9 comments:

  1. The Cardinal vs Cardinals thing drives me crazy as well. But, I just wonder at some people's thought process when they dress to attend a ball game. Without leaving my seat last night I saw three people with UK gear on, one with Northwestern and one with Notre Dame. Okay, so you are a fan of those schools not UofL but I feel sure each of those individuals had some piece of clothing in their wardrobe that did not have the name of a college on it. Just tacky as my momma would say. Oh, and the guy from Northwestern probably did not see one minute of the game - he was too busy playing a game on his phone. Why come?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some people's pride in their favorite team or school is sadly misplaced at times. Years ago, I did wear a Bears' jersey to an establishment that prided itself in being a Packers hangout. I wasn't trying to be controversial or stand out. I just liked the jersey (and the Bears). Never since then. The UK stuff at UofL games (sans the Cats in the arena) is just stupid. Wear an ugly sweater or a white shirt instead. And, sadly...Vivian...we live in a "need to know it now" society. What's trending on Twitter sadly seems to out-rank a live sporting event for some.

      Paulie

      Delete
    2. I don't think wearing your jersey to a hangout quite equates with wearing another school's logo, etc. to another teams game. Give you a pass on this one.

      On the other hand, I have to give credit to my sister-in-law, a long time UK fan, who watched the men's game last Saturday with a room full of UofL fans. Not a peep out of her the whole game until after it was over when she raised her arms and said "woo-hoo"

      Delete
  2. Paulie, even if team is 100% at "FRE" I'm afraid that "D" is going to be their downfall this season. This is just not a good defensive team and ACC teams will exploit that. It doesn't appear to be an effort/intensity issue - to my untrained eye the effort is there but it looks like poor execution. Not sure you can fix that mid-stream but I'm sure Walz will give it his best shot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I partially agree with you. I think in earlier games there *was* an effort/intensity issue. But, yes, I think we saw good effort/intensity last night with some serious breakdowns in execution.

      That, however, is actually encouraging to me. Execution can be taught, effort/intensity can't. We had problems with effort/intensity earlier in the year, and you heard it in Walz's voice and what he was saying that he didn't really know how to get the team to buy in. It seems like they have at this point, now they just need to fix the mistakes and that is something that can be seen/found and fixes worked on. Yes, it's harder mid-season than it would've been pre-season, but that's where the team finds itself at this point, and hopefully these young women will learn the meta-lesson of the need to be bought in to the process from the very beginning.

      Delete
  3. FRED. I like it Paulie! Last night FRED showed up in all areas except defense. Free throws were great, Louisville won the rebounding battle, not too many easy shots missed but the Cards did give up some easy shots. Defense remains this squads major liability. FRED was FRE last night.

    Nick O.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice write up and comments. I know coaches these days have to deal with some motivational issues that weren't necessarily present in prior years, but even having a discussion about lack of defensive effort or intensity in the ULWBB program seems a bit surreal. It just doesn't appear that the coaching staff has "reached" this club yet. Hope it turns around in a big way in a big hurry.

    The good news is that March is a long ways away. The bad news is that conference play is going to magnify any weaknesses already present.

    I'm also concerned about hearing coaches saying that Durr needs to "learn to live" with pain. She's only a freshman and if she's having enough ongoing pain that it impacts her ability to perform then maybe she needs to sit until she's totally healed and playing largely pain free. No point in risking her game or her health for the following three years.

    That free throw performance was impressive though...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Durr looked pretty special against UTM and is an essential key for this teamif there is to be ACC success. As long as the doctors give her the 'green light' in that continued play won't make her hernia injury worse...we hope she can manage it and continue to contribute. After all, nearly a million people in this state go through daily pain by wearing blue and living under the delusion that Kentucky has the best sports program in the state.

      Paulie

      Delete
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