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?
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" .
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.