HINES-ALLEN'S 20 PACES CARDS TO WIN
It wasn't a thing of beauty...especially in regards to Louisville's first half defensive effort...but the Cards embellished upon a five point halftime lead to put away Tennessee Tech 76-54 Friday night in Cookeville, TN.
Myisha Hines-Allen led the Cards with 20 points...equally split between both halves and Louisville outscored the Golden Eagles 19-8 in the pivotal final period to improve to 6-5 on the season.
Jeff Walz wasn't overly thrilled over the Cards performance
"We played better in the second half but our defense is still an issue. When you give a guard like [ Samaria] Howard that much confidence early on, she's going to punish you from the floor. Plus, we missed nine layups. I promise you, we work on them every day. I'm at a loss to explain it. We hit some of them and it's a 30 point plus win."
Howard had 20 points for the Golden Eagles...but only three in the final 20 minutes. She had three of the seven made threes for TTU.
The Cards got good early play from Hines-Allen and Erin DeGrate early in the contest and led 10-5 halfway through before ending the first period ahead 23-17. Both posts had six points each for Louisville...who had a decided advantage inside the entire game. Louisville had a 42-10 scoring edge in the paint with 3:50 remaining in the game.
The second stanza featured a run by each squad. The Cards put together a 9-0 run to lead 37-23 with 3:21 left until halftime. Tenn. Tech battled back with a 11-2 run to close the half and trailed only 39-34 after twenty minutes.
Howard was on fire for the Golden Eagles with 17 points. Louisville was shooting 49% but allowing the home team a 46% shooting accuracy.
Louisville picked up four fouls in the first three minutes of the third period but held TTU scoreless for the first 3:14 of the session. The Cards got the contest back to a double-digit lead at 45-34 with 5:50 to play and ended the quarter with a 57-46 advantage.
It was 62-48 after two minutes of final period play and the Cards continued to increase the margin. A Briahanna Jackson three set the margin to 67-52 with 3:32 to play...part of a 9-0 run that put Louisville in the driver's seat 71-52 after Hines-Allen sank two free throws.
Walz turned the final minutes over to four freshmen and Dakota Weatherford and she nailed a three with a minute to play to put the Cards up by 20 at 74-54.
Louisville did force 27 Golden Eagle turnovers and held the home team to a total of 20 second half points. Joining MHA in double digit scoring was Jackson and Moore with 11 each. Arica Carter played a very solid game for the Cards and finished with nine points. All 11 Louisville players that saw action scored and the Cards were 6-6 from the free throw line for the game. Syd Brackemyre watched in her warm-ups after undergoing surgery two days ago on her knee.
Redemption Train rolls to South Carolina next for a Sunday afternoon contest against College of Charleston.
It wasn't a convincing win or over-powering one but the Cards never trailed in this one after the first four minutes and were never in any danger of losing it. It counts in the win column. Moore had three of UofL's six threes...but no second half points.
The total attendance was announced at 943 but maybe 200 were in attendance for the majority of the contest...the TTU men were scheduled to play Miami (OH) after the women's game...maybe the Cookeville crowd has to pace themselves in basketball endurance...or hoops just isn't that big a deal in that part of Tennessee. Regardless...the victory is Louisville's fourth in the last five games and Myisha Hines-Allen continues to shine bright for Cardinal WBB.
One game at a time...one day at a time. The wins may not be eye-popping...but they are wins...and that beats the alternative.
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