Sunday, January 3, 2016
Cards overcome sluggish start for seventh straight win -- Louisville 78 - Ga. Tech 65
MOORE'S 25 PACES UOFL AGAINST YELLOW JACKETS
Mariya Moore's 23 second half points led Louisville in overcoming a three-point halftime deficit and improving to 10-5 (2-0) with a 13-point lead over Georgia Tech Sunday afternoon in Atlanta, GA. in ACC women's basketball action.
Moore, one of four Cardinals in double figures, hit all of the three trifectas she took in the final 20 minutes and went 12-16 from the free throw line.
Trailing 33-30 at the half, the Cards got a Myisha-Hines Allen layup, Briahanna Jackson steal and layup and a Moore three to start the third period on a 7-0 run and a four-point lead that they never relinquished. The Yellow Jackets would cut the advantage to two several times in the third quarter and actually tie the contest at 56-56 with 7:04 left in the final period after two Aaliayah Whiteside free throws...but Louisville responded with Moore three and 8-0 run to regain a comfortable advantage at 64-56.
The Cards finished on a game-ending 22-9 run where Moore had 15 points...ten of them from the foul stripe.
Foul trouble had Louisville searching for answers in the first 20 minutes...including a stretch where Walz had Cortnee Walton, Brianna Jones, Erin DeGrate, Asia Durr and Taja Cole on the court in the second quarter. The Cards fell behind 10-4 early but managed to climb back to a 18-17 end of first quarter lead.
Besides Moore's 23, Myisha Hines-Allen got 15 second half points to end with 19. Briahanna Jackson paced Louisville in the first twenty minutes with 10 of her 13 points and Durr turned in another impressive performance with 11 points. The Cards overcame the quick turn-around from New Years day's game against FSU and won a tightly-contested battle with a strong finish and clutch free-throw shooting performance.
WHAT WE LIKED
-- Facing and handing adversity on the road. The Cards saw Ga.Tech rally to tie the contest early in the fourth quarter but refused to wilt and fade. Moore was essential in that rally and the Cards had no fourth period turnovers.
-- Moore, please! The Cards did a good job getting the ball to the sophomore from Richmond, CA and the Yellow Jackets couldn't stop her...resorting to fouls. Louisville didn't hit a basket in the final 2:44 but did make eight free throws...Moore cashing in on seven of them.
-- Chairwomen of the Boards. Louisville out-rebounded a very strong and aggressive Ga. Tech team 38-31....including a 17-14 offensive boards edge.
-- Freshmen finesse. When called upon, the Louisville freshmen stood up to the test and contributed quality minutes to the effort. 47 minutes and 15 points. DeGrate played a strong stretch off the bench and continues to look better each time she hits the court.
WHAT NEEDS WORK
-- Starting strong. We had hoped that issue was behind Louisville after the dominating start against FSU, but the Cards had four turnovers and just one basket in the first four minutes of play. They overcame it today. That won't always be the case in this powerhouse conference against other opponents.
-- Lead protection. Louisville had a rough start to the final quarter where they lost a seven point lead. Yes, they did come back and regroup...but, once again, that probably isn't going to be the rule of thumb if it happens against this conference season.
HOW DID FRED DO?
Free throws: Give the Cards a capital-letter F in that regard. They hit the 70% criteria with 24-34 for 70.6%. A few late misses that were of consternation...but goal met.
Rebounding: Louisville outrebounded Georgia Tech 40-31 and we'll award a capital-letter R for that category. Hines-Allen, Moore and Walton get tips of the cap for their efforts on the boards.
Easy Shots: No letter to award here. Still too many missed layups and in-the-paint putbacks. Walton's 1-8 shooting night and Jackson's 4-13 outing were particularly painful to watch...especially when they were missing the close ones inside.
Defense: Louisville held Tech to 33.9% shooting ( and 5-20 from long range) so they earn a capital-letter D for their defensive effort. Yes, Whiteside had 24 points but was only 6-18 from the floor.
As Coach Walz said after the game...
"Sometimes you come in and steal one."
...and Louisville did manage to pilfer the final seven minutes of Sunday's contest. A nice showing of heart, grit and determination after Georgia Tech bullied their way back into the fray...and another reason why they call Moore, Hines-Allen and Jackson the "Big Three"...those three accounted for all but four of Louisville's fourth quarter points.
It gets no easier when the Cards return to the friendly confines of the KFC YUM! Center for a Thursday game against one-loss Virginia Tech. The Hokies easily downed Boston College 58-33 Sunday afternoon.
Be sure to catch the article about the game from THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR contributor and Swish Appeal writer Paige Sherrard at the link below. Bonus points awarded for using salient in a sports article!
THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR
If you missed Saturday's live broadcast of The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour, you missed a great show with me, Worldwide, Sam Draut and Paige Sherrard discussing UofL women's basketball.
Fear not, however...the rebroadcast is available on the Soundcloud over at Crescent Hill Radio and at the link below:
THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR 01/02/16
If you're a fan of UofL women's basketball, you definitely want to hear our latest broadcast!