Thursday, February 4, 2016
Louisville Women's Basketball -- Cards Wake Up, Step on Tar Heels 78-60...Friday CARDINAL COUPLE
MOORE, DURR, HINES-ALLEN LEAD LOUISVILLE TO 15TH STRAIGHT
The University of Louisville women's basketball team used a 31-10 third period run to set aside North Carolina Thursday Night in Chapel Hill, NC to improve to 10-0 in ACC play and 18-5 overall.
This one started weird. The Cards got two Mariya Moore free throws before the opening tip because of an administrative technical foul assessed to UNC because of a shot-clock malfunction above one of the baskets. Given the early benefit, Louisville raced out to a 9-4 lead after Moore knocked down a three...but UNC...playing on heart and emotion...had narrowed that to 9-8 by the media timeout with 4:43 left in the period.
It was part of a TarHeel 12-2 run that had them up 16-11 after Hilary Summers connected on a trey with 1:40 left.
The Cards were able to draw within two with 35 seconds on the clock after a Moore plus one...but the the first ten minutes ended with Louisville trailing 16-14. The Cards had no answer for Summers, who had eight first period points. Moore had eight for Louisville, but the Cards were sleepwalking on their defensive sets and missing wide open attempts in the paint.
Louisville's Jeff Walz began substituting to try and find some answers in the second stanza...but UNC got two threes from Destinee Walker and blew out to a 26-18 lead three minutes into action. Asia Durr tried to rally the Cards and her nine points in the period, plus an unlikely Sam Fuehring three drew UofL back into a 28-28 tie with a little over two minutes before halftime. Stephanie Watts provided a rally for Sylvia Hatchell's squad though...and Louisville went to the locker room down 32-28. The Cards were shooting a miserable 28% and allowing UNC to score inside, despite the size disadvantage.
Jamie Cherry got UNC off to a good start to begin second half action with a score and free throw and North Carolina began the quarter on a 10-4 run...leading 42-32 after a Watts three at the 7:55 mark. Louisville needed some answers...and they found them from the deep. Threes from Durr, Arica Carter and and Moore gave the Cards a 48-46 advantage. A Cortnee Walton basket after the media timeout had Louisville on a 18-4 run and ahead 50-46. The Cards went on a 13-6 run over the final four minutes to lead 63-52...Durr getting a steal and layup with little over a minute left to put Louisville up by 11. The run was 31-10 and Louisville shot 50% in the third period.
The Cards continued to pull away over the final period. A Moore three with 5:45 remaining set the tally at 71-54...giving her 22 points on the night. Attack Yorkie Dakota Weatherford entered the contest with 3:45 left... a sure sign that a Louisville win is eminent... and Myisha Hines-Allen added two free throw to push the Cards to a 75-56 advantage with 2:45 to play. Carter knocked down another three with 86 ticks left on the clock and Louisville left the Carmichael Arena with a 78-60 win.
THE FRED REPORT
FREE THROWS. 19-22 is 86.4% and we'll take that anytime. Durr was 6-6, Hines-Allen 5-5 and Moore went 7-9. A capital "F" is well deserved here...
REBOUNDS. Louisville won the battle of the board 44-26 and held UNC to just 6 offensive rebounds. MHA had 10 and Walton nine...we have no problem assigning a capital "R".
EASY SHOTS. Way too many of these missed in the first twenty and although the Cards won the points in paint battle 32-28...no letter earned here.
DEFENSE. There were stretches were the Cards played well defensively but the first half lapses were costly. Louisville got 11 steals and forced 19 turnovers, though...so we'll allow a lower case "d"...primarily earned in the second half.
WHAT WE LIKED
1) The "Trio". Moore (23), Hines-Allen (19) and Durr (21) had 63 of Louisville's points. And, they each had a quarter that they were dominant in. Even with Hines-Allen's slow start...we like the dependables doing what they're expected to.
2) Sealing the Deal. That eight-minute, third period stretch where Louisville put this one out of reach was impressive. They'll need to re-enact that for 40 minutes Sunday...but the Cards certainly looked like a top-10 team when they were rolling.
3) Cashing In on the Free Ones. 19-22 from the charity stripe. We'll say it again...when you make the unguarded ones...you're doing your job.
THINGS TO WORK ON
1) Getting Out Of The Gate. Louisville looked sluggish, dis-interested and out-of-sync early. Against a squad that has only six scholarship players left...maybe you get away with it from time-to-time. Against some future foes...no way, Jose...
2) Point guard production. Cole and Carter were 2-10 from the floor and Cole fouled out in 20 minutes of play. Although Briahanna Jackson is considered a "2"...her 0-6 night and three turnovers was disappointing as well. When three of the four guards in the primary rotation have sub-par performances against a guard-heavy opponent, major improvement is needed.
A nice win on the road against a foe that continues to tail-spin. Functional...yes. Impressive? Maybe in spots. The rubber hits the road Sunday. 10-0 v 10-0. Test? Oh, yeah...you bet. Time to "Get On The Train" again and stoke the engines up for the Irish. Walz wants 15-16,000 there. Let's do better than that, Cards fans.
Moore and Durr on Periscope after the UNC game.