TWO HUGE RUNS SEND CARDS SOARING OVER THE HURRICANES.
No one could blame the UofL players if it seemed like a home-court advantage Thursday night in Coral Gables, FL against the Miami Hurricanes. The UofL men's team, who plays Miami Saturday, and a large contingent of Briahanna Jackson's family and friends were on hand to witness a 29-point demolition of the 'Canes to push Louisville to 14-1 in the ACC.
The Cards actually trailed UM early...when it seemed neither team could find the basket with a GPS device...until Mariya Moore buried a three that was the start of a 7-0 run. Miami would lead one more time at 11-10 before UofL closed the period on a 8-2 run with two scores from Jackson, a Cortnee Walton jumper and two Myisha Hines-Allen free throws. Louisville led 18-13 after ten minutes and Jackson had seven of the Cardinals points.
As it turned out...Louisville was just getting warmed up. Jeff Walz put four freshmen and Arica Carter on the court to begin the second period...Asia Durr hitting a jumper at the 8:40 mark to make it 20-15 Cards...and Taja Cole connecting to make it 22-19.
Then, the Hurricanes ran out of wind.
UofL went on a 20-2 run over the final 7:14...Durr hitting a driving left-handed layup at the half-time buzzer to make it 40-21 Louisville. Defense and rebounding were the catalysts for the scoring....Miami was 1-11 on their final shots of the half and six Cards scored in the spurt. Louisville held a 27-14 rebounding edge and HInes-Allen and Jackson had 11 points each for UofL.
Miami would have one last, fleeting moment of glory...scoring the first five points of the third quarter. Here came Air Raid Louisville again, though...a 21-0 run four the next six minutes...that included two Moore threes and a Jackson jumper that set the tally at 63-27 with a minute left in the third stanza. Louisville led 64-30 after three and Hines Allen had 15 points...including a sizzling 9-10 from the foul line.
|LOUISVILLE MBB was on hand for the game|
(Photo by KK)
DeGrate scored six of the Cards final eight points and the second squad battled Miami's starters the rest of the way to get the 79-51 win.
HOW DID FRED DO?
Free throws were 18-28 and that's below our standard of 70%. It should be noted again that Hines-Allen was 9 for 10 from the line and DeGrate and Fuehring were a combined 5 for 11. We can't award the letter "F" here for overall effort...but we'll surreptitiously try to sneak it to Myisha...
Rebounding ended up a landslide Cardinal victory 53-28. No Card hit for double figures...but all 11 players who saw action had at least one. Capitol "R" easily here. Repeat and apply again....and again.
Easy Shots doesn't get a letter here, even though Louisville had 32 points in the paint. MHA was 3-12 for the game and Carter 1-6. 22 second chance points is nice, though.
Defense was spectacular Thursday night. The Cards forced 18 turnovers, had five steals and held Motley and Thomas to 21 points. Capitol "D"...embellished, underscored and highlighted. Miami scored 51 points....20+ under their average.
WHAT WE LIKED
A great day for B.J. It was great to see her hustle, scoring and overall play return to form. When she's rocking, it helps the Cards present another different and additional challenge for an opponent to overcome. Miami looked shell-shocked at the end of the first half. B.J. seemed quite happy.
Spurtability. The term is attributed to basketball star-turned-announcer Clark Kellogg and Louisville had two great spurts against the Canes. Louisville could have won this game by 50 but Walz shifted into neutral and let the second squad battle Miami's starters.
Beating a top 20-ranked team. Always good for the RPI, the tournament seeding and especially when it is in their gym.
WHAT NEEDS WORK
After a nice win like this one, it's hard to come up with much. We'll just go with free throws and struggling early.
All things considered, a big-time win against an opponent that scared me and plenty of other people. What a difference in this team from the first time the Cards were in Florida this season.
The train rolls on. Gathering steam, speed and momentum.
Don't forget...the Red and Black Classic gets underway today for Louisville softball at 1 p.m.
Yes, today's action will probably be a little chilly but the rest of the weekend looks pretty good. The Cards (6-3) face Cleveland State in the opener and Kent State after that.
Oh....take me out to the ballpark...