Thursday, November 17, 2016
Louisville women's basketball -- Trio leads Cards past MTSU 91-72 -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
MOORE, HINES-ALLEN, DURR COMBINE FOR 66 IN CARDS 19 POINT WIN
The old phrase consists of "Good things come in threes" and three UofL women's basketball players did some very good things last night in Murfreesboro, TN in Louisville's 91-71 win over the Blue Raiders.
Mariya Moore had her season high scoring output with 27 points, Myisha Hines-Allen did the same with 17 points and Asia Durr stayed hot with 22 points to keep the Cards perfect against the state of Tennessee...and on the season at 3-0.
The Cards broke out of the gate alertly and rolled to an early 13-2 edge on MTSU after Moore got an old fashioned three point play with 5:53 left in the first period. UofL built on that and took a 22-9 advantage to the end of the first frame when "Lefty" Sam Fuehring sank two free throws at the 1:10 mark.
Junior Hines-Allen got her 1,000th career point early in the first period on a jumper.
The home team wasn't quite ready to surrender to the red-clad Cardinals yet and managed to fight back to a 26-21 deficit when Ty Petty dropped a trey on the Cards with 4:39 remaining until halftime. Instead of getting a timeout to talk it over, Jeff Walz decided to let the players on the court figure it out. Louisville responded with a 15-0 run over the next four minutes...started by a Durr jumper and Durr three. Add in a couple of Briahanna Jackson free throws and follow with baskets from Moore, Ciera Johnson, Durr and Fuehring and it was 41-21 Cards with 32 seconds to half.
Petty sank a three to end the run and the first half scoring...she had three threes in the first twenty minutes for MTSU...and Louisville walked into the visitors lockers at the Murphy Center up 41-24.
The Cards came out strong to start the second half when MHA connected on a three and inside...and looked to be in good shape when she sank two free throws to make it 62-42 at the 3:23 mark. The C-USA opponent wasn't willing to allow a blowout, however, and went on a 5-0 run over the next two minutes to get within 15.
Calling Ms. Durr. Will Ms. Durr report to the basket-scoring queue? The sophomore dropped a trifecta and layup to push the Cards back out by 20 and a B.J. free throw and Moore putback made it 70-49 UofL after three.
In the "whatever you can do I can do better" scenario...Hines-Allen popped a three and created a steal that led to a layup in the first minute of the fourth quarter. Things looked well-in-hand when three Taylor Johnson free throws gave the Cards a 81-59 advantage and Walz gradually began to replace the starters.
MTSU made one last plunge...going on a 9-0 run that cut the Cardinal lead to 13 with three minutes left...and Walz summoned four starters back off the bench. Louisville ended the game on a 10-4 run...a Hines-Allen jumper, Durr three and the final five points from Moore to secure a 91-72 win.
THE FRED REPORT
Free throws -- Louisville went 21-27 from the charity stripe and (77.8%) and that's good enough for us to award a capital "F". Kudos to Mariya (7-8) and B.J. (5-6).
Rebounding -- UofL had a 44-30 edge over MTSU...Ciera Johnson discovering the backboard for a season-high nine. The M&M girls combined for 16 and Fuehring added five in 10 minutes of play. We'll hand out a capital "R".
Effort/Execution -- The Cards created 20 turnover and held a 19-12 point's off turnovers advantage. We'll gladly accept 49.2% from the floor and 38.1% from the deep. A couple of lapses led to MTSU runs that made it interesting...concentration for 40 minutes still lacking but we'll go with a small-case "e" here.
Defense -- Holding the powerful Blue Raiders to 72 points gets a thumbs up but Ty Petty torched the Cards for 27 points and five threes. I'm pretty sure that wasn't in the coaching strategy...11 for 23 by MTSU out deep gives us a question about maybe being too worried about center Alex Johnson (13 points) and we can't award a letter in this category.
Final Analysis: F-R-e-_
WHAT WE LIKED
-- The Three Amigos!-- Having three big scorers like this is fantastic for the Cards...it gives opponents more to worry about and opens up a lot for each one of them. When you consider Myisha did her work in just 22 minutes...we have to wonder what she'd be capable of in 30...
-- Spark plug B.J. -- It's becoming more about what Briahanna can do beside score this year and that bodes well for the squad. She only took two shots in 16 minutes but was 5-6 from the foul line...meaning her dribble-drive to the hoop is still very relevant. Like Moore, she does a lot of things that don't show up on the stat sheet. What's even more impressive is that she hasn't been feeling good this week and had practiced very little. Way to respond for B.J.!
-- Rallying To The Cause -- MTSU is a very good team and should contend for the CUSA title with WKU. They made several runs on the Cards...but Louisville turned then back with runs of 15-0, 8-2 and a game ending 10-4. The fast 13-2 start took the wind out of a fired up 4516 in the Murphy Center. Handling brief adversity and regaining control gets a big "OK!" from us.
THINGS TO WORK ON
-- Consistency -- We didn't like seeing the Blue Raiders going on runs against the Cards that made nice leads evaporate. Defensive miscues and failure to pick up the open shooter are things that could sink Louisville down the road. It's a 40 minute game and we'd like to see Louisville use all 40 minutes wisely.
-- Turnovers -- The Cards have committed at least 15 turnovers twice this season and while...admittedly...that isn't totally awful...it is an area that could use some improvement. That, of course, is a stat that gets better with familiarly of your teammates and the offensive patterns. I expect it will improve.
Louisville WBB plays three in a row at the KFC YUM! Center beginning Saturday...Bowling Green up first...followed by Lafayette Sunday and Chattanooga Monday night. It's the first three rounds of the Basketball Hall of Fame Women's Challenge and these three should give the Cards ample opportunity to get minutes aplenty for all on the roster. 4:30 p.m. for the first two and 7:30 p.m. for the Monday round.
Two that we'll probably not see for those are Cortnee Walton and Arica Carter. A pair of last year starters are on the rehab from an elbow injury (Walton) and leg (Carter). Walton keeps getting that same 1 to 1 1/2 weeks return prognosis...Carter is less definitive...it's pretty much week to week with her....depending on her pain and mobility levels.
No sense in bringing them back before they are ready, eight?
(A special thanks to Mark Humphries for the game photos)
Louisville Football is in Houston and they're up against the Cougars tonight on ESPN for a 8 p.m. battle. Houston did defeat UofL last year at Papa John's and started out highly ranked until losses to Navy and SMU...plus close calls against Tulsa and UCF dropped them out of the top 25.
They're still to be very much feared, though...and a win against the Cards would definitely propel them back to the top 25.
It should be a good one! Case will recap it for you Friday.