ASIA, CIERA WITH 18 EACH IN HOME OPENER
Patience is a virtue.
It is also one of the things that led Louisville women's basketball to a 73-50 win over Belmont Bruins Sunday afternoon at the KFC YUM! Center in front of 8347 fans.
Coach Walz is quick to point out, when asked, that when Louisville is patient in the offensive set and makes the passes to create the openings or mismatches...he's a happy camper. If the Cards lapse too much into the one-on-one mode, it isn't as productive and effective and gets his attention.
Effective starts in this game with Ciera Johnson (hereafter known as "C")...who tallied 18 points on 6 for 7 shooting and 6 for 9 free throw marksmanship. We'd have to grade her much higher than a "C" in our report card, though...the only real flaw is the 0 rebounds in 19 minutes of play.
Effective continues with Asia Durr...who continued her mastery over OVC competition by dropping four trifecta on the Bruins in eight attempts and going 7 for 12 overall in 22 minutes. This is the Asia Durr Jeff Walz recruited for the class of 2015. When shooters are makers...it makes the servers happy.
Happy includes Mariya Moore who had a full and busy 24 minutes (tops for the team in playing time) with 13 points, a team high six assists and a very effective 6 for 8 from the floor. Add five rebounds...second best for the squad...and we are seeing the evolution of her all-around game continue to improve.
AND, YES...THE GAME?
Louisville struggled a bit at the start against the better-than-your-average-bear Bruins...trailing 8-7 at the 6:40 mark.
Paging Ms. Durr. Will Ms. Durr please report to the three-point line?
Two successful bombs in a row from her, a Moore jumper followed by a Bionca Dunham jumper capped a 10-0 Cardinal run over a two and a half minute span and the Cards went on to hold a 26-16 lead after the first ten minutes.
The Cards stretched that out to 32-16 in the first three minutes of the second stanza and closed out the first half on a 150 seconds...9-0 run that started with a Durr three, Durr layup, Moore layup and "C" score in the paint to haul a 47-25 advantage into the locker room.
Durr's 18 points in 16 minutes led all first half scorers and the Cards were shooting a robust 55% (20-38) from the floor. "C" had the only free throws in the first half (for both teams)...going 3-6.
If the first half belonged to the Douglasville, GA sophomore...the freshman from Duncanville Texas paint-dominator laid claim to the final 20 minutes. "C" posted 11 points... six of them in the third quarter (2-3 shooting and 2-2 free throws) and Moore added five as the Cards pushed out to a 66-37 edge.
Walz began the final ten minutes with Jazz Jones, Briahanna Jackson, Bionca Dunham, Kylee Shook and Taylor Johnson on the floor and had Brianna Jones, Sam Fuehring and Jessica Laemmle out there with six minutes left in the contest. Note to my buddy Christian Payne...who was doing the ACC Network Extra play-by-play...it's pronounced 'Lem-Lee'...not 'La-Meal' when referring to the Mercy Academy freshman. As we've seen in both fourth quarters this year, the opponent has won them...Belmont with the 13-7 edge.
A reader pointed out to me a couple of days ago that I had not done a "Fred" segment so far this season on the games. Thank you for reminding me. Senility is a curse at times.
In short..."FRED" is looking at Cardinal free throws, rebounding, effort/execution and defense. We grade the four and determine whether we can award a letter for each, and if it is large or small case or not at all.
Free Throws. The Cards went 6-13...which is 47.7% That's a big "no bueno". We look for a 70% or better. Here's the thing...only three Cards attempted them in 40 minutes..."C" going 6-9 (which is good for her) but out Attack Yorkie Laemmle and "Der Fuehring" went 0-2 each. Sorry Cards, no letter for you here.
Effort/Execution. The Cards hustled for the most part, created 23 turnovers while committing just nine and had 10 steals. 21 assists on 73 points is acceptable and the starting front line of MHA, Mariya and "C" shot 14-20 (70%) so we'll gladly award a capital "E" here.
Defense. Belmont shot 31% for the game. 4-25 from the deep. Save for the fourth quarter...when the Cards were getting the bench significant playing time...the defense was sharp and made things difficult for Cam Newbauer's squad. 50 points for the visitors and we'll give Louisville a lower case "d" here...the Cards won the second half by a less-than-awesome 26-25 margin.
Final Analysis _-_-E-d
LINK: Walz's post game comments: JEFF WALZ
LINK: Ciera and Asia post game comments: CIERA AND ASIA
|Sleeping on the job again?|
I felt like I was there, though...with Nick Curran and A.J.'s radio call and I did get to watch the ACC Network Extra replay and the nice commentary there. Since I did make the away trip to UTM Friday and football Saturday night...I'm not going to be too bothered by my absence. (Thanks for the e-mails and messages inquiring about me and Sonja...all is well, just a case where we had to do what was necessary because of mobility instead of what we wanted.)
A special thanks to Oldham Era sports editor and AP writer Sam Draut for keeping me in the loop during and after the game. I trained him well, no?
Louisville travels to Mufreesboro, TN to face the Blue Raiders in a Wednesday night tilt.
I did the trip the last time the Cards played there (Dec 4, 2008) but won't be making this one. I spent a week in Murfreesboro that day and besides the excellent fare at Demos Restaurant there wasn't much more to rave about....except the Cards 67-44 win. Someone named McCoughtry had a pretty good game that night.
If you're making the trip down to Murfreesboro...get there early. You owe yourself a meal at Demos.
Middle Tennessee began their regular season in Charlottesville, Va losing to the Cavaliers 51-63. With only 21 first half points, they dug themselves in a hole they couldn't climb out of. You can expect that the Raider faithful will be packed into The Charles M. Murphy Center (and how nice of them to name the facility after Eddie Murphy's hilarious comedian older brother!) for their home opener. They averaged 5,046 a game at home last season...which was 17th best in the nation
Let's hope the Cards can say..."What did the five fingers say to the face? SLAP!" to the C-USA opponent. No TV yet that I know of...STAY CALM...we'll monitor that for you and let you know what we discover.
After all, patience is a virtue. Ask Coach Walz.