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Friday, December 2, 2016

LOUISVILLE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL -- Cards comeback falls short in 78-72 loss to Maryland



ASIA DURR'S 20 NOT ENOUGH IN LOSS


The University of Louisville women's basketball team used a 11-0 run to start the fourth quarter to erase a nine-point deficit and take a 64-62 led in front of 7816 in the KFC YUM! Center Thursday night...but the comeback died there and #5 Maryland went on a 16-10 run over the final five minutes to down Louisville by six...78-72.  


Heart. Winning and losing. 

Subjects Jeff Walz's kept coming back to in his post-game presser.

After making a gallant bid to overtake the Terps...the Cards were still in a dog-fight with less than three minutes to play...tied at 67-67...but a missed Asia Durr jumper and huge three-point play plus two free throws by Maryland freshman Destiny Slocum keyed a 7-2 Maryland run to make it 74-69 with 46 seconds left on the clock. It seemed the visitors were making the big plays and stops while the Cards were falling short and a step slower. After getting back into the game, the Cards went 3-12 over the final five minutes. Fatigue wasn't a factor...Maryland wanted it more and went and got it.

For some inexplicable, debatable and hard-to-define reason, whatever momentum the Cards had decided to leave through the Main Street exit doors of the KFC YUM! Center in the last three minutes of this one. Rudely and abruptly.
  
Poise. Toughness. Composure. They were things Maryland head coach Brenda Frese pointed to as key elements that brought Maryland back off the ropes. That, and hitting their final seven free throws...Slocum sinking five of them. Slocum being able to shrug off whatever happened earlier in the game and just go get the win. 

Louisville started the contest well...jumping out to a 18-9 lead when Durr sank a three with 3:36 left in the first frame and led after 10 minutes 24-20. It was Durr doing the damage...11 points in that stretch. 

Maryland wasn't intimidated, though and battled back to grab a 28-26 advantage when Shatori Walker-Kimbrough connected with 7:08 until the half off a nice pass from Slocum. They would stretch that out to 40-32 after two Kiah Gillespie free throws at the 3:14 mark...but the Cards would go on a 6-2 run to end the half...A Durr jumper setting the halftime score at 42-38. 


Although Myisha Hines-Allen started to show signs of life in the third quarter after a first half of two points...Louisville fell victim to a 11-2 Terrapin run over a four minutes stretch that had the Big Ten member leading 55-45 after Slocum nailed a jumper. Things weren't looking so good for UofL after three...trailing 62-53. Where would it lead from here? 

It led in a pretty good direction to start...this fourth quarter, get-back-into-it-and-take-the-lead stretch...followed, sadly, by the late letdown for Louisville. When Briahanna Jackson sank a fast-break layup with 5:41 remaining to give the Cards a 64-62 lead...it was deafening in the YUM! Center. Hines-Allen was playing with a renewed vigor and it looked like Louisville might just be ready to grab control of this game again and go on to win. 

Then, the air went out of the balloon.  Hines-Allen basket plus one gave Louisville their final lead at 67-65 but the Cards couldn't get the defensive stops or hit the shots and free throws the rest of the way.

Durr led the Cards with 20 points (on 8-27 shooting...including 3-14 from three-point line) and Myisha and Mariya rounded out the Cards double-digit dwellers with 16 and 13 each. B.J. added nine points and dished out eight assists and Cortnee Walton, getting her first start on the year, played 35 minutes and ended up with eight points and a team-high nine rebounds.

It's hard to explain exactly what happened to Louisville in the final 3:15 Thursday night...even Coach Walz was stumped by it..except that a freshman visited the KFC YUM! Center for the first time (appropriately named Destiny) and had her way with the Cards at the end of the game. 

HOW DID FRED DO? 


'Fred' barely made an appearance tonight. Certainly not like the ones the late Freddy Mercury of Queen ...who is pictured to the left... used to put on for the fans. Speaking of singers...CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO favorite Robbie Bartlett did the National Anthem tonight...and nobody does it better! We love "The Robster". 

-- FREE THROWS -- Louisville went 6-14 from the stripe. That's below 70%...a paltry 42.8% to be exact and we can't award a letter here

-- REBOUNDING -- A 48-35 edge for Maryland in the battle of the boards. Having Walton back helped some...and Myisha did grab seven...but when you lose the rebounding battle, especially by 18 on the defensive end, no letter gets awarded here either. 

-- EFFORT/EXECUTION -- We loved the fast start and the furious fourth quarter comeback...but when it came to "crunch time" the Cards were out-played. Asia Durr left it all out on the court, so we'll award a small case "e".

-- DEFENSE -- Louisville held Maryland to 18 points under their season average and 4-23 three point shooting...but Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones were a combined 15-23 from the floor. The Cards forced 18 turnovers, so we'll hand out another small case "d". The defensive intensity at the end left a lot to be desired. 

FINAL FRED STAT:  _-_-e-d


WHAT WE LIKED 

-- Astounding Asia. She gave it her all in 37 minutes of play and, despite the 8-27 shooting and 3-14 three-point night, she showed us again tonight why she's the best player and hardest worker the Cards have currently. 

-- Courageous Cortnee. 35 solid minutes in her first start of the year and providing some key rebounding...plus 4-5 shooting. That's not bad and will probably improve. Welcome back, C.W.

WHAT NEEDS WORK

-- A return to successful three-dom. 4-23 is 17.4% and I don't know of a coach in college hoops that would rave about that. Granted, Asia took 14 of them...but Mariya and B.J. need to get back into a knocking these home mode. 

-- Sealing the deal. Louisville was primed and posed to win this game. They had Maryland back on their heels and all the momentum. Then, it stopped. Call it what you will...lack of heart, no killer instinct, not wanting it as much...but this was a prime opportunity that slipped away. 

FINALLY...


Losing back-to-back games to top #5 teams is certainly no crime, maybe expected by the rest of the basketball world and we wouldn't be surprised to see Maryland (as well as South Carolina) playing in the Final Four come tournament time. The outrage could get pretty vocal, though, if the Cards fall to Kentucky. Cardinal fans want to beat UK in everything and in women's basketball...well, let's just say I'm gonna dread the e-mails and comments here at the site if UofL doesn't win Sunday at home against the gals 80 miles up the road on I-64 East.

There are reasons for concern, sure...about the fact that the Cards can't beat a top-five team. They had a boisterous crowd, home court edge and no referee bias against them last night (total fouls were 19 on Maryland and 20 on Louisville and Dee Kanter, Billy Smith and "Louie" Gonzalez are three of the best in college WBB). Still, the Cards could not get a win.
  
Yes, these are early-season games and this has been the toughest part of a pretty brutal five-game stretch for Louisville. Conference play matters much more...but the patterns you set early in the season can sometimes provide a road-map for the rest of the year.

It's time for this team to show they are a top-ten team instead of talking about their desire to go to Dallas this year. Right now, they aren't a top ten team and would be a prohibitive long-shot for the final four. Time is a saving grace, though, and you need to have a short memory sometimes...but actions speak louder than words. It's time for Louisville to close some doors and out-play the competition. Sunday would be a good day to start. 


*          *          *           *          *          *          *          *          *          *

POST GAME WALZ LINK : WALZ POST GAME MARYLAND  (Make sure and catch where Coach "zings me" at the 9:45 mark...loved it!) 

POST GAME HINES-ALLEN AND ASIA DURR LINK: MYSHIA AND ASIA POST GAME MARYLAND

POST GAME BRENDA FRESE: POST GAME MARYLAND WBB HEAD COACH BRENDA FRESE

paulie
xxxxx




41 comments:

  1. Paulie you do a good job of staying positive but still keeping it real.
    I still think we'll take KY by 10 or more because of how thin KY is upfront.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was there for the taking tonight. Just couldn't deliver the knock-out punch and Slocum had an amazing performance at the end for a freshman. *WHEW * What a game.

      Paulie

      Delete
  2. Let me add B.J. to your list of players getting kudos. Coach Walz had very positive things to say about her play and effort. In fact, that is about the only positive he had in the after game radio show.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. B.J. had eight of the Cardinals 15 assists and went hard for 36 minutes....inspired everyone in the YUM! Center with her dives to the floor and also left it all out there. I agree, she was one of the things I liked last night.

      Paulie

      Delete
    2. BJ heart & hustle can't be out match, but she needs to make more of her open shots.

      Delete
  3. In a tight game you have to hit your foul shots especially down the stretch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that is what Maryland did. They sank their final seven. Louisville 2 for 5 in the final ten minutes.

      Paulie

      Delete
  4. I wish I had been able to watch this one. Miss the days when all of the home games were available online.

    That Walz presser was pretty interesting. Clearly not a happy camper and you can't blame him. On the positive side we only had 7 turnovers vs turning them over 18 times which is impressive against a top five club like MD. We also had 7 steals to their 2.

    Looks like we did a lot of things right. We made five more field goals than MD but (and here's the game) they hit 17 more free throws than us on 14 more attempts. They shot double the number of free throws than we did at 28 vs. 14 and hit 82%+. That's the game. You don't win games against good teams shooting free throws like the lunchtime crowd at the Y.

    Get up off the ground, dust yourself off and let's get UK. Maybe a box and one on Epps with BJ making her life a living hell?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's the replay link:

      http://www.espn.com/watchespn/player/_/id/2940650/size/condensed/

      Paulie

      Delete
    2. I think you HAVE TO PUT A CHASER on Epps and B.J. would be my choice. I think you also bring in Jessica, Taylor and J.J. for spells to put a fresh body on her. Let Okahfor or Morris beat us if they can. Cut off the head and the beast dies. Epps is that beast. Bring the guillotine.

      And hit some free throws, Cards. This is getting embarrasing.

      Delete
  5. Paulie, just how bad was it in the press conference last night? I heard Walz went off on a major tangent?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Listen to it. We have it linked. Walz was 100% spot on in his comments. Except for my underachievments. LOLOL. I miss Faber College and my seven years with Belushi.

      Paulie

      Delete
    2. Coach Walz was real upset he just wants the best for the team when you play for Louisville you have to be the best.lol Paulie

      Delete
  6. Wow, Paulie! Do you and Coach have some comedy routine worked out in advance? Classic stuff. Louisville needs to want it. Competitive wise and refuse to lose wise. The Millennials need to suck it up, tough it out and face the real world.

    -- The Real Joe Hill --

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. No pre-determined routine. I've known Coach since he got here...longer than anyone in the room last night... and when he needs to change gears or lighten the mood, we have a little fun. I never received a "competition" award and probably would have tossed it if I did. I suffer after defeats, stew about it and have the drive and desire to this day of having that will to win and not to lose. Coach tells it like it is and I hope his players "get it". If not, they need to move on or start "getting it". No one needs to be serving milk and cookies and delivering coloring books after a loss. As far as pointing out just the Millenials...not so sure about it being limited just to them. My dad taught us to compete with the intention to win and learn from defeat.

      Paulie

      Delete
  7. Maryland is a real good team cards showed big heart regaining the lead but didn't hit foul shots in the critical moments of the game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We lost by six and went 2-5 from the foul line in the fourth quarter. Not the only reason Louisville lost. Four missed shots by Louisville in a space of two minutes late in the fourth quarter hurt the Cards much more.

      Paulie

      Delete
  8. Paulie, you are right when you point out that there is no disgrace in losing to two top five teams this early in the season. Don't underestimate Walz. He's using these and portraying these to get this team ready for conference play and beyond, which is what really matters. Sure, all Cardinal fans want to beat Kentucky. In everything. Yes, I'll be upset if they don't beat Kentucky Sunday but I equate this Louisville team to a fine wine that may need some aging but will be excellent when they are finally ready to serve.

    Curtis "Pour me another, I'm not as think as you drunk I am" Franklin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For sure bring on kentucky another good solid opponent.
      This is where you earn your stipes.Let GO CARDS!

      Delete
  9. Cortnee was a warrior last night on the boards working with one arm.Also cortnee needs to take the open shot.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello! I'm a Maryland WBB huge fan and was surfing for different comments about our win over you last when I found your site. You all got it going on! Paulie, you were complimentary to us, pointed out that the referees were not the issue and I agree with you that Dee, Billy and Luis are three of the best in women's college basketball.

    In short, we hit our free throws down the stretch and that was the difference maker. I watched the ACC Network Extra feed and was surprised to see Sara White in a commentator role. I figured she still might be coaching somewhere. The guy with her was a homer big time but I guess you have to expect that.

    Keep up your good work on Louisville. I'll send your web site address to a few Maryland die-hards like me. Your coverage is un-biased, complete and I like that you add post-game interviews.

    Did Brenda do one?

    Yours is the best review I've read of the contest last night. We loved Jeff when he was here and his recruiting made it possible for us to win a national title. I have no doubt he will bring Louisville one as well. Good luck the rest of the way and I'll be following your great site (and comments, too). Your readers know the game as well.

    Top Turtle Fan
    Baltimore, USA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading and commenting. You are too kind. I do have Frese audio and will try and post it on the site later. If you have SoundCloud access you can hear it there under the Cardinal Couple recordings.

      Sara isback in town...happily involved in real estate and working for the ACC Network. The guy (Don Russell) was a legendary broadcaster in Louisville from the late 70's to the late 80's. He got into some other things but has recently returned to Louisville play by play. I like Don and have known him a long time. Yes, he can get homer. He loves the school.

      Thanks, again!
      Paulie

      Delete
  11. Paulie have you noticed Uconn is rolling blew DePaul out last night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes...and what a consider a very good DePaul squad. Geno has them coming along and ranked them #2 in the nation the other morning on Howie's show (behind Notre Dame).

      Paulie

      Delete
  12. Why so much emphasis on conference regular season? We went 15-1 last year and we're not that good a team. We found out in the ACC tourney and NCAA tourney. The conference literally stunk most of last year. This year Fl St is better early, as is Miami, ND, NC St, Duke, NC, Va Tech and maybe Ga Tech.
    This year will be a better test for us going into the tourney. Last year was a total joke for ACC competition with all 15 of our wins being double digits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Wade ACC. not a cake walk this year.

      Delete
  13. I turn the sound off when Sara White is on. I'm sure she is improving though cause she was real bad past few years

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. You're not the first to mention that to me, Wade. Sara knows the game, no doubt. Some people aren't thrilled with the delivery style.

      Delete
  14. I see it differently. Competition awards can spur kids on to greater goals. Paulie, you tell Walz to just shut up about his personal credo and just coach the team.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He has been known to read the site and the comments. I'm guessing you just told him

      Paulie.

      Delete
  15. I like everyone else likes Walz. BUT, geez, he does say the same stuff about the players all the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walz shoots from the hip. He is not trying to win a popularity contest. He hates to lose. He is one of the best five coaches in the country. He is trying to improve his team.

      Delete
    2. Then quit blaming the players. Take responsibility as a coach If you say they lack heart and will to finish games then recruit kids who have heart and will.

      Delete
  16. While I'm on a cold streak. 15 players is asking for transfers. It's nuts. Where is that good for the players? I predict we lose 2 key surprise freshman and not the ones you think. You can't spread that much playing time around without consequences when players see other teams with 11 and 12 on rosters

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 15 players asking for transfers seems a bit high, Wade/ Maybe a typo on your part? Cards have averaged 2-4 a year over the last couple seasons. You come in, see how you fit in and if it doesn't work out for you and you want to play, you go.

      In other news, "E" throws in the indoor shot put tomorrow at Vandy.

      Paulie

      Delete
    2. I wasn't clear on that Paulie. With 15 players you are going a higher amount of transfers including some surprises you don't expect or want.
      With 15 players the coach is saying I'm covering my butt. Players aren't stupid. Everybody for themselves.

      Delete
  17. It plenty of playing time in the future 3 player leaving this year two next year.
    Can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen.lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ceira starting next year
      Kylee getting big min next year
      Jaz getting big min next year
      Dunham getting getting big min.
      Sid player point

      Delete
  18. He spends time talking about how good B. Jones is and what a pro Walker-Kimbrough is and she played 40 minutes and what a gym rat the frosh pg Slocum is.
    Recruit kids like that.
    Brenda F. beat him at home again only because she has better players. Not because she is a better coach. She is a better recruiter.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Chill everyone....later on in the season Coach Walz's comments after games will become much more positive. Happens every year. Good teams need at least a couple of players that refuse to lose.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL. Viv, did u get a sneak peek at David Watson's article for Saturday? He says basically the same thing.

      Paulie

      Delete

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