KYLEE SHOOK PUTS UP DOUBLE-DOUBLE IN CARDS WIN
(Apologies to AC/DC for the headline play of words. Not that they'd notice...)
Kylee Shook continued Louisville women's basketball's recent streak of freshmen stepping up for big games Sunday afternoon in the KFC YUM! Center with 18 points and 10 rebounds...the Cards dealing the Purple Aces a 89-47 loss in front of 8320 on an afternoon where the visitor's shooting was as cold as the weather here in River City.
You might even say Evansville was shook and stirred...(sorry James Bond) by Shook and the Cards...who shot 50% against the MVC foe. The Mesa Ridge (CO) freshman was 8 for 10 from the floor in 17 minutes with a couple of threes.
The Cards allowed E'Ville to hang around early...Camery Williams converted a +1 five minutes into the first score to knot this one up at 7-7...but after that, it was all-Cardinals for the next 25 minutes. Two Briahanna Jackson baskets and a Shook three doubled the score on the Purple Aces and after a layup by Shook and basket plus free throw by Ciera Johnson that capped off a 12-0 Cardinal run...it was 19-7 UofL and 2:26 remained in the first quarter. The Cards ended the stanza with a 8-4 stretch featuring three more scores in the paint and a silky, smooth jumper from Jazmine Jones for a 27-11 lead.
Walz had already played nine players and the Cards had a 18-8 scoring advantage in the paint.
If the first period was rough for the visitors from down the Ohio River, the second period was a tumultuous trip down the Falls of the Ohio. Louisville went on a 13-4 run in the first four minutes where Shook added six points and three rebounds and after a Mariya Moore three...Evansville found themselves up the river without a paddle...staring at a 40-15 Cardinal advantage. The Cards continued the dominance in the paint...without Myisha Hines-Allen and Cortnee Walton, who were seated with two fouls each. A J.J. layup with seven seconds on the scoreboard set the halftime total Louisville 50 - Evansville 21.
Imagine a first half, if you will, where Louisville's starting "4" and "5" saw just 10 combined minutes and had zero points. That did happen in the first twenty...but the Cards were finding other options. Shook ended the second quarter with 13 points and eight grabs, Moore and Asia Durr were responsible for seven points each and Jackson and Jaz contributed six each. Louisville held a 30-2 bench scoring edge and had 10 assists on 22 made baskets.
The Aces kept getting dealt a bad hand in the third. Another 12-0 run from Louisville started the proceedings and Walton finally in the scoring column with a free throw four minutes into the period. A Hines-Allen jumper for her first points set the total at 68-24 Cards...Shook's final three-pointer increased that to 74-25 and the quarter mercifully ended for the visitors after Johnson rolled in a layup to push the advantage to 78-30.
The Cards held a 14-0 mastery in the paint in the third, 12-0 shut out in points off turnovers and shot 64.7% in the ten minutes.
Just when you figured that the school from Southern Indiana might be ready to pack up the flatboats and shove off for home, they showed signs of life in the final period...outscoring Louisville 17-11...against a Cards lineup that consisted primarily of Sam Fuehring, Sydney Zambrotta, Brianna Jones, Bionca Dunham and Jessica Laemmle.
Joining Shook in double figure scoring was Durr with 15, Moore with 12 and B.J. added 11...which included a three. Everyone played at least eight minutes in the contest and Louisville ended with a 56-12 scoring edge in the paint and 48 of the Cards points came off the bench. The Cards held a 49-point lead late in the third and forced 20 Evansville turnovers...while committing just nine.
The final: 89-47. Cards win. The Cards win!! The win streak is five now.
HOW DID FRED DO?
|Fred McGriff had a 18 year|
Major League Baseball career
Rebounding -- Against the smallish Purple Aces, who started no one over 6'1" and had just one 6'3" player on the roster (who played just 4 minutes) the Cards held a 50-35 edge. Jazmine Jones grabbed eight of those in just 14 minutes...Shook's effort was over the top and Fuehring showed her paint prowess with six in 16 minutes on the court. No problem in handing out a capital "R" in this category.
Effort/Execution -- The Cards looked very centered and efficient for 25 minutes of this one. A bit of a slow start and a forgettable fourth quarter did occur, though, and despite the 11 steals and margin of victory...it wasn't Louisville best effort of the season. 50% is an acceptable shooting mark...so, we'll give out a lower case "e" for the effort and execution.
Defense -- 20 forced turnovers, a 23.6% Evansville shooting percentage and 11 steals all indicate that the Cards were stifling when the visitors had the ball at times...they even held UE to 36.4% shooting in the final ten...we can award a letter here...but it is a small case "d". As mentioned earlier, Louisville had 25 minutes of very good defense and 15 minutes of *meh*.
THE FRED TOTAL: _-R-e-d
THINGS WE LIKED
Thinking highly of Kylee...A great effort from the freshman. Coach Walz mentioned she had been working extra after practice on shooting and it was starting to pay off for her. After her 1-6 performance against Charleston, this is good to see...overall, she's 32-64 on the season...not bad for a paint-player...the difference is that she's one who can be effective from outside as well and that showed Sunday afternoon. Besides her 8-10 shooting...Walz also complemented her on the way she ran the floor and how she rebounded with two hands.
Jazzing it up...Another very productive 14 minutes for the Tallahassee freshman with six points, eight grabs, and three assists. She's been getting "first off the bench" honors lately and there's a reason for that. She provided a spark and gets her teammates involved in the action. Consistency. We like it.
Performing without the top billing...Let there be no doubt...MHA and Cortnee are two very essential cogs in this Cardinal machine. Did Louisville fall apart when they went to the chairs, though? No they didn't. The Cards outscored Evansville 20-4 in the first period while the two sat. Hines-Allen played for less than a minute in the second period and Walton saw no action at all. Louisville won the frame 23-10. Let's face it, there will probably be more games this season when fouls catch up with either or both and they have to watch from the sidelines. Let's hope Louisville can respond as effectively in those potential situations as they did Sunday afternoon.
Atta boy, Joe!...Class move by referee Joe Vaszily (who I call "silly Joe") at the end of the third quarter. While chatting with us on media row, he held out the basketball and motioned to a little boy in the front row. With Dad's assistance, he caught the toss of the orb and a proud papa and son posed for Mom's picture with them holding the ball. Nice stuff, Joe! Or, as Sonja mentioned, maybe he was tired of referring and was looking for someone else to whistle the fourth. We tend to give refs a hard time, sometimes. I've been tough on Joe in the past. This was a nice, fan-friendly gesture, though and Joe created a moment in time that the little guy and his Dad will remember for a long time.
THINGS TO WORK ON
They're free, why not take 'em and make 'em? Maybe I get too frustrated with the Cards rarity in being able to shoot 70% from the line...but Louisville is shooting 65% from the line this season and was 50% Sunday afternoon. This can't be coached (although the coaches have tinkered with a few styles and Sam Fuehring did go 2-2 Sunday). This is getting in the gym and getting comfortable with the process by repetition an getting some numbers in.
Closing the deal. As Walz alluded to in the post-game presser, the opportunity was there for players to impress him today with their performances and showing they're worthy of more playing time. Based on Louisville's fourth quarter performance, I don't think anyone that participated in the final act will get any additional stage calls. We may have seen the last of Louisville blow-outs over foes for awhile. I'm guessing that the Cards' regulars will do a better job that the reserves did in the fourth in close games. You have to be ready, though, when your number is called and the Cards final effort Sunday consisted of static on the incoming call.
An excellent performance from Kylee Shook tonight, who passed the Walz test of seeing how she might perform with extended minutes and no Myisha or Cortnee on the court to back her up. We saw 25 minutes of Louisville basketball Sunday that bolsters their #8 ranking and the overall team effort was just what we needed to see as the Cards finish off the recent pastry tray they've been feasting on and move into a lot more serious competition. A zone defense takes work and the Cards put in the effort.
It was good to see that Louisville can go deep into their rotation and not lose much at all during "crunch" time. We'll probably see a shorten cast of characters in the next few weeks performing on the hardwood...my best guess is a rotation of nine or ten...depending on the closeness of the games.
Vanderbilt is next (a shame that one has to fall on the same night as the UK v. UofL men's game) and the Commodores are dangerous on their home court...waiting with a 10-1 record and win over Duke on their resume. They did get trounced by Indiana in Bloomington by 33 and their two-point win at UT Martin raises an eyebrow (Louisville beat the Skyhawks by 43).
New head coach Stephanie White...who has had multiple seasons of success as a player and coach in the WNBA...plus veteran ESPN broadcaster and associate coach Carolyn Peck, who had a fine college coaching career, have rejuvenated women's college hoops in Nashville. The Wednesday game won't be easy at all for the Cards...but one has to feel that if the long-stretches of brilliance that UofL has shown in past games shows up, the Cards will get out of Music City with a "W".
POST GAME CHATTER
It was "Paulie...interview the players" time again in the post-game presser Sunday. Kylee Shook and Mariya Moore were the post-game gals on the podium. No deer-in-the-headlights-look for Ms. Shook...she handled the podium like a seasoned upper-classwomen.
At least the guy from the Associated Press and a couple of the TV folks chipped in when Walz took the stage...and we got a rare Sonja question offered to Coach. They did cut out my Santa Claus question for the players...for the record...Kylee laughingly said she wouldn't mind seeing a car under the tree and Mariya would just prefer to be surprised. (Wouldn't we all?)
LINK: KYLEE SHOOK AND MARIYA MOORE POST GAME
LINK: COACH WALZ COMMENTS ON THE WIN OVER EVANSVILLE
good morning dear