Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Louisville Women's basketball...Cards hop over Jackrabbits 83-30 -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
JAZMINE JONES GETS CAREER HIGH 15 IN WIN OVER SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 83-30.
This was no tortoise vs. hare race in the KFC YUM! Center Wednesday night when Louisville women's basketball faced the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Maybe more like a souped up 1971 Dodge Challenger screaming past a 1972 Ford Pinto. Louisville used a very fast start off the blocks and a 21-5 second quarter to effectively put away the visitors and sped to a 53-point win in front of 7408 fans.
Jazmine Jones had a career-high 15 points for the Cards...12 of them in the first half...as the freshman from Tallahassee, FL. went 6-8 from the floor in 14 minutes of play. It was pretty much share the wealth when it came to playing time...all 14 that could go for UofL did...and all seeing at least five minutes (Dunham) but no more than 25 (Durr)
Beside Jones, Sydney Zambrotta...or "Z" as Sean Moth fondly refers to her...scored 10 for Louisville...going 2 for 4 from trifecta land and Myisha Hines-Allen...or MHA as we like to call her finished with 10 as well. 12 Cards scored and Louisville shot a wicked 50.7% from the floor (35-69).
It was strictly no contest for the majority of this one and Louisville's finest defensive effort of the season helped bring that about. They forced 30 turnovers and held S.D.S.U. to 19.6% shooting. In all fairness, the Jackrabbits leading scorer Macy Miller did sit this one out with knee trouble, and without her the visitors went 2-22 from the three point line and gave up 15 steals.
The Cards wasted no time in starting the party...ripping out to a 11-0 lead in the first 4:39 of the game. Four different Cards scored in the speedy start. A bit of a lull ensued...the Jackrabbits responding with a 7-0 run..but two J.J. jumpers stretched the Cardinal lead to 15-9 and Ciera Johnson's two free throws sealed a 17-9 first ten minutes for the home squad.
J.J. continued the fireworks in the second stanza...scoring eight points in a 10-5 Ville run that set the board at 31-14 with 3:31 left until halftime. The Cards proceeded to score the final eight points of the half and a set play for Kylee Shook resulted in a long three with five seconds remaining until intermission .
It was 38-14 after twenty and it really didn't seem that close.
A Durr three started the third frame festivities and Louisville got a 30-point edge on another Shook three to make it 48-18 with 6:20 to play. The Cards would push that to 61-25 by the time the third period ended.
Walz began to distribute the playing time to those who haven't received a lot of it in the fourth session and Sam Fuehring and Sydney Zambrotta stayed on the floor the entire period. Fuehring tallied four points and grabbed two boards in her time...it was Zambrotta's 10 that led Louisville's reserves to a 22-5 edge in the fourth and the final margin of 83-50. The Cards win! The Cards win!
HOW DID FRED DO?
Free Throws -- The Cards got good performances from C.J. (4 for 4) and J.J. (3 for 4) and ended up sinking eight of their 12 attempts. This equals 66.7 % and although it is short of the mandated 70% we like to see...and since the starters only attempted three in the game...we'll offer a lower case "f" here. It is the gift-giving season, you know.
Rebounding -- Louisville got another outstanding performance from Walton with nine but no other Card had more than five. That's understandable...given the playing time for the players...they did out-rebound the "wrasically wrabbits" by one so the lower case "r" seems appropriate here.
Effort/Execution -- Everyone that played seemed to be working their tails off and shooting over 50%, claiming a 42-14 edge in the paint and scoring 38 points off the 30 turnovers was a sign the cards were clicking. We'll go out on a Christmas branch here and assign a capital "E" for this category. Deck the halls!
Defense -- The Cards best defensive effort of the year. No hesitation in rolling out a capital "D" for this item.
FINAL FRED COUNT: f-r-E-D
WHAT WE LIKED
-- We got a basketball Jones, we got a basketball Jones...and we like it! You can see the confidence and knowledge growing each time Jazmine Jones takes the court and it's a very fun thing to watch. She's been first off the bench for the Cards the last several games and the spark that she provides and excitement she creates in the seats is...well...very electric. You might say...she's "all that Jazz." That wide smile tells us she loves the game and puts in the work to excel at it. The smiles her teammates get when they watch her or talk about her is an indication that we're not the only ones enjoying this J.J.'s version of "Good times!"
-- Finishing strong. A dominant final half (45-16) and final quarter (22-5) is what we like to watch and the Cards shot 77% in the last ten. Granted, it was a well-defeated South Dakota squad by then and we don't see Walz ending close games with Syd, Jessica, Bionca, Sam and Brianna on the court...but to see a lead continue to grow at the end and not shrink or disappear creates a happy ending for all (except the visiting team). Outscoring WKU 24-9 to end that game was impressive but this one tonight was a 40 minute culmination which is better...in my humble opinion.
-- Defense, defense! It was tenacious, ever-present and the Jackrabbits may still be wondering just what hit them. I call it the best defensive performance of the year. If you can come up with a better one, I'm willing to listen.
THINGS TO WORK ON
-- Celebration levels. I hope the squad can fully appreciate and enjoy just what they accomplished Wednesday night. It was a true marvel to behold and there's no harm in doing a little woofing about winning one bigger, much bigger then most thought they might.
-- The weather. Man, it's cold in Louisville, KY! Where did those 80 degree days go? 16 degrees with the wind chill and 1 above by early morning. Eeewwwww!
An excellent way to end a very tough five game stretch. It was the kind of blow-out Louisville needed after close games against Maryland, Kentucky and WKU. I hope it is an accurate look and view on how the Cards will continue to play defense and team basketball. It would be a wonderful thing to witness if this effort continued against Charleston, Evansville and at Vanderbilt.
9-2 is about where I thought the Cards might be at this stage of the season and wouldn't it be great to have Syracuse come in here and have to face a 12-2 Cardinal squad?
Louisville is showing that they have an even ten or so that can start or come in and positively affect the action. That's important to have when you go into conference play and beyond. If they can stay at that level of accomplished student-athletes, they'll be a tough "out" for anyone.
LOOK WHO'S TALKING
Your post game interviews...
CORTNEE WALTON AND JAZMINE JONES
HERE WE GO AGAIN...
Wake Forest guy had a big mouth, has to share secrets and Louisville Football gets all the pounding and rage tossed at them. Nobody cares about Wake Forest football, granted, but this is not the felony...it is receiving stolen property...which is bad enough.
The right thing would have been to disclose the leak. It was not until after the school released the leak and it was not handled properly on Louisville's part.
We reach a pinnacle with the Lamar Jackson success story and then get pulled back down off the mountain by this?
Sad. Ugly. Disgusting. C'mon, man. Especially now that main-stream media has jumped on this like a bulldog with a new ham-bone.
Joe Walsh -- Here We Go