CARDS GO TO 16-4 WITH WIN OVER MIAMI
Mariya Moore recorded her sixth straight game in double figures and second-highest point total of the season with 24 points...helping the Cards WBB squad hold off a pesky and determined Miami squad in the KFC YUM! Center 63-59 Sunday afternoon.
Moore was joined in double figures by Briahanna Jackson with 11 points and Myisha Hines-Allen's 10 in a contest where Miami never had the lead but never trailed by more than nine.
It looked early on that the Cards weren't going to have much trouble with the big wind out of south Florida...jumping out to a 11-4 lead halfway through the first session after a Jackson layup plus one. A Moore three had the Cards up 14-6 with 3:40 left in the quarter...but there was some cause for concern when Hines-Allen took a "inadvertent" elbow to the face sixty seconds later...after a Jessica Thomas layup. Myisha lay motionless on the floor for a scary minute before leaving the court with light assistance. The Cards got a BJ jumper with 1:16 remaining to build a 18-11 first period lead and that held to the end of the quarter.
Miami was cold from the hardwood...shooting just 4-16 (25%) in those first ten minutes. Stellar guard Adrienne Motley had seven of the Canes' points...Louisville had seven from Moore and a Jackson five to lead the way.
The "U" heated up to begin the second frame. A 5-0 opening run, capped by Nigla Greene's 3-ball pulled the visitors within two. UofL responded with buckets from Asia Durr, a plus 1 from Moore and Hines-Allen jumper...who returned to the contest shortly after the quarter started...to climb to a 25-18 advantage with four minutes until half. Miami wasn't ready to see an "L" next to their name yet, though and battled back. Motley's three with a minute to play closed out a 7-2 Hurricane run to make it 27-25. The Cards swung it back in their direction to close the half...MHA powering one through in the paint and Moore providing first-half highlight reel...screaming for the ball from Durr and then hitting a deep trifecta with four ticks left on the scoreboard to give Louisville a 32-25 halftime lead.
The Cards were getting it done on the boards with a commanding 28-15 rebounding edge and had 22 points in the paint. The M&M girls had 10 of the Cards 14 points in the period and Mariya led all scorers with 13 points in 19 minutes of play.
Moore knocked down another three to begin the final half but Miami controlled the next 150 seconds with a 6-0 run that had them within two at 35-33 after Jessica Thomas connected on a jumper. It was Louisville's turn to go on a run...and they responded with a 6-0 Durr spurt...the sophomore nailing a three and then getting fouled on a three attempt and sinking all three charity tosses. The Cards would push the lead to 45-36 when Jazmine Jones hit one of those pretty mid-range jumpers at the 3:26 mark. Emese Hof entered the game for the Canes right around that time, though, and started gaining control of the paint...the 6'3" sophomore from the Netherlands hit two shots and grabbed two boards to cut the Cards margin to 47-43 after three.
The Cards tried a variety of combinations on Hof ...Cortnee Walton, Sam Fuehring, Bionca Dunham, Ciera Johnson and Kylee Shook earlier in the contest...but Walz stayed with his starting five (Myisha, Mariya, BJ, Cortnee and Asia) the entire fourth quarter. The opening scenario seemed familiar...Louisville starting the quarter hot with a basket each for the M&M girls and Miami charging back. Hof scored inside to get the Canes within three at 51-48 with 6:36 to play. A Hines-Allen basket was reversed by the Joe Vaszily-led referee crew with four minutes left and 10 seconds later Motley knocked back a three to cut it to a 55-53 Cards.
(Credit to Joe the Ref again tonight. At the end of the third quarter he gave the game ball to a little girl seated by me on media row and she was able to pose for an adoring grand-dad's photos with it. She was reluctant to return it to start the fourth...if it had been me, I would have tossed it into the stands along with the peanuts the cheerleaders were throwing)
Louisville needed an answer and Mariya offered one. Her fourth three of the game made it 58-53. BJ claimed the "circus shot" of the game prize 80 seconds later with a falling-down, turn-around desperation jumper (which, in the post-game presser, she claimed she practices) to set the tally at 60-55 UofL. Miami coolly responded with scores by Hof and Keyona Hayes to climb back within one with 1:21 on the clock.
The "U" would not score the rest of the way. A 30-second Cardinal time-out produced a jumper which Moore missed. She grabbed but also missed the put-back. Hines-Allen was there to grab that miss, fortunately, and got fouled. The Montclair, NJ junior rolled in both unguarded ones and it was 62-59 UofL. After UM's Thomas couldn't get loose for a three to tie with 10 seconds left and settled for a jumper...Moore grabbed the miss and was fouled. She added a free throw, missed the second, but got her own rebound and the Cards got the win 63-59.
Louisville had defended the home-court against a very talented and definite NCAA Tournament participant later this year in Miami. Another great guard combination (Motley and Thomas) defeated. The Canes got double digit efforts from Motley (13), Thomas (11) Hayes (10) and Hof (10)....in going to 14-4 on the season and 3-3 in conference.
Just another day in the ACC...right?
HOW DID FRED DO?
|Early '60's rock n roller Freddy Cannon|
Rebounds -- Winning the rebound battle was a pre-game objective and Louisville did control the backboards in Sunday's game with a 46-31 advantage. 11 for MHA, an impressive eight for Asia...Mariya and Cortnee combined for 13. The 20-6 difference in offensive boards was good to see...UM's starters only had 15 grabs. A capital "R" is the designation here.
Effort/Execution. Walz went with the starters exclusively in the final ten and Jazmine Jones saw 16 total-game minutes. 36.9% shooting isn't exactly great...but the Cards got 16 second-chance points and out-scored the Canes 32-22 in the paint. Louisville had 14 turnovers while forcing just 11...so The Five Second Turnover Bakery was open Sunday. After much deliberation, we can see a small case "e" here...Louisville did win and never trailed.
Defense. Stopping Hof was a task for the Cards and Miami regrouped to end up shooting 41.4% for the game after an atrocious start. Holding Motley...easily one of the best three players in the ACC... to 13 points (her season average) was a key. Holding the Canes to 31.6% from three-ball range (they were second in the ACC at .378) and 15 points less than their season average of 74 will allow us to offer a small case "d" in the final category
FINAL FRED COUNT: f-R-e-d
It was nice to see Mariya continue to stay hot from the floor and do all the other things that make her one of the best all-around players on the team. Good to see Myisha return with a double-double after the Florida State disappearance. BJ with her usual non-stop energy, hustle and effort. The circus-shot was icing on the cake...
The Cards did not fold in the final and crucial three minutes on Sunday...which was a relief....doing so with the starters. Beside Jazmine, the Cards bench saw only 20 of the 200 minutes available...which makes us wonder if Walz is paring the participation down to those he can somewhat depend on. Quality minutes from seldom-used Bionca Dunham aside...who did grab three boards, hit two shots and get a block in six minutes...not much out of Taylor Johnson (3 minutes) Kylee Shook (1 minute) and Ciera Johnson (3 minutes).
We won't quibble too much about wins in the ACC. Especially against top 15 teams. It just makes one wonder if a pattern has started here in playing time distribution. I suppose we'll find out more against a very talented Georgia Tech squad which will ramble into the YUM! Center on Wednesday fresh off a nine-point win over visiting Syracuse yesterday. At 13-4...the Atlanta invaders can not be overlooked.
No one can in this league...it seems.
THEY SAID IT
Links to the post-game chatter below.
BJ AND MARIYA POST GAME
WALZ EXPLAINS THE ACC TO PAULIE
Results for Sunday and Monday. I went 5-3.
-- Georgia Tech puling off a slight surprise with a 75-66 win over Syracuse.
-- Pitt shellacking UNC 68-48
-- Tennessee coming back against Notre Dame 71-69
-- FSU demolishing Clemson 86-27. No, not a mis-type. 86-27
-- Cards beat Canes 63-59
-- Virginia over Boston College 62-55
-- NC State squeaks by Duke 57-55
-- Virginia Tech holding on against Wake Forest 72-70
I'm 27-8 so far (77.1%). Maybe I should be picking UConn games to boost my win percentage...
We celebrate the life and achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr on this Monday. There's a brief video below about the man who stood up for what he believed in and what was right.
I remember where I was on the day Martin Luther King was assassinated. Home...sick in bed...and my mother waking me up and watching the TV coverage with me. Wondering if all this senseless killing would ever end.
I still wonder that today.
video -- MARTIN LUTHER KING JR
Early morning, April 4. Shots rang out int the Memphis sky. Free at last, they took your life. They could not take your pride. -- song by U2 -- ( Pride) LINK: U2 Pride on You Tube