DEFENSE AND DURR STING YELLOW-JACKETS
Louisville women's basketball hit seven first quarter threes and held Georgia Tech to two second quarter points in their 91-51 win Wednesday night in the KFC YUM! Center. Mariya Moore and Asia Durr combined for six of the trifectas (three each) and the visitors went scoreless for a 7:40 stretch in the second quarter where the Cards stretched a 33-15 lead to a 50-15 halftime total.
This was undoubtedly Louisville's best defensive effort of their ACC campaign so far and the Cards backed it up with a sizzling 62.1% shooting effort in the first twenty minutes (18-29) to blow this one wide open.
Jeff Walz agreed about the defense:
"We came out defensively and really followed the game plan. What's nice is you've got about 17-18 games now you can watch on an opponent and that really helps you prepare on how to stop them."
Louisville took a 6-4 lead and pushed that out to a 22-8 advantage over a four minute stretch in the opening quarter. Durr had two threes in that sequence and Kylee Shook and Mariya Moore added one each. The period ended with the Cards comfortably ahead 27-13 and the crowd was buzzing about Louisville's 7 for 10 beyond the arc marksmanship.
If Tech was discouraged by the Cards opening efforts, the second frame probably sent then into a deep depression and sense of hopelessness. After getting a jumper from Chelsea Guimaraes to make it 33-15 with 7:40 until half-time, the visitors from Atlanta went 0 for 12 the rest of the way as the Cards finished the second stanza action on a 17-0 run.
'Rambling wreck' pretty well described the state of the "techsters" and the Cards were the body-shop technicians providing the dismantling.
A 50-15 halftime score. Louisville had backed off the three attempts in the second period...making and taking just one...but held a 18-4 points-in-the-paint advantage and 25-15 rebounding edge. Durr had 17 points and Moore contributed 10.
Georgia Tech didn't completely fold in the tent...they scored the first four points of the third quarter and managed 21 points in the ensuing ten minutes...but Myisha Hines-Allen was getting heavily involved with eight third-period points...including a six point run in the final two minutes and Walz was going deep into the reserves by the end of the quarter. It was 75-36 after three and the only question that remained was if the Cards would reach the century mark on the scoreboard to match their 100th win in the KFC YUM! Center.
The Louisville starters sat out the final period and Bionca Dunham turned in a nice seven minutes with five points, three rebounds and two blocks. Sydney Zambrotta nailed the Cards final three and the Joneses and the Johnson's looked good along with Sam Fuehring's solid ten minutes. Jessica Laemmle did not enter the game...she was feeling light-headed and kept herself out of the action. Maybe it was because all of the first-half excitement...we were pretty giddy on press row...
Louisville won the final session 16-15 and ended up a forty-point winner 91-51.
A larger than expected win, for sure, against a squad that was 13-4 and 2-2 prior to the contest. That long sought-out, pot-of-gold at the end of the rainbow named consistency had been realized and found on a night where Louisville scored 40 more points than the opponent and took seven less shots...
HOW DID FRED DO?
-- Free Throws. 10 Cards attempted them and three made four each (Hines-Allen, Moore and Taylor Johnson) The final numbers were 20-34 which is an unsatisfactory 58.8% and won't get a letter. Maybe the only disappointing factor in Louisville's performance tonight.
-- Rebounding. A huge effort on the glass tonight with 48 grabs...compared to Georgia Tech's 30. No double digit grabbers...but no one played more than 26 minutes tonight except Moore and she had eight. A definite capital "R" here. Rebounding was a pre-game key and accomplished.
-- Effort/Execution. A very good effort against a decent team. Just 10 turnovers, seven blocks, 57.4% shooting and 20 assists on 31 made baskets. The 14-8 edge on points off turnovers, and 37 bench points make it easy to award a capital "E" on a job well done by all.
-- Defense. As mentioned earlier, this was the best defensive effort the Cards have turned in against ACC competition and maybe of the season. A no-brainer here, we bestow a capital "D" for the defense.
FINAL FRED COUNT: _-R-E-D
THINGS WE LIKED
Congratulations Cortnee! The red-shirt senior had two attempts from the floor tonight in the paint and made them both. Nice assists from B.J. both times...she took her time, used the backboard and converted.
B.J. bustin' it! Check out her stat line from last night. 2-5 from the floor, eight rebounds and seven assists in 23 minutes. It's what you like to see from a point-guard and she performed the role well Wednesday.
Front line frenzy. The reserve front-liners...Ciera Johnson, Sam Fuehring, Bionca Dunham and Kylee Shook had 23 points tonight and no turnovers in 45 total minutes of play. An excellent effort.
Durr-ability. 7 of 11 shooting (4 for 8 from three range) for #25. Showing why leaving her unguarded is a real bad idea if you're playing the Cards.
THINGS TO WORK ON
We won't harp on it too much but free throws weren't that great. Asia's 2 for 6 and Jazmine's 1 for 4 efforts need to improve. When you have 10 players attempting them in a game that had 49 fouls...maybe a drop in production should be expected. In any event, 58.8% is below our suggested 70%.
A great way to end the home stretch and hit the road for three games...this convincing, a bit surprising and thoroughly entertaining win over a decent ACC foe in Georgia Tech. The incredible long-range bombing in the first quarter, the shut-down defense in the second quarter and getting to see extended period of playing time for all made it a wonderful and memorable night in the KFC YUM! Center.
The Cards (17-4, 5-2) step out of conference for a game at USF next in what feels like it should be a conference match...given the frequency these two have met over the years. Georgia Tech (13-5, 2-3) will try to regroup and re-gather for an arduous task at surprising and capable Wake Forest.
If the Cards can keep this intensity and consistency up the remainder of the way...it could be a delightful final 1/3rd of the regular season. The road is tough, no doubt, but the stops at USF, Clemson and Pitt are definitely winnable and would put Louisville at 20 wins on the season and a team to be feared by all.
Walz remarked during his presser that the only win streak he wants to see would begin March 11th and go for six games (The NCAA Tournament). That led to a Paulie lesson provided by Coach that seven wouldn't be possible. Once again, I remain baffled by the brilliance and amused at the alacrity.
|The insidious Insell. Why is he pointing at the|
referee's hand? C'mon Rick...give her "five".
Rick Insell (MTSU) before Paul? Let's keep in mind that the committee is possibly Knoxville based...the Hall of Fame is on the U.T. campus. Rick was great friends with Pat Summit. Sure, let's put a guy associated with abuse to Tennessee Walking Horses in the Hall of Fame...I love it.
Jeff Walz is 3-1 lifetime against Insell at MTSU. He's never been associated with animal cruelty that I'm aware of, except for "beating-a-dead-horse" in his post-game remarks on occasion, and I think he should be in the next class, along with his mentor Sanderford.
A comment about the association with the mistreatment:
If you would like to see Paul Sanderford in the WBB Hall of Fame, please e-mail Dana Hart...who is the president of the organization.
THEY SAID IT
The post game presser:
ASIA AND MARIYA DISCUSS THE WIN
WALZ INTRODUCES BASKETBALL TO PAULIE AND MAKES THE CASE FOR PAUL
put Paul Sanderford in the Hall of Fame