WITHOUT MOORE, B.J....CARDS CONTROL CAVS
Starting lineups with the University of Louisville women's basketball squad lately have been like a box of chocolates (sorry...Mama Gump). You never know what you might get.
On Senior Night...it was Mariya Moore and Briahanna Jackson's turn to serve one game suspensions Thursday night in the KFC YUM! Center (Coaches Decision -- Unspecified Team Violation) the reason again. Jackson probably couldn't have gone regardless...still day-to-day with the back and no rushing it is the plan with that...but without Moore...the Cards put Myisha Hines-Allen, Asia Durr, Jazmine Jones, Cortnee Walton and Kylee Shook out there to go after the opening tip against Virginia and the combo had a bit of trouble clicking at first.
Walz was straight-forward about the suspensions in the post game:
“We’re continuing to teach all of our kids that the choices they make affect everyone. It’s not just them or their teammates, it affects the fans, too."
Tied at 5-5 halfway through the first and trailing 8-7 with 1:20 left in the quarter...the shots weren't falling for the Cards against the Virginia zone and "the bakery" was definitely open with six first quarter turnovers (for each team) in a 11-8 first quarter that was pretty hard to watch. Euphemistically, you could call it a defensive battle...but besides Durr's seven points...there weren't a lot of bright spots.
Louisville responded a little better in the second quarter. J.J. got things popping with two scores to start action, Durr nailed a three and Hines-Allen ran off six straight points to give the Cards a 24-15 lead with 2:15 until half. Another Durr three pushed that advantage to 27-15 and a Sam Fuehring put-back gave the Cards a 29-18 lead at the midway break. This was looking a little more like the Cardinal team we've come to know.
The Cards were beginning to do some good things. They held a 23-13 edge on the boards, 13-1 advantage on second chance points and Durr had nailed three threes and had 13 points. Ciera Johnson gave the Cards 10 strong minutes in the half and Shook and Hines-Allen had five grabs each. JJ's hustle, over-all play and six points were encouraging.
Then, things got a little dicey.
Virginia came out to start the third quarter on a 10-2 run...showing the Cards they weren't going to be an easy out. At 31-28 with 5:44 until half-time...the crowd of 7981 was starting to get a little nervous. The Cards needed a couple of players to step up and Durr and Hines-Allen answered the call. Hines-Allen rolled in two charity tosses and got a put-back score in the next minute, Durr drilled another three and after another Hines-Allen inside score...the Cards had gone on a 9-2 run in three minutes for a 40-30 lead. UVA got another clutch three out of Breyana Mason (she went 5 for 6 from the deep in 38 minutes) but the Cards held a 42-35 margin as the quarter ended.
Walz needed one more factor to bust up the Wahoo zone starting the final period and found it early in Sydney Zambrotta. After Durr started the quarter with a jumper, "Z" drained two threes...sandwiched around a Hines-Allen score and the Cards were up 52-38 with 5:29 to play. Louisville had a 39-20 rebounding edge at that point and it appeared the Cards were safely on their way to their 24th. victory of the season. A Durr jumper at 2:38 gave UofL a 56-42 lead.
The final 1:30 was a free throw fest...where Louisville made nine out of 12 attempts. Virginia would cut the Cardinal lead to nine on a couple of occasions...but MHA's final two charity tosses with 25 seconds left set the final margin at 66-55.
Durr led all scorers with 24 points and also grabbed seven boards. Hines-Allen narrowly missed a double-double with 21 points and nine rebounds. Mason ended with 19 for the Cavs on 7-11 shooting.
HOW DID FRED DO?
|Just when you think you've seen it all...Fred's have their own|
water now. Paul's can't be far behind, right?
-- REBOUNDS. A massive edge for UofL here...43-24. A nice balanced effort, too...All 10 Cards who played grabbed at least two except Bionca Dunham...who only played a minute. We have no problem with handing out a capital "R" for the grab domination.
-- EFFORT/EXECUTION. Louisville worked hard against the tough Virginia zone with some successes. 41.8% shooting was buoyed by 11-22 50% second half numbers. The Cards did have 16 turnovers...too high for us...and were the victims of 11 steals. All in all, an effort good enough for a 11-point win. The Durr and Hines-Allen show is enough to award a small case "e" here.
-- DEFENSE. The Cards did keep the Wahoos to under 40% shooting and did force 17 turnovers. 55 points is 26 less than UVA put on the Cards in Charlottesville and the two teams basically tied in the second half with 37 points each. We'll forget about the two Wahoo runs and give out the small case "d".
FINAL FRED COUNT: _-R-e-d
THINGS WE LIKED
Two out of three ain't bad...The old Meat Loaf song holds court here...the top three in the Cardinal hierarchy was diminished by one but the remaining two came through gangbusters. Thanks Asia and Myisha for making sure the seniors got a win on Senior Night.
Senior night...It's always hard to say goodbye to the graduates...but it was good to celebrate their time here. Cortnee didn't totally break down...maybe because she had half the state of Arizona at half-court with her. Briahanna chose to get her framed photo with her wearing #23...her jersey from her junior year here. She said she gave up #23 to Jazmine Jones this year because she was the new and upcoming and she was graduating. Once again, the un-selfish and assisting Briahanna...Taylor grinning broadly with parents...thrilled to have been a part of the Cards for a year. We'll miss all three of these dedicated Cards.
Shoot 'em Syd! She's becoming a crowd favorite with those three-bombs...is Ms. Zambrotta...and she knocked down two rainbows out of four tonight to the delight of the crowd. As our former mayor of Louisville kept yelling when she was in..."You're a shooter, Syd! Not a passer or driver!" The gunslinger on Main Street at high noon. Pull that trigger, Z.
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
What is up with these Coaches Decisions/team rule violations? We're a bit peeved that good players are having to sit because they are breaking rules. You only get maybe 130 games in a career. Why screw it up for you and the team by not being able to follow the rules? Let's hope the lessons are finally learned and everyone has the deviation from policy out of their system.
Struggling starts. We had hoped these were a thing of the past. Granted...with two starters sitting...it wasn't full-strength Cardinal WBB out there to open. Still...non-performance early against a Notre Dame or a strong first or second round NCAA foe might send the Cards to the sidelines earlier than we all want in the upcoming tournaments
Wins are the prime directive this time of year and the Cards did just that. Not the prettiest or easiest...but give UVA some credit for giving Louisville a battle until the end. The Cavs probably won't get a NCAA invite but could have gotten on that fence if they had beaten Louisville tonight...so they had a lot on the line as well tonight. We're getting a bit antsy with these ever-changing lineups...everyone get healthy, on the same discipline and rules page and go do work.
THEY SAID IT.
TAYLOR, CORTNEE and BRIAHANNA POST-GAME
JEFF WALZ POST-GAME VIRGINIA ON SENIOR NIGHT
SOFTBALL DROPS TWO IN CALIFORNIA
Tough start for the Louisville Softball team in Cathedral City, CA on Thursday...losing two close games. #9 Arizona downed the Cards 5-2 and #4 Oklahoma was a 2-1 winner over Louisville.
The Cards grabbed a 3-1 lead in the first game on a three-run Lillie Goetz shot in the third inning but were unable to maintain it and missed out on a great opportunity in sixth with the bases loaded and no outs. Megan Hensley took the loss for UofL against the Wildcats....just five hits but a few key errors by the Cards spelled "L". The Cards also had five hits against Arizona.
In the nightcap, Louisville and the Sooners were tied up at 1-1 in the fifth inning but an Oklahoma double and Cardinal throwing error allowed the home team to take a 2-1 lead they never relinquished. Maryssa Becker allowing just two hits but Louisville only able to get two hits as well in the contest.
The Cards will face #24 BYU at 2 p.m. today.
I went a perfect 7 for 7 on Paulie's Picks for Thursday.
Georgia Tech knocking off Clemson 72-58
Louisville beating Virginia 66-55
NC State handling North Carolina 80-60
Notre Dame romping Boston College 82-48
Syracuse defeating Wake Forest 85-64
Miami downing Virginia Tech 79 69
Florida State taking care of Pittsburgh 79-48