ASIA DURR'S 27, MYISHA HINES-ALLEN DOUBLE-DOUBLE LEAD LOUISVILLE...JAZMINE JONES SPARKS OFF BENCH
( The Cardinal Couple Pick 'Em Challenge standings are at the bottom of today's column. We got some good pickers! )
It took the University of Louisville women's basketball team a few minutes to get the engine running against Chattanooga yesterday in the KFC YUM! Center during their first round game of the NCAA WBB Tournament...but once the Cards picked up the defensive pressure...all things fell into place in the 20-point win over the Southern Conference foe.
Trailing 8-5 after four minutes, Jeff Walz decided he needed someone to put a little high-octane energy in the Cardinal Cannonball. Hello, Jazmine Jones! The Talhassee, FL freshman entered the game and sank her first shot on a set up by Myisha Hines-Allen. A minute later, the combo stuck again and Jones gave the Cards a 9-8 lead that they would not relinquish the rest of the way. After Sam Fuehring connected inside, "J.J." knocked back another jumper...set up by Mariya Moore this time...and the Cards were up 13-8.
The surge energized Hines-Allen..who delivered the Cards next two scores...one on a nice steal and layup to set the tally at 17-8 with 1:48 left in the first quarter. Moore had been busy setting the table for teammates but took time to eat and her three completed a 15-0 Louisville run over 4:40. At 20-8 the KFC YUM! crowd (estimated at 5400 and maybe 3500 Cardinal fans) began to breath earlier and the Cards, despite allowing two Queen Alford threes in the final 50 seconds, held a 20-14 edge.
Asia Durr had been silent in the first ten minutes, with only a free throw to her name, but she was about to grab the microphone and turn the volume up to 11.
Hines-Allen was having big fun in the paint and produced the Cards first two baskets of the second period. Briahanna Jackson entered the game at the 9:03 mark to an appreciative roar from the Cardinal faithful. Durr bombed in a three with 7:36 until half and the Cards had their first double-digit of the contest at 27-16. Two minutes later, she provided a door-slammer (should we call it a Durr-slammer?) to a brief Mocs run with a jumper. Queen Alford shed the regal robes and busted another three to get the Mocs close at 29-24 but Durr responded her a three to give the Cards a 32-24 lead.
Jim Foster's club wasn't quite ready to climb aboard the Chattanooga Choo-Choo and head south just yet. Another four-point run had them within four at 32-28 and Walz called a quick 30 second timeout to stem the tide. It worked...the Cards finished the half on a 8-2 run that featured a Kylee Shook bucket inside, another Durr three, Jones layup and Jackson free throw.
40-30 at the half. The Cards were winning the points in paint battle 20-8, had six fast break points and were shooting a sparkling 60.7% (17-28). Durr had 12 points, Hines-Allen 10 points plus eight rebounds and J.J. 8. Moore had five assists for the Cards.
It looked as if the Cards were finding their key components and getting valuable lifts off the bench. No halftime cookies yesterday for Paulie...he was stuck up by the curtains in Sec. 119. There WILL be a rant about that at the end of today's column. You just might want to avoid reading it if you are of a sensitive nature...
Louisville and Chattanooga pretty much traded baskets and turnovers in the third quarter. The Mocs were still firing threes every chance they could get (6 for 14 in the first half) and Louisville was working the interior. Shook and Hines-Allen built the UofL lead to 46-36 in the first three minutes of the quarter. The Cards got balanced scoring for most the the 10 minutes...baskets by Durr, Fuehring and Jones gave Louisville a 58-47 lead with 2:10 to play in the period and the score stood at 58-49 after three. Durr led the scores with 18 and Jones was up to 12 points...along with Hines-Allen.
A 9-0 Louisville run to start the fourth quarter put the whipped creme on top of the pumpkin pie. Durr was on a three-point feeding frenzy and after hitting her third one of the quarter with 3:57 to play... the damage was totaled out to 77-55 Cards. Walz began emptying the bench at the 2:50 mark...and Brianna Jones layup with 31 second left made it 82-62 Louisville.
A nice opening round win after a slow beginning. Durr showed the consistency we've come to expect for her and the smile that can light up a room. 27 points on an afternoon where she only had one after 10 minutes. Hines-Allen another dominating performance inside. Moore taking to assists like a squirrel does to sunflower seeds by passing out 10 and a major contribution off the bench from J.J. with 14 points and Kylee with 10. Cortnee not needed yesterday; a great learning experience afforded to the young'uns in the paint and a chance to save Ms. Walton for the battle ahead Monday night against Ms. Russell & Company.
Louisville moves on. They'll face Tennessee Monday night at 6:30. The Vols finally pulled away from pesky Dayton to win 66-57.
Cardinal fans...5400 in the arena for these games is a absolute joke. Especially when about 1/3 were from the other three schools. Get out, get tickets for Monday night and give these well-deserving women your support and attendance. It'll be the last time you get a chance to see them in the KFC YUM! Center until fall. Help them get by a tough Tennessee opponent.
Yes, we know...the ticket prices are higher. The men are playing in Indy. But, this team could use your support Monday night. They thrive and succeed when the KFC YUM! Center is rockin' with the red-clad folks getting loud and proud.
Tennessee will bring theirs. Do we really want to have more orange in our facility than red? Buck up, spend the extra couple dollars and support your team.
HOW DID FRED DO?
|"Lamont, run down to that ticket office and get us|
a trilogy of tickets for Monday night. Pick one up
for Aunt Esther,. She'll scare Tennessee to death.
Rebounds -- A 34-29 edge for UofL. Hines-Allen the stud in the paint with 12 and Jackson showing why we are all so happy she's back with six in 19 minutes. We'll give the capital "R" out here.
Effort/Execution -- A 14- 0 fast break advantage is seldom heard of from this Cardinal squad...so we like that effort. The Cards shot 61%. Excellent! 46-16 domination in the paint. The "Big 3" all played well and got timely support from two freshmen and the return of B.J. Yes, a capital "E" is the call here.
Defense -- UofL held the Mocs to 37.5% shooting. They created 15 turnovers and had eight steals. Four Mocs did reach double figures but after that...six Mocs combined for just seven points. 10-27 three-point defense...we'll take it. Let's end the Fred segment with a capital "D".
FINAL FRED TALLY: -_R-E-D
WHAT WE LIKED
"Durr-mi-nation" Asia Durr is a delight to watch on the court. So fortunate to have a cast that compliments, adds and contributes to her abilities. She's a special talent and draws the attention...which allows Myisha, Jazz, Mariya and the crew the chance to do their thing.
No block party today. One of the worries going into the game was Chattanooga's Jasmine Joiner's ability to reject shots. She ended up with zero. A big, fat, "No". One block for the game for the Mocs. Myisha, Kylee and Sam were 15 for 24 from the floor. We'll take 62.5% from those three all day, every day.
Action Jackson. In her return to the court, B.J. logged 19 minutes, six rebounds, five assists, no turnovers, a steal and 1-3 from the floor. It's the little things she does, too. The defense, the tracking down of loose balls. Her guidance at the point. It's great to see her back, with a healthy back, and we sincerely hope she is ready and healthy for Tennessee.
THINGS TO WORK ON
|Jim Foster verifies direction to locker room.|
Free throws. We hate to drag that horse back out into the starting gate again...but we're still in favor of Walz recruiting the entire Mercer County girls high school squad next year for free throw offense. Today, not a big factor but in the quest to win six straight games...gotta hit the ones that no one is guarding you on, Cards.
One down, five to go. Against an opponent that you defeated earlier in the season by 16...and in the third game in three days...one expected a more-rested Cardinal squad might perform better. They did. We hope the Durr efforts, the Hines-Allen strength and the Moore all-around play is present Monday night. The Cards will face a strong team on Tennessee that goes to the boards well with Russell and her paint buddies and the elusive and talented Diamond DeShields. An up-and-down UT squad with impressive wins and surprising losses in 31 games. Let's hope the squad that lost to Alabama twice shows up.
JIM FOSTER, MOCS DISCUSS LOSS AND LIFE
WALZ, CARDS DISCUSS WIN
Here's an idea...Let's put a 60 yr. old man with two shot knees, a deteriorating hip, failing eyesight and the beginning stages of neuropathy 100 stair steps up from the court.
Let's banish a guy who was the only Louisville media representative at the ACC WBB Tournament, present at several road trips and often the only one asking questions at post-game press conferences up to where he can reach the curtains and barely make out the players' numbers
|First down, UofL! (What, we're not at football?)|
Fortunately, a wise, trusted and VERY important member of the Cardinal basketball community has promised to change that for Monday night's game. Sonja won't be panicked that her husband will fall down and "go boom".
My contempt for certain, "so-called administrative" ding-dongs at UofL continues to grow. Why do a certain few, who don't shoot, coach or create any excitement on the court have to ruin a situation (and do it knowingly with no regrets) for someone who has been a constant, comprehensive and consistent media coverer of WBB for over a decade and a fan for over 40 years?
|Hiya, curtain. My knees still hurtin'.|
My furor and dislike of the self-important, self-effacing and bloated egos of a certain few who discriminate against the handicapped is real, too. With fair and just reason. You can stick it where the sun don't shine...just like you stuck me where the sun don't shine yesterday. Keep dissing and disrespecting a non-profit, for love-of-game voice if you choose. It's your world...and, you...of course, are the reason the fans flock in....certainly not for the game or players...right?
But don't be surprised if that voice gets louder and more critical of you're slights and cruel, hurtful deliberate decisions. Or just decides to ignore you and your idiocy.
I am boycotting today's press conference previewing the Tennessee game with Walz and the UofL players. Whether I show up for the Monday night one will depend on whether the discrimination has ended.
LACROSSE FALLS IN A CLOSE ONE TO B.C.
14-11 was the final in Boston yesterday...the Eagles jumping out to a 9-0 run in the early going before Louisville scored five of the final six goals of the first half to climb with five at 10-5.
The Cards would mount a serious rally in the second half and get within three at 12-9 with 15 minutes to play. B.C. would rally back for a 14-9 edge before Louisville produced the last two goals of the contest.
It's ACC Lacrosse, folks. The best in the land. You're going to lose a few. Hannah Koloski led the LAX scorers with four goals, Meghan Siverson added three.
Kellie Young reviews:
"Although I am proud of our second half effort, we cannot put ourselves at such a deficit and expect to win. This has to be an eye-opener for our players about personal preparation for success."
The Cards (8-3, 1-2) come home to face Duquesne Tuesday March 21 with a noon start.
SOFTBALL DOWNS PITT 5-2
Alison "Mike" Szydlowski and Lillie Goetz delivered two RBI's and Maryssa Becker and Megan Hensley combined for a two-run, five-hit circle performance in the BatCards 5-2 win over ACC rival Pitt yesterday at Ulmer Stadium.
"Mike" produced a two-run, bases loaded single in the first to give the Cards the early lead. Goetz pinch-hit for a two-RBI, bases loaded single in the sixth for the Cards.
Hensley (5-3) went six innings in the "W" and Becker saved the victory for Louisville (17-7) who will face the Panthers today at noon at Ulmer to close out the series.
THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR
The rebroadcast our our Saturday morning broadcast THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR is available at www.crescenthillradio.com
We had a fun and fast hour reviewing Louisville men's hoops. previewing the WBB Chattanooga game and discussing swimming, softball, lacrosse and more!
Thanks to Case and Worldwide for their always excellent job as part of out tri-host, mad-cap crew.
LINK: THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR 3/18/17
CARDINAL COUPLE PICK 'EM STANDINGS
Here are your top twenty. If you don't see your name, feel free to e-mail Sonja at firstname.lastname@example.org for your record.
Some very nice prognostication here! We've always known we have an informed reader base when it comes to women's basketball and these numbers bear that out.
29-3 Paulie, K. Starks, Kenny S.
28-4 Charlie Mc., Joe Hill, Perry S., Cliff, Curtis Franklin,
27-5 Sporto, Beth, Doug A., The Deb Factor, Makers not Shooters,
26-6 Nick O., Jenny,
25-7 David W., Case, Christy,
24-8 Blue Lou, Sonja
31 games to go! Best of luck to all and Go, Cards....GO !!!!