Thursday, March 2, 2017
Louisville Women's Basketball faces Clemson today---Other ACC WBB games...THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
CARDS GET CLEMSON TO OPEN ACC PLAY
The University of Louisville women's basketball team will face the Clemson Tigers to open their run in the ACC WBB Tournament here in Conway, SC.
Your intrepid senior columnist braved the storms and 10 hour drive to get here in time to see the opening tip-off yesterday between Clemson and Virginia Tech. And, it was an exciting opener, no doubt! Clemson's Danielle Edwards was fouled by VT's Regan Magarity with 3.4 second to play while driving to the basket with the score tied at 66-66. The shot didn't go...and neither did the first free throw. Were we going to get five minutes of bonus ball in the opener?
What was going through Edwards' mind as she got ready to try the second attempt?
" Oh, gosh. I wasn't really trying to think. I was just trying to relax. My teammates were telling me to relax. I shot the first one kind of quick and that one kind of went in and out. I turned and I looked at Nelly [Perry] and she was telling me just relax, like's she's smiling and telling me to knock this one down...my teammates were keeping me really calm."
The second did go, to give the Tigers the 67-66 lead. Virginia Tech's Chanette Hicks drove the length of the court to try to hit a game-winner for the Hokies...but the shot after the buzzer and no good.
What does Edwards think about today's matchup against the Cards?
"You can take things out of today out of today's game that we need to do well, like defense. Louisville is a really good offensive team, and in order to stay with them, you've going to have to defend them. So, you can take definitely our defense from them, and our competitive spirit that we have...that we didn't give up. They were number one in the conference when we played them and we were able to hang with them and that shows that as long as we're playing hard that we can play with anybody."
Two things Clemson will need to change if they are to have any shot at all against the Cards are turnovers and opponent points-off-turnovers. The Clemson bakery was open for business yesterday with 16 turnovers and VT capitalized with a 20-3 advantage in points-off-turnovers.
The Cards, who practiced in an Air Force Base gym yesterday...will look to do what they do well. Finding the "Big Three"...playing the stellar defense they've shown the last several outings and controlling the boards. With Briahanna Jackson out for the tournament, Louisville will face some extra pressure from the Clemson three-guard set that includes Edwards...and Nelly Perry, who had sixteen points to go with Edwards 17 yesterday.
It should be a good one at 11 a.m. this morning against the Cards and a fun day of hoops is ahead.
In yesterday's other action:
-- Georgia Tech held off a pesky Boston College bunch to win 71-67. Kaylan Pugh was one of four Ramblin' Wreckers in double figures for the winners, who get Miami in the 6 p.m. game tonight. Stat of note: GT got 28 bench points...Pugh's 20 huge in the #10 seed advancing over the #15 Boston College crew. A shame to see Kelly Hughes' career come to an end for the Eagles. a class act and wonderful young lady. She had 12 points and a couple of huge shots late to try and get B.C. back into it. 23 turnovers killed the Chestnut Hill bunch, though....and Georgia Tech got 25 points off them.
-- North Carolina got a huge effort out of Jamie Cherry...with 32 points and the Tar Heels dance on with a 72-60 win over Pitt. Freshman Paris Kea had 21 for Sylvia Hatchell's team...who trailed Pitt 41-37 at the half. A 10-0 run by UNC to start the second half took care of that...UNC gets Syracuse in tonight's final. The Tar Heels played only seven players against Pitt...due to injuries. When asked how she an beat Syracuse...who beat them by 31 earlier in the season...Hatchell quipped that she'd be doing a lot of praying.
The other game today will put #8 Virginia and #9 Wake Forest at each other. That one is scheduled to go at 2 p.m....after the Louisville game.
-- It may be Conway instead of Greensboro, but the folks are still just as friendly and helpful and the food plentiful for us media types. Special thanks to the ACC staff for guiding Paulie around and getting me to the places I needed to be. The first round of post-game interviews was pretty much "The Paulie Show"...like it is in Louisville...until the final game when the UNC media jumped in and asked a few questions. I love it.
-- The Louisville official scorers crew is down here and worked the games yesterday. It's nice to see a few familiar faces in the arena...which drew 2475 for first round action.
-- Finding the campus is easy. Getting to the gym is a jungle maze, though, that takes you down four streets, through three parking lots and hordes of students and fans before you get to media parking. It's a maze.
-- Good luck to the 21 of you entered in the ACC Pick 'Em! After Day One...eight of you are a perfect 3-0 in your picks. Not this guy....was hoping Pitt might knock off UNC.