Coming back from the Christmas break, a number of fans worried that the Cards wouldn't really have their heads in the game, a worry that turned out to be pretty well founded. The ACC Network Extra commentators talked several times about GT forcing turnovers, and their defense did force some, but the reality is that many of the Cardinal's turnovers were unforced and a number of them were just the result of one or more players just not paying attention to what was going on with their teammates and the ball movement. Several passes just flew out of bounds because the passer didn't realize where the receiver was going, or the receiver just wasn't paying attention at all and never saw the ball fly by them until after it hit out of bounds. In all, UofL committed 17 turnovers compared to GTs 12. The assist to turnover ratio wasn't pretty either, with only 10 assists out of 30 made field goals.
There were bright spots, though, so let's not get too down on this team. Asia Durr put on a show...again...this time in front of half of the suburb of Douglasville, GA who were in attendance. She dropped 38, with 27 of those going down in the first half. She did exit the game for a bit in the second half with a noticeable limp, but returned to relatively normal effectiveness.
Myisha Hines-Allen and Jazmine Jones joined Durr in double-digit scoring efforts, with MHA tallying 12, and Jaz picking up 10. No double-doubles in this one for the Cards, though MHA did get close with 9 rebounds.
Georgia Tech really put up a fight in this one, keeping the score relatively close throughout the game. UofL only won the game because of their dominant effort in the 2nd quarter, outscoring the Techsters 33-14 in the frame. Otherwise, Tech won the other 3 quarters (20-13, 22-16, 15-12). The final margin came down to an inbounds play from the sidelines with the score tied 71-71, where the Cardinals used a little bit of misdirection. Walz had Durr streak back into the backcourt and then inbounded the ball to MHA, who was able to find her way around a couple of defenders for an layup. GT called time out in order to advance the ball to half court (have I mentioned how much I hate that rule change?) and on the inbounds, Jaz Jones jumped like a defending safety and came down with the ball, drawing a foul in the process. Hitting 1 of the 2 put the Cards up by the final margin 74-71, with GT's last second desperation heave falling short.
In addition to the double-digit scoring, I thought Sam Fuerhing played well, with her typical defensive effort and drawing charges. The other starter, Arica Carter, contributed her typical solid play...not wowing, but playing good basketball without any "What were you thinking?" moments.
Let's hope this outing pulled the team back into sharp form, because they certainly weren't at top form last night. Clouded brains from the break, perhaps, kept them from performing at their best for the most part. The road doesn't get any easier with the next stop Sunday afternoon in Raleigh for a matchup with NC State (sitting 18th in the RPI), before returning home for a January 4th bout with Duke. Paulie will be continuing his road swing after his visit to Atlanta last night, swinging down to Jacksonville for tomorrow's Football Game, and then back through Raleigh. Look for further reports from this road trip.
In other scheduling notes, Men's Basketball takes up the Battle of the Bluegrass series today at 1pm at Rupp Arena. This one is on CBS. If you're away from a TV, there is a CBS Sports app where you can pick up the stream with a pay TV provider login. Then, of course, tomorrow, Football takes on Mississippi State in the TaxSlayer Bowl (formerly the Gator Bowl), in Jacksonville, FL. A noon start for that one on ESPN.
|Tillie the Tour Guide, Sonya and Transportation Tom
A lot of Cardinal fans at the River City Brewery and some tasty local craft beers to boot, Vince Tyra was also there, I did not get a chance to talk to him but several people at our table did.
Lots of questions about WBB there as well, I had my WCHQ shirt on and some people recognized me. We're still undefeated and ran into a good opponent in Georgia Tech. We'll see what happens Sunday.
|Tom, Sonya and Bonnie
Probably won't be as many Card fans in Raleigh as Atlanta but what's a six hour trip from here, right?
Maybe the media seating will be better than the vertigo-challenged, edge of the cliff digs we had to endure in McCamish. Never been in Reynolds Coliseum before, another first for me. Somehow, Sonya, Verizon Navigator and I will find it.
Saturday football. I'm excited and let's go Cards.