|How much did the Cards win by? 22.|
It's baaack! After an off-season full of contemplating, asking "what if", and wanting to finish what last year left off the women's basketball season has returned! Louisville opened up their 2018-19 season on the road at Western Kentucky, downing the Hilltoppers 102-80.
102 seconds. That's how long it took Asia Durr to reach double-digits. She scored the first 11 points for the Cards before finishing with a total of 33 points in just 21 minutes played. The senior finished 12-21 from the field and 7-15 from beyond the arc.
Louisville raced out to an early lead that seemed to give them a false sense of comfort before WKU went on a small run to close out the first quarter, but the Cards still lead 32-21.
The second quarter was one that had Jeff Walz heated on the sideline. The two teams each scored 22 points during that period. Louisville committed five turnovers and tied in rebounds at 6-6. Louisville's defense lacked efficiency, which allowed WKU to stay in the game. The Cards still carried a 54-43 lead into halftime.
Walz's locker room speech at halftime seemed to work as the Cards outscored the Toppers 31-8. The Cards scored 11 points off turnovers during this time frame and capitalized on offensive rebounds to score six second chance points. The bench also sparked a run by contributing 11 points. Louisville went into the final quarter with a 85-51 lead.
With a comfortable lead and a few players facing foul trouble we saw a few different looks on the court while most of the starters were relaxing on the bench. WKU used this chance to win the final quarter 29-17. More of Louisville's turnovers came in this quarter as new faces tried to familiarize themselves with the collegiate-style game.
A negative on the night is 19 turnovers by Louisville. Against teams such as Notre Dame and UConn a 19-turnover performance will send you home with another mark in the loss column. The turnovers will be one of the first things addressed by the coaching staff at the next practice.
VIDEO OF JEFF WALZ POST GAME REMARKS
|#4 Seygan Robbins is one of the freshmen on the team.|
The offense had no problem scoring and 10 of the 12 players scored. Only Mykasa Robinson and Jessica Laemmle were held to no points. Durr lead the charge with 33 points while Arica "AC" Carter (19), Yacine Diop (11), and Kylee Shook (10) also were in the double-digits.
The first "FRED" report of the season is here. Let's take a look to see how the Cards did:
F - Free Throws: 10-for-11 on the night will earn a solid A+ on the 10-point scale. Four Cardinals shot free throws last night and four Cardinals made free throws. Diop was the only miss, going 3-for-4. Capital "F".
R - Rebounds: Louisville out-rebounded Western Kentucky 40-32. 16 of those 40 were offensive rebounds that lead to 25 second chance points. However, the Hilltoppers had 17 of their 32 rebounds come on the offensive end and it helped them with 18 second chance points. Allowing that many offensive rebounds to an opponent knocks them down to a lowercase "r".
E - Effort/Efficiency: The Cards made 60% of their total shots and 47% of their three-pointers. The bench contributed 44 points. The defense forced 15 turnovers. 22 assists were dished out. Other than the 26 fouls committed the stat sheet actually looks pretty good for the Cards. They never stopped trying or got lazy even with the lead. A capital "E" is awarded.
D - Defense: Giving up 80 points to anyone isn't good. They made up some ground by blocking five shots and forcing 15 turnovers. WKU also only shot 39% from the field but did make 1/3 of their three's. If you take away the 26 points from free throws the score doesn't look too terrible. They did enough to get a lowercase "d".
It's safe to say another 100+ three-point season is on the way.
F-r-E-d is not the greatest report, but is still a good one nonetheless. It shows positives, but also means there is work to be done, as is expected early in the season. As the players get in the flow of things and the new faces adjust to the game things will improve. As Greg Collins mentioned during the postgame press conference this is probably Jeff Walz's most talented team and the best one he has had in his time at UofL. Once they start doing things right they should find themselves in the title game.
Good Things Come in 3's
Jeff Walz earned his 300th victory as the head coach of the Louisville women's basketball team. He downplayed it post-game, giving credit to Paul Sanderford...the first head coach he worked for, Tom Jurich for hiring him and to the great players he has had over the years. He even credited WKU's Greg Collins for recruiting his first group of stars Angel McCoughtry and Candyce Bingham.
Asia Durr started 3-for-3 from three-point range before finishing 7-for-15 from downtown on the night. She should have a third straight season of 100+ three-point field goals.
A trio of players committed no turnovers on the night. Yacine Diop (18 min), Mykasa Robinson (14 min), and Kylee Shook (18 min) all finished the game with zero turnovers. Two of them scored and all of them hauled in multiple rebounds.
It was nice to make the trip to Bowling Green. I drove down with my River City Cards companions Mike Gilpatrick and Seth Spalding and was joined by avid UofL fan Jason Wyrick. I met up with Paulie and Sonya in the media room as we enjoyed the free Pizza Hut. I ask that our fearless leader also provide his thoughts on last night as he has followed women's basketball longer than I have been alive.
Asia Durr said "nite-nite" to the WKU players early.
It was game day and she had that "uh-oh-somebody-is-in-trouble" look in her eyes way before the contest started. As the Cards ran off the court for their final pre-game instructions, I happened to be headed to Media Row when she was headed to the locker room. I held out my hand and said "Nite-nite". She slapped the hand and said something...which I think was "that's right!".
And, so it came to pass. Greg Collins, previous assistant coach and now first year WKU head coach was asked about her after the contest. Two WKU players (Dee Givens and Alexis Brewer) were asked about her in the post game. Words such as: 'if she's not the best player in the country, I don't know who is'. Statements like: 'it's hard to stop what you can't find or catch'. "She buried us early and we couldn't stop her." Between her and Arica Carter, they buried 11 threes. In 35 total minutes between the two. In 22 attempts.
If you're an opposing coach reading this, you have every right to be scared and worried.
Yes, Cards fans....#25 is back and be there no doubt about it...she's on a mission.
I've traveled to WKU several times over the course of the years to watch WBB. Every time, it seems, they've changed or re-configured something inside Diddle Arena. As media, they used to put us in the end zone with the student section directly behind us. That's changed...this year we sat on the side-court row with the visiting play-by-play guy and gal (Nick Curran and Adrienne Johnson) and I like that. (Then, again, nothing could ever be worse than was Georgia Tech puts visiting media through.)
They've reconfigured the media room, too, at WKU Now, the podium faces the east instead of the north. They've upgraded the food from cold Qdoba strips and cheese to warm pizza and dessert. It ain't Louisville media buffet, but it was appreciated.
I've added Walz's full post game remarks, Coach Greg Collins post-game remarks and post-game remarks from WKU's Dee Givens and Alexis Brewer below. The media did not receive any UofL WBB players for post-game comments.
Dee Givens and Alexis Brewer WKU WBB 11/6/18
Jeff Walz post-game media remarks after WKU game 11/6/18
WKU head coach Greg Collins post game remarks after 102-80 loss to Louisville WBB on 11/6/19
Coach Walz was "typical Jeff" lamenting a bit, handing out some praise and lauding the opposing coach. The Walz snark, a well-defined and endearing feature, was present last night early, when he told us. "When we can learn to throw the ball to our girls instead of theirs, we'll have a great opportunity to get some things accomplished."
Game one done. And won.
The Cards went to the city where they make Corvettes and drove off early like they were piloting one. I'll get more detailed in the Tuesday column.
The 26-2 run during a six-minute stretch of the third quarter was vintage Cardinals. And they did it all with no player getting more than 26 minutes (Jazzy Jones).
A special "thank you" to Jared for today's recap and the great pictures you see here. Diddle Arena isn't the best place for a photographer, according to him and Seth. These look great, though.
Trips such as the one last night that can provide such insightful, first-hand experiences that include pictures and audio are just one part of what the donations can do.
Whether you can
give a dollar or one hundred dollars we appreciate it and will love you forever.
Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!
- Jared -