Little Miss Muffet,
Sat on her tuffet,
Getting the calls to go her way
Granted, there was much more than poor officiating that led to the outcome of Louisville's 82-68 loss at Notre Dame. The Cards were seemingly fouling Notre Dame every time they went into the paint on offense. Rebounding for UofL was not a pretty thing. The loss, however, ends any hopes of a perfect season for the Cards, now 14-1 with a 2-1 conference record. Notre Dame is 15-1 with a 3-0 conference mark. Believe it or not, NC State is the lone undefeated team in the nation.
For starters, the Cards lost the rebounding battle badly. The final numbers were 48-32. Notre Dame's defensive rebounding numbers (30) nearly matched UofL's total rebounds. Jessica Shepard was nearly unstoppable on the glass with 15 boards.
Missed lay-ups were a problem for the Cards. This didn't just happen overnight seeing that this has
been an ongoing issue all season. A lay-up should be one of the easiest buckets a player can make, but the Cards struggle to make them nonetheless. In close games that each position can spark or ruin a run, missing the easy bucket can help build momentum for the other team.
Overall, Louisville shot 38.2% from the field. 26-68 is poor and well below the season average. From three-point range, the Cards were 4-20, 20%, another below-average mark. The free throws were pretty solid with the 75% of 12-16.
The first quarter resulted mostly in the two team trading baskets. Both teams saw their lead as high as four points early in the game. Sam Fuehring and Jaz Jones both found themselves with a pair of fouls before the quarter ended, quickly dwindling the impact they would make on the half. Notre Dame held a 20-19 lead after the first 10 minutes.
At halftime, Durr was already up to 19 points and the Cards only had two turnovers. The 2-11 three-point shooting and the missed layups were holding the Cards back from leading by more than two at the time. Ogunbowale was held to just four points in the first half.
Things changed in the third quarter. Notre Dame won the quarter 24-12, holding to Louisville to one of their worst quarters of the season. Foul trouble became more apparent and Jeff Walz had to be careful not to burn through his players in foul trouble too early in the game. Turnovers and transition defense became worse and the Irish capitalized on fast break points.
Both teams had their highest scoring quarter in the fourth quarter, although Notre Dame used it to add
a few extra points down the stretch. Dunham, Carter, and Evans all retired to the bench with their five allotted fouls being used. Fuehring recorded her fourth foul, but managed to stay in the game for the final seconds. The highlight of the final quarter was Mykasa Robinson's in-your-face defense on Ogumbowale. The 2018-19 Finals MVP became frustrated and it allowed the Cards to bring the score within two at the 1:48 mark. Sadly, things went south the rest of the way.
When you lose the "second chance" stat 19-5...it probably isn't your night. That 14-points differential was also the final margin of defeat for the Cards...82-68.
POST GAME WALZ PRESSER: WALZ TALKS SANDERFORD, LOSS TO ND 1/10/19
|"How many intentional fouls were called on|
R - rebounds: Losing the rebounding battle by 16 is not good. Foul trouble limited some of the post players and kept them off the boards. Notre Dame also had a player in double-digit grabs (Shepard) with 15 and that was more than double UofL's best rebounder on the night. No letter.
E - effort/efficiency: In terms of effort, UofL battled tough in the Purcell Pavilion. They even roared back to trail by two with under two minutes remaining. The true ACC Player of the Year totaled 29 points. Louisville was smart with the ball and only committed eight turnovers. Getting out-shot 44.6% to 38.2% isn't terrible. Louisville also scored 25 points off turnovers. Notre Dame scored 19 second chance points and 23 fast break points. We can award a lowercase "e".
D - defense: Notre Dame shot 44.6% overall and 37.5% from deep. The Irish totaled 82 points and scored at least 20 points in three quarters. Ogunbowale scored 30 points, 26 coming in the second half, and two other Notre Dame players (Brianna Turner 16 and Jackie Young 14) also were in the double-digits. The Irish scored 23 fast break points. Some of those were off a turnover, but many of them came on poor transition defense by the Cards. The one plus side is the Cards forcing 18 turnovers. Still, the second half defensive struggles and the 82 points prevent the Cards from earning a letter here.
FINAL FRED TOTAL: F-_-e-_
F-_-e-_ is not too good of a report. Assuming a capital letter is 2/2, a lowercase letter is 1/2, and no letter is 0/2, the Cards get an ugly 3/8 on the score chart.
The women are back in action Sunday at 2:00. They return to the KFC Yum! Center to host a solid
Georgia Tech squad. The Yellow Jackets are 12-4 and are 2-1 in the ACC. They defeated Boston College in Massachusetts, fell at Notre Dame, and beat Duke at home by six last night. Expect the Cards to come out angry and ready to leave a trail of destruction in their path between now and Jan. 31, and then the same on the path to the ACC Tournament.
The Irish were dancing on January 10th. Louisville needs to put this one behind them and go on, so they can dance in March.
Happy Friday and Go Cards!
- Jared -