WBB HOOPS STUMBLE BUT EVENTUALLY WALK PAST HOKIES 72-63
DURR, FUEHRING KEEP CARDS ATOP ACC
Maybe it was Senior Day recognition in Blacksburg?. Maybe Asia Durr and Sam Fuehring ran across some old Angel McCoughtry and Candyce Bingham video? Maybe they really like the rims in Cassell Coliseum. Whatever it was, the duo of "Nite-Nite" and "Sammi Jean" combined for 55 of the Cards points in the UofL win over Virginia Tech yesterday 72-63.
Asia's highest point-total of the season at 34. She eventually helped the Cards say "sweet dreams" to the Kenny Brooks squad but it wasn't a quick nor easy trip to slumber-land. Sam the "Samuri" warrior with 21 points and 13 boards. Evans, Carter, Dunham and Jones all doing "non-scoring stat" things to get this one in the Cardinal victory column. A whale of a ballgame to watch for fans of either side. One can't blame the Cards for being grateful to get out of Virginia.
This was a edge-of-the-seat, yell-at-the-TV kind of game. The Cards were in a battle and led by just one at the first quarter cessation. If this was a 2-7 opponent, they certainly weren't behaving like it. The separation that Louisville eventually created in the second quarter, thanks -- in part -- to Durr bombing in four trifectas was a relief to see, but, it turned out to be fool's gold. 40-25 after twenty minutes of intense hoops. Arica Carter and Bionca Dunham were assisting Asia and Sam in their efforts to quell the home squad but the Cards were still getting killed on the board 22-16.
The third quarter could easily be subdivided into two parts. Before the Tech run and after the Tech run. UofL had managed to push out to a 51-31 advantage and all seemed well for the time being. I was wondering aloud when the reserves might see some action for the Cards. The crowd was dormant and I started checking on Louisville softball and lacrosse action.
Not so fast, my friend.
Asia nailed a three to start the third but the Hokies responded with a quarter-closing 11-0 run, and, suddenly they were menacing and had the momentum. VT was pounding threes. Walz was letting the players figure it out as it developed, choosing not to stop the action by taking a time out. There were 10 minutes to play, the score was 51-42 and, as Sean Moth likes to say "Uncle Mo(mentum) had shown up in the Hokie huddle".
The box score will show you the teams played an even fourth quarter, each squad getting 21 points. As we all know, statistics don't always tell the whole story. This was one team trying to regain focus and another bound and determined to create a memorable upset .A 6-0 Tech run made it 62-56 with time waning but two missed Mabrey free throws saved the day for the brilliant red and black squad (how did you like those flashy Cardinal uniforms?).
Tech would climb within three at 66-63 but could not push the piano over the balcony. While Fuehring was scoring inside on creative Dana Evans passing, Asia put the icing on the cupcake with two made free throws as 25 seconds remained on the scoreboard and then did it again with 13 seconds to go. Cards win! Cards win!
THE FRED REPORT
|Fred Bear was an American bow hunter|
known for taking down big game with
just a bow and arrow. He's on the left.
Rebounding -- Hip, hip hooray for Sam's 13! Dunham and Carter got the boards six times each. But Louisville ended up losing the battle of the board by three. We deny a letter here, as we do when the other team out-rebounds UofL. But, give Sam a fist bump and salute for her war-in-the-paint, double-double campaign. She bested VT powerhouse Regan Magarity, who grabbed eight.
Effort/Execution -- A game of multiple scenarios. Leads established, nearly lost and an inexplicable end to the third quarter by the Cards. Not a lot of turnovers by Louisville (7) and the Cards took the points-in-paint (30-24), fast break points (10-4), second chance points (13-10) and points-off-turnovers (11-10). We'll offer a small-case "e" because those stats were essential in the win. Both teams were hustling their Nike's off. Or Adida'. Or New Balance's. Ask Jared or Case about shoes, not me.
Defense -- Louisville forced just eight Hokie turnovers, got three steals and six blocks. They allowed 40.4% VT shooting, which included 7-17 three point success (41.2%). The Cards allowed 63 points...and freshman Dana Mabrey schooled the Cards guards for 17 points on 7 for 14 shooting. The late third quarter "matador" defense by UofL was a lack-of-recognition-and-concentration thing for the most part and you gotta concentrate on defense. No letter here.
FINAL FRED TALLY -- F-_-e-_
So, a win and lucky to gather it on the road. Pushed but not knocked over. Still atop the ACC with the 10-1 conference mark. 23-1 and still #2. Batman and Robin, Kato and the Green Hornet...call the senior duo what you want...but their efforts were the difference in the battle of Blacksburg.
A key win in the second game of the three-game stretch that Coach Walz warned us about over the last couple of weeks. A VT team that had played Louisville close the last two times and now has seven conference losses by nine points or less.
You know the mantra and routine. ACC wins are good. ACC road wins are double the value in "goodness". The Cards weathered some choppy seas yesterday, rode out the storm and eventually saw the lighthouse. The Blacksburg area is known for some great whitewater rafting. The Cards probably felt like they were in one of those rapids and needing to paddle to safety. Fortunately, they remained up-right and got to shore.
SOFTBALL SURVIVES UTAH STATE 7-5
We've talked here at the site about the Cards playing two kinds of softball so far this year. Either blowout wins or tightly contested, low scoring losses. It looked like we'd get the former early on in Sunday action in Fullerton.
In the Cards final game of the Titan Classic, Louisville roared out to a 7-0 and then dug in to take the contest 7-5. Hats off to Caitin Ferguson with a career high five RBI's. The shortstop's two RBI single and subsequent score gave Louisville a 3-0 lead after one.
She belted the Cards first home run of the year in the second, a three-run job to right field, to lead the four-run second inning that put Louisville on top 7-0.
Freshman Taylor Roby picking up her second win of the season with a solid five innings. Megan Hensley coming in for the save.
Louisville jets home for a few days at 3-2 before they take off for Chapel Hill and the ACC-Big 10 Challenge sequence against Michigan and Northwestern (again).
WOMEN'S TENNIS TOPS AN ACC FOE
Jared Anderson was on assignment yesterday at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center, taking photos and (hopefully) not interrupting volleys in the Cards first ACC-opponent match.
He sent a ton of photos and, for once, no selfies of himself at a venue. It was a "I'll handle it"...selfie kind-of-day, though, for the Cards "Serve and Return" women.
It was "get-out-the-broom" time for Louisville, sweeping visiting Pitt 7-0 in tennis action.
The Cards swept the singles with wins (in ranking order) from Aleksandra Mally, Sena Suswam, Raven Neely, Nikolina Jovic, Chloe Hamlin and Diane Wong. Mally's win was the only one that went to three sets.
In doubles, another sweep. Neely/Jovic, Suswam/Wong and Mally/Hamlin won in one-set fashion over the Panthers.
Louisville head tennis coach Mark Beckham told the girls it was their best win of the year. You can hear "M.B." discuss the match at the link below:
LINK:MARK BECKHAM POST-PITT COMMENTS
Hey, guess who's still undefeated on campus?
That's right! The Louisville women's tennis squad. 9-0 and ready to roll.
WOMEN'S GOLF BEATS CATS IN BATTLE OF THE BLUEGRASS.
Don't get riled, animal lovers. The UofL women's golf squad didn't go after felines with five-irons and inflict injury in Birmingham Sunday. No animals were harmed in the match play at the Hoover Country Club.
What the Cards did do, though, is best the Cats of Lexington 4-1 in the Battle of the Bluegrass. The top five seeds results were used for the scoring. Eight matches in all were played.
Lauren Hartlage took her 18 hole journey 2-1. So did Delaney Shah. The "other" Lauren (Lauren Thibodeau) got a 5-3 close out and Olivia Cason went 19 holes to get the win 1-0.
Freshman Mairead Martin gave it her all in the fifth "point" match but fell 1- 0
The other three Cardinal women's golfers took losses (Linda Trockel, Margot Bechadergue and Meghan Nay).
A great start to the spring season for Louisville. Probably good they didn't play this one "in-state"...given the soggy conditions around the Commonwealth.
LACROSSE COMES UP SHORT AT MARQUETTE 15-12
In a back-and-forth Lacrosse match in Milwaukee, the Marquette Golden Eagles struck last and took a three-goal "W" over LouLax yesterday.
The squad were knotted at 1-1 before MU went on a 5-0 run in seven minutes. Louisville returned the favor with a 6-1 run to even the score at 7-7. It was Marquette's turn, closing out the first half 2-0 for a 9-7 lead after 30 minutes.
Louisville struck first in the second half to cut it to 9-8. Your turn, MU...they found four goals to push ahead 12-8. Back to you, Louisville....Teeter's team cut the margin to 12-11 with 12 minutes remaining in the final half. Marquette, though, had the final run...a 3-1 finish to get the the victory.
Tessa Chad and Ally Hall provided half the UofL goal total with three each.
Teeter reflected after the match on the Sunday action:
"It was a great learning lesson for a young team. You can't spot a five-goal lead in the first ten minutes.
Coach did like the way the squad battled back, though, and the stat sheets showed a very even type of contest except for the free-position shots awarded, where the Golden Eagles held a 11-6 edge.
Penalties, cards, flags, whistles...you want to end up on the lower side of those totals to get wins. Learning yet to be done for a young but eager Lacrosse squad. Showing improvement from the Northwestern match earlier in the week. They'll continue the process, get better and no one figured that it would happen overnight. Teeter and his staff are doing it the right way and the rewards are coming.
Five events. Five different venues for Louisville women's athletics yesterday. A long column today, I know. Ah, spring sports...
Have a marvelous Monday!