FIRST FIVE MINUTES FLAWLESS IN 21-POINT UOFL WIN
|Yes, the fantastic foursome of Paulie, Paige, Daryl and Sonya|
enjoyed this one immensely. Photo by Jared Anderson
Michigan had no idea what hit them in the first five minutes of yesterday's second round of the NCAA Tournament in the KFC YUM! Center. Between Asia Durr, a stifling defense and a crowd of 7725 that sounded like 17,000..the Cards raced out to a 19-4 lead in the early going and kept UM at bay the rest of the way in the 71-50 win,
May we see some ID to verify you can advance to the round of 16? Sorry, Michigan. We can't allow service.
Durr had 12 of her game-high 24 point in those frenetic, fabulous first five and a squad that put up 84 points two days ago in a 30-point win against Kansas St. looked like a group that might struggle to reach 18 by halftime. Once the nerves settled a bit and the Wolverines returned to playing something that resembled basketball, it was too late.
|Kim Barnes Arico was not sharing in our excitement.|
When you score effortlessly, deny the opponent the chance to get a shot up -- much less shoot effectively, though -- good things happen. 22 turnovers for the young Kim Barnes Arico guards, 49 shot attempts, compared to UofL's 70.
Consider that UM's starting five had a total of 22 points. That's right, Asia outscored the Wolverine starters. Consider that UM got off just nine threes and made only three of them. And when the Ann Arbor opponent was getting shots off, they were usually one-and-done offensive sequences. The Wolverines had just nine total offensive rebounds and 11 second chance points.
Joining Durr in the "Mich...- uh- GONE" win was Jazmine Jones with a flashy 15 points. Other double figure scorers included Steady Sam Fuehring with 10 and Dashing Dana Evans with 10. Asia was the only Card to see over 30 minutes of action, "Won-Durr-full" went 9-23 from the floor, 5-14 from three range and even tossed in a couple of spectacular "SportsCenter moment" blocks.
I spent time watching UM head coach Kim Barnes Arico in the final half. Gone were the fiery, competitive, referee questioning nature and actions from KBA. A resignation, of sorts. Occasionally yelling out specific points to certain players but also a lot of time questioning her assistants on certain court actions. She was complimentary and gracious in her post-game comments, but, you sensed that this was a coach who knew she was beat early on and who couldn't get back on that bus to the airport fast enough.
So touching at the end. Raucous applause as Walz sent in subs for Asia, Sam and Arica. The trio kissing the Cardinal Bird logo at center court and making victory laps in the KFC YUM! Center. Smiles and a few moist cheeks among the players and the fans.
Arica, back from the knee scare, with seven rebounds and corralling every loose or 50/50 ball. So much non-stat sheet stuff gets done from the girl who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a jumper when she was a freshman. Transformation complete. You are a shining star, Ms. Carter.
Sam, going 4-5 from the floor...shutting down the highly regarded Hallie Thome and upcoming Naz Hillmon. You know how Sam rolls...does work, does it well, takes off the hard-hat at the end and it's a job well done. Shrugging off the dings, dents and damage inflicted upon her every night. Sam is the princess warrior and is sovereign over all she surveys.
|This says it all....|
Asia. Smiling, shouting and, at the end, celebrating a career here that started four years ago, highly lauded. Living up to that hype 100% and more. Does anyone have a more beautiful, beatific smile that "Nite-nite"? When Asia smiles, the clouds part and brilliant rays of sunshine are created for Cardinal fans to bask in. She is the "alpha" of Louisville WBB.
We may not ever see such an effective and dynamic senior trio as Asia, Arica and Sam in the downtown arena again. Yesterday, they said their goodbyes to the Cardinal Faithful, showed Michigan the way home and advanced to face either Gonzaga or Oregon State in Albany next week.
Two down. Four to go.
The road ahead will be challenging. It always is when you get down to the best sixteen in the nation. It's about YOU, though, Cards. What will you do? Are you willing and committed toward taking that next step? And the step after.
Or, as Sam said in the post-game:
"We're just trying to play our game. All the time."
And, that game can be spectacular, as the Cards WBB squad showed yesterday.
THE FRED REPORT
|Fred says: "We're headed to Albany, Lamont!"|
REBOUNDS -- Louisville takes a hard-fought 35-34 advantage here. Kylee Shook with 10 for UofL, another Card who comes to do work and is job-proficient. The Cards getting a 15-9 edge on the offensive boards, When you win the rebounding battle, you get a letter. We'll award a small-case "r" for this category. Not exactly board dominance, but quite adequate
EFFORT/EXECUTION -- If you ever want to explain to someone what Louisville women's basketball is all about, just show then the first five minutes of yesterday's game. The Cards had just 11 turnovers, allowed just three steals, shot 42.9%, won the points off turnovers battle 28-12 and second chance points column 19-11. NO QUESTION ABOUT A CAPITAL "E" here.
DEFENSE-- Louisville held a squad that averaged 72 points-a-game to just 50. The Cards capitalized on 22 turnovers and got five blocks and 11 steals. Maybe thr third quarter was the turning point here, where Louisville allowed just three made goals on 13 attempts and out-rebounded UM 13-7, No question here at all, a CAPITAL "D".
FINAL FRED TALLY -- F-r-E-D
THEY SAID IT
Jeff Walz post-game comments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8BgNFrEODU&feature=youtu.be
Asia Durr, Sam Fuehring and Jazmine Jones post game comments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=au5NlHs_Uuo&feature=youtu.be
SOFTBALL SALVAGES A WIN SUNDAY
Holly Aprile's crew stepping up to the plate against Notre Dame yesterday and slugging out a 5-3 win in South Bend.
The Cards taking an early lead with a run in the second inning, winning the crucial fourth inning 3-2 and tacking on a run in the sixth to go 1-2 in the weekend series against the Irish and tacking on an insurance run late to seal the deal.
20-10 overall and 3-3 in the ACC now for UofL Softball, who returns home for a Tuesday tilt vs. Indiana at Ulmer. Come out, a 5 p.m. start.
Have a marvelous Monday1