BIG THREE BEST G.T.
Georgia Tech never led in the game, but made it quite interesting several times against the 24-3 (13-2) fourth ranked visitors from Derby City.
The start was red hot for Louisville. The Cards raced to a 9-0 lead in the first three minutes, getting a Kylee Shook three to begin action and ending the run with her connecting inside. Tech needed to talk about it and took a timeout with 6:50 on the clock.
|A "Rainy Night in Georgia" -- the Cards were raining|
threes down on the Yellow Jackets.
A 6-0 run from the Yellow Jackets had gotten them competitive again. Three Cards turnovers in that stretch didn't help Louisville's chances any (the Cards had seven miscues in the first quarter) but a huge three from Yacine Diop with 1:30 left in first quarter action pushed the lead back out to five and Bionca Dunham's put back of a missed Jasmine Jones jumper ensured the Cards would leave the opening quarter with a five-point edge 19-14.
The second quarter saw the return of Balogun and she had a block and nailed a jumper just 41 seconds into the second session to extend the Cards lead to 21-14. The Yellow Jackets proceeded to run off six straight point in the next two minutes to get within one. Evans and Tech forward Lorela Cubaj traded jumpers to make it 23-22 with 6:52 until halftime.
The Cards needed something to create some distance between them and G.T and they found it in Evans. Two free throw and then a banked-in three-pointer from her upped the UofL lead to 28-22. After a two-minutes plus scoreless session, Kylee found the range on a jumper and that was followed by a nifty J.J. steal and pass to Balogun for a layup.
The four-minute, 9-0 Cardinal run set the score at 32-22. Cardinal fans (including Asia Durr and her family) in attendance were breathing easier. Jones completed her two-minute takeover of the game with a buzzer beating two to send the Cards to the halftime with a hard-fought 36-26 lead.
Louisville had shot extremely well in those first 20 minutes (54%) and the trio of Jones, Evans and Shook had 25 of the Cards 36 points. They had held the Techsters to 40% from the floor and the Cards looked to be the trending, hot team after the first half.
Georgia Tech was not convinced just yet. There was a half to go and they figured if their defense remained solid, they might be able to produce some points against UofL.
A slow and ponderous third quarter developed, defense taking control and neither team registered any points for almost four minutes. Tech couldn't connect but their defense had limited the Cards to just two attempts. Reserve Nerra Hermosa finally broke the scoreless quarter at the 6:17 mark, but J.J. countered with a three on a nice assist from Evans. 39-28 was the Cardinal advantage --but the Yellow Jackets were ready to sting again.
A 8-0 run for G.T. over the next four minutes drew them within three at 39-36 with 1:54 left in the third quarter. The Cards countered with a Evans three, but it came at a price.
Evans came down on Lotta-Maj Lahtinen's foot and crumpled to the floor in obvious pain.
She lay on the court for several minutes while both training staff's looked at her left ankle. She was eventually assisted off the court, a foul had been called on the play, and J.J. hit the resulting free throw for a rare four-point play. with 1:21 left in the quarter. Jaz would connect again to push the Louisville lead to 45-36 as the quarter ended. the big concern and worry was about Evans, though.
A momentary relief to see Evans back out on the court to start the fourth. And, she sank a fall-away three pointer to put the Cards up by 12 at the 8:48 mark.
You could tell, though, she was favoring the injured foot, though, and Walz pulled her from the contest with 3:58 remaining and the Cards up 48-39. Kasa Robinson assumed the role of point-guard and contributed immediately with a jumper and two assists.
A J.J. fast break layup, followed by a Shook put-back inside created a 54-42 UofL lead. Those two also combined for the final four Cardinal points and Louisville had pulled off a 58-47 win over the foe.
|"get that stuff outta here!"|
Let's hope for the best with Dana. With lowly Pitt next, on Sunday, maybe rest her and make sure she's ready for the final two regular-season games against Boston College and Virginia Tech. According to Coach Walz, it could be "next one up" time, depending on the analysis. The possibility of losing the clear leader for ACC Player of the Year isn't a great way to start Friday morning, though.
The 'big three" came through for UofL. Jaz led all scorers with 28 points, Dana finished with 14 and Kylee had a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Five other Cardinals saw action and added the remaining 13 points.
I couldn't find any post-game presser video or audio. (Sorry about that!)
Coach Walz did say the following about the game:
“We turned the ball over, I think, three of the first four possessions, and if you can't get shots, it's hard to score,” he said. “So we had to clean that up, and I thought we made a nice little run there at the end of the third to get it back to a nine-point lead and then kept it there for the most part during the fourth quarter. When we'd get it to 12, we could never get it to 14, to 16, but I thought we competed well.”
THE FRED REPORT
|Former Braves great Fred McGriff|
probably wasn't there
. Asia Durr was, though!
REBOUNDING -- Thanks to Kylee's 13 grabs and J.J. adding seven, Louisville won the battle of the boards 34-31. 12 of them on the defensive end for Shook. You win the game, you win the rebounding totals...and you get a CAPTIAL "R" in my book.
EFFICIENCY/EXECUTION -- 14 turnovers not so bad when you figure seven were in the first period. Louisville has 10 assists on 23 made baskets and won the fast break points 11-5. I liked the Cards three-point accuracy as well, 6-12 for Louisville (and just 1-12 for Tech). We're good with a CAPITAL "E" here.
DEFENSE -- In a game of defense, the Cards had the better one. Seven blocks, 47 points allowed, shutting down Francesca Pan to five points and guarding the three quite effectively. Let's finish it up with a CAPITAL "D"
FINAL FRED TALLY: F-R-E-D
Road wins are good wins and coming out on top in defensive struggles are even better. The return of Liz and "E" to "the Flats" resulted in a combined four points, five rebounds, three blocks and two turnovers. No apparent animosity toward them from the fan base.
I won't call this an "ugly" win at all. The Cards started strong, withstood a couple of runs and their third-quarter 9-0 run sealed the deal.
We'll see with Dana. The Cards won't need her against Pitt, but will the rest of the way after the trip to the Steel City.
In a defense-oriented contest, on the road, the Cards leave with a "W" and are taking them "one at a time". The "Big Three" secured this one. Three to go.
( WBB Photos from ramblinwreck.com)
SOFTBALL IN TUSCALOOSA
Louisville Softball plays two today in the Bama Bash. They'll start it off against Penn State at noon (although the Bama stats feed says 10 a.m. Central Time) and conclude against Wichita State.
Cards with another tough, on the road, weekend challenge. They'll face powerhouse Alabama twice while in Tuscaloosa and Wichita State twice, too. Holly Aprile's ambitious early-season schedule undoubtedly is showing her what the team needs to get better at, as they progress toward ACC play. Pitching consistency is an area UofL could improve in and the Cards are hitting just .239 as a squad.
The Nittany Lions are 5-5 this season, and the Shockers are 5-6.
UofL goes into this one with a 2-7 record. Taylor Roby has four home runs for the Cards.
No Internet or TV that I can find for today's action, but you can follow the stats at the link provided. LINK: CARDS SOFTBALL
LACROSSE IN MICHIGAN
Scott Teeter's LAXCARDS are in Ann Arbor for a 5 p.m. match against the 1-1 Wolverines. Louisville enters the contest at 2-1.
If you want to watch on line, you'll have to shell out the moolah. It's on BIG TEN PLUS.
The Cards are coming off a convincing 16-6 win over Marquette on Monday and out-shot the Golden Eagles 33-23. Goalkeeper Rachel Florek, who we featured with Coach Teeter in our Wednesday interview, has 31 "stops" in three games.
The Cards have plenty of scoring options in Ally Hall, Hannah Morris, Allegra Catalano, Caroline Blalock and Paige Richbourg.
It'll be interesting to see how they do against a Michigan squad that made the NCAA Tournament last year and won a couple of contests while they were there.
you can follow the stats at: LINK: LOUISVILLE LAX AT MICHIGAN
Have a "thank God it's Friday", great day!