These were divided up into two groups this afternoon for the five seniors. Kylee, Yacine and Jess went first. You don't want to miss a minute of them! :
LINK: SENIOR DAY PRESSER KYLEE, JESS AND YACINE
Following them was Jaz and Bionca.
LINK: SENIOR DAY PRESSER JAZ AND BIONCA
You wanna watch and listen? Well, try the links below:
Kylee, Jess and Yacine:
Jaz and Bionca:
SENIORS SHINE IN BEATING OF BOSTON COLLEGE 68-48
No Dana, No "E"?
Louisville WBB got big performances from Kylee Shook, Jazmine Jones and Yacine Diop in the 20-point romp over the visiting Eagles. The three seniors combined for 48 points, 15 rebounds and sank all five of the threes Louisville made on a chilly Thursday night down by the river in the KFC YUM! Center in front of 8514 fans.
A game that gave Louisville the outright ACC regular season championship. The Cards will have the #1 seed in Greensboro for the ACC WBB Tournament. Drawing a double bye, UofL will play their first game on Friday in the event that starts Wednesday.
The Louisville starting lineup looked a bit different to what Cardinal fans were used to last night. Available for action but not playing were Dana Evans and Elizabeth Balogun, recovering from ankle sprains. So, it was Bionca Dunham, Yacine Diop, Mykasa Robinson, Kylee Shook and Jazmine Jones on the floor for the start.
The Cards punched the accelerator early last night and blew out to an 8-2 lead in the first four minutes. Boston College had four turnovers and was 1-4 from the floor as the teams hit the first quarter media timeout. The stop in action benefited UofL more than BC...a 10-4 Cardinal run put the score at 18-6 after Shook nailed a three-ball and it was beginning to look like another "Pittsburgh-type" blowout.
The Eagles found a bit of something to like from guard Makayla Dickens, though. She bombed in three huge trifectas in the final 2:26 of the opening quarter to draw the visitors back with three points as the quarter ended. Louisville managed just two points in the same stretch and after ten minutes, the board read Louisville 20 - Boston College 17.
Dickens needed to be shut down (guarding her seemed like a good idea) and the Cards did just that in the second session. And, the Cards ramped up the offensive intensity as well. Two Bionca Dunham buckets to start the quarter and another score from her, plus Shook, Jones and Robinson sent the Cards on a 13-2 run in the first five minutes of the quarter. It was now 33-19 and one set of birds had taken flight, while the other had stayed in the nest.
The Cards were hot, they shot 12-19 in the second quarter (63.2%) and three players (Shook, Dunham and Jones) has six points each in the 26-7 dominating quarter from UofL. BC eventually found the basket a bit in the remaining part of the second quarter, but, the half ended on a spectacular fast break that concluded with the ball in Kylee's possession. She pulled up outside the paint and sank a jumper right as the buzzer went off to set the halftime tally Louisville 46 - Boston College 24.
The sequence set the crowd afire and Louisville trotted off the floor to a loud and raucous round of approval from the Cardinal fans
Dickens had been shut down, along with her teammates, and the Cards were proving to be the better of the two types of birds in the YUM! Center.
Shook and Jones already had 13 points each, the Cards had a incredible 23-2 edge in points-off-turnovers while forcing Boston College into 14 miscues. Any threat from a Eagles team that had come into the game with a five-game winning streak had been quelled and victory number 26, plus the ACC title looked to be a sure thing.
The halftime discussion with other members of the media evolved around travel to Greensboro, the return of Taja Cole to the YUM! on Sunday and the huge first half effort.
Coach Walz wisely decided to get his starters a bit a rest as well in the remaining 20 minutes of action. Only Jaz and Kylee played the entire 10 minutes of the third quarter and Walz experimented again with the inside duo of Shook and Liz Dixon. Dunham got some rest for her sore knee and Lindsey Duvall saw nearly seven minutes of action in the quarter after halftime. It was a quarter where the scoring dropped off a bit, 13 points for each squad, Jones and Shook had seven of the Cards points in the third and a Robinson free throw closed the third with the Cards still comfortably up 59-37.
Maybe the biggest fan response play of the third was when Duvall grabbed a rebound, did a nifty spin move to the basket and scored inside, plus drawing a foul. It got the bench and the fans pumped and she sank the free throw.
As the fourth quarter progressed, Walz looked to Diop to head up a lineup that included Jess Laemmle, Dixon, Molly Lockhart and Duvall. She responded with five of the Cards nine fourth quarter points and Dixon controlled the boards with four rebounds. A 5-0 Diop run with about four minutes left created a 66-42 lead. Lockhart added two points off a nice assist from Laemmle with 2:25 left and the Cards were safely home with a 68-48 win.
After the game, Jaz proudly displayed the ACC Champions placard to an approving crowd,
THE FRED REPORT
|Just like Fred Astaire, Cards dance|
to the ACC title.
REBOUNDS -- A BC win on the boards, 40-33. They were strong on the offensive glass with a 15-9 edge. Of course, when you shoot 35% for the game, you're going to get some second chances. Kylee was big again, with 10 grabs, and I liked Dixon's hard work in a season-high 25 minutes with six rebounds, all on the defensive end. Still, you lose the boards battle and you don't get a letter.
EFFICIENCY/EXECUTION -- Louisville shone in points-in-the paint (34-24) and points-off-turnovers (29-10). They also swept the 2nd chance and fast break categories. Although shooting dropped off the the second half (8 for 26), the Cards almost went 50% from the floor for the game. Kasa did a great job distributing the "rock" and the Cards did what they had to do, limit turnovers (14) and control the pace. No problem with awarding a Capital "E" here for the intensity and forcing the issue.
DEFENSE -- Once again, the Cards hold a foe to under fifty points, under 40% shooting and force 23 turnovers. When you keep the opponent from putting the ball in the basket as well as Louisville did last night, your chances of winning increase exponentially. It's a no-brainer, the CAPITAL "D" is the designation here.
FINAL FRED TALLY: _-_-E-D
THEY SAID IT:
Jared Anderson got to the Media Room in plenty of time to catch the three post-game press conference segments. Between that feat and his excellent photos of the game, maybe we should award him a CAPITAL "J" for the night?
LINK: BOSTON COLLEGE HEAD COACH JOANNA BERNABEI-MCNAMEE
JAZMINE JONES AND KYLEE SHOOK
The Cards did what they had to do last night and met the objectives of clinching the sole possession of the ACC regular season title, stopping a streaking Boston College squad and getting a very good performance from his squad with key players Dana Evans and Elizabeth Balogun sitting their second-in-a row out. .
The second half was a bit of an after-thought -- following the Cards domination of the first 20 minutes -- but valuable playing time was available for the non-starters to show their skills and work on game-time decisions and performance.
This is a Cardinal squad that has lived up to expectations and looked fantastic while doing it. Pre-season pick to win the ACC.
Team most likely to hit the NCAA Top Five from the conference.
Showing that the team concept could withstand, prosper and flourish without Asia, Sam and Arica.
Gaining the #1 seed for the ACC Tournament.
All in all, a season that has been quite enjoyable as we head into the regular-season finale against a dangerous VT squad on Senior Day. One small "blip" in the radar, but, other than that...the Cards have soared high in the sky and arguably have the ACC M.O.P. on the squad in Dana Evans and the prohibitive favorite for ACC Defensive Player of the Year in Kylee Shook. That's pretty spectacular stuff.
(thanks to Jared Anderson for the photo and audio/video work today. yeah, we'll keep him.)
The five UofL WBB seniors will be at a press conference today, starting at noon, in the Media Room of the Planet Fitness Koeber Center to discuss their "almost-over" careers here and field questions from the media.
I'll be there to record the words, ask a few questions and I'll post the results at the top of today's column later today. Be sure to check back here at the Couple for that.
Looking forward to what Jaz, Bionca, Yacine, Kylee and Jess have to say!
The Softball Cards are in Oklahoma for the weekend. They'll have five games in three day at two different venues in the Oklahoma State/Tulsa Invitational.
Today, the action begins at 1 p.m. in Stillwater, where Louisville will face UIC. Then, at 6 p.m., it's Okla St.
ESPN + has the feed if you want to watch the Cards play. It'll a pay-per-play deal, so if you don't have the "plus" subscription, you'll have to register and pay up.
Louisville goes into the weekend after a 3-2 stay at the 'Bama Bash.
Good luck to Holly Aprile and the 5-9 Cards!
Have a fantastic Friday!