SEMINOLES 13-0 RUN LEADS TO WIN OVER CARDS
|CAPTION THIS PICTURE|
A crowd of 8314 saw the Cards erase a eight-point deficit in the third quarter to get within two at 42-40 with two seconds left in the quarter. Yacine Diop hitting the fast break jumper off a Dana Evans feed brought the Cards back from a 35-27 FSU lead with 5:34 left in the third.
Louisville tied the contest at 42-42 to begin the fourth quarter when Kylee Shook connected inside just 17 seconds into play. The downtown arena was rocking, the Cards were on a run and it looked like Louisville might make a game out of a contest that had been an exhibition of poor shooting, turnovers, defensive stops and whistles.
It was not to be, though.
FSU responded to the tie with a Valencia Myers score. After a Jazmine Jones turnover, the Noles got a three-pointer from Nicki Ekhomu and a minute late, after an Evans turnover and missed attempt by Jones, Nausia Woolfork followed suit with a trifecta. 7:32 showed on the scoreboard and a 8-0 FSU run had made this one a eight-point, 50-42 advantage.
The run wasn't over yet for the Noles.
Kiah Gillespie connected on the third-straight three for FSU and then she scored inside after gathering a blocked Ekhomu shot by Shook. The three-minute, 13-0 run had propelled the visitors to a 55-42 edge. Six minutes remained in the contest, but the Cards would get no closer than six the rest of the way.
This was not the night you wanted to bring someone to the KFC YUM! Center for their first Louisville WBB game. It was a night where neither team shot the ball well (Louisville 34.4% - FSU 38.1%). The Cards led just once, early in the second quarter at 12-11 after a Liz Dixon free throw found its mark at the 8:49 mark.
A defensive struggle is a nice way to describe the action last night. The Cards came out shooting as chilly as the air down by the river -- going one for eight in the first five minutes -- but managed to remain close. An Evans jumper cut FSU's lead to 9-7 with four minutes left in the first, a 4-0 FSU run pushed that back out to 11-7, but UofL got a exciting Mykasa Robinson dash to the basket for a bucket and Dixon connected inside to tie it at 11-11. That's how the first session ended.
The Cards were missing Elizabeth Balogun (who is in Serbia playing for the Nigerian National Team in the Olympic qualifiers).
They were also missing the basket (5-16 shooting in the first for 31.3%). FSU was even worse (5-19 26.3%) in those ten minutes. The Seminoles were owning the board, though, and Gillespie was off to a good start with five points. The same applied for Dana Evans, equaling that point total.
FSU found the shooting touch in the second quarter, while the Cards got even colder. They pushed out to a 22-12 lead at the 3:37 mark. Louisville still hadn't made a jumper, in six attempts. Credit an aggressive FSU defense for some of that lack of production, but the ball just wasn't going through the net for UofL.
The Cards would finally get a bucket from Bionca Dunham in the paint and an old-fashioned three-point play from Evans would get Louisville back within seven with 65 seconds left in the half. FSU's Ekhomu found success inside, though, with two seconds before the buzzer and the teams trudged to the locker room with the tally being 26-17 Noles.
Louisville's worst quarter for shooting happened in the second frame. 2-13 from the floor (15.4%) and 7-29 for the half (24%) for the half. A 15-6 quarter in favor of the Noles, who had perked up to shoot 43.8% in the second quarter, but were only at 12-35 for the half (34%)
As the half ended, an over-zealous Cardinal fan was giving the referees "the business" with rather salty language and head official Dee Kanter pointed to him, indicated he was 'out of there" and security escorted him out of the facility. Given the way Louisville looked in the first twenty minutes, they might have been better off leaving the YUM! Center with the obscene fan, too.
FSU weren't exactly saints or angels.
|BLOOD, YES. INTENTIONAL FOUL? NOPE...|
But this contest was about lack of offensive production. 3-9 for Kylee in 34 minutes, 5-13 from Dunham, 2-12 from Jones in 38 minutes. Even the normally accurate Evans was just 7-20 from the floor. Her 18 points led the Cards. Yacine Diop drew the start in place of Balogun for the Cards but saw just 20 minutes and had a mere two points. She left the court in a obvious hurry for the locker room at one point in the game, no injury report or why was offered.
This one was also about Kiah Gillespie. The six-foot-two, red-shirt senior forward from Meriden, CT. had a career night with 25 points and 13 rebounds. She's on the Naismith "Top 20" list with Evans and showed her skills with 10-20 shooting. Kylee, Liz and Bionca simply couldn't stop her with any degree of success. Guard Nicki Ekhomu also shone for the 19-4, (8-4) Noles with 18 points and six assists.
Maybe the difference was from beyond the arc. The Cards were just 3-16, while FSU went 6-22. Gillespie and Ekhomu had five of those "makes" and the three-straight long balls in the fourth quarter, one by each of them and one from Woolfork. They bailed out the FSU squad. They were 3-17 from the deep before that.
Louisville fought, but it wasn't enough. They rallied, but, didn't have the last rally. It wasn't a shooting seminar for either squad but the Noles managed to do just a bit better than Louisville (24-63 38.1% vs. the Cards 22-64 34.4%)
Kylee had three blocks in the affair, which gave her the single-season record for rejections at Louisville. Dana joined the 1,00 point club with her 18 points. Dunham was doing her best inside, with 14 points but just two rebounds raises an eyebrow.
The Cards fall to second place in the ACC at 10-1, a half-game behind NC State, who handed Virginia Tech their first home loss of the season 76-68.
THE FRED REPORT
|We'll side with Fred Thompson. Not much to|
smile about on Thursday night.
REBOUNDS -- FSU took the battle of the boards 44-38. They had a 29-16 advantage at the half. Kylee led Louisville with nine, but, it was a night where the visitors were the more aggressive team in tracking down missed shots. Especially on the defensive ends, where the Noles had a 28-23 edge. No letter here.
EFFICIENCY/EXECUTION -- Neither team displayed much of these categories. The Cards had 13 turnovers, but forced 12. Louisville did have nine steals, Jaz getting five of them, but the shooting woes, just 10 Cardinal assists and the huge fourth quarter Noles run lead to the determination of no letter here.
DEFENSE -- The Cards have won quite a few game this year when they've held the opponent to less than 70 points. Also when allowing the opponent just 38% shooting. The defense wasn't awful, in fact it was quite good a couple of stretches of this game, but Louisville allowed some crucial, key shots to go in during the deciding 4th quarter and we'll complete the Fred Report with another no letter because it was a loss.
FINAL FRED TALLY: F-_-_-_
THEY SAID IT
Post game with head FSU coach Sue Semrau and Kiah Gillespie: FSU WITH SUE AND KIAH
Post game with Jeff Walz, Dana Evans and Bionca Dunham: WALZ, "B" and DANA
SUMMING IT UP
I'm going to refer you back to Walz's post-game presser to echo my sentiments on this one. It was not a good night for UofL WBB, but they did play a very good foe in Florida State. A foe to be feared the rest of the way if they can stay healthy and get Gillespie to perform like she did against the Cards.
In the end, it's a "L" and we haven't had much experience here writing about those this season. The bottom lines are...you have to shoot well and score more than your foe to win games. Louisville did neither last night.
Walz has predicted numerous times that the Cards would not go undefeated in the ACC in the regular season.
Sadly, last night, his prediction came to fruition.
While we're assigning blame, let's also point out that affable ACCN, ESPN analyst Debbie Antonelli has called the last two Louisville outings --the exhibition against Team USA and the loss to FSU. Deb's on a two-game losing streak in Cardinal contests.
We must find a way to stop Deb, too...
Louisville travels to Syracuse next, for a Sunday battle against "Q" and the Orange. 'Cuse evened their record to 11-11 on the year with a much-needed road win over Boston College last night 89-79.
(PHOTOS and POST-GAME FROM THE INCREDIBLE JARED ANDERSON, WHO WORE WHITE TO A "RED OUT". LET'S ASSIGN BLAME TO JARED FOR THE LOSS, TOO. )
SOFTBALL STARTS IT OFF TODAY
It doesn't seem like softball weather here in the Ville this morning, a couple of inches of snow on the ground, but it's 60 degrees currently in Clearwater, FL with no rain as the Cards kick off their season in the NFCA Leadoff Classic.
A double-header for Holly Aprile's crew, starting at noon vs. Ole Miss and then at (appox.) 2:30 against Baylor.
You can watch the action on You Tube under the NFCA home page.
We'll recap it for you tomorrow here at Cardinal Couple and you can follow Paulie's Tweets on the action today. The handle is @cardinalcouple
LINK: CARDS VS. OLE MISS
Have a fun Friday !