Cards Claim Conference Win at Cameron
Louisville women's basketball opened ACC conference play when they visited Duke for a rare Wednesday game. Yes, today is only Thursday so don't get in that weekend mindset quite yet.
The Cards left Cameron Indoor Stadium with a 73-49 victory to put that first tally in the ACC wins column.
Overall shooting was rather poor in the first quarter, but the 5-for-5 shooting from three-point range helped the Cards to a 21-12 advantage. Duke held a small 4-3 lead early in the game, but Louisville had a stretch of three straight three-pointers that saw the Cards pull ahead 9-6.
Louisville went into halftime holding a 35-22 lead. Evans led all scorers at the time with 13 points. The second quarter was quiet for Louisville, who won the quarter 14-10. The Cards struggled with shooting, including a fair number of missed layups. The only three-point attempt was a miss, but a 6-0 Dana Evans run helped ignite some offense.
Duke cut the Cards lead to six points midway through the third quarter before Louisville stepped it up a notch defensively. Louisville would hit a 15-point lead, but allowed a late score to end the quarter with a 49-36 lead. Evans had a quiet quarter with two points. Smith saw a small spark and pushed her point total up to 13 at the buzzer. Louisville went 0-4 from three-point range in the third quarter.
A little splash from three-point range from Evans off a nifty assist from Mykasa Robinson just before the break in the fourth quarter put the Cards up 20, triggering a Duke timeout. Depending who you were rooting for, it either got progressively better or worse form there. HVL contributed five of the next seven points, igniting a Duke timeout as the lead grew to 27. The Cards would win by 24.
Duke, who usually relies on amplified crowd noise from the small Cameron Indoor Stadium, played in front of an empty arena. The Blue Devils announced they will not allow fans for men's and women's basketball games this season.
Louisville finished with a 44.4% shooting from the field with a solid 43.8% from three-point range. They also had an impressive showing from the free throw line, going 10-11.
Evans led all scorers with 24 points. Kianna Smith had 15, HVL had 14, and Olivia Cochran had 11. Cochran also had 12 rebounds to complete her double-double.
Surprisingly, Ahlana Smith and Norika Konna both saw few minutes, seeing seven minutes and six minutes, respectively. Robinson saw a fair amount of minutes and even though her scoring issues continued she was effective with six rebounds and one assist to go along with no turnovers.
Layups, which has been a weird issue in recent years, seemed to be Louisville's Achilles heel for much of the night. Whether it was a fast break or a contested shot in the paint Louisville was frustrated by the point blank range shot all night.
The Cards limited their turnovers to 12, quite an improvement from their mark fo 22 against DePaul. The 23-4 points off turnovers advantage proved to be the difference maker in the game. Duke actually won the fast break battle, 10-9. The Blue Devils also had the advantage in second chance points 15-11.
It was a relatively quiet night with fouls and whistle interruptions. The two teams combined for 22 fouls. Allowing the game to go on without constant interruptions will award the officials an A for the game.
Free Throws- 10-11 for 90.9% certainly earns a Capital "F".
Rebounds- Louisville and Duke tied with 38 rebounds a piece. The Cards are averaging nearly 50 rebounds per game. Duke had been out-rebounding foes by 24 a game. We cannot award a letter here for an averaage showing on the boards.
Effort/Efficiency- The 44% shooting from the floor and nearly 44% from three-point range is always a good mark to hit. 23 points off turnovers is also a big number, especially when you when by 24, showing to be a big difference maker. On top of that Louisville, limited its turnovers and made smarter shots. There is certainly enough evidence to award a Capital "E".
Defense- The Cards held Duke to less than 50 points. They also forced Duke into 1-16 shooting from three-point range and forced 18 turnovers. The only area of concern would be allowing 36 points in the paint, including a couple open looks after giving up offensive rebounds. Still, there's a strong case for a Capital "D".
So we have a F-_-E-D after last night on the Fred Report. .
Louisville is now 5-0 on the year with a 1-0 mark in conference play. They host North Carolina on Sunday at 4:00 p.m., on ACC Network. Georgia Tech is the only other team with a conference victory after defeating Boston College. We'll see four more conference games tonight.
Jill Morton Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame
Jill Morton will be joining the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame as a 2021 recipient. Morton played for Louisville from 1996-2000. To give you an idea when that was, Morton was starting her freshman year the same time I was turning two. Paulie was celebrating his 80th birthday back then... or close to it, right?
Morton is Louisville's 12th leading scorer all-time. She finished her career with 1402 points. She also holds a career 44.5% three-point shooting mark, which still ranks first in program history. Her 201 three-pointers is seventh all-time at Louisville.
Morton is also Louisville women's basketball's first ever All-American. She is also the Cards' first ever WNBA draft pick, going 34th to the Charlotte Sting in 2014.
We are back on air/internet/podcast for our Cardinal Couple podcast this Saturday and hope to have Daryl joining us. As for myself, I'm back to banking this Saturday and will be out. Abbott and Costello are taking some time away from learning baseball rosters to teach me how to convert a 5 into two 10s.
Happy Thursday and Go Cards!