BLUE RAIDERS GIVE CARDS THE BLUES 67-49
Louisville women's basketball ran into a MTSU squad that sank 11 threes and took over the contest late in the second quarter with a 8-0 run to build a lead they would never relinquish.
It wasn't the best of shooting nights for Louisville, going just 18-65 (27%) from the floor and 4-21 (19%) from three-point range. MTSU put a tough, in your face and unwavering defense on Louisville and Hailey Van Lith and Morgan Jones were a combined 4-21 from the floor.
The Cards did start fairly well. They pushed to a 18-15 first quarter lead -- getting nine points from Olivia Cochran. MTSU shut Louisville down offensively in the second quarter, though, as Louisville failed to score in the final three minutes leading to halftime. That allowed the Blue Raiders to gain a 34-25 lead. Threes by MTSU's Whitson and Boldyreva were torpedoes in Louisville's battleship. Seve points in a quarter isn't the recipe for success.
Not having Payton Verhulst didn't help the Cards chances any.. It was revealed during the contest that she has decided to enter the transfer portal. Not seeing her on the bench and (obviously) not enter the game led to internet (and our Cardinal Couple group chat).speculation, discussion and cause-seeking. We finally saw this;
Payton Verhulst in the portal out of Louisville, source familiar to the situation says. Sophomore should have 3 years of eligibility left. Was the No. 12 recruit in the 2021 class, per ESPN. Kansas native was an All-ACC Freshman Team selection last season
Middle Tennessee expanded on their lead in the third quarter and built their lead to 54-36. Walz was trying a ton of different combinations, we saw Zyanna Walker log her first court time of the season and she responded with four points.
The Cards managed to stay even with MTSU in the fourth quarter -- each team scoring 13 points, but Louisville made just one of their final 11 baskets.
|(great, another group of "downward L posers)|
A tough, disappointing loss. The Cards would appear to still have some work to do in the "toughening up" aspects of the game and let's hope they can regain their shooting touch before SIUE comes to town Tuesday.
THE FRED REPORT
|(whaddya mean the Cards shot 27% , Fred?)|
FREE THROWS -- 9 for 15 is 60% below the 70%we like to see to award a letter. Only four Cards attempted them, Cochran was 4-7. NO LETTER
REBOUNDS -- Louisville won the rebounding battle 47-40, but lost it in defensive rebounds 32-29. Only 14 for the Cards four "bigs' Cochran, Dixon, Harris and Williams. I'll award a lower case "r" because they did win the battle of the boards overall. Hailey had 10.
EFFORT/EXECUTION -- 15 turnovers is a few more than I's like to see and only five points off fast breaks isn't many for a team that prides themselves on them. Eight assists on 18 made basket is a bit low, also. The overall effort didn't win the game, though and UofL's execution against the MTSU defense yielded just 49 points. NO LETTER
DEFENSE -- Holding a foe under 70 points usually results in a UofL win, but the three-point defense allowed almost hlf off MTSU's point tally. I can't award a letter on a loss...those collapses ending the second quarter and starting the third quarter (a 16-2 MTSU run) ultimately did UofL in. NO LETTER
FINAL FRED REPORT: -_r-_-_
So, a lot of questions out there about this squad right now. In all fairness, Walz did warn the Cards fans that this wouldn't be another remarkable less-than-five loss season, but I think we're all looking for better performances, solid leadership, consistency and toughness out of this bunch. The talent is there, we'd all like to see it shine.
As sometimes happens, when a squad starts doing things that are unexpectedly bad on a consistent basis, rumors start to spread. and circulate, We're not going to go there, speculation doesn't equal facts.