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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lady Cards fall to Bradley 69-59

Despite Monique Reid's 27 points and 8 rebounds, Louisville couldn't close the gap in the second half and falls to Bradley by 10 in the first round of the WBI Tournament.

A very cold night from the field for the Cards, shooting only 31.4% from the field against Bradley. It took some late game shooting success to get it back to that, Louisville was 7-32 from the field in the first twenty minutes for 21.9% and trailed surprisingly by only 26-17 when they went to the locker room. At times, Louisville looked very slow, passive and almost disinterested in the game. Jeff Walz tried five different guards in infinite combinations to jump start the Cardinal attack but only Reid seemed to be able to put the ball thru the net with much success.

Shooting will get you every time. Reid went 9-16 from the field before she fouled out of the contest with 2:58 to go. The five Cardinal guards that played combined for 7-33 from the court. A dismal 1-17 from three point land. Compare that to the three Bradley guards who went 13-27 and knocked down 6-18 from trifecta range.

Despite all the missed attempts, Louisville managed to rally in the second half from a 43-23 deficit with 13:20 to go and cut the margin to 59-52 after a Becky Burke 3 with 2:44 left. The Cards though, with Reid on the bench, could draw no closer and ends their season with a 14-18 record.

The work ahead for this team before they face Tennessee in the downtown arena eight months from now is considerable. The difference between good basketball players and great ones comes from the work ethic, the conditioning and improvement of skills. Right now, the Cards have one great player in Reid and several good ones. They have a great player in Dez Byrd returning next season and a potentially great one in redshirt Tia Gibbs. It is up to the rest of the returnees and incoming freshmen to turn the corner and pick up their that mid pack teams from mid major conferences don't put ten point pastings on them on their home court.

Jeff Walz has had two very good seasons and Louisville and one he probably wishes he could have a "do over" on. He can coach with the best of them when the talent level is sufficient. It is up to his players to reach that level both physically and emotionally and get Louisville basketball back to where it was his first two seasons. Angel and Candyce aren't coming back thru that door...but a team that has no one near the talent level of several of the Cardinals dominated Louisville tonight in front of 694 fans tonight with hard work, good decisions and team play.

Written by Paul

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