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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cards fly early, fold late to UK...77-68

Two 12-0 UK second half runs prove costly in UofL loss

This one was just a plain shame to watch disintegrate.

Emmonnie enforces. Photo by Charlie
Springer -
The University of Louisville women's basketball team let a 13 point half time lead fall by the wayside to take their first loss of the season to #13 Kentucky 77-68 in front of almost 15,000 fans in the KFC YUM! Center Sunday afternoon. 

Louisville could do no wrong in the first two minutes of this one...rolling out to a 7-1 lead when Bria Smith took a feed from Mariya Moore. It necessitated a UK timeout and the Cats did seem to be on equal terms for the next eight minutes...getting within five when Makayla Epps scored to make it 21-16 Louisville with slightly over ten minutes left in the half. 

The next four minutes were all Louisville, though...the Cards going on a 11-0 run to grab a 32-16 lead after two Sara Hammond free throws with 6:44 showing on the clock.
Louisville's quickness in the transition and UK's poor shooting were making this one look way too easy.

A Emmonnie Henderson putback at the buzzer gave UofL a 42-29 lead after 20 minutes. Louisville shot 51.7% in the first half and were led by Bria Smith's 10 points and Myisha Hines-Allen's nine. 

Jude trapped. Photo by Charlie Springer -
The Cards were dominating on the boards...but you had to worry about UK's guard contingent bringing them back into the battle like they did earlier this season against Duke. 

UK whittled away at the Cardinal lead to start the second half...getting within nine after a Janae Thompson free throw that made it 49-40 four minutes into the action. The Cards didn't appear to be panicked, though...Moore connected on a pass from Jude to hold a 53-40 edge with 13:23 left in the game. 

Then, the Cards crumbled. 

Over the next four minutes, the Cats unleashed a 12-0 run that had them within one at 53-52 after Linnae Harper's three with 9:40 showing on the scoreboard. 

UK was looking superiorly faster and penetrating the Cards paint with the guard play of Harper, Epps, Goss, Thompson and O'Neill. Louisville couldn't buy a bucket and the UK defensive pressure was wearing the Cards down.

Louisville would scrap and hang on to the lead until a Thompson free throw put the Cats ahead for the first time at 59-58 with 6:16 remaining. Louisville regained the advantage when Moore hit a layup and took a three point lead at 66-63 after two Smith free throws and 3:26 to play.

Sadly, the Cards couldn't find the bucket after that...allowing UK to go on another 12-0 spurt that didn't end until Hammond hit a meaningless jumper with 18 seconds left to make it 75-68 UK.  The Cards would commit three turnovers, commit four fouls and miss four shots in the stretch.

Selfie in second half when things started going south.
Still....the Cards were only down 68-66 when Myisha HInes-Allen missed a jumper with 1:24 remaining. Harper and O'Neill both drove the lane and connected on layups in the next 30 seconds, though and UK hit 6 of 7 free throws the rest of the way to secure the victory.

Troubling, indeed, the way the Cards seemed to wilt at times under UK ful-court, trapping pressure. Disheartening, watch UK's guards blow by Schimmel, Carter and Smith for layups or trips to the foul line in the final three minutes. Agonizing to watch UofL go 7-29 from the floor in the second half...10 of those misses from close-in.

CC favorite Syd Brackemyer watches team warm up
The Cards committed a season high 28 turnovers in the game and UK capitalized by holding a 27-13 edge in points off turnovers. Louisville went 24-33 from the foul line...above the Walz mandated 70%...but could only gather two points off the nine misses. The Cards outrebounded the Cats 46-34 and had 16 second chance points to UK's 4.

Tough to lose to the in-state rival on your court and suffer a loss the fourth consecutive time in a row. Plenty of season to be played yet, though.

Hines-Allen led Louisville with 17 points, Smith added 15,
Louie takes a load off in the VIP seats
Moore finished with 14 and Hammond totaled 11 for the Cards that were in double figures. Arica Carter and Emmonnie Henderson were good for four each and Shawnta' Dyer had three points. Deines and Schimmel played but did not score and Vails and Freeman did not see any action. 

A case Sunday afternoon where quickness and speed eventually prevailed over strength and rebounding. 

Louisville returns to action Monday Dec 15th. when ODU comes to the KFC YUM! Center for a 7 p.m. tilt. 



  1. Great write-up as always. Unbelievable how we have blown this game for the third straight year! The freshmen played really well! A lot better than some of the upper classmen that played. Moore and Hines-Allen are two of our best players. No 3 point threat also hurt us. UK clogged the paint and forced us to shoot from the outside the paint.

    Megan played 16 minutes and I don't ever even recall seeing her. Jude played poorly but at least I noticed her in there. Too many missed lay-ups and boneheaded TO's. There seemed to be zero leadership from the veterans, just looked stone faced when UK was making their run. They have more talent and depth at the guard position and that's what wore us down in the 2nd.

    Cards have a good chance to win out in December. Only tough games looks like @California on the 21st but they just lost by 24 to Kansas!

  2. As I've been saying all season - this team will have trouble beating a good team because it has no outside shooting. Until Hammond's meaningless jumper, what was the longest shot that the Cards made? Also...wasn't that the worst game that Jude has played in four years here? She was 0-6 from the field and didn't shoot with confidence on any of them. She had four turnovers but it seemed like more. And the UK guards abused her mercilessly in the second half.

  3. Agree about Jude. She didn't seem to be in the game ever. She looked teary eyed on the bench for most of the first half. She's a great defender but UK guards were just too big and strong for her.

  4. Too many easy games leading up to this one. UK has been tested and it showed with the way they stepped up in the second half. Jude needs to pick her lower lip up off the floor and start playing like the feisty, scrappy player we have come to love. I'll gladly accept this loss if they end up finishing the year the way they have after the 3 previous losses to U uh K. GO CARDS, rip off the rear view mirror and move forward.

  5. I think that Jude wants to do well so bad that the emotion and stress of doing needing to do well overtaken her basketball IQ and her muscle memory. It looks like every shot she attempts is put up stiffly as if her muscles are tight with no follow through ( hand in the cookie jar motion).
    Jude is a great person who I think is trying to take on the responsibility of the entire games outcome upon herself. Time to "play for the love of the game ".

  6. Great write up and comments. Not much to add other than to say that's about as disappointed I've in one of Jeff's teams since I became a fan. It was Brutal and I'm sure it was even uglier if you were there in person.

    On a more positive note, I loved the aggressive attitudes and gameness of our freshmen, particularly Hines-Allen. It's too bad we couldn't have channeled the energy that E used to pile drive that UK guard into the floor into our second half defensive effort. We would've won by 30...

    Undefeated Cal got beat today by unranked Kansas so they've taken their first loss also but they'll want a piece of us as a pay back for that loss in the final four. We'd better get our heads on straight, move our feet on defense and buck up. Walz made a comment a game or two ago about wanting Sara and Jude to quit feeling sorry for themselves or words to that effect. He's right on. Everybody loves Jude but maybe she needs to come of the bench for a while if that will help get her going.

    1. It was a tough outing for Jude...we wondered before the game if our guard contingent of Smith, Jude, Bria, Arica and Megan would hold up against the five UK guards Turns put the UK bunch put 69 points up...ours 33.

  7. Maybe it's just me but I was wondering why Walz didn't use Vails at all? Maybe she could have swatted away a few of those UK dribble drives late. Second guessing coach Walz is highly volatile -- but they drove through us like we did against Belmont.

    The Real Joe Hill

  8. I do think that we need to remember that the projection for our team this year was that it would be a down year. A year where we just needed to get through it as best as we could. Graduations took away a ton of firepower and experience. Our freshman are great recruits to have but they are freshmen.

    Now, because the women have played above expectations we are asking an awful lot from them while forgetting what we had projected. Just saying...

    1. That's all true enough. If someone would have told me that we'd lose this game after being that far ahead at halftime at home and having outrebounded and shot a higher free throw percentage for the game than UK I'd have said they were crazy.

      Moore and Hines-Allen are clearly outperforming most people's expectations this year which is great, but that doesn't excuse the lack of leadership from anyone in the second half in a game that we should have won. It seemed like once UK started their serious come back we began playing "not to lose" instead of playing to win. It's an attitude and a mindset and it should start with the senior leaders.

      The best example I can think of is Shoni. Frankly her defense was suspect at best and she drove us all crazy at one time or another with her crazy shot selection, but when she was on the court she lead and she believed in herself and the team. When she screwed up, which was pretty frequently she immediately forgot about it and kept hammering away. She expected to win.

      Remember when we beat Baylor in the tourney? The picture of Sims giving Shoni hell and Shoni giving it right back? Or when Shoni was running up court and tossed an elbow at the Baylor defender that had been beating on her? A dumb move which contributed to her fouling out but it was crystal clear at that point to Baylor that we weren't backing down . We don't have that attitude right now and we need to get it in short order. It is only one game but it's the first one in which we had a gut check and we choked it as a team.

      But I think your general point is well taken. I've always been a big believer in Jude and I think she can get there but she needs to do it. My concern is that she is every bit as nice and sweet as she seems and can't get that killer instinct going. That said she deserves the benefit of the doubt.

    2. I did notice (unfortunately) that in the first half the senior leadership was using encouragement... When a teammate had a problem. A look again of the 2nd half will often show more of a yelling to and frustrated pointing at the negatives instead of what i saw in the first half and in the Baylor game.
      Not for sure i am using the right descriptors but another viewing of the game will show a different way that players were reacting to each other when things did not go well.

      I definitely noticed it and was not pleased when it happened. Hopefully a film breakout will be a leadership learning experience.

  9. How the women react to the loss is more important than the outcome of the UK game. This was the first real competition they have had. Hopefully they will take it as a learning experience and can quickly regroup for the upcoming games.

  10. I hated to see Henderson's throw down on the UK player but the UK players had been taking the ball out of our hands all through the game. Was glad to see "E" hold on to one. I am generally very supportive of referees but the "Baldy" was just as bad this time as he was earlier in the year - both ways. He needs to go back to the high school game.

  11. Henderson "throw-down" occurred because the referees did not blow the whistle to indicate a jump ball until late. By the time they did the tug of war was pretty much over with E the winner.
    She was right to not give up the ball until the whistle blew.

  12. Looked like a good game of 2 ranked teams, win we get negative, lose we get more negative. New players, different team, the players are doing good. It was a tale of 2 halves, you all saw what can happen when we're on our game, plenty of season left, its not how you start its about how you finish, live and learn. Oh well, onto the next!

  13. Another perspective:

    1. LOL. I wonder if that was the elderly guy that wrote that article who wondered which coach he was talking to in the post game presser?

      Coverage on Cardinal WBB from unknowledgeable, senile old farts is like me going to cover World Cup soccer.

      I hope the old man ( or whaever) had a good time covering the game free. I hope the next assignment is NASCAR. Or bocci ball. This article is like sending a punk rocker to cover opera. Totally displaced and irrelevant.

      Paulie .

    2. Thought you'd get a kick out of it although I doubt they let this dude into the presser. They seem to be long on enthusiasm and short on basketball moxy over there. Doesn't seem to stop them from throwing up goofy headlines though.

  14. I love UofL hoops. But, c'mon Walz. .Beat the Cats! That $1 million a year you're getting isn't to be a smart ass in the post game stuff.

  15. Walz can't beat KY because he is getting outrecruited up until this past year. They are more athletic and outmatched our guards . Same story each year.

  16. I think you Card fans are beating yourself up way too much over the loss. UK had better guards than UofL. They have ever since Matthew Mitchell arrived. The Cats have played a much tougher non-conference schedule than Louisville and were the better team Sunday. One thing I will say is that Emmonnie Henderson is nothing more than a cheap-shot, overweight bully. The way she body slammed Kyvin Goodin-Rogers has no place in women's college basketball. She shols have been tossed from the game.

    Matthew Mitchell for Governor
    Mitchell 5 - Walz 2

    1. So "E" should just let go of the ball and let the UK players take it out of her hands? Funny, I never thought of that. She won the tug of war on that one and the refs blew the whistle too late. Take a look at that thug on your team McNeil. She could have helped your football team this year. Hey Matty, 1-800-ROGAINE!

    2. MMG: Check the 11:54 mark and watch again then think of apologizing to E. KG was pulling just as hard, just lost the battle. Again, it was the late whistle which created the battle, not a cheap shot by E.

      But, speaking of cheap shots. Check the film at the 8:24 mark and watch Bishop throwing her elbow into face of Sara. Guess it was the only way she could get open. Referees again slipped when they decided not to check the monitor for the flagrant foul of the elbow shot above the shoulder is very clear on replay.

    3. It's all about Dee Kantner when she is officiating. If she thought she would have seen herself on the replay, she probably would have reviewed the elbow Bishop threw. Also, she doesn't like to be be proven wrong. I think the thug the earlier response is referring to is ONeil not McNeil, she can only get open by using her elbows.

  17. A 9pt loss to #13 isn't going to end the world, now if we lost to a new science of techno Institute like Michigan did now it may be the end of the world lol. Wuda cuda shuda did this did that, easy for us to watch an coach from our recliners. Great game, we may have a few losses but come on now, we compete!


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