We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Louisville women's basketball. Moore early, Durr late...Cards 78 -Wake Forest 54. MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Louisville women's basketball got 15 first half points from Mariya Moore and 13 second half points from Asia Durr to finally get clear from a tenacious Wake Forest squad Sunday afternoon at the KFC YUM! Center in ACC Conference action

A crowd of 9673 saw Moore keep the Cards afloat offensively with three first half threes and Durr score 13 of Louisville 15 points in a 15-0 run that took the Cards from a 50-41 advantage to a 65-41 lead in a four minute stretch over the end of the third period and beginning of fourth period. 

Durr commented on the run:

" I was just trying to stay abreast of it. Coach Walz got highly upset when I didn't shoot, so I was just going out there and trying to shoot."

Why the hesitation? Coach Walz had no answers.

Referee Billy Smith was dancing all day...
" I wish I could tell you. No coach ever had to tell me to shoot. I just want you to know that, Paul. Never. And she works harder than anyone on this team. She's in the gym more than anybody...working on her shot. And I told her in one're as good to this team as my 2 1/2 year old daughter. Lola could do exactly what you're doing and that's catch and throw it over there. She's not strong enough to shoot from the three-point line and you won't even look to do it. And, I think she got a little upset with that. The next time down she takes a three and hits it and gets that look like "I got you back'. [ Laughter] She just got to get shooting more."

It ultimately worked out well for the Douglasville, GA freshman...who ended the game with 4 of 9 shooting, 2 of 5 from three point range and 8 out of 9 free throws....ending with 18 points.  

Moore went 6-12 in the first half as Louisville struggled offensively...shooting 22.7% in the first period and sitting at just 30% at halftime...Louisville owned a shaky 32-26 lead after trailing most of the first period before Durr put in a layup at the buzzer and ahead just 27-26 with 2:42 left in the second period. 

Defensively, the Cards held the Demon Deaconesses to just 38.5% from the floor and 5-19 three point shooting...but that percentage bested Louisville's 26-70 (37.1%) afternoon. 

Louisville (17-5, 9-0) did force 25 turnovers, and they led to 26 points, but Amber Campbell and Ariel Stephenson were getting easy looks and layups most of the evening...scoring 14 of the 20 made Wake baskets. 

Yes, it's a win and Walz did give the freshmen and Dakota Weatherford the minutes over the final six minutes of the game...but Wake Forest battled hard and kept the contest close for 27 minutes. 


Free Throws: The Cards sank 19 of their 25 free throws (including 10 of 12 in the third quarter) for they beat the Fred standard of 70% and we'll give a capital F in that category. Besides Durr's 8-9, Moore was 5-7 and Cortnee Walton was a perfect 3-3.

Rebounding: The Cards won the battle of the boards 45-37 and it was a balanced effort with five players grabbing five or more. They won the offensive rebounding battle we can easily award a capital R here. 

We're 99% sure that WASN'T Willie Nelson walking by the refs.
Easy Shots: Way too many easy and open looks missed in the beginning of this game. The Cards made 16 shots in the paint but missed 21 and eight of the misses were layups. No "E" awarded here. That 37% shooting could have been much higher if layups and putbacks would have fallen. 

Defense: Yes, Wake Forest scored only 54 points and shot just 38.5%...but 22 points in the paint and 16 second chance the close score for 3/4ths. of the game...indicate that the defense was good but not great. Still too many unchecked and wide open scores. We'll give a lower case "d" for the afternoon. 

By request, we're bringing back the "What we Liked" and "What Needs Work" categories. 


1) Myishia back in the mix. A solid return performance for Myisha Hines-Allen after missing the Clemson game. 10 points, six grabs and three assists in 24 minutes. You could tell she was happy to be back on the court and she and Moore really do compliment each other so well on-court.

2) "Moore" than they bargained for. The sophomore garners our Player of the Game honors with her second-highest point total of the season. After good but not great efforts against Syracuse and Clemson...the fire and intensity was in her eyes tonight and we'll take 5 for 10 three point shooting anytime out of her.

3) Stepping on the gas. Louisville closed the game on a 28-13 run and displayed a killer instinct. What's impressive is that the freshman contingent had 22 of those points. Maybe it was a case of Wake Forest running out of gas...but it's always good to hold your foe to 28 second-half points....especially when you toss in 56.


Sonja was not thrilled with the first ten minutes...or me taking
pictures of Deb Antonelli. I'm not sure which issue got me the
sour look. 
1) Avoiding the slow starts. UofL missed 18 of their first 22 shots. Six of their 12 turnovers came in the first ten minutes. They got away with it tonight. Against a few of the future ACC opponents, those numbers might equal a loss or much deeper hole to dig out of. 

2) Getting a third three-point shooter. The Cards were 7-22 from beyond the arc and two players (Moore and Durr) were 7-15. BJ, Taja and Arica are all capable of adding to that success rate but they didn't fire this afternoon. We're not sure if we're ready to see Sam Fuehring trying them yet. She's 1-9 on the season so far. 

3) Stopping the dribble-drive. A couple of times out there this afternoon, it looked like "matador" defense for the Cards. Protect that paint and make it where a guard or wing might be a little reluctant to venture in after a couple of denials. Wake Forest guards Ariel Stephenson and Amber Campbell got up 35 total shots and only 15 of them were threes. 15 were from the paint. 

Photo by Charlie  Springer -
In the final analysis, it is a win and keeps the Cards atop the ACC with Notre Dame. It's also maybe that "hiccup" game that Walz has talked about...where some of the numbers didn't look so great. With four players in double figures, though...and 25 turnovers forced, it was a team effort and also provided a few "teaching moments" ...both good and bad...that the coaches can use to prepare for the game at North Carolina and when Notre Dame comes to town next Sunday. Especially the lapses in defense...

The fans left happy, Louisville is still undefeated since playing Kentucky (who got beat by Florida today), and Deb Antonelli almost got plunked by a bag of peanuts during the cheerleader toss. All in all, not so bad an afternoon...



Photo by Charlie Springer -
Our Saturday broadcast is available for hearing on the Crescent Hill Soundcloud at WCHQ 100.9's website. We had a full but fun hour discussing UofL women's sports and have audio clips from Jeff Walz, Quentin Hillsman, Sandy Pearsall, Asia Durr, Myisha Hines-Allen, Kelsi Jones, Whitney Arion, Kayla and Jamie Soles for your listening addition to our own babbling about action. It's live and unrehearsed expect the occasional stutter and stammer.  


Louisville women's basketball -- No need to quake because of Wake...SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


There is always the danger of underestimating an opponent when you get into conference play. Especially when no one in the conference has defeated your team yet. We're sure, though...that despite the quick turnaround...Jeff Walz's University of Louisville women's basketball team will be ready for the Demon Deaconesses visit to the KFC YUM! Center today at 1 p.m.

It's a Fox Sports South televised game and Deb Antonelli will be on hand to exhort the offenses to execute. That might be a thing of difficulty for the Winston-Salem school...who is coming off a 96-55 throttling by Florida State last time out. 

One thing the Cards will be wise in preventing is WFU trips to the foul line. Jen Hoover's squad is third in the nation in free throw attempts (489) and 23rd. in makes (303). That's 62%, which flunks our FRED standards of 70%...but getting to the line 23 times a game is impressive. Wake Forest is also 37th. in the nation in overall Cortnee, Myisha and the girls will need to be mindful of blocking out and positioning. 

Wake Forest has been buoyed by finally getting Elisa Penna into the lineup. The Bergamo, Italy forward was able to join the squad on Dec. 26th. and has freshman status. She's a veteran of extensive European events and in 10 games she's averaging 11.4 ppg. She was also the ACC Rookie of the Week last week. Long range bomber Ariel Stephenson could pose problems for the Cards if left unchecked. She's 38 for 140 beyond the arc and scored 20 against the Seminoles. Her 11.9 average is second best on the squad. Sophomore guard Amber Campbell leads the 'Deacs' with 12.7 points an outing. 

There really aren't any signature wins in the 11-10 record that Wake has produced. With a 2-6 ACC record, Wake Forest started conference play 0-5... suffering a 95-68 punch in the nose at Duke and 91-65 beat-down from Syracuse in Winston-Salem. Hoover's team has managed wins against a staggering UNC squad and at Boston College.

Louisville will welcome back Myisha Hines-Allen after a one game absence and the Cards will also look to keep their eight-game home win streak, eight game conference and 13 game overall win streak going. 

Louisville and WFU have met once before...the Cards winning 75-68 in the LJVM Coliseum last year.

This one should be another of those 20-30 point romps where Walz gets a lot of players lots of time and Worldwide leaves happy because the Attack Yorkies got to prowl the premises. Louisville will need to cut back on turnovers...a message we're sure the team has gotten loud and clear.

We'll be back after the game to give you our take on action against Wake later today.  



If you missed the live version of The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour yesterday...there's no need to hang your head and mope around the breakfast nook. It's now available in it's entirety at the Crescent Hill Radio homepage. 

We'll even provide you with this nifty link that'll take you there when it gets added.


Worldwide and I had a busy but fun broadcast where we covered the UofL softball banquet, Swimming and Diving and UofL women's basketball. Somehow we managed to squeeze in audio clips from Asia Durr, Sam Fuehring, Briahanna Jackson, Jeff Walz, Quentin Hillsman, Sandy Pearsall, the Soles sisters, Kelsi Jones and Whitney Arion.

Our excellent radio show producer/manager/station owner "Monk" is probably taking the day off after we kept her hopping with editing, continuity and button pushing. We'd join her but there's a little event going on down by the river we'd like to watch...and, of course, we're monitoring the staff chimps...who are busy- busy preparing a legal defense and plausible deniability for Sylvia Hatchell latest act of insanity... 


Saturday, January 30, 2016 far can you go? Saturday Cardinal Couple


See how they run...this 2015-16 version of the Louisville women's basketball team...since the beginning of the new year. The Cards are a tractor...they keep mowing down the opponents. 

8-0 against the Tech's, the States, a couple of Carolina's, an Orange and a Tiger. 

How many saw that coming for the Louisville women's basketball squad? Especially after floundering through November? 

Yes it's true...Louisville women's basketball is out-producing the Pitino product and atop the ACC. Go gnash your teeth on that, underhand free throw fans. What ya got to counter? You're the second-best bakletball team on campus.

Wake Forest visits next. They might want to detour to the Jefferson or Bernheim forests nearby and spare the humiliation of a beating down by the river. No one has gotten within 10 against the Cards in the newly-formatted Stalag 13 (a.k.a. KFC YUM! Center) and the Demon Deaconesses don't look to be the one's to bust that up. If I have to take my pants off one more time at Checkpoint, never mind...

Notre Dame, however...the next visitor to the lock-down after Wake goes home...does look quite capable of busting up the undefeated streak at the Pizza Palace. If Louisville doesn't go 8-0 in the second half of ACC play, you'll probably be able to wag that finger toward the Irish. One of these days, Walz will field a team that will muffle Muffet. It probably isn't the 2015-16 squad but we can still hope... 

Let's look at it. After Wake quakes on the Denny Crum Court, the Cards travel to face a UNC squad that has been plummeting. After the Notre Dame visit, Louisville WBB gets bottom-feeder Pitt, a non-conference tilt against a very good USF squad and then Virginia, B.C., Miami and Pitt again. 

If Walz can't go better than 5-3 in February, he might want to hand his clipboard to one of the security guards at the YUM! exit and take up lawn care or stand-up comedy. Maybe they lose to Muffett and Jose. Miami is tough on their home court. Anything past that is an expected win. 

You're seeing a team that is finally "getting it" and no longer needs the training wheels or the night-light when you look at these current Cardinals. Undaunted and un-intimidated.

And that equates to some very fun potential hoops over the next two months. Go be a part of it. Represent. 



The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour airs at 11 a.m. today. Looks like me and Worldwide, no Sam and a long-shot chance at getting Paige behind the microphone. Seems the Cardinal guys have a game today and...yeah, we're used to it...people got stuff to do. We're non-profit and we're used to it. It's not like this gig is going to lead us or our paricipants to the big time.

Nevertheless, we have a great show planned with recaps and preview of hoops, lacrosse, swimming/diving and our incredible audio of the Softball banquet, Syracuse and Clemson games, Sam's chat with Asia Durr and a quiz.

You know what we do and how to get there. Give a listen.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Louisville women's basketball uses balanced effort to extend streak to 13...Cards 75-Clemson 33


With ACC doormat Clemson visiting the KFC YUM! Center Thursday night, it was the hope that Louisville head women's basketball coach Jeff Walz might get his reserves some extended playing time in the contest. 

It happened way sooner than most of the 8379 in attendance expected it. With the Cards up 4-0 after two Sam Fuehring free throws, Walz replaced starters Mariya Moore, Arica Carter, Cortnee Walton, Briahanna Jackson and Fuehring at the 8:03 mark with Asia Durr, Brianna Jones, Dakota Weatherford, Erin DeGrate and Taja Cole.

Was the mass substitution planned or because of poor performance? 

"We didn't start out with the energy Coach he put in the second group and I feel like they did a good job and got us on a run." Briahanna Jackson offered in the post-game press conference. 

Walz elaborated on that when it was his time to take the podium: 

" It was by performance...or lack thereof. We turned the ball over two out of the three first possessions and that's not acceptable so I just tried to get their attention. The five I put out there really did well and brought the energy we needed and played well. I was excited for them." 

Indeed, they did.

After a Clemson basket, the "second group" went on a 11-0 run over the next three minutes and a Durr three-pointer had the Cards ahead 15-2 with 5:10 left in the first period. Walz brought the starters back a minute later and Louisville held a 23-8 lead after the first ten minutes. 

Although not quite as dramatic as they were to start the game, the substitutions continued over the next 30 minutes. No Cardinal saw less than 16 minutes of action or more than 29...those top minutes going to Fuehring, who started in place of Myisha Hines-Allen, who was not in attendance due to attending funeral services of her grandmother in New Jersey...but expected to return for Sunday's game against WFU.  

So, Sam...what say you about the start? 

" I kind of wasn't expecting to start but I'm always ready to come in and do the work. I think I've gotten better at handling the ball and have gotten stronger...because they've [opponents] been pushing me around...

The Cards -- as a whole -- also continued to get stronger as the game progressed...pushing the lead to 39-12 at the half. The Clemson point-total was not the lowest scored in a half by an opponent in Louisville Women's basketball history, though. Houston Baptist managed only eight against the Cards back on 11/17/10. 

Clemson was shooting 21.4% from the field (6-28) after the first twenty and had not converted a three in six attempts. Fuehring, Moore and Durr all had eight points for Louisville, the Cards were 5-9 from the deep and shooting 48.4%.


Things continued to get worse for the Tigers. The Cards led 45-16 after Walton layup and "plus one" and then went on a 8-0 run to hold a 53-16 edge after a Jackson three with 3:28 left in the third. After 30 minutes of action, UofL was up 58-23 and Jackson had put in 13 points...nine of then from trifecta range. 

Walz had Fuerhing, Cole, Weatherford, Durr and Jones on the floor for the majority of the final period...everyone's favorite "attack yorkie" Weatherford becoming the final Cardinal to score at the 4:35 mark. By then it was 67-27 and Louisville rolled to the final 42 point-win despite not scoring in the final two minutes.  

At least Clemson didn't foul in the final seven minutes. Some ACC schools do have sense enough to know when they're beat. 

Jackson's 13 led the way for Louisville...Fuehring and Durr added 12 each and Moore finished with 10 to round out the double figure scorers. Cole added eight, Jones six, Carter five, DeGrate four, Walton three and Weatherford two. 

A expected romp over a lesser opponent, impressive from the tenacity of the defense, overall production and shooting...especially the 9 for 23 three point numbers...
I'LL just drive my car past the security checkpoint, Worldwide.


FREE THROWS:  Our benchmark here is 70% and the Cards were 8-12 for 66.7%, so we cannot award an "F" here. Erin DeGrate's 0-3 numbers need work, Fuehring's 4-5 stats impressive. 

REBOUNDING: The Cards get a capital R for this stat...getting 50 grabs to Clemson's 27. Walton and DeGrate had 10 each and Louisville had 19 offensive boards while limiting the Tigers to just nine.

EASY SHOTS: Louisville had 25 in the paint or layup attempts but just scored 14 points in the paint. DeGrate had several "bunnies" and putbacks roll off the we can't award an "E" tonight.

DEFENSE:  Clemson went 0-9 from three point range, shot just 30.2% for the game, committed 21 turnovers and the Cards got 12 steals while holding the Tigers to 33 points. Call no more witnesses, get a capital "D"...and I should probably award a second one as well...FRDD shall be the final reckoning on Fred for 1/28/16 and Clemson.

One wondered how the Cards would fare with their leading scorer and emotional leader Hines-Allen absent. They covered her absence with aplomb and handled the chore...while allowing the least points scored against them this season. Feat accomplished, business taken care of and a good time had by all (except the visitors...probably). 

You expect the kind of romp we saw tonight when top of the conference faces bottom of the conference and we got it. With a win streak of 13 in a row now....the Cards go for "two touchdowns and two extra points" (14) when Wake Forest visits Sunday. 


Louisville women's basketball looks to grab the Tigers by the tail tonight -- Thursday Cardinal Couple


The year was 1965 and Buck Owens and his Buckaroos released the country hit "Tiger By The Tail". It was a fun honky-tonk ditty that featured the excellent guitar work of Don Rich and the song spent some time atop the country charts. Owens was on a hot streak in the country music world at the time...much like the Louisville women's basketball squad is riding the wave lately. Now, with today's musical look-back complete, let's look at tonight's contest.


Fast forward the calendar 50 years and the Louisville women's basketball squad will attempt to tame Tigers tonight -- the Clemson Tigers -- in the KFC YUM! Center at 7 p.m.

These felines haven't been producing much of a roar this season...standing 4-15 on the season and 0-6 in ACC play. Last time out, Audra Smith's squad dropped a 13-point decision to Georgia Tech. 

The squad, like Louisville's, is a young one...with six freshmen, seven sophomores, one junior and no seniors. Of local note, Louisville native Margaret Richards is an assistant coach on the her first year after serving several seasons for Michelle Clark-Heard at WKU. There's a few of us who still remember Margaret's high-scoring game when she ran the hardwood for Louisville Central. 

Scoring comes from Nelly Perry at 25.3 a game. Alliyah Collier leads Clemson in rebounds and did garner 18 points against Georgia Tech. Victoria Cardaci is the three point threat...averaging almost eight per outing....and all three are sophomores. Freshman Danielle Edwards contributes 10.2 ppg. 

Wins for the Tigers have come against Charleston Southern, South Carolina State, UNC Asheville and a 71-53 beating of common opponent Tennessee Tech in Cookeville. Louisville beat the Techsters 76-54.

We hope to see a game where the Cards can jump out to an early lead and allow Coach Walz to get some significant playing time for the freshmen. A game like this presents a great opportunity to get work for Sam Fuehring and Erin De Grate inside...and meaningful minutes for Taja Cole and Brianna Jones.

Of course, the Cards will need to take care of business early and build a substantial advantage over the visitors. Walz will look for improvements from Mariya Moore and Briahanna Jackson offensively from the Syracuse outing and Asia Durr should be ready and able to compliment the recent riptide she's been on. 

It's a chance for a signature win in an otherwise bleak season for the Tigers and don't expect them to come in and chase their own tail. They haven't scored more than 50 points but once in their ACC contests...and suffered 30 point plus beatings from Miami, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Duke...but, as we all know...a wounded tiger isn't something to mess with. 

Smith is in her third year as the Tigers skipper, coming in from a previous stint at UAB. She brought along associate coach Daryl Oliver and assistant Marc Wilson from UAB with her for the rebuilding. The trio went 13-19 in the 2013-14 season and 9-21 last year. 

The highly heralded TUNE IN app is supposed to be up and running for tonight's game for hearing the excellent Cards 790 tandem of Matt "Bengal" Andrews and Adrienne Johnson. It will also be televised on ESPN 3...with venerable Don Russell and former Cards coach Sara White as the talking heads.  

Louisville won the contest 81-49 last year at Clemson and a similar outcome tonight wouldn't be shocking at all. We'll be back later tonight to recap it. 


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Louisville women's basketball 2/3rds of the way through the regular season -- Wednesday Cardinal Couple

20 down...10 to go. After a slow start, Cards ready to go. PAULIE COMMENTARY

( Notes scribbled from the end zone in the KFC YUM! Center while trying to see over photographers, ball girls and Dee Kanter)

Leave it to Sonja to state the obvious. We were looking at the upcoming UofL women's basketball schedule and determining how many of the six remaining home games she would be able to attend (the answer is three, in case you were playing at home) and she looks at me and says:

"The regular season is 2/3rds. over. You've got six more chances to get a media guide for the 2015-16 season." 

It's an inside joke. In our early days of covering UofL women's would be in the mail to me or waiting for me when I attended the first game. It's a great reference for articles fact-checking. Over the last couple of years, they've become as rare to obtain as a mercury dime or the Great White Buffalo. 

I should probably attend an away game and pick one up from their media table. I'm still a "print guy" when it comes to certain things...a fact my esteemed cohort Jeff McAdams chuckles at when I show up at the radio station with scads of papers to help me through the broadcast. He can get the same information with a few clicks and tabs. 

The story is intended to point out that you should never take anything for granted and sometimes you have to speak up for what you want. Pesky is better than un-provided.

Two thirds of the way through...

It surely doesn't seem like it. 10 games away from Greensboro and the ACC Tournament and then, barring a collapse of epic proportions, the NCAA Tournament. 

That train that sputtered out of the station shortly after Veterans Day last year (coincidental, since the Cards had very few veterans returning) has gotten back on track and is rolling under a full head of steam toward the month of February. 12 wins in a row, seven in January and...if the Cards can roll past Clemson and Wake would be only the second time a UofL women's basketball team has gone undefeated in January. The 2013-14 squad pulled it off and that squad also has the record of 16 wins in a row that the Cards have a legitimate shot at.

One only player remains on the squad from that Final Four team. Squads, like seasons, change. Memories remain. Ah, the tales I'm sure "Grandma" Walton could tell. 

All of this is great stuff and wonderful accomplishments but the trip is far from over. Jeff Walz wants a deep run in the NCAA each year. He hopes to eventually again have a squad that will replace either UConn or Notre Dame in the NCAA Finals. You can spend time reflecting on yourself and your path in the rear view mirror and risk running off the road you're currently travelling on. The focus needs to be, and certainly is...from what I've heard...on the next game. And then the game after that. And so on and so forth.

This one-step-at-a-time, one-day-at-a-time philosophy is sound, proven and wise...but it doesn't quite fit the bill in today's ' I-need-it-ALL-NOW-AND QUICKLY' society that our young adults champion. Our technological advances can provide me with the capital of Maine or how many points Shelby Harper scored against DePaul on Jan. 10th, 2010 in nano-seconds...but it provides nothing in terms of patience, hard work or goal-setting. 

If you want it, you need to work for it. A couple of clicks may provide you the answer to the question...but it doesn't automatically complete the task. Sweat equity works. Technology can provide a coach with video of how many times a player failed to pick up a switch in the past 30 games very easily...but will it make the player avoid the miscue in game 31? 


Louisville has seen some amazing things in these first twenty games. The agony and disappointment of starting 1-4 when everyone looking in was seeing the Cards as the eighth best team in NCAA WBB. The improbable but so exciting comeback against IUPUI. Going to Michigan State and winning. Knocking aside Florida State, Duke and Syracuse as easily as throwing a 16 pound ball at ten bowling pins three feet away. The continued excellence of the M&M girls, the delightful surprises of B.J., Asia, Cortnee and Arica. The growth of the freshmen and the sheer joy of watching Dakota Weatherford snapping at the heels in attack Yorkie fashion of larger opponents. 

What will the next ten bring? No app or laptop can provide that answer. Hard work, staying humble and hungry and leaving it all on the court each day in practice and on those nights when you're under the spotlight will. There is no shame is losing when you have brought all you can to the battle. Given the armaments of this current squad...they've gone from a sling-shot to a Patriot missile. Can they "drop the big one" by season's end, though? How big an explosion will this team create? 

It's time to take care of the rest of the trip, seal the deal and stay on the tracks. Indianapolis is a mere two hours away and there's going to be some pretty exciting stuff going on up there in early April. Might be a fun trip....dressed in red and being one of four survivors. 

Believe in yourself, Cardinal women's basketball the clip below says...



Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Louisville women's Basketball Makes it a Dozen...71-53 over Syracuse -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

A Tale of Two Teams

Much of the chatter leading up to the Syracuse game was about which Syracuse team would show up.  Would it be the team that handily beat Duke?  Or the team that lost to a thoroughly mediocre UNC team?  Sounds a lot like the discussion around some of the earlier games in UofL's season, doesn't it?

I think we got a little bit of both.

Certainly the Cards started out dominating this game, both through smothering defense and through Syracuse not being able to hit the broadside of a barn to start the game.  The Cards lead this one 37-8 with less than three minutes left in the 2nd quarter.  That's when the other Syracuse team showed up, going on a 12-2 run to close out the half.  The 'Cuse continued to narrow the lead in the 3rd quarter, narrowing the margin to 11 in the waning seconds of the 3rd.  UofL dug deep and stopped the 'Cuse's progression, and stretched the lead back to as much as 23 in the final quarter.  The Cards take this one by a score of 71-53.

Myisha Hines-Allen was undoubtably the player of the game for UofL, with a double-double of 27 points and 10 rebounds.  She was helped out by continuing good play from Asia Durr with 16 points and 4 assists and Mariya Moore, who didn't score much -- only three points -- but did dish up six assists to feed her teammates.  Briahanna Jackson continues to be a bit of a mystery as she gave the impression that she is struggling to find her shot and become the playmaker that she was at the beginning of the season, yet she tallied a very respectable 11 points, five assists, and three steals.

Let's do a quick FRED analysis:

Free Throws - That's going to be a big "NOPE."  59% from the charity stripe doesn't make the grade.

Rebounding - I'm going to award a lower-case "r".  The Cards won the overall rebounding battle 48-37, but allowing 18 Syracuse offensive boards (compared to UofL's 14) allows for too many extra possessions.

Easy shots - 34-18 for points in the paint, and my perception was that lay-ups were only missed with close guarding or fouls.  That's good for an "E".

Defense - I think I can be generous and award a lower-case "d".  We had significantly more turn-overs (28) than The Q's team did (19), and we also had more turn-overs than we did assists (23).  However, we did convert off those turn-overs pretty well, with 20 points-off-turn-overs compared to 23 for The Orange giving us a better percentage of converted turn-overs, even if fewer overall.  We also managed (by my perception, I don't really have any stats to back this up directly) to have more live-ball turn-overs vs dead-ball, with Syracuse tending to get more dead-ball turn-overs.

This leads more directly to offensive production, as seen by UofL winning the fast-break point battle 10-2.

In the final analysis, this is a good win over an occasionally "pretty dern" good team and continues Louisville's redemption train schedule.

The redemption train rolls on this Thursday night at 7 p.m. back at home against a...let's say "struggling"...Clemson team.  The Tigers come into the KFC Yum! Center 'unfeated' (that is the opposite of undefeated, right?) in ACC play at 0-6 and 4-15 overall.  This should be a fun romp, and maybe we can finally get an "Everybody Scores" game...I always like to see those.