TRIO IN DOUBLE FIGURES NOT ENOUGH AS CARDS FALL TO BLUE DEVILS BY 3
|Photo by Carolyn Chang - The Chronicle|
The Cards well-planned trickery paid off to start the second half when Louisville sent Hines-Allen, Cortnee Walton and Asia Durr underneath the DUKE basket prior to Moore tossing the ball in-bounds to Briahanna Jackson to begin the third quarter. The Duke starting five dutifully followed them down there. Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, they needed to be defending the other basket and Moore flipped the ball to Jackson...following her down the court as she trotted to the unguarded rim and put in an uncontested layup.
Classic Walz afoot there. The mad scientist strikes again!
The mis-direction gave the Cards a 27-23 lead...which they would increase to 44-41 by the end of the period...but the Cards ended up taking the 58-55 loss due to some steady free throw shooting by Duke guard Lexie Brown and a couple of less-than-perfect offensive possessions at the end of the contest.
The Cards started slowly, trailing 15-12 after the first quarter. The Cards regrouped to lead 25-23 at the half. A 6-0 closing run had Louisville on top 44-41 after three. The loss comes after Duke takes the fourth 17-11.
|Carolyn Change -- The Chronicle|
Coach Walz explains it sufficiently:
"We took a lot of really good shots. Unfortunately the ball just did not go in. When go you against a team that's going to play zone for 40 minutes...you've got to be able to knock down open shots and that just what we didn't do."
Head Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie put her own spin on the win:
"We played a lot of match-up and that takes away a lot of passing angles to those post players. It starts with the guards and, of course, with the posts. You're connected at the hip -- all five players -- it's always team defense."
Thanks for that, Coach "P". I'll have to study it and look at the pictures. Five players connected at the hip...
The 3-2 Duke employed was, in part, responsible for Louisville shooting under 40% but I'm going with the off-shooting night for Durr and some silliness at the end causing Louisville's loss. Plus the 7-0 Duke run to the start the fourth quarter.
It was a 53-52 Louisville lead with 1:27 to play after Hines-Allen's jumper but after Rebecca Greenwell gave the Dookies a 54-53 lead 30 seconds later on a nice inside move...the Cards get a three pointer blocked and then start fouling Brown...who had made 40-something in a row coming into the game. Twice she's fouled and twice she sinks both. Sydney Zambrotta's last-second, sprawling, falling potential game-tying three almost banked in...but the Cards suffer an ACC road loss 58-55 to a team that has also downed Kentucky and South Carolina this year.
I realize you can't always pick who you have to foul at game's end...and the obvious choice (Duke's Chidom) was throwing the ball in...so that pretty much eliminated her...but putting Brown at the line was like tossing tennis balls into a trash barrel from a yard away...you're probably not gonna miss.
Ten played for Louisville (Hines-Allen, Moore, Jackson, Durr, Walton, Fuehring, Jazmine Jones, both Johnsons and Zambrotta.) Six scored (Hines-Allen 16, Durr 15, Moore 14, Walton 4, Fuehring 4 and Jackson 2).
Lessons learned on a road trip. The need to finish on the offensive end. To make the layups. The need to overcome poor shooting nights with lock-down defense. On a night where tomfoolery got national attention, the Cards ended up with the joke on them. How big a game was it? Let's close with another JoAnne P-ism:
"Big games only occur in April. March and April. Nothing's big about this or any other game. What we learn from this game will be the test for us. What we learn and how we move forward."
I'm gonna have to study and think on that. Might need a picture...
HOW DID FRED DO?
|Fred Gwynne -- Herman Munster|
Rebounding -- The Cards held a commanding 37-25 advantage on the boards. Hines-Allen corralled 12 and Walton found six. Good enough for a capital "R" in my book.
Effort/Execution -- Louisville had 19 turnovers, Duke had 12 steals, the Cards shot 39.7% (26.1% from 3-range) and lost the fourth quarter. The effort, although misguided at times, was there but the execution not great enough to award a letter in this category.
Defense -- Brown had a field day against the Louisville guards with 17 points but Greenwell wasn't a big factor with just 10 points. At times, the defense was solid but in the fourth quarter it slipped and after a loss, we usually don't award a letter. That stands today.
FINAL FRED COUNT: F-R-_-_.
WHAT WE LIKED
"The Sting". No one but the Cards knew what was going on in the start of the second half trickery. Not the announcers, the refs or...most importantly...Duke. Credit the genius of Walz and the staff for the ploy. If you missed it, here's the link: Cards WBB fakes out Duke
"You're going the wrong way!
ANOTHER CLASSIC MISDIRECTION LINK
Solid Sam. Sam Fuehring saw only eight minutes in the contest but had two key baskets early in the second quarter to give the Cards the lead and also grabbed four rebounds. The three fouls...well...*meh* but a good effort in a limited appearance for the sophomore.
Light at the end of the tunnel? Mariya Moore went 4-8 from three-point range which might mean she's over the slump from the deep that has been there the last few games.
WHAT NEEDS WORK
Closure. After Asia Durr's jumper at 7:35 in the fourth, it was 46-41 Louisville. We would have liked to see the "killer instinct" take over for Louisville at this point. Instead, a 7-0 Duke run followed over the next two minutes. Gotta seal the deal.
Ball handling. 14 of the 19 turnovers came from Louisville's guards. Mariya had seven of them. Yes, these were very good Duke guards, no doubt about that...but the miscues were responsible for 18 points off turnovers. Duke won that category 18-10. A telling stat.
Focus. The Cards were out-of-sync in their possessions at the end...almost timid and unsure of what to do out there. Those possessions resulted in a blocked three attempt, Hines-Allen bucket for two instead of a potential-tying three attempt and a missed desperation three at the buzzer. A little leadership would have come in handy in that last minute.
A loss that could have been prevented for Louisville tonight if they had performed better in the fourth quarter. An exciting, in some ways, end to this one...with the score lead going back-and-forth. One to chalk up to experience and learn from as the Cards roll back into it at Charlottesville on Thursday against a Virginia team who surrendered a 17 point lead over Syracuse to lose at home. Surprising NC State also pulls the shocker with a 70-61 win over #7 Florida State.
ACC. Anything Can Culminate.
POST GAME WALZ
Coach Walz answers a few questions after the game and Asia observes and serves as a silent partner in the link below. It's obvious that they have no "Paulie" presence in the Duke media contingent...
JEFF WALZ POST GAME DUKE PRESSER