MOORE SCORES 20 IN CARDS 63-48 WIN
Louisville women's basketball used a 14-0 run to start the third quarter in their 15-point 63-48 win over Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon at the Petersen Center. The Cards (20-4, 7-2) trailed the Panthers 28-26 after the first half but the fast-out-of-the-gate beginning of the second half put the Cards up 40-28 and Louisville never trailed again.
Mariya Moore had the highlight moments by nailing five 3's in the Cardinal win...but it was bench play and strong second-half defense that were equally impressive in the contest.
The Cards took an early 3-0 lead to start the game on a Moore three...but found themselves trailing Pitt 11-5 after 4-1/2 minutes of action. Pitt was shooting at a 83.3% rate (5-6) to open the game and the 2-3 zone the Panthers were employing to start the game seemed to have the Cards at less than optimum offensive accuracy. Briahanna Jackson brought UofL back to a two-point, 11-9 deficit with a free throw and a three over the next two minutes and a Moore three made it 13-12 Pitt with 1:05 left in the first. Pitt's Kalistsa Walters hit a jumper as time expired in the first, though...and the Cards were trailing 17-14 after ten minutes.
Pitt was having success inside, so the Cards switched to a 2-3 zone to start the second period. That move didn't deter the Panthers...they built the lead to 23-16 after Brandi Harvey-Carr found the rim on a putback with 6:07 until the half. Myisha Hines-Allen and Sam Fuehring started a Cardinal rally with baskets and Cardinal head coach Jeff Walz went deep into the bench and brought Brianna Jones into the contest at the 5:11 mark and the sophomore guard had an immediate impact with two threes in a 30 second period. Suddenly, the Cards were up 26-24 with 4:13 until the half. Louisville, inexplicably...stopped looking for "Jonesie" and didn't score the rest of the half. Pitt got two buckets and it was 28-26 Panthers after two quarters.
The contest was stopped for over four minutes after Pitt took the 28-26 on a referee review of what was most certainly a flagrant foul committed by Pitt's Walters on Briahanna Jackson...a forearm shot that dropped the 5'6" redshirt to the hardwood. The official crew, led by Kathleen Lynch, eventually ruled it was "inadvertent" and no foul was issued. It was about "inadvertent" as a Mike Tyson round-house right...Walz protested vehemently but to no avail.
Louisville had some work to do. They were shooting 30% (10-33) and the Panthers were at 60% (12-20). Harvey-Carr had eight points and Brenna Wise had seven for the upset-minded Panthers. MHA was M.I.A. for Louisville and Asia Durr was scoreless.
Whatever was said or transpired in the Cards locker-room at half-time got the Cards attention. Louisville raced out to a 14-0 start in the first 4-1/2 minutes. Moore started the party with a three, Jazmine Jones added two free throws, Bionca Dunham connected in the paint, Moore knocked down another three and a coast-to-coast layup and the Cards were up 38-28 after four minutes. J.J. added two free throws 30 second later to complete the run. Wise finally ended the Cardinal run...but Hines-Allen's two free throws and a Durr jumper had the Cards up 44-30. Durr would add a jumper and free throw to give UofL a 47-35 advantage after three sessions. It was a 21-7 scoring edge for Louisville and they had held the Panthers to 25% over the ten minutes on 2-8 shooting.
The Cards stayed hot at the start of the final period. A B.J. jumper and another Moore trifecta in the first minute gave the Cards their largest lead at 52-35.
Just when I was feeling pretty confident that the Cards might be on their way to a blowout win...Pitt made the contest interesting. A 11-1 Panther run over the next six minutes cut the Cards advantage to 53-46. With three minutes remaining in the contest, Louisville needed someone to step up and put out the fire. That someone turned out to be Durr...knocking down two consecutive threes over the next minute to put Louisville back up by 13. Moore and Durr would add two free throws each over the final two minutes and the Cards had met the challenge and defeated the Panthers 63-48.
A crowd of 3152 showed up for the contest.
HOW DID FRED DO?
|Fictitious Fred |
Rebounding -- The Cards ruled the boards 39-26. A very impressive 19-5 edge on the offensive boards. Moore had eight to lead all players and Kylee Shook grabbed six in 14 minutes. No problem in awarding a capital "R" here.
Effort/Execution -- Louisville looked a bit timid and unable to locate the "hot hands in the first half. The 18-2 run in the third and rally in the fourth when Pitt had cut the lead to seven were nice to see as well. Overall, though...the consistency wasn't there and we can only warranty a small case "e" here...because the Cards did win and did it by double-digits. It was a large group on the floor for the Cards...13 played and 11 saw five minutes or more.
Defense -- After Pitt's hot start, the defense began to shut down Harvey-Carr and Wise in the final half. Pitt got 21 of their 48 points in the paint. The Cards did get 11 steals and force 21 turnovers. Louisville's late falter on defense in the fourth allowed the Panthers to get back to within seven. Yes, the Cards held Pitt to under 50 points, 20 in the second half and 33% shooting in the second half but we'll only give a small case "d" for the defense after watching Pitt shoot for 60% in the first twenty minutes
FINAL FRED COUNT: F-R-e-d
THINGS WE LIKED
Mariya Moore all over the floor. The 20 points was impressive...as were the five threes...but Moore also had eight boards, five assists, two steals and just one foul and two turnovers in a team-high 36 minutes. A great, all-over performance from her.
Reserve Power. Louisville got valuable contributing minutes from non-starters Jazz Jones, Bionca Dunham, Kylee Shook and Brianna Jones. The bench may have only scored 18 points...but it seemed like they came at crucial times in the game...none of them came in the fourth period...a space in time where you usually see most of the back-ups point totals.
Assistance provided. 17 assists on 20 baskets. The recognition was a bit out-of-focus at times but creating for your teammates is essential and Moore and Jackson got it done tonight.
THINGS TO WORK ON
Putting the cake in the container. Louisville had Pitt on the ropes early in the fourth period and couldn't deliver the knock-out blow until late. Credit Pitt for getting an inspired effort from reserve Cassidy Walsh in the fourth...but we would have liked to see that 17 point advantage turn into 20...then 25.
Myisha Hines-Absent. A less that stellar performance from the ACC P.O.Y. Just five rebound and four points in 21 minutes and Walz mentioned that she looked tired even before the game started. The "on-again, off-again" saga continues. Let's hope she's Myisha Hines-Active against NC State Thursday. The Wolf Pack held her to nine points last year in Raleigh.
Louisville did enough to win Sunday but the first half performance wasn't a fun thing to watch. It was a performance that, if duplicated Thursday against N.C. State, will get them beat. Moore is our MVP for this one and Durr waking up in the second half was good to see and we still hold out hope that her, Moore and Hines-Allen will all three put it together in the same game.
Interesting and ultimately effective that Walz chose to go with Brianna Jones in the second and Bionca Dunham early and late. A confidence builder, for sure, for those two and we hope that continues as the season progresses. The more weapons you have, the better. You can't help but love "Jonesy"...and seeing her shine is fantastic.
As we have said here so many times before...road wins in the ACC are worth their weight in gold. The Cards reach 20 wins in a season for the seventh season in a row and the ninth in Walz's ten year tenure. No need to stop there...let's hope they'll push that out to 30 or more...a number that would signify they've made a good post-season and conference tournament run.
The Cards end January with a 6-2 mark for the month. Seven more regular season games to go before the ACC Tournament.
THEY SAID IT.
I couldn't find any post-game press conference audio for Walz or any of the Cards players but I did for head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio and she HAD THESE WORDS TO SAY about the game.
Also available for listening...Brenna Wise and Brandi Harvey-Carr discuss the game
I got roughed up a little Sunday...going 5-2 in the games I predicted.
Clemson downing Ga. Tech 62-61
North Carolina beating NC State 83-70
My winners were:
Notre Dame 82 - Virginia 74
Duke 71 - Wake Forest 43
Louisville 63 - Pitt 48
Syracuse 82 - Virginia Tech 72
Miami 58 - Boston College 51
Overall, I'm now 51-12...80.9% I am glad to see Clemson finally get an ACC win and surprised UNC downed the Wolfpack. ACC = Always Constantly Changing.
stormy Monday...and Tuesday's just as bad