FIRST QUARTER SURGE LEADS LOUISVILLE TO FIFTH WIN
|"Hey, guys...I found a baby" (CAPTION THIS PIC)|
Maybe it was the legion of 8331 red clad fans in the Downtown arena. It could of have been the brilliant red-light themed pre-game aura surrounding Denny Crum Court during the Louisville introductions. Whatever it was, the blue-clad visitors from Idaho came out a step slow to start this contest and the Cards capitalized.
Jazmine Jones, Kylee Shook and Bionca Dunham were "plugged in" early and UofL grabbed an early 8-5 lead in the first 2 1/2 minutes. It was part of a 12-0 run for Walz's squad that led to an 18-5 advantage with 4:20 left in the opening session. The Cardinal starters Jones, Dunham, Evans, Shook and Balogun were on a roll. Walz inserted Elizabeth Dixon and Norika Konno into the contest and the party continued. A 13-6 run ended the first period, Shook and Evans had seven points each, UofL was shooting 75% from the floor and the scoreboard read 31-14. This football-like score had the fans rollicking.
The start of the second quarter featured a bit more parity between the squads. Evans drilled a three to keep the advantage at 18, at 40-22, but the Broncos had shaken off the early jitters, were getting guards Riley Lupfer and Jayde Cunningham involved and playing UofL pretty evenly. Walz worked Yacine Diop and Kasa Robinson into the contest and the buckets continued to pile up for both squads.
58-34 at the half, thanks to a Evans layup at the horn . Louisville was still shooting at a 71.4% clip (25-35) and was dominating in paint points 36-16.
Three Cardinals (Shook, Evans and Jones) had already reached double figures in scoring and Evans had distributed six assists in the 20 minutes.
I'd like to tell you that the onslaught continued in the final 20 minutes. I'd be lying if I did, though.
Boise (3-3) won the second half 48-40
Louisville maintained the 16-20 point cushion they had built up in the first half but the Broncos were looking pretty good against their ACC opponent, hitting shots and going to the boards with authority. UofL did put together a late third quarter 12-2 run to hold their largest advantage of the night at 81-56, Dixon accounting for eight of the points.
The Cards shooting fell off in the final quarter to 33%. Walz added Lindsey Duvall to the 10-player rotation and she responded well with five points but Boise was still plugging away. Their 11-17 fourth quarter shooting (64.7% )and inside banger Rachel Bowers one-women war against the Cards front line with 14 points brought the Broncos back to within 16 with a 13-4 fourth quarter run in the first four minutes. Suddenly it was 88-71 and the blue squad had "uncle mo" going for them.
The Bronco players were loose and joking with referee Mark Hardcastle. Seeing a dangerous trend developing, Jeff Walz decided to make a wholesale substitution move and re-inserted Jones, Balogun, Evans and Dunham for Dixon, Duvall, Robinson and Diop.
It's Walz's job to win games and the move was made instead of letting the current players on the court get a chance to weather the storm.
|"Hey, where's the baby I found ?"|
It wasn't a blowout, the Cards did get tested and found something new to work on -- defense -- and also proven, yet again, that they do have three reliable scorers in Jaz, Dana and Kylee... plus waiting-in-the-wings "Liz", who seems to have embraced the "first off the bench" role. "B" is steady, does the job and is productive. "E" will explode again very soon, as the season rolls on -- learning a new system takes awhile.
FREE THROWS -- The Cards almost reached our standard of 70% with a 16-23 effort from the charity stripe. Jaz shook off her early woes and sank her final six charity attempts. Konno and Dixon came off the bench for a combined 6-8 from the line. We'll offer a lower case "f" here, only six of the 11 Cardinal players attempted "free ones".
|Fred the Bear for today's "Fred" The Cards gather|
another pelt Sunday.
EXECUTION/EFFICIENCY -- If the contest had ended after the first quarter, no problem with a capital "E" here. And, Louisville did commit only 10 turnovers and won the points-off-turnovers 25-10. But, when you play a un-ranked team basically even for 30 minutes and your bench produces just 27 of your 98 points, it's only worth a small case "e" to me. The "jelling" continues on, as Walz told us it still would be after the Cards first game.
DEFENSE. Yes, Louisville forced 20 turnovers. Eight in the first quarter. But, BYU blistered the nets for over 60% shooting. Either that's incredibly lucky or you're having trouble guard shooters and preventing assists. BSU guard Jayde Christopher racked up 14 assists against the porous UofL guarding attempts. They almost matched Louisville with points-in-the- paint 52-48. Two of their front-liners went 15-20 against the Cards. No letter here.
FINAL FRED TALLY f-R-e-_
THEY SAID IT
Gordy Presnell started out the post-game chats. A good guy. Albeit a brief encounter with the Louisville media, he spoke glowingly about his team and credited Louisville as well.
BSU's GORDY PRESNELL PRESSER (AUDIO ONLY)
It was another combination-type Cardinal post-game media event, with players Kylee Shook and Jaz Jones joining Walz midway through his remarks. Per usual, he pounded Paulie about a question (defense) and revealed the stunning theory that "most points win a game". Farmer Tom derailed the whole thing later when he asked Jaz if she was going to video the upcoming Virgin Islands trip. Gee, post-game presser are fun.
WALZ, SHOOK AND JONES POST-GAME
Let's review the pluses from yesterday's contest. The Cards won and are now 5-0 to complete the home-stand. Jaz and Dana continue to still be a powerful 1-2 punch against opponents. Kylee is proving her ascension to a starting role was a wise call and Norika continues to show she's a worthy and productive early addition to games. Liz Dixon has calmed down, for the most part, now coming off the bench and sinking her inside attempts. 98 points doesn't exactly stink, let's face it
Louisville found a new thing to work on after yesterday and that is maintaining defensive pressure against a better-than-average opponent. All, part of this jelling process, I suppose.
Next up, a trip to the Virgin Island with three games in three days starting Thanksgiving afternoon. UT-Arlington, Oklahoma State and Oregon. Louisville should be 2-0 when they battle the #1 Ducks on Saturday. By far, the toughest contest of this early schedule awaits and we'll see...the Cards have shown their a top-ten team. They'll need to put together 40 minutes of excellence to survive Saturday. We'll see how it goes.
(WBB PHOTOS FROM JARED ANDERSON.)
VOLLEYBALL GETS OUT THE BROOM VS. MIAMI
ON SENIOR DAY at the LNFCU, the Cards honored Melanie McHenry and then went out and got a 3-0 sweep over the Canes 25-19, 25-21, 25-19.
Claire Chaussee delivered 13 kills and 11 digs to help propel the Cards in their second-to-last game of the regular season. Also in force for the VolleyCards was Amber Stivrins and Aiko Jones....this version of UofL's "A" Team had nine kills each and Anna Stevenson added seven kills and a impressive five blocks.
The Cards jumped out to a 14-7 first set lead, weathered a bit of a Miami Hurricane flare-up but rallied from a 19-15 lead to prevail by six. .344 hitting from the accurate Cards and Anna Stevenson's block ended the set.
Set two had Miami active early but UofL tied it at 11-11. Leading just 20-18, Louisville went on a late 3-0 run, augmented by Miami errors. UM called a timeout, but their late rally wan't enough...another Miami miscue gave the Cards this one by four.
In set three, the Canes battled the Cards to a 13-13 tie in the early going but Louisville turned to Aiko and she deflated the stormy conditions to lead the Cards to the final set, six point match closer.
An optimistic effort from Louisville, who now travels to #2 in the nation Pittsburgh for a Thanksgiving Eve battle against the powerful Panthers.
19-8 on the season for Dani's crew as they head for the re-match in the Three Rivers City.
Have a magnificent Monday!