10-1 CARDS A PERFECT 8-0 AGAINST SKYHAWKS
|Captain Skyhawk says, "Hiya, Paulie !"|
The teams have faced each other eight times in the past nine years, Louisville coming out on top in each match-up. Last time out, Asia Durr poured in 25 points in a 102-62 romp at the KFC YUM CENTER in early December of 2018. A 11-0 run in the first quarter helped push the Cards out to a 31-14 first quarter lead and Louisville steadily increased the margin as the contest went on.
So, what does the 2019-20 version of the Skyhawks offer? It was a rough start for UTM, dropping their first three games of the season to St. Louis, Mississippi State and Gonzaga...all on the road. They returned to the Elam Center for wins against Samford and IUPUI before hitting the highway again. A trip through Illinois resulted in losses to Illinois State and Southern Illinois. Getting back to Martin proven to be beneficial -- they have won their last two, against Chattanooga and Lipscomb.
Junior Chelsey Perry has been the main threat for head coach Kevin McMillian so far this season. She averages 19.9 points per game and also leads the squad in rebounding with 7.4 grabs a contest. The 6'2" forward from Middleton, TN had a career night in the Skyhawks last outing, a 83-67 win over Lipscomb, with 42 points and 10 rebounds. Perry has been named the OVC Player of the Week the last two weeks and also ranks 18th. nationally with 2.4 blocks a game.
Redshirt sophomore Damiah Griffin , a 6'0" redshirt sophomore from Memphis, averages 10.4 points a game. Of note, the Skyhawks have three players 6'2" or taller in Perry, Maddie Waldrop (Murray, KY) and Demi Burdock. The Skyhawks have four players who played Kentucky High School basketball in Waldrop, Tamiah Stanford (Radcliff, KY) Haley Harrison (Winchester, KY) and Emma Davis -- who played with Seygan Robins at Mercer County.
For the Cards, it'll be a matter of not letting visions of home, family and friends dance in their heads as they play their only game in the next 10 days. Most of the players will be departing for their home towns after the contest. Norika Konno has already left for Sendai, Japan. She gets a few additional days of Christmas break because of the long distance and traveling time from Louisville to her hometown (6373 miles) and head coach Jeff Walz stressing the importance that all players have five days with their families.
If Dana Evans can continue the point-guard proficiency she showed against UK and Kylee Shook can manage to school opponents inside and out, offensively and defensively, the Cards shouldn't have much trouble with their OVC foe. A chance, maybe for Walz to go deeper than the 10 player rotation that has been protocol recently. Evans is second in the ACC in scoring with 29 points per game and has 31 threes on the season, which puts her in the top 30 of DI.
This is the type of game that also sets up for Jaz Jones to have a big night. She saw 18 minutes of action with six points the last time UofL visited UT. The Cardinal starting lineup that night of November 11th, 2016 was Myisha Hines-Allen, Mariya Moore, Ciera Johnson, Taylor Johnson and Asia Durr.
A contest tonight that will also give Elizabeth Balogun (Chattanooga,TN) and Liz Dixon's (Memphis, TN) parents, friends and family a bit of a shorter trek to see the two in action.
Martin is a quaint, little town in the northwest corner of Tennessee. When I was there a couple of years ago to watch the Cards WBB play the Skyhawks, the trip took about four hours. They have a beautiful campus at UT Martin, a Hampton Inn, a wonderful, old opera house and a couple of neat, local restaurants.
My favorite memory has to be going to "gas up" the vehicle to return to Louisville and waiting for the convenience store to open.
As I waited, a "local law enforcement representative" approached me and asked what I was doing there. I explained my need for petrol and he told me that if I drove about a 1/2 mile up the road, I would find a 24 hour station open. I thanked him for that bit of knowledge, and, he was kind enough to follow me to the store. Even walked in with me as I plunked my cash payment down on the counter. And, he saw I got safely out of the city limits.
I'm gonna miss seeing what adventures I might have gotten into this year. Family matters make it impossible to make the sojourn this time. Maybe I should call the police station and let them know. Or inform them Nick Evans will be in town.
|UTM floor (as of 2016)|
A final tune up before a brief holiday and the onset of ACC play. Let's hope that all of our WBB players have a efficient and productive showing tonight, and then safe travels home.
And, in case you were wondering, it's 50 days until the start of Cardinal Softball.
Have a terrific Thursday !