#2 UofL WBB DROPS 67-60 TO OHIO STATE
It was more of a boxing match between two heavyweights that a basketball game last in the Value City Arena in Columbus, but Ohio State get the 67-60 decision over the Cards. Louisville shot 36.9% for the game, missed nine of their ten final shots and saw four OSU players reach double figures against them on a night against a powerful, aggressive Big 10 squad.
No one really started to gain an advantage in this game until late in the third quarter. The Buckeyes broke open a 45-45 contest with 2:10 left in the third when Kirsten Bell scored on a OSU layup, got fouled by Molly Lockhart and sank the following free throw. After a missed Dana Evans jumper, Janai Crooms took a Bell rebound and bullied her way past the Cardinal defense to give OSU the 50-45 edge.
The quarter ended that way and, although Evans nailed a three to start the fourth quarter, OSU pushed back to a six point lead and held that advantage pretty much the rest of the way.
Louisville ended the match going 1 for 10 from the floor to end the contest. OSU held a 62-57 lead after Norika Konno made a layup with 3:47 left in the contest. The Cards would not connect on a basket again until Konno made a layup with 17 seconds left to cut the Buckeye's lead to 65-60.
In the pivot-able fourth quarter, Louisville went 5-18 (27.8%). Ohio State countered with 4-9 shooting. Seven Cardinal turnovers in the fourth, also, certainly didn't help their cause. This contest stayed at 62-57 for over three minutes late in the fourth and Louisville missed all seven of their shots in that time frame, negating any possible comeback
This one is one I'll wager a lot of Cardinal fans will prefer to forget. Louisville trailed by two after the first quarter but had a nice second period from Evans, who got six of her team-high 18 points in those 10 minutes and the Cards held a 33-31 edge at the break.
Bionca Dunham finished with 10 for the Cards, all in the first half. For some reason, the Cards quit going inside to her, Kylee Shook (6 points) and Elizabeth Dixon (8 points) as the game wore on. And, Jazmine Jones, saddled with foul trouble early, never made much of an impact on the contest in 20 minutes, fouling out after 1-8 shooting and one rebound.
As we've seen so many times before...what gets accomplished by those who are on the court at the end in a close game either make it or break it for a squad. Based on last night, applications may be available for a couple of those five, end-of-game spots.
When you are playing a rough-and-tumble BIG 10 opponent, sometimes you have to rumble right back on them instead of trying to outrun them.
Jeff Walz said after the Oregon game that this UofL squad wouldn't go through the season undefeated. Probably he, and definitely I expected a "L" to enter the squad's record so early after knocking off Oregon, though.
(PHOTO CREDIT TO SHELBY FRIEZELL)
THE FRED REPORT
|Using Freddy Kreuger for|
"Nightmare in Value City Arena"
REBOUNDS -- The Cards held their own with the big "Bucks" and won the boards battle 34-32. Bionca was the boards battlers, with 11, completing her double-double. Kylee grabbed five in 23 minutes. A small case "r" is the assignment here.
EFFORT/EXECUTION -- Louisville did lead for most of this one, but failed to finish. Costly turnovers, not sufficiently guarding the three-point threats and that dismal fourth quarter showed this team couldn't close out in an "away" environment with a small (3600) but enthused home team fan base. No letter to award here.
DEFENSE -- The Cards lost the second half 36-27 and, although they kept the scoring relatively low, Buckeye posts Rebeka Mikulasikova and Dorka Juhasz played typical hard-nosed and aggressive Big 10 hoops and that combo (26 points) plus the steady play of guard Kirsten Bell (14 points) proved to be too much for the Cards to handle and contain. We end the Fred report with no letter here either.
FINAL FRED TALLY: -_-_e-_
So, in their first true away game, on another school's court, it was less than the desired result. The hope is Louisville learns from the debacle, works hard on the shortcomings and proves a bit better against another team Sunday that plays a similar style in NKU.
Learning what works. Playing every game with energy and passion. Objectives for this "still jelling" Cardinal WBB squad.
Lessons learned on a chilly night in Columbus.
Personally, I'm just glad I found my way out of the basement maze where the media room and press interview was conducted. Hanzel, meet Gretel. Hiking a half-mile to hear coach speak after a loss wasn't exactly on my bucket list.
Coach Walz addressed a small group of media (me and Sonya made up 1/2 of the contingent) after the game. Hear his words at the video below.
WALZ POST GAME OSU 12/5/19
Now, for some brighter news...
Volleyball Sweeps Samford
The opening set was a bit of a nail biter. The opening set of NCAA plays always seems to be as teams (and fans!) aren't sure of the new, higher pressure setting of "Win or go home." The Cards felt a bit tentative and out of sorts. They fell back to their training and planning and got it done, though. Out of the gate, Anna Stevenson showed early that she was going to have a great match with 4 kills on 5 attempts in the first set. She would go on to a ridiculous .857 hitting percentage after missing a shot near the end of the match to bring it down to that from the .917. The total was 11 kills on 13 attempts, with no errors.
The second set was a Cardinal romp, with the Cards firing on all cylinders and Samford seemingly unable to do anything to slow the roll. The Bulldogs would take their first timeout with the Cards leading 5-0. Samford did show a little bit of spark, though, keeping the lead from growing significantly through the middle part of the set, but then the Cards would put together a couple of big runs to finish it out with ease.
The last set started out as another barn-burner, with the Cards jumping out to a big lead, but Samford would fight back. The teams traded runs and sometimes just points, but that's not what you want if you start out the set behind 10-3, and Samford would never close that lead for good. The Cards reached a 24-18 set point and the Cards fans in attendance, only a fraction of the red-clad attendees with Western Kentucky being the host team, were feeling jubilant. Samford would put a slight damper on that, however, reeling off four straight. The Cards did get the final point and exited Diddle Arena on a high note.
The Cards second round match will be tonight, against at Diddle Arena, against host WKU, who dispatched Kennesaw State in a sweep of the nightcap. Let's give KSU some props, however, for keeping all three sets close, the Hilltoppers won it 25-23, 25-20, 25-23. The match will be at 7pm local time, 8pm EST.
The Cards beat WKU early in the season, the second weekend of the season, in fact, in four sets 25-18, 22-25, 25-22, 25-15. This was the only match WKU lost all season and in C-USA post-season play.