DANA'S SEVEN THREES HELPS CARDS WBB GO TO 17-1, 6-0
When one of a team's players is responsible for 1/3 of the team's points, you could easily say she was the key factor in your win. And, so it was for Louisville women's basketball last night. Dana Evans produced three of her seven three-pointers in a huge second quarter for the Cards and #5 Louisville wins on the road by 11 against a conference foe that showed a lot of fight in trying to down the 6-0, league leading Cards.
Say what you will about west-coast guards or fabulous freshmen, Evans proved why she merits serious consideration for NCAA DI WBB MVP honors last night with a 7-10 effort from three-point range in a game the was pretty closely contested for three quarters.
Louisville got a strong effort from the rest of the roster as well, shooting 57.7% from the floor, a season high percentage, against a BC squad led just once in the contest -- early on at 3-2. Bionca Dunham did not participate in the game, Walz sitting her because of a unspecified "nagging injury". Yacine Diop drew the start and her efforts, along with strong off-the bench play from Kasa Robinson and Liz Dixon, made the absence of the Philly senior a bit easier to bear. Louisville went "four guards" a lot of the way in this one, to counter the smaller Eagles offense. Robinson stood up huge for the Cards, seeing 28 minutes and grabbing a noteworthy six rebounds.
The first quarter might be one that the Cards would like to forget. Plagued by seven turnovers, the Cards struggled early and held just a 11-10 lead halfway through the session. Four different players scored, though, in a three minute stretch after that and 8-2 Cardinal run had them up 19-12 after Liz Dixon connected in the paint. The Eagles weren't ready to concede just yet, though, and countered with a quarter-closing 6-0 run to set the score at 19-18 after the first ten minutes. Evans had five of those points and just one three at that point and it looked like a tightly-contested battle might be on hand.
A Yacine Diop three got the Cards going early in the second period and it was part of a 11-3 run that forged the Cards to a 30-21 advantage halfway through the quarter -- after a Evans three. Louisville would sink five three-pointers in that 10 minute session and shoot their way to a 40-30 lead when the buzzer sounded the end of the first half.
The Cards were 16-29 from the floor in 20 minutes and Evans was an incredible six of seven from the deep and had won the quarter 21-12. "E' Balogun had seven points for the Cards, who held Boston College to just three made shots from the floor in the second quarter and 33% shooting. Whistle blowing favored the home squad in this quarter, they went 5-8 from the charity stripe -- the Cards did not attempt a free throw in that stretch and were just 2-2 in the first half from the line.
The third quarter proved to be the highest scoring quarter of the game for both squads. Boston College made an early effort to get back in the battle with a 5-0 run early on, drawing within five at 42-35 and then 49-43 with nearly seven minutes to go in the third.
It was a huge quarter for Jazmine Jones, who scored six of her 12 total points, and the Cards were continuing to step up their shooting effort, with a brilliant 9-13 (69%) effort from the floor. After the Eagles had managed to draw within six, Louisville's 13-5 run over the next five minutes had them holding a 62-48 lead. Dana was now 6-7 from three point range and two Robinson free throws set the score at 64-52 with ten minutes to play. 46 points were scored in those 10 minutes, the Cards with a 24-22 edge.
Louisville would forge out to their largest lead at 70-55 when Dana knocked down a three with 7:59 to play. Boston College had a brief response and got the deficit back to 10 in a nice two minute stretch, but Balogun stuck a final dagger in the Eagles defense with a three at the 4:34 mark to give UofL a 75-60 lead. Here came BC again, with five straight points, but Kylee Shook's inside score and two Evans free throws, the final two of her 27 points for the night, had Louisville up 79-65 with just 79 seconds to play.
We always say that road wins are so huge in ACC play and the Cards had gained one with Evans' effort and a strong supporting cast. Not necessarily a pretty, textbook-example of how to defeat an opponent, but it counts the same as one of those in the standings. W ACCOMPLISHED. Next ?
Five Cardinals ended up in double figures...12 each for Jonesie, Shook and Diop. "E' tallied 10 points and Kasa finished with six, Liz with just two, but a strong defensive game for both against a Eagles squad that shot 47% for the night.
(PHOTOS AND IMAGES FROM MULTIPLE SOURCES TODAY. OUR PHOTOGRAPHER JARED ANDERSON DECIDED TO FLY SOUTH INSTEAD OF TO BEANTOWN. THANKS TO ALL! )
THE FRED REPORT
|Fred Durst (Limp Bizkit) would have approved of this|
high-intensity show last night, 9 Teen 90 Nine, anyone?
REBOUNDS -- The Cards were the taller team, BC tried to counter that by forcing Louisville into a smaller lineup, but UofL prevailed in grabs 28-24. Because of the lineup alteration, two players we don't normally see here as leader -- Jaz with seven and Kasa with six led the way. It was on the boards that Bionca was most missed, in my opinion, and anytime the Cards have the higher number of grabs, I have no trouble handing out a CAPITAL "R" for the corralling of missed shot efforts.
EFFICIENCY/EXECUTION -- 57.7% is huge, on the road, and 19 assists on 30 made shots a nice number as well. Enough can't be said about Evans -- 8-14 overall from the floor, 7-20 from three range and all four free throws. The basket must have looked as big as a swimming pool to her. Jaz was 6 for ten, too, and that's huge. 16 turnovers is more than we like, though, and Louisville actually lost in points-in- paint battle (28-30) and tied the Eagles in second chance points (5 each). For me the deciding feature will be fast-break points, where the Cards held a 15-4 advantage. That shows hustle, execution and effort to me and I'll be generous and toss a Capital "E" on the pile of capital letters already awarded.
DEFENSE -- 70 allowed points is border line stuff in terms of defense efficiency. 15 turnovers forced is, too. What slightly bothers me is that the Cards could go from a 10-15 point lead in this one and make the defensive shutdown to build a 20-25 point lead. BC always had an answer offensively to stem any huge Cardinal runs. A small case "d" is the judgement here, yes, it was a win, but Louisville had just two blocks and just six steals.
FINAL FRED TALLY: F-R-E-d
THEY SAID IT
You can catch some post-game comments over at www.thecrunchzone.com
Tom Farmer made the trip to ask Dana and Walz that they had for dinner the night before....and got a rudimentary lesson on why teams want to win games.
All righty, then...
|Missed you. B. Feel better soon !|
She was without a key force on her squad also, and, this one might have been closer if guard Cameron Swartz had been able to go for the Eagles. Or, it could have been a bigger win if "B" had played. You decide, I'll just take the "W" over a team that just might surprise with a few huge wins over the very tough "next four" (at Ga Tech, Va Tech FSU and home against Wake) for them.
Finding a way to win. Survive and advance. Those are the things that teams, coaches and players are looking to do when they go out on the court and Louisville did accomplish that with a season-best shooting percentage and a "Player-of-the-week" type effort from Evans.
Before we go, let's give a nod to the Eagles Makaya Dickens. She was 6-10 from three point-rage and she and Emma Guy had 39 of BC's points.
The Cards get a new challenge Sunday in Chapel Hill, when the Cards travel to North Carolina and try to deal with TarHeels inside powerhouse Janelle Bailey and a UNC squad that has responded favorably to first year coach Courtney Banghart.
Have a fantastic Friday !