Cards Break Scoring Record in 116-75 Victory
Louisville and DePaul played even in the first and fourth quarters last night. The scoring, unfortunately for the Demon Deacons, was rather one-sided in the middle two quarters. Louisville used a 31-13 second quarter and a 40-17 third quarter to take a fifty point lead into the final frame. Did I mention they scored 101 in those first three quarters? The Cards were generous enough to not score for the remaining four minutes after breaking the record, allowing DePaul to make the final score more respectable (?) and making it easier for the record to be broken again.
Louisville's big offensive night was well spread out, with four players combining for 81 points. Additionally, every player that touched the floor, except for Elizabeth Balogun, scored. To her credit, Balogun played just 11 minutes, the second fewest on the team, and picked up three rebounds, an assist, and four blocks. The player earning the fewest minutes was one we have lamented about not making the most of her time on the floor. Liz Dixon changed that last night. Garnering just nine minutes, Dixon was 6/6 from the floor for 12 points and added four rebounds and a block. She had a few turnovers but just one foul.
Unfortunately for Dixon, it is going to be extremely hard for Walz to keep Olivia Cochran off the floor. She finished last night with another double-double, picking up 19 points and 10 rebounds in just 19 minutes on the court. She was 8/9 from the floor and 3/4 from the line, and added two assists to her stat sheet as well. To this point, Cochran has been just as good as advertised, and she has staked her claim as the big in a small lineup.
The terrifying guard tandem of Dana Evans and Hailey Van Lith were back last night as well. The pair scored a combined 41, added seven rebounds, a block, and two steals, and Evans picked up seven assists to go along with HVL's one. Hailey was robbed of a couple of other assists on some whipped passes to the inside that were mishandled, but so it goes. These two are going to continue to be a problem for every team Louisville faces.
Speaking of future problems, Kianna Smith made her Louisville debut last night, and it was quite a night. In 22 minutes off the bench (the third highest court time on the team), Smith finished with 21 points, six rebounds, six assists, a block, and two steals. She was 9/14 from the floor and 3/7 from beyond the arc. That'll do.
From a game flow perspective, there isn't much to talk about. Louisville came out firing and stayed hot throughout the game. DePaul, on the other hand, came in averaging 14 made threes per game and missed their first 11. At one point, Louisville led the shooting percentage battle by 35 points. They finished with a 32 point margin. That's how you beat a top-25 team by 40+.
For the score prediction contest, our fearless leader Paulie sent me the results this morning. To preface the final results, no one was close. Paulie and I finished tied for the lead at 34 total points off. Because my pick was dead on for DePaul's score, Paulie conceded victory to me. From the other Cardinal Couple guys, Jeff was off by 37 and Jared by 38. Arthur was our closest reader, tying with Jared at 38. Arthur was also the closest to picking Louisville's final score, though he still missed it by 25.
The FRED/CASE Reports
For my first game of the season, a top-25 matchup at that, I'll give a bonus and do the FRED and CASE reports.
Louisville DePaul was 9/10 from the line in the second and fourth quarters. They were just 16/27 in the first and third. They finished at just 67.6% from the charity stripe, including missing a technical free throw. That won't cut it, and it's worth 'no letter'. Oops, that's not right. Check where you are in the box score, Case. Louisville was 12/16 from the line, good for 75%. They did still miss a technical free throw, but that's a 'capital F'.
R-Rebounds: A 55-40 victory in rebounding is a strong showing. Louisville allowed 21 offensive rebounds and only grabbed 13 of their own, but I can't ignore a 15 rebound deficit. 'Capital R'.
E-Effort: Louisville shot really well, picking up a final shooting percentage of 60.5%. They left points on the table in the last five minutes though, and fell off with just 40% shooting in the fourth. They also finished with 22 turnovers. I considered going with a lowercase e because we want perfection here, but that seems insane when you set a scoring record on a neutral court against a top-25 team. 'Capital E'.
D-Defense: This one is easy. Louisville had 11 blocks, eight steals, forced 12 non-stolen turnovers (a total of 20), and held DePaul to 28.4% shooting (just 14.8% from three). It's a 'capital D' and it's not close.
C-Care: Louisville, as I mentioned, turned the ball over quite a few times. They lost the turnover battle 22-20, and committed right at DePaul's average turnovers forced (26/game coming into last night). We're looking for better than that. No letter.
A-Assists: As we know, assists will be hard to ace with that many turnovers, but how did Louisville fair? The Cards finished with 49 made baskets, and assisted on 26 of them. That's a shade over 50% assists, which is what we're looking for. To even give the ATO ratio a run for its money with that many TOs is impressive, but that many assists is primed for a great ATO, and Louisville couldn't make that happen. Lowercase a.
S-Steals: The Cards had 8 steals, which is over 7.5, but they tied with DePaul's 8. That's typically only good for a lowercase, but blocks have their place as well, and Louisville finished with 11 to DePaul's 0. Given that, I'll say 'uppercase S'.
E-Efficiency: Easy money here. 75% from the line, 60.5% from the field, and 37.5% from beyond the arc for good measure. That's an 'uppercase E'.
So that'll finish the Cards with an F-R-E-D and a _-a-S-E. It seems amazing to set a scoring record with some of the issues Louisville had with turnovers, but that should probably terrify teams even more than the final score. If the Cards can clean up turnovers, they'll be rolling out a high-powered offense even when they aren't shooting the lights out. Louisville gets UT Martin next, tomorrow at 12 on the ACC Network.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour
I'm a bit late getting the article up, so the Radio Hour is upon us. Join Paulie, Jeff, Jared, and myself on the Cardinal Couple YouTube Channel as we take a look at last night's game, the WNBA draft lottery that happened at halftime, and preview tomorrow's matchup against the Skyhawks. The live show begins at 11AM EST and you can catch the re-air on YouTube immediately after, or subscribe to the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour in your favorite podcast player.
Until next time, Go Cards!