CARDS FALTER IN FOURTH FRAME AT FSU
Sunday, February was not a good day for the University of Louisville women's basketball team. The #3 ranked Cards failed late against FSU 68-59 to suffer their second loss of the season.
Turning point? Let's look at the final eight minutes of the fourth quarter. Louisville held a 45-41 lead with 8:36 left in the contest, following a Dana Evans layup. Over the next six minutes, FSU went on a 13-2 run to take a 54-47 lead over the Cards. Louisville was 0-10 from the floor in those six minutes, had two turnovers and committed six fouls trying to stop FSU (namely Morgan Jones) in what was the worst stretch of Cardinal WBB hoops this season.
FSU's Jones and Kourtney Weber had nine of FSU's 13 points in the run, Weber putting a dagger in the Cards chances by getting her five point in a two minute stretch that saw the Noles grab a 52-47 edge.
It was a rough shooting night for Louisville, going 21-60 from the floor for 35%. Dana Evans was 5-21 in her attempts, 1 for 9 from three-point range, and the normally proficient free-throw shooting Cards has a lackluster 14-22 (64%) success rate from the line.
Jeff Walz was not a happy camper after the Cards loss:
"It was a poor performance all the way around. Offensively and defensively. We did not play the team basketball we had been playing. We did not make the extra pass, we took some contested shots early on. It's part of life. We're going to find out how tough we really are. It is what it is right now. I hope it sits with them and it stings for a while.
You can hear all of Walz's post-game radio remarks at the link below:
A stumble in what has been a great season. Yes, FSU could adopt the "Cardinal killers" moniker if they desired, they've won three out of the last four meeting against UofL WBB, They learned early in the game that they could drive to the bucket with relative ease and either get a layup or get fouled. They made their free-throws -- in a foul-laden fourth-quarter -- 18-24 in the final session and 27-38 for the 40 minutes.
All from a team that shot just 32% from the floor.
The Cards led early, 17-14 after one, lost that lead in a 14-9 FSU winning second quarter and rolled back to lead after three 43-39. Then, the fatal fourth...
Louisville will get a week to think about it, facing Notre Dame Sunday, Feb 27th in South Bend. You can expect the Cards to fall off the #1 seed line for the NCAA Tournament after this loss, they still can win the ACC regular season title with a win against the Irish
Give FSU credit for finishing the game better than the Cards. For shutting down Louisville at the end. They needed a win to stay in contention for a bye to the quarterfinals in the ACC Tournament. To add to their resume for a NCAA Tournament worthy entry.
They got it....by out-playing the Cards in crunch time. On a topsy-turvy day in the ACC that saw Syracuse fall on the road at Virginia Tech 76-68 and Georgia Tech drop one at Boston College 49-43.
THE FRED REPORT
|Yeah, Fred Gwynne expression
pretty much says it all about Sunday.
FREE THROWS -- Louisville went 14-22 from the charity stripe (63.6%) We won't call out any particular players poor performances here, we'll just leave it at our judgment that over 70% get you a letter in this stat and UofL didn't get there.
REBOUNDING -- FSU won the battle of the board 45-41 and Morgan Jones led all with 10. We'll acknowledge that Olivia Cochran did grab nine for the Cards and Hailey Van Lith finished with eight, but, once again, the offensive boaards killed the Cards -- FSU winning that stat 19-14. I cannot award a letter here.
EFFORT/EXECUTION -- For three quarters, the Card shot fairly well, going 17-31 (54%). Then, they dropped to 4-19 shooting in the fourth. 11 turnovers isn't all that horrible, but FSU won the points-in-the-paint number 28-24 and took the second chance points stat 14-10. The Cards three main guards -- Evans, Van Lith and K.Smith -- were a disappointing 9 for 37 (24%) though, and that won't win games. I can't award a letter here, either.
DEFEENSE -- Normally, holding an opponent to 68 points and 31.7% shooting will get you a win. Louisville could not stop Jones' drives to the basket, though -- resorting to fouls and she put up 26 points on UofL. Both team played good defense for most of this one, I'll just go back to that 13-2 stretch in the fourth quarter, where FSU won the game and withhold a letter here. You just can't end a game that way.
FRED REPORT: _-_-_-_
SOFTBALL, ROBY SHUT OUT VIRGINIA
Sunday started out pretty well for Louisville women's athletics.
The Cards Softball team has the opening game in the "Triangle ACC Pod" yesterday and braved 38 degree weaather and a 11 a.m. start time to turn in an impressive performance in the 4-0 win over the Cavs.
Redshirt junior Taylor Roby was convincing in the circle, allowing just one hit in a gate-to-wire shutout pitching performance. She also drove in the first Cardinal run, scoring Carmyn Greenwood -- who opened the contest with a walk, stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error and made it home on a hard-hit Roby ground-out fielders choice.
Louisville wouldn't need any other runs in this one but they got them. They added two more in the top of the fifth when they pieced together three hits and some alert base-running. Maddy Newman began the inning with a single and went to second on yet another Virginia throwing error. Cards Skipper Holly Aprile rolled the dice and inserted Rebecca Chung to pinch hit and the California junior drilled a linehot to left to score Newman. Aprille sent Sydney Bickel in to pinch run for Chung and that move paid off as well, Bickel went to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on some heads-up running on Celene Funke's infield hit.
The Cards got a "touch 'em all" from the younger Greenwood sister (Cassidy) in the top of the sixth -- she sent a deep fly ball to right that cleared fence for her first home run of the season and the blast made it 4-0.
A nice end to the North Carolina stay, Louisville winning their final three games in Raleigh and Durham.
The 3-4 Cards head to Gainesvile next, where they'll face Florida on Saturday, Feb 27th and Sunday Feb 28th. The Gators won twice yesterday -- downing Charlotte 4-0 and Ga. Southern 11-0 -- to push their record to 8-0. They are ranked #5 in the ESPN poll and #6 in the USA Today poll.
Have a marvelous Monday