Cards Host Pitt
Louisville Women's Basketball returns to the KFC Yum! Center tonight to host ACC foe Pittsburgh. Originally scheduled for 7:00 p.m., the time has been moved up to 6:00 p.m., to be featured on ACC Network. As much as I like the extra air time on a larger tv network than just online, 6:00 results in a poorer showing for crowds due to this being a normal work day. Even for myself, I'll be rolling in right around tip-off due to rush hour traffic from work.
The Cards come into the game 12-1 on the year and have started a perfect 2-0 in conference play. Most recently, they are coming off a last second win at #16 Georgia Tech. Emily Engstler's layup with about three seconds left lifted the Cards to the 50-48 victory.
Pittsburgh sits near the bottom of the conference with a 9-4 overall record and 0-2 mark in the ACC. They have gone 0-3 against ranked opponents this year with those losses coming against NC State, Notre Dame, and Texas A&M. The Panthers are also finally back to playing for the first time since December 22. Their last two games were postponed due to COVID-19 related issues.
Pitt's greatest strength is their rebounding- 46.0 rebounds per game. That ranks second in the ACC and sixth in the NCAA. Louisville will have their hands full in the rebounding battle in hopes to keep the Panthers off the offensive glass.
Ideally, getting Pitt to the free throw line is a good way to beat them. Yeah, this is actually a game where it may be better to foul. On the season, they have shot just 63.9% from the charity stripe.
Jayla Everett has been the big threat on offense for Pitt, averaging 15.0 points per game. She has an excellent mark from three-point range, hitting 35.5% from long range. Louisville will need to face guard her to try and slow her shooting. Rita Igbokwe has been a force on defense with 1.6 blocks per game. Pitt's top rebounder is Liatu King, who averages 8.8 boards per game.
Louisville owns the all-time series 21-2. The Cards have won 17 straight against the Panthers and are 10-0 at home against Pitt.
We hope to see a solid win for the Cards tonight, but conference play can get weird as we've seen in past years. The key will be limiting the Pittsburgh rebounds. Louisville has arguably the best defense in the country and should be able to limit Pitt's first-chance scoring efforts and find plenty of opportunities to score off of turnovers, but if Pitt starts getting second looks from their rebounding, this could get tight quick. UofL does need someone or multiple players to step up on offense for strong scoring efforts. The poor shooting against Georgia Tech was nearly costly.
There is a winter weather advisory in effect as the city of Louisville is expected to get 1-3 inches of snow throughout the day. If heading to the game, please drive safe and watch for snow and ice.
Weather pending, Paulie and I should both be there.
Happy Thursday and Go Cards!