We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Cards Romp in Home Return -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Louisville Crushes Longwood 100-37

I almost went all of November without a Saturday write, and it wasn't even because of deer hunting. After a wedding in Memphis the first weekend, a wedding in which I was in the party the second, and sleeping off a whirlwind work trip in which I went to Reno, NV and back in 32 hours for a 1.5 hour meeting last weekend, we're back on schedule.

And speaking of back on schedule, Louisville took care of business as expected against the Lancers of Longwood when they returned to the Yum! Center yesterday afternoon. After the surprising loss against Gonzaga, the rebound win against Texas, and then what may have been an even more surprising loss to South Dakota State, Louisville was in need of a game like yesterday's. In fairness, South Dakota State is 4-2 and has played four P5 teams and Creighton. They lost to the Jays 78-69 to open the season and fell to UCLA by 7 last Saturday but have beaten Mississippi State, Rutgers, and Lehigh in addition to Louisville. That isn't what we're here to talk about, though, so lets move on.

The major item of note before we get into the game was the absence of Hailey Van Lith. All that we know officially is that this was a scheduled rest day for HVL. After playing 124/130 minutes in the Bahamas, and with Ohio State on deck, Coach Jeff Walz and HVL decided this game against Longwood was one that she could afford to take a break on. While I'm mildly surprised that she wasn't dressed at all, especially with the amount of rest on either side of this game, it ultimately wasn't that big of a deal. We'll keep our ears to the ground to see if there might have been more to this story, but hopefully she's back in action against OSU and we won't have anything to speculate about.

In Van Lith's absence, some other players got the opportunity to shine. In fact, most of the team grabbed their chance to perform well, though you may expect that when a team scores nearly as many points in a single quarter as their opponent scores in the entire game. Louisville put up a 35 point first quarter and very nearly could have played defense only for the rest of the game. On the day, no Cardinal logged more than 26 minutes, an honor which went to Norika Konno, and everyone played at least 16. Every Card except for Mykasa Robinson scored and six players put it in double figures. Josie Williams got her first start and scored four to go along with six rebounds, an assist, and a block. Unfortunately, she was 0-4 from inside the arc and just 1-2 from the line, so there is plenty more there from her, and I'm sure we'll see it soon. 

The star of the day was Norika Konno. We've been longing to see her back on the court, and she did not disappoint in her return. Konno finished with 10 points and very nearly had a triple double. She snagged eight rebounds and dished out seven assists while also adding a steal and two blocks. On top of that, she did so extremely cleanly, as she turned the ball over just once and was the only Cardinal not to register a foul. As Paulie put it in our group chat yesterday, playing 3v3 was the best thing Konno could have done for her game other than grow six inches. 

You'll notice I eschewed a normal game recap, but that's because there isn't a lot to say. Louisville didn't play with their food. The Cards jumped out early with a three from Chrislyn Carr six seconds into the game. They were the first of her game high 17 points. After another score from Louisville, Longwood scored a layup on their second possession. They wouldn't score again for two and a half minutes, a period in which Louisville would add 13 points to their total to lead 18-2. The next few minutes were pretty even, with Louisville's lead hovering around 16 points until Longwood got to 10 points. After that it was like they hit some sort of invisible barrier, turning the ball over three times in the last two minutes to go along with three missed shots. Louisville, on the other hand, went about business as usual and scored another 11 to take a 25 point lead into the quarter break. 

The second and third quarters were near matches to one another, with Louisville scoring 19 points in each quarter and Longwood adding 19 between the two. Again, the Lancers couldn't score more than 10 in a quarter. The final quarter saw Louisville stretch their wings again to close the game out. The Cards started a bit clunkily, turning the ball over and fouling to prevent a runout. However, after a Payton Verhulst jumper (she finished with 16) and a three from Adriana Shipp, who led Longwood with 14, Louisville clamped down. They went on to win the fourth 27-8, hitting the 100 mark on a Merissah Russell three-pointer with a minute left. Walz didn't exactly call off the dogs, as Louisville couldn't run out the clock, but Longwood was happy to do so. After a Louisville turnover with 30 seconds remaining, the Lancers held for a final shot. The three ball to get them to 40 was off the mark and Louisville pulled down the deadball rebound as time expired to go to 5-2 overall.

Joining Carr, Verhulst, and Konno in double digits were Morgan Jones (15), Olivia Cochran (10), and Russell (11). Cochran led both teams with 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double. As you might expect from the final score, Louisville was significantly ahead in every category. Let's just have a look at the statistical reports.

The FRED Report

F - Free Throws: Louisville got to the line a fair amount, though more than half of their 15 total came in the first quarter. In that frame, they were 6-8, and they made six of their remaining seven attempts through the rest of the game. As it's the beginning of the name, a letter awarded is capital or there's no letter at all. 80% is greater than 70% (thanks, common core math) so that's a capital 'F'.

R - Rebounding: 57-23. Louisville cleaned up on the boards. They had 14 offensive rebounds, which led to 11 second chance points. On the other end, they held Longwood to just five offensive rebounds and didn't allow them to score after any of them. Capital 'R'.

E - Effort/Execution: After a couple of losses, Louisville needed to show their mettle, and they did. The Cards worked for the entire game, not allowing some lopsided fourth quarter in a blowout, and every player gave it their all in the minutes they played. Though they finished with 18 turnovers, they gave up just four points on the ensuing possessions. They also scored 100 without their team leader on the floor. Capital 'E'.

D - Defense: The Cards gave up no fast break points, just 14 points in the paint, and just 37 overall. They had ten steals, five blocks, and forced 20 turnovers. Longwood's best shooting percentage was 27%, which came in the quarter in which they scored their fewest points. A pretty solid defensive effort if you ask me. Capital 'D'.

Vince Vaughn plays Santa's brother, Fred Claus

The CASE Report

C - Care: Louisville turned the ball over a lot. 18 turnovers is not going to put you in a comfortable position in a lot of games. However, despite their 1-4 record, Longwood is turning teams over at a  respectable rate. Their average was 18 coming in, and Louisville hit that mark. On the other hand, we're looking for Louisville to outperform their opponent's defense. They'll get no credit for being under 60% of the opponent's average, but they did turn the ball over fewer times than Longwood, so it's a lowercase 'c'.

A - Assists: The Cards were spreading the ball around yesterday. While all but one player scored, all but two assisted. They finished with 23 assists on 38 made baskets, which exceeds the 50% assist rate we're looking for. As is typical, though, a high turnover game hurts here. Despite the 18 turnovers, Louisville was still positive in Assist-to-Turnover ratio, but their 1.28 ATO is shy of the 1.5 we're looking for. (Am I changing it from 2.0 this season? Yes, yes I am). Lowercase 'a'.

S - Steals: As you might expect with a solid defensive performance, this is a relatively easy one to award. Half of Longwood's turnovers were of the pocket-picking variety, as the Cards finished with 10 steals. That's more than 7.5 and more than the six that Longwood could muster. Capital 'S'.

E - Efficiency: Louisville shot 56% from the floor and 60% from three to go along with their 80% free throw rate. To make it even better, that 60% wasn't some measly 3-5. Louisville was lights out, hitting 12 threes in the game. While that means the field goal percentage was buoyed by the threes, they were still 54% from two point land and scored 48 points in the paint. Capital 'E'.

That gives final scores of F-R-E-D and c-a-S-E. It's hard to take away from a 63-point victory, but I'm sure there are some things Coach Walz will point out in practice for them to clean up. The Cards come away with what should be a full head of steam, and will hopefully disregard whatever number ends up by their name Monday. For the rest of the season, it shouldn't matter who is ranked what, only who comes to play on any given night. The next night for the Cards is Wednesday, as they close out November with Ohio State in the Big 10/ACC Challenge. The game will be on the primary ACC Network channel and tips off at 7:30 PM.

Post game Verhulst and Cochran:

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

What I imagine Paulie's setup would be
if he ran the show.
After a week off for various reasons (my sleeping past the podcast start time being one of them), we're back with another edition of the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast this week. We'll have nearly a full house, as Jared is on the road to photograph the Battle of the Bluegrass. There's plenty to discuss, as Louisville WBB has played almost their whole season since the last show and volleyball clinched a share of the ACC title, so be sure to join us. As always, you can check out the live stream of the show by going to the Cardinal Couple YouTube page and clicking on the live video. Jeff usually creates that about an hour before the show, which officially starts at 11 AM Eastern. If the live time doesn't work for you, there are plenty of playback options, so be sure to check out whichever is best for you!

Cardinal Couple YouTube: Link
Anchor (podcast host): Link
Apple Podcasts: Link
Google Podcasts: Link
Overcast (free account required): Link
Pocket Casts (free account and app required): Link
RadioPublic: Link
Spotify: Link

Until next time, Go Cards!


1 comment:

Please leave your comments here. We ask you be respectful of other posts, no matter how ridiculous they may seem to you. After all, it is CARDINAL COUPLE.

Any attempts to advertise a product or other website here in the comments section without the prior consent of CARDINAL COUPLE will result in a bill rendered for advertising services and possible legal action. We're serious. No more bots.

Now, have your take...