Women's Basketball Suffers Second Loss at Battle 4 Atlantis
The woes continue for Louisville women's basketball, as they fell to South Dakota State in their final game of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament, 65-55. Hailey Van Lith was the top scorer for the Cards with 26 points.
Minus HVL's high-scoring performance, the rest of the Louisville squad combined for 29 points with no one scoring more than seven points. The Cards shot a combined 20-55 (36.4%) from the field with a 5-16 (31.3%) mark from three-point range. While Louisville was able to limit their turnovers with 12, they struggled with fouls by committing 24. Rebounding was awful as South Dakota State won the rebounding battle 41-24.
Jeff Walz chose to go with a smaller lineup as the only "big" for Louisville to see double-digit minutes was Olivia Cochran with 22:05 floor time. Chrislyn Carr and Mykasa Robinson each saw about three and a half minutes of on-court action while Hailey Van Lith stayed on the floor for the entirety of the game.
No Cardinal recorded more than five rebounds. Louisville had success in forcing 20 turnovers while only committing 12. Despite recording nine steals, Louisville was only able to turn that into five fast break points. South Dakota State had 11 second chance points as opposed to Louisville, who made two second chance baskets for four points. The Jackrabbits also had better success in the paint with 30 points while Louisville had 22 points in the paint.
1Q: Louisville 11, South Dakota State 8
After trailing 8-4 roughly two-thirds through the opening period, Louisville rallied around a 7-0 run to close out the quarter. Although the offense was underwhelming, the defense had a strong showing by surrendering just eight points and shutting out the Jackrabbits in the final 3:26.
2Q: South Dakota State 26, Louisville 19
It appeared as if the Cards were destined to build a comfortable lead in the second quarter by scoring six of the first eight points, but a four and a half minute drought proved fatal. After going up seven, Louisville allowed the Jackrabbits to score 16 points over the final 6:13 before halftime.
3Q: South Dakota State 46, Louisville 39
If you like defense then this quarter is not for you. The two foes combined for 40 points in the third quarter alone with a combined 14-25 (56%) shooting. The Jackrabbits extended their lead to 17 midway through the quarter before Louisville closed out the quarter with an 11-1 run.
4Q South Dakota State 65, Louisville 55
Missed opportunities were the theme of the fourth quarter for Louisville. The Cards cut their deficit to three with 6:30 remaining in the game. A few defensive stops and a few made baskets could've turned the game around for Louisville, but that's not how the story would unfold. Four missed shots and a pair of fouls would plague the next several possessions for Louisville, allowing the Jackrabbits to push their lead back to 11 with three minutes remaining. Louisville would never get closer than within eight points the remainder of the game.
Free Throws: Louisville shot 10-15 (66.7%) from the charity stripe. HVL and Kasa combined to go 7-8 but Olivia Cochran and Norika Konno (glad to see Norika playing again) went a combined 3-7. South Dakota State shot 20-26 from the free throw line here. The Cards miss out on a letter here.
Rebounding: Getting outrebounded 41-24 and having just seven offensive rebounds won't win you many ballgames. Seeing eight (out of 11) Cards log at least one rebound is good but six of them had three rebounds or less so it doesn't do much. Getting outrebounded by such a large margin is unworthy of a letter.
Effort/Efficiency: Without being able to watch this game on tv or online (thanks, FloHoops), it's hard to say Louisville didn't put forth effort. The lack of rebounding and lack of scoring by a majority of the team makes me suspect that maybe 100% effort wasn't there from the team as a whole. Shooting 36% from the field and having very little success in the second chance points and fast break points isn't great either. However, after turnovers caused some trouble in earlier games this season, limiting turnovers to 12 is enough to sneak in a lowercase "e".
Defense: If we could award a letter to a single quarter then the first quarter would have a capital letter. The other three quarters, at least in terms of points allowed were bad. The Jackrabbits averaged 19 points per quarter over the final three periods. The positive is that this was South Dakota State's second lowest scoring total this season after they were limited to 63 points against Sam Purcell's Mississippi State. Holding a team six points under their season average, especially a team like South Dakota State, is enough a lowercase "d", although I'm cautiously awarding that letter.
_-_-e-d. Ouch. And that's me being somewhat generous.
The good news is that the season is still young and both losses so far are to teams I fully expect will make the NCAA Tournament. This Louisville has a ton of new faces that haven't fully adjusted to the Jeff Walz system yet. I'll be concerned if this is the same Louisville team we see in January. I think the Cards will look much different- and much better- come conference play and then post-season time.
Louisville drops to 4-2 on the season and finished sixth in the Bahamas Battle 4 Atlantis. The Cards travel back for a fairly quick turnaround as they gear up for a game against Longwood on Black Friday at noon. The game is promoted as Kids Day.
Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!