BALOGUN'S DOUBLE/DOUBLE HELPS SINK CARDS IN DURHAM
Sometimes, things come back to bite you.
When Jeff Walz went after Elizabeth Balogun and Liz Dixon when they decided to leave Georgia Tech, most saw it as a nice move to make the prospects of the 2019-20 Cardinals team even stronger. After all, Balogun was the reigning ACC Freshman of the Year and had averaged almost 15 points a game. But, after two years, she felt the need to move again and Kara Lawson and Duke brought her aboard.
The first player in ACC history to play for three different ACC teams went off on her old teammates Sunday in Cameron Indoor Stadium with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Duke kept their ACC slate unblemished with the 63-56 win over Louisville,
An 8-0 run in the fourth quarter was the deciding factor. After Louisville got a three from Olivia Cochran with 4:38 to go, the Cards had managed to trim a seven point deficit to two at 51-49 . Louisville would not score again, though, in the next three minutes and see the Duke lead grow to 59-49. Although, the Cards would manage to get back within three with 42 seconds to go, four straight Blue Devil free throws to close out the contest (two by Balogun) allowed the Durham squad to get the "W" and go to 13-1 overall and 3-0 in the ACC so far in the 2022-23 season.
The Cards jumped out to a 5-0 lead to begin the game, but found themselves behind 18-11 after 10 minutes. It was 32-24 at the half and the Cards went into the fourth quarter on the short end of a 43-38 score, thanks to a late Balogun three that turned a 40-38 contest to the five-point home team advantage The Cards used a 7-0 run late in the third quarter to knock a 11 point Duke lead to four, but when they needed a run to pull out a win on the road, UofL fell just short.
Coach Walz pointed to the 12 first half turnovers by Louisville in the first half as a deciding factor in the contest in post-game remarks. The triumvirate of Van Lith, Carr and Robinson had nine of those miscues, but the Cards still managed to find their way back into the contest after being down by 14 with about four minutes left in the second quarter.
It figured to be a tough test on the road for Louisville and the Cards certainly didn't get any assistance from the refereeing --Duke made 14 of 16 free throws and Louisville got just two -- making both
Hailey Van Lith kept the Cards in this one, despite Duke's best efforts to deny her the ball and make life rough for her when she got it. Duke did shut down Carr, though, to just eight points and UofL probably needed both of them to be at top-notch to take this one Sunday.
Kara Lawson: "This is a great week for us...to go to NC State and win and now to beat the team that was picked to win the league. That's a good start for us, to go 3-0 in ACC play.
The stretch ahead doesn't get much easier for the Cards (11-5, 2-1) this week...Georgia Tech comes to town for a 8 p.m. game Thursday night...but...the Yellow Jackets did get shellacked by FSU by 41 points Sunday in Tallahassee.
THE FRED REPORT
|(It was "Nightmare in N.C for the Cards)|
FREE THROWS -- The "free ones" weren't much of a factor in this one for Louisville, except for the huge discrepancy in the attempts. Olivia Cochran got one attempt and made it and so did Nyla Harris. (Fill in your own thoughts on this ---Duke got 16 unguarded attempts to score a point and made 14). Still, 100% is better that 70%, so we'll award THE CAPITAL "F".for accuracy, if not quantity.
REBOUNDS -- 32-28 in favor of the Cards. Dixon and Cochran combined for 13. I'd normally award a CAPITAL letter here , but with the loss, we'll make it a small case "r"
EFFORT/EXECUTION -- 17 turnovers is way too many, even if it was the best defensive team in the ACC that you were playing. Seven assists on 25 baskets is low and 4-16 three-point shooting is just abysmal. 11 first quarter points wasn't the start that inspired much confidence or displayed stellar execution. No letter.
DEFENSE -- Holding Duke to 63 point isn't all that bad, but the defense collapsed at times in the second half and was substandard in the first half. Six steals is about average for the Cards. Duke did shoot 40%...but the big factor here is that the defense gave up more points than the offense scored and that equals loss. No letter
FINAL FRED REPORT -- F-r-_-_
So, it was great to see Kasa back out there and she'll only get better the more she plays, after the concussion inactivity, but to get just nine points out of Dixon, Williams and Harris in a combined 43 minutes is troubling.
A tough loss, but...as Jeff Walz will tell you...you've got to be at your best any time you take the court against an ACC foe, or you're going to take an "L" or be extremely lucky to win. Let's hope Louisville learns from this one and comes out playing better Thursday night,