Yesterday I said that I was nervous about playing Syracuse because of how Louisville took them to the woodshed up in the Carrier Dome. Today it seemed my fears were well-founded because the Orange came out with more fire and focus than the Cardinals. Alexis Peterson in particular seemed to have taken the loss in January as a personal affront and she aggressively took it to the Cards' defense while scoring 19 points in 29 minutes.
In his post-game interview, Coach Walz said that the team didn't follow the scouting report. When asked in what way in particular he responded, "Well, I mean, we start the game and we give Peterson a three, and then we give Ford back-to-back threes, which I guess when we watched her make three in a row last night, I guess we didn't think she could do that again....In the first period is where I thought the game was won for them. It took so much effort for us to get caught back up that we just physically and mentally got tired."
So, good/bad news. Bad news first: there have been about three games in the last 2 years where it seems Mariya Moore is dwelling in a dimension where basketball does not exist. When she checks out, she checks ALL the way out. Unfortunately this was one of those games. Zero points, 1 rebound, 3 turnovers. Woof. Perhaps more concerning was the Cards' rebounding. Coach Walz said, "You know, we just got killed on the glass. I know when you look at it we only got out-rebounded by two, but we got out-rebounded at big times. I think we had a four point lead there and all we've got to do is get a defensive board and it turns into a three point play for them. We got out-hustled and out-toughed at crunch time." Being out-hustled and out-toughed as you head into the post-season is....not ideal.
As for the good news, Asia Durr filled in for Mariya and got a career-high 25 points off of 8/17 shooting. Taja Cole played solid minutes. "[She] did some good things for us. Three assist sand no turnovers against that pressure, I was proud of her," said Coach Walz. Myisha Hines-Allen continued to be a dominant presence scoring 27 points and grabbing 12 rebounds for another double-double. She also did this:
Myisha Hines-Allen is a power forward. pic.twitter.com/iIhviwTfJp— Jonathan Lintner (@JonathanLintner) March 5, 2016
Now we wait for Selection Sunday to see where/who Louisville will be playing next. The tournament begins on March 18th.