Louisville's game against Virginia was a tale of two halves... and an overtime. The first half was in Coach Walz's words "unacceptable" and the second half+ was more like what we expect from Louisville basketball.
Coach Walz said in the first half that he was reminded of what his grandpa used to say, "the bakery was open because we were passing out turnovers." But these 12 turnovers weren't sweet they were unforced, awful, mind boggling. Twice they lost the ball on the dribble not because of defensive pressure but just because they got carried away with momentum. There have been several times in the last two turnover laden games that I've been reminded of the mantra of Coach John Wooden: "Be quick---but don't hurry."
Louisville was down 25-38 going into halftime which increased to a 15 point deficit before the Cards started to apply their trademark defensive pressure. At this point the turnover situation was reversed and Virginia was forced into 12 to Louisville's 2. A couple of minutes into the 4th quarter Louisville reclaimed the lead at 55-54, but as one would expect Virginia did not just roll over and die. Louisville had a 68-63 lead with just over a minute to go but missed free throws allowed Virginia to hit a 3 at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. After the game Coach Walz said that he has to work at getting better just like the players do and in that situation again he would probably foul.
The drama continued into the overtime with Louisville maintaining a narrow lead. Myisha Hines-Allen and Mariya Moore both fouled out, but their teammates got the job done. I made the motion to dub freshman Jazmine Jones "Big Rebound" when she flew in to snatch her second huge board of the season at the end of a game. Asia Durr's free throws in the final seconds sealed the 86-81 victory.
Myisha, in Coach Walz's words, was a "complete beast." She finished the game with 31 points, 17 rebounds, and 3 assists. More than any other game this season she showed the aggressiveness and fire that I think we all expected to see from her this year. Mariya Moore added 23 points and 6 rebounds. Asia Durr had 16 points but was only 4-18. After the game Coach Walz said that she's not feeling well. He also lauded Taylor Johnson (whom the ACC announcer called Taylor "Brown" so many times that I began to question if I really knew her name) saying that "she played really well for us."
The Cards return home on Sunday the 8th to face Pittsburgh. The game is at 4PM and is on RSN/FOX.