Let me apologize right off for not having the most thorough recap. For some reason my stream of the game buffered every 5 seconds (no hyperbole—I counted) and froze for long spells so I missed big chunks of this game. I also didn’t to grab any quality highlights as this is what I saw for two hours:
Sorry I don’t have highlights from the game. Here’s what I’ve seen all night— Rachel (@snicklefritz35) November 23, 2018
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Still, from what I saw it was the kind of game you’d expect between two ranked teams. Although perhaps not the venue you’d expect for two ranked teams. The South Point Shootout is being played in the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center in Las Vegas and apparently the rodeo vibe was strong. If you plan on being in Vegas in a couple of weeks it’s the site of Benny Binion’s Bucking Horse and Bull Sale.
Be that as it may, the two teams exchanged leads throughout the game. With 26 seconds left Louisville had a 54-49 lead, but then the Cards made a few questionable fouls. Arizona State made their free throws to make it a tie game with 11 seconds to go and it took a Sam Fuehring layup to give Louisville the final lead. Arica Carter sealed the deal with a steal on the ensuing inbounds pass.
Sam had her best game of the season and finished with 18 points and 9 rebounds. Asia Durr added 14 points and Dana Evans had 11 points and 3 steals which she converted to layups. Mykasa Robinson didn’t show up big on the stat sheet, but she helped force some turnovers and according to Coach Walz after the game she “came in the game for 3 minutes and I thought she changed the entire game. That’s a tribute to her....If she continues to grow and mature...her playing time is going to increase because she plays so darn hard.”
Graduate transfer Yacine Diop left the game in the first quarter with what seemed to be a knee injury. However, she returned only to get hurt again. Coach Walz said, “I felt terrible for her. We don’t think it was an ACL that’s why she was able to go back out but it might be a little meniscus or something like that. We’ll just have to get back and do an MRI and see what they say....I’m hoping for her and praying for her that everything’s good. She’s such a good kid and wanted to be a part of something special.”
In a rare magnanimous moment Coach Walz lauded the refs. “I thought the officiating was fantastic. It’s how I hope the rest of the season is going to be officiated although I’m pretty sure it’s not. You don’t bail out an offensive player for taking a bad shot. That’s kinda what’s been happening. If there’s contact you call a foul on the defense well a lot of times you drive in out of control and jump into somebody—that’s not a defensive foul! Don't reward the offense for playing bad basketball. And I thought tonight it was very good both ways....Overall I thought it was an excellent officiated game and those that know me probably know that doesn’t come out of my mouth very often.”
The Cards turn around and play Hartford tomorrow at 3pm. According to Coach Walz they will “press for 40 minutes and make it as hard as they can on us and we’ll have to come prepared. Everyone is going to have to be ready to play.”