Before this game Coach Walz said that UT-Martin liked to run and that the game was going to be a track meet. Well they got themselves run right out of the Yum Center tonight. Despite employing the revolving platoon method, the Skyhawks didn’t have the legs to keep up with the Cards. At one point in the third quarter the score was 66-25 (which is essentially the same as 102-62 but somehow seems so much worse.)
Asia Durr was named ACC Player of the Week for the second time this season and played like it again tonight. She finished with 25 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 0 turnovers. Sam Fuehring had 9 points and 10 rebounds. Arica Carter added 16 points. After setting shot blocking records 2 nights ago Kylee Shook did not play. Coach Walz said, “Kylee said her knee was bothering her so there was no sense in putting her out there. She went through shoot around today so she’ll continue to get treatment and she’ll be fine.”
Coach Stephanie Norman took the reins on the sideline tonight looking ahead to the first NCAA tournament game when Coach Walz will be suspended for comments he made during last year’s Final Four. He said, “I actually really enjoyed it. I got to sit on the bench and talk to the kids and try to get them to understand what to look at while the game is going on....I’m not sure the kids enjoyed it, but I really enjoyed it.” He stressed to them to pay more attention to opposing defenses. He told them, “Stop watching the ball and watch the game.”
He added, “I was really pleased with how we played that first half. We turned the ball over one time. Unfortunately we got very careless in the second half.” The Cards finished the game with 18 turnovers. “We started to get a little cute at times and didn’t follow through with what we needed to do fundamentally.”
The team will spend the rest of the week preparing for the big rivalry game on Sunday versus (currently) undefeated #19 Kentucky. Coach Walz is hoping for a big crowd. “We’re up a little over 11,000 [tickets] sold right now. Sad thing is sales have diminished a little over the years—it’s going backward.” The game is at the Yum Center at 2PM and it’s a Red Out.
Speaking of Kentucky, Ada Rondo, who per Mike Rutherford is the great-grandmother of Rajon Rondo, was in attendance this evening. Her first women’s basketball game at age 100. Kudos to you. We should all be out trying new things at age 100.