The game began strong enough, and it ended even stronger, but the part in the middle…. Sheer terror. Louisville (4-5) raced to an early 9-3 lead over IUPUI (7-3) Sunday in the KFC Yum! Center, got to 13 points with 3:15 to play in the first quarter, and wouldn’t score again until Mariya Moore hit a three point shot with 8:28 to play in the second quarter. The Cardinals would score six more points in the half and trail the visiting team by 14 at the break.
While that start was bad, it was not the worst. The worst of it came with 6:45 to play in the third when the Cards fell behind 44-26. What happened next would rank up there with the Miracle on Main St. as the Cards would battle back and win going away by a final score of 70-61. If the comeback showed grit, determination, and perseverance the deficit highlighted the season long issues that have plagued this young squad.
Defense has been shoddy, shooting percentages are even worse, and turnovers have been an Achilles heel as well. In the first half, and part of the second, all of those were on display against the Jaguars. After the timeout with 6:42 left to play in the third, the Jaguars would score eight more points for the quarter, and only seventeen for the game. “I don’t think that we have bought in physically and mentally as a team this year.” Coach Walz said on his postgame show with Matt Andrews. “From the midpoint in the third quarter on, I felt like we were there both mentally and physically.”
For the game, the productivity came from familiar places. Junior transfer Briahanna Jackson led all scorers with 23 points while Myisha Hines-Allen poured in 22. In fact, no points came from the nation’s number one recruiting class. “I know all the freshmen want to play more, I want them to play more too” Walz said. What is missing however is the ability to stop someone on defense and it has led to this unexpected record.
There is a quick turnaround for the Cards as they take on “The Big Green” from Dartmouth tomorrow night at the KFC Yum! Center at 7:00 P.M. Dartmouth comes into tomorrow night’s game sporting a record of 2-8. This may prove as an opportunity for the young Cards to work on some of the issues that have plagued them thus far, and for some of the freshmen to get meaningful game minutes. Tickets for tomorrow night’s game are available at the door, and the game can be found on CardsTV. Pre-game radio on 790 WKRD begins at approximately 6:35.