Miami women for real in win over UofL and 12,193 at the Yum!

Emese Hof of Miami (guarding Asia Durr in top photo) was too much for the Louisville women to handle around the basket, leading all scorers with 25 points. Bionca Dunham (above) having one of her better games as a Cardinal, collecting 12 points and eight rebounds in Louisville’s second loss of the 2018-19 season (Photos by Cindy Rice Shelton and Charlie Springer).
Asia Durr, hounded by Laura Cornelius, has had more than her share of challenges against Miami, and Sunday’s game was no exception (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Any questions about whether the Miami women’s basketball team’s recent win over Notre Dame was a fluke were answered on Sunday. Unfortunately for 12,193 University of Louisville fans at the KFC Yum! Center, the Hurricanes are very much for real.

Final score: Miami 79, Louisville 73.

Just ask Sam Fuehring who had the unenviable task of guarding Miami’s Emese Hof under the basket. Fuehring would quickly collect two fouls in the first quarter and play only six minutes in the first half. 

Hof, a 6-foot-4 senior from the Netherlands, is the prototype center in women’s basketball, probably 180 pounds, powerful and quick. She was making it look too easy, connecting on 10 of 16 field goal attempts, most of them layups. 

Hof would wind up with a game high 25 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Fuehring, meanwhile, struggling against the hefty Hof, making only three of 10 shots for only six points and six rebounds in 26 minutes.

Wearing a broad smile during that last minute, knowing her team had Louisville’s number this day. Hurricane Sports describing Miami’s win over second-ranked UofL as “the biggest regular season win in program history.” 

Equally impressive in her own right was Miami point guard Laura Cornelius,   a 5-foot-8 point guard, also from the Netherlands. She would wind up with 16 points and five assists.

And there goes that No. 2 rating, putting UofL in a three-way tie for first place (with Miami and Notre Dame) in the ACC, and forcing a reassessment of the top four seeds in the NCAA tournament. New ballgame for the UofL women.

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Asia Durr led UofL in scoring but she would admit it was not one of her better games. Par for the course against Miami.

In fact, the first bullet point on the Miami media fact sheet was that the Hurricanes had held Durr to a mere seven points in last year’s 10-point home loss to Louisville. Durr made only one field goal, with the rest of her points coming from the free throw line.

Asia was more productive on Sunday, scoring 16 points. However, she made only one of 10 three-point attempts, and five of 17 overall. 

In four meetings against Durr over the past four seasons, Miami has held her to 42 points (10.5 per game) on 13-of-43 shooting (30.2 percent), including a 2-of-18 (11.1 percent) mark from 3-point range.

 

Nwora overcomes mini-meltdown, Louisville survives Clemson

Clinging to a one-point lead with 2.46 seconds on the clock, needing only to get the ball in for the win. So little time but too much left to ever take anything for granted with this team.

Christen Cunningham back to his winning ways after the breakdown against Duke (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Still another worst way to lose a game looming. Large.

Five turnovers already. A vision of ruination, Jordan Nwora with the ball under the Clemson basket, needing only to throw a full court pass to somebody. 

But there he is, searching, seemingly lost, throwing the ball into a crowd below the basket. A bounce pass directly into the hands of Clemson’s Marcquise Reed … in the best possible position to score. 

Close eyes, open eyes.

That’s Nwora blocking the shot and Louisville winning the game 56-55 before a crowd of 16,000-plus at the KFC Yum! Center, improving the record to 18-8. A hangover game of almost epic proportions, following a 23-point implosion four days ago.

Could just as easily have been a third straight loss had it not be for Nwora.  It was his second block but coming on a day when he had six turnovers and missed all five of his three-point attempts (he did make 11 points).

Meanwhile, Christen Cunningham was back in his leadership mode, handing out five assists, making three steals and two turnovers and connecting on six of 11 field goal attempts. That included four of five three-point attempts and a team-leading 18 points. 

The Cardinals were again severely tested with hanging onto the ball at crunch time, with three of their 12 turnovers coming with less than 25 seconds in the game. The good news is they know their weaknesses, the bad is the fumble-itis with games on the line.

Louisville women take care of Cuse, move to top of ACC

The Syracuse women’s basketball team, never one to be taken lightly, arrives in town with an impressive 17-4 won-lost record. Ready to take it to the University of Louisville, they were. But Asia Durr was ready, too.

Asia scoring UofL’s first eight points and 12 of her 15 points in the first quarter. Getting the Cardinals off to a splendid start with a 30-17 in the first 10 minutes. The visitors would be playing catch up the rest of the night.

Kylee Shook playing one of her best games of the season against a good opponent, with 12 points and 11 rebounds (Cindy Rice Shelton photos).

Louisville posting a 76-51 win over the nation’s 14th ranked team before a crowd of 8,251 at the KFC Yum! Center. This on a night when Notre Dame and North Carolina State were losing, putting the Cardinals on top of the ACC with an 9-1 mark and 22-1 overall.

Durr would cool off, failing to make a field goal during the next three quarters. She was four of 13 from the field but five of five from the free throw line and she had four assists.

Kylee Shook and Dana Evans taking up the scoring slack. Shook recording 12 points while pulling down 11 rebounds and blocking three shots. Evans with 12 points while adding four assists and making four steals.

Arica Carter and Sam Fuehring with four assists as well, Jazmine Jones with three. An amazing total of 22 assists for the night.

Another one of those great games in what could be a special season for the Louisville women.

Satterfield eager to begin Louisville spring football

Scott Satterfield eager to get his player on the football field as spring practice begins Monday.

Two months after he was hired at the University of Louisville, Coach Scott Satterfield was introducing the newest members of his first recruiting class on Wednesday at the Howard Schnellenberger football complex. Now he can finally focus on cleaning up the mess left by his predecessor.

The coach he replaced having lost the confidence and respect of his assistant coaches, the players, the administration and the fans, finishing the 2018 season with a humiliating 2-10 record. Still another unhappy ending from Bobby Petrino. Par for the course for him, but a double whammy for UofL following two tenures.

Satterfield hasn’t had much time to work with the players he inherited from Petrino. When he was hired on December 4th, he was faced with the challenges of hiring an entirely new staff,  evaluating the existing commitments before the early signing date of December 19th, and then hitting the recruiting trail in earnest. 

The UofL coach acknowledged that getting his staff and first recruiting class together was a time-consuming process. He was, however, pleased with reports from the strength coaches that players were making significant progress in the weight room. 

Satterfield will have plenty of time to know his players starting on Monday with the beginning of the spring training camp. He’s not making any assumptions about what went wrong under Petrino, saying everyone is starting off with a clean slate.

He will have 15 days to begin to reverse some of the failures of the second Petrino era, to instill a new culture with a winning attitude, and new offensive and defensive schemes at Louisville. Major challenges for any coach but Satterfield can’t wait to get started.

“The Louisville brand is a good one, the program has had a lot of success, with some major accomplishments,” he said. “The response from high school coaches has been awesome. They know what went on here before and what we want to do. What Louisville has been able to do in the past has been awesome.”

“Our staff did an outstanding job of going out, working their tails off to get the kind of players we need at Louisville,” he said. “We’re glad to get much of the administrative stuff behind us. We’re eager to get out on the field and begin the process of getting better as a football team.

Louisville women sock UConn, 17,023 rock the Yum!

Louisville’s Asia Durr is embraced by UConn Coach Geno Auriemma following UofL’s win (top photo). The Louisville bench erupts following one of five 3-pointers by Dana Evans. Below, UofL Coach Jeff Walz thanks the crowd of 17,023 for all the support (Cindy Rice Shelton photos). 

A long time between wins, so many futile efforts, numerous beatings at the hands of UConn over two decades.  Two days before Ground Hog Day, concern and fear about another possible blowout. Been there in many of those 17 straight losses.

The largest crowd to see a women’s college basketball game of 17,023 were on hand at the KFC Yum! Center.

In the past, hang with them for a couple of baskets, throw the ball away a couple of times, and wave goodbye. That scenario quickly coming to mind with UConn jumping out to a 6-2 lead. Here we go again?

Not this time, not with this year’s edition of the University of Louisville women’s basketball team. Not even with leading scorer Asia Durr being held scoreless in the first quarter, missing all four of her field goal attempts. Not to worry, Jazmine Jones, Sam Fuehring and Dana Evans were taking up the slack, unfazed by the opponent, giving Asia time to find her shooting touch.

No intimidation, no regrets, no coulda, woulda, shoulda’s this time around, a premier performance in front of a national ESPN television audience and a crowd of 17,023 fans at the KFC Yum! Center. Third-ranked Louisville handing second-ranked UConn a 78-69 defeat, their second loss of the season. Improving their own record to 20-1 in the process.

“At the end of the first quarter, Asia was sitting there on the chair and I told her to smile,” said Coach Jeff Walz. “Put a smile on your face. It’s 21-21 and you’ve got great teammates. Embrace that and enjoy it.

“She smiled and said, yes, I do have great teammates. She is so unselfish and special, and that’s what makes her such a good player.”

Durr would warm up quickly in the second quarter, hitting her first 3-pointer in the first 54 seconds. She would follow that up with three more 3-pointers and 14 of her team’s 19 points to give UofL a 40-38 lead at the half. She would lead all scorers with 24 points for the game.

Evans would wind up with 20 points, including five 3-pointers. Fuehring and Jones would each have double-doubles — Fuehring with 10 points and 12 rebounds, Jones with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

“It was a huge win for our program,” said Walz. “We haven’t beaten them in 26 years and they’re 206-5 over the past four seasons. Think about that. I’m excited to be 55-4 over the same stretch. It’s amazing what they’ve been able to do so, yes, it’s a huge win for our program.”

UConn Coach Geno Auriemma, unaccustomed to losing basketball games, was in a state of shock at the post-game press conference, saying his two-loss team had a lot to learn. “We made a lot of mistakes tonight and Louisville took advantage of every one of them,” he said. “We struggle with teams that have the size and quickness that Louisville has.”

Auriemma said UofL players play well together, they know their roles and play good defense. “Jeff has built a tremendous program here,” he concluded.

Photo gallery by Cindy Rice Shelton: