Durr 36, Hines-Allen 31, Louisville women bomb Notre Dame

Myisha Hines-Allen with still another double-double, the 36th of her career, with 31 points and 12 rebounds (Cindy Rice-Shelton photo).

One of those milestones, the perfect time for a game in which the University of Louisville women’s basketball team can do little wrong. The third-ranked Cardinals taking down second-ranked Notre Dame 100-67 before a crowd of 12,614 at the KFC Yum! Center.

A nationally-televised game, a prime time performance, a result that can’t be ignored. UofL 100, Notre Dame 67, and it wasn’t that close.

Asia Durr with still another premier performance, this one against the nation’s second-ranked team, eight 3-pointers, leading all scorers with 36 points (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Ending an 11-game losing streak to the Irish over the past nine seasons, the Cardinals obviously enjoying every minute. Especially in the first half, racing out to a 56-28 lead at the half. Another big lead at the half, but UofL not about to allow any frantic comebacks, like hanging on for dear life at the buzzer.

Not this night, not with the UofL women playing a complete game, a 40-minute effort, displaying a killer instinct when it matters the most. On a national stage, dominating an opponent against which it has been frustrated time and time again over the past decade. The win improving UofL’s record to 19-0 overall and 5-0 in the conference.

Asia Durr would provide the outside presence, making the first of eight 3-pointers at 7:47 in the first quarter, giving the UofL women their first lead at 10-7. They would double the score over the next six minutes. Durr would connect on 13 of 18 field goal attempts and lead all scorers with 36 points. She was handing out four assists.

Her fellow former ACC Player of the Year teammate Myisha Hines-Allen would provide the inside presence, making 15 of 20 field goal attempts while scoring 31 points. Hines-Allen would corral 12 rebounds, turning in her seventh double-double of season and the 36th of her career.

Teammates Sam Fuehring and Arica Carter each credited with six assists while scoring 10 and 6 points, respectively. Jazmine Jones would earn five assists while adding 10 points.

Kylee Shook intimidating the Irish in the middle, diverting numerous drives while receiving credit for four blocks. Three turnovers, unfortunately, meaning she can only get better.

A day or two to treasure this one. Seven days before the next game at Pittsburgh. Plenty of time to come back down to earth.

Proof of life, Louisville shows heart in win over Florida State

Discouraging, demoralizing, terrible start. Proof of life needed.

Florida State jumping out to a 9-0 lead, widening the margin to 17 points,  near the end of the first half. Visions of the University of Louisville basketball program spiraling into oblivion.

But wait. Five minutes into the second half. Some vital signs emerging, the patient stirring, still breathing, coming out of the coma. Deng Adel scoring six straight points to cut the deficit to eight points. Does one dare imagine a comeback with this team?

Never was there a win so unexpected or so welcome for a team needing something good to happen.

A layup by Ray Spalding, down to six. Then back up to eight. Ryan McMahon with a 3-pointer, down to five. Did the switch turn on? Are we seeing things? Are these guys serious? Are they teasing us? Too good to be true, surely an aberration. Are these our guys making a comeback?

Florida State will extend the lead to eight again but the Cardinals are not done. A 3-pointer by Quinten Snider, two free throws by Spalding, and a three by Adel will tie the game up at 55-55. This is really happening.

UofL will finally get its first lead (64-62) on a 3-pointer by Ryan McMahon at the 4:55 mark. He will strike again, with another 3-pointer with 55 second to put UofL up by five. And he will nail the door shut with two free throws at the 1.5 mark to seal a 73-69 win for Louisville.

Never has a University of Louisville needed a win at this point in the season more badly than this one, facing an outlook with which few UofL could come to grips.

Showing some signs of life, emerging from the shadows, clawing their way out of the depths of despair. Never was there a win so unexpected or so welcome for a team needing something good to happen.

No one coming to their rescue, they have to make it happen. And they will. Proof of life, indeed.

Postel’s giving to UofL has been spotty through 23-year career

Greg Postel became Interim President of the University of Louisville in January 2017 (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Greg Postel, who has been on the University of Louisville payroll since 1994, says he cares a great deal about the school, suggesting that he has been very supportive of UofL.  His financial support, however, while notable, has been erratic, and interesting in one instance.

Postel’s record of giving to the University is relevant because he wants to be UofL’s next President, responsible for overseeing and growing the school endowment, now valued in the neighborhood of $770 million.   Postel would be the individual expected to inspire donors to invest in the University’s future. It would help if he had been generous himself.

An open records request to the University by UofLCardGame yielded the information that Postel has donated a total of $36,120 to UofL over the past 23 years. That’s for an employee currently drawing at least $950,000 annually, serving as Interim President of the school and Interim Executive Vice President for Health Affairs.

Postel’s most significant donation to the University was on December 1, 1998 when as Assistant Professor of Radiology  he made a lump sum gift of $35,000 to the UofL School of Medicine. Coincidentally, he was named permanent Chairman of the Radiology Department in April just five months later.

This largest gift coming during the administration of former UofL President John Shumaker who reportedly increased the school’s endowment from $183 million to $500 million from 1995 to 2001. No way of knowing 20 years later whether there was any relationship between the gift and the appointment. The timing is interesting.

Postel actually has made only three financial donations to the school, all of them to the School of Medicine. His second financial contribution was 14 years later. It was a gift of $1,000 to the school and the J. Graham Brown Cancer Center in connection with the old Mint Julep Ball before the 2012 Kentucky Derby.

His most recent gift to UofL came four years ago in October of 2014 when he pledged a modest $120, again to the School of Medicine. The money was deducted in amounts of $10 each via payroll deductions over the next 12 months. He has made no contributions to UofL athletics or other academic programs.

The initial gift of $35,000 was credited solely to Postel. The subsequent donations were in the name of Postel and his wife Sally L. Postel, a University of Kentucky graduate. A response to an open records request to UK indicated that the Postels have made no contributions to the Lexington school.

According to the response to our information request on Dec. 21st, Postel had not made any additional financial contributions to UofL since becoming Interim President in January 2017.

Louisville women are 18-0 but Notre Dame is next

Not that getting to 18-0 was easy.

Asia Durr scored 19 of her 21 points in the first half (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Now comes the hard part of the schedule for the University of Louisville women’s basketball team, fresh from a 67-56 win over Virginia Tech before a crowd of 7,523 at the KFC Yum! Center. Next up for the Cardinals is Notre Dame.

UofL has lost the last 11 meetings with the Irish, the No. 2 team in most recent Associated Press poll. Notre Dame owns a 15-1 record, the only loss coming to top ranked Connecticut by a margin of nine points.

Getting past Notre Dame will require a rare 40-minute effort. After Sunday’s win, Coach Jeff Walz was again bemoaning the loss of intensity in a second half.  The Cardinals were outscored by the Hokies in the third (14-8)  and fourth quarters (17-11) after owning a 23-point lead in the first half.

He noted some improvement over previous games in which UofL let opponents back in games after overcoming huge deficits. But he warned that the Cardinals are in for some serious testing. An obvious weakness against Virginia Tech was not finding shooters down the stretch.

Asia Durr, for example, was open often during the second half but took only five shots. She had scored all but two of her game-leading 21 points in the first half. Myisha Hines-Allen scored six of her eight points in the first half as well.

Meanwhile, Sydney Zambrotta, third of the team with 13 three-point completions this season, has gone into a slump. She hasn’t made a 3-pointer in the past five games, missing all 11 of her shots beyond the three-point line.

Enjoy being undefeated.

Asia Durr returns intact, Louisville women edge Duke

A scary few minutes for University of Louisville basketball fans as Asia Durr is carried off the floor in the first half after incurring an ankle injury. She returned a few minutes later to an ovation.

One of those moments in the first half for the University of Louisville women’s basketball team when Asia Durr goes down in pain, having twisted an ankle, banging her fists on the floor in frustration.

Up to that point Durr had already scored 14 points on her way to another big night. Fans in the crowd of 8,101 holding their collective breath, willing her to return, exhaling a few minutes later, giving Asia an ovation as she returns to the court.

Nightmare scenario avoided. Durr would cool off on her way to a 22-point performance in 34 minutes of playing time. Third-ranked UofL would defeat 17th-ranked Duke 66-60 for its 17th win without a loss this season.

Duke would reduce a 14-point Louisville lead to three points at one point, with the Cardinals leaning heavily on senior Myisha Hines-Allen in the second half. The UofL senior would score 10 points and retrieve 13 rebounds for her fifth double-double this season and the 34th of her career.

Sam Fuehring becoming a consistent contributor, adding 12 points and seven rebounds. Her two free throws with 22 seconds remaining giving UofL a five-point lead and some breathing room.

Next up is Virginia Tech (12-3) ON Sunday at 2 p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center.