The only good news is the University of Louisville women’s basketball team won’t have to face UConn on Monday in the championship game of the NCAA’s Albany bracket. The women haven’t beaten the Huskies since the early Ninties and weren’t likely to get it done this season.
Every flaw in UofL’s complexion was exposed during an 82-66 loss to Dayton sending the Cardinals home after their fourth consecutive Sweet 16 appearance. Dayton was the better team, taking full advantage of UofL’s inconsistent shooting on offense and lack of movement under the basket on defense.
Louisville making good on only 23 of 73 shots from the field, including 1 of 15 attempts from the 3-point line. Dayton, meanwhile, connecting on more than 50 percent of theirs, including two 3-pointers. The Flyers were almost impenetrable around the basket, swatting away seven shots, compared to only two blocks for UofL.
UofL was very much in the game at the 8 minute mark, trailing 55-53, but could manage only five more points the rest of the way while handing Dayton 15 points at the free throw line.
A premature ending for five Louisville seniors who won 114 games during the past four seasons, the most in the history of the program. When they were good, they were very good, always competitive (except for UConn games) in the rare losses.
— Everybody’s favorite, Jude Schimmel, never throwing in the towel, attempting again to get the offense started in the late going. However, in her final game, she could find the basket on only four of her 23 shots, with the Dayton defenders anticipating her every move. Her confidence and personality will be missed, no matter how her team does next season.
— Sara Hammond, the program’s first McDonald’s All-American recruit, wrapping up her career as she began it, never quite breaking through to the next level. She had some good games along the way, but was never able to attain offensive consistency. Three points, four rebounds on the way out.
— Bria Smith, blessed with amazing speed but slowed by whatever issues were limiting her progression, having lost her starting spot midway in the season. Showing a new promise as her career neared an end, turning in 12 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists before fouling out against Dayton.
— Shawnta’ Dyer and Sherrone Vails, each plagued by numerous injuries during their careers, limited to back up roles as seniors, contributing 12 and two points, respectively.
They will be missed for their contributions and what their team accomplished, so many memorable wins, and what might have been.