Sara Hammond sinks one of her three field goals during the University of Louisville’s 10-point loss to UConn. Photo copyright (c) 2012, UofLCardGame.
We will know soon enough whether Sara Hammond’s transformation Tuesday was for real or whether she was just playing inspired basketball against a team that had heavily recruited her.
What was certain was that she provided a couple of the elements the University of Louisville women’s basketball team has been missing all season long — leadership and toughness. Only two rebounds under her name on the stat sheet, but she was a force under the basket, not allowing herself to get pushed around by UConn’s bruisers.
The same couldn't be said for Cierra Warren who rarely applied herself in a meaningful way. Warren has quit the team.
Hammond would also contribute 10 points on three of six field goal attempts and four of four free throws. She would foul out late in the 59-49 loss to UConn, having left black and blues all over UConn’s 6-foot-5 Stefanie Dolson.
Her teammates fed off of Sara’s new found determination, clawing their way back from a 21-point deficit in the first half, refusing to go away, a couple of baskets away from sending the UConn bench into full panic mode.
The same couldn’t be said for Cierra Warren, the 6-foot-4 space eater, who rarely applied herself in a meaningful way, enjoying the fun but not the rigors. Warren has quit the team, according to Jeff Walz.
The Lady Cards discovered that they are capable of competing against the best teams despite dismal efforts against more fallible teams the past week. The lingering question is whether the latest performance translates to improved effort the rest of the season.
What say ye, Sara?