Anything but a sleeper.
If University of Louisville fans were feeling the impact of the switch on the time clocks, they may have been on the same wave length with the players. Sunday a day of rest, the afternoon for a nap.
The time switch, the sabbath, and a 45-point win over Houston the day before, may have lulled the UofL women’s basketball team into snooze mode against South Florida, a team that would prove to be a very serious threat to the Cardinals’ well being.
Inga Orekhova, the South Florida recruit from the Ukraine, picked the right day to have the game of her life, hitting all three of her first three-point attempts. South Florida was off and running with a 20-10 lead over the lethargic Cardinals. Inevitably, Orekhova would calm down, cool off and run out of stamina, at least temporarily.
Louisville would score 16 of the next 20 points, including three 3-pointers by Shoni Schimmel. Jude Schimmel made a layup to give the Cardinals their first lead of the game at 26-24. Shoni’s fourth 3-pointer of the half made it 33-29 after the first 20 minutes.
Orekhova still had fight in her, as did Courtney Williams, both of them with 19 points, 38 of USF’s 56 points, the teams trading leads four times in the second half.
Fortunately for UofL, the score tied 56-56 with six seconds remaining, it was Shoni with the ball in her hands, pulling up for a jumper, zipping through the net. Jude would steal the ball, get fouled, hit two frees for a 60-56 win over the Bulls.
A close game against a good opponent may have been what the Cardinals needed as they prepare for another battle Monday with UConn at 7 p.m. in the tournament championship. Eyes wide open for this one.