The big stage, the bright lights blinding and numbing, the touring actors fumbling their lines, trying to ad lib their way.
Panic time in those first 10 minutes, the University of Louisville women’s basketball team committing nine turnovers, missing 12 of 14 field goal attempts. UConn up 24-6 after the first quarter. Game over.
Familiar script against the Huskies. Starts out innocently enough, with a turnover leading to a quick UConn basket. Between all the empty trips down court for the Cardinals, there is one turnover, another and still another, the Huskies converting all of them into points.
The outcome never in doubt after the initial surge although the margin was only 11 points in UConn’s 69-58 win over visiting Louisville in front of 10,000-plus. Just another night at Gampel Pavillion where the Huskies have won 76 straight home games.
Some might find some consolation in the fact that the UofL women outscored UConn 38-27 in the second half. They would have to acknowledge that the Huskies were never seriously threatened. Had they been, would there have been still another surge?
Coach Jeff Walz may have convinced his pupils that they could play with UConn after the first quarter, and they did hang around. By then it was too late, his charges totally unprepared and unequipped to handle the initial mugging.
Lots of talk after the game about the Cardinals having learned some lessons and knowing what they had to work on the rest of the season. You know, just in case they run into UConn during the post-season.
The Cardinals obviously learned a lot about themselves, absorbing one blow after another to their collective psyche. Pretty obvious that it’s going to take more than just trading baskets with UConn for a couple of quarters to ever seriously threaten the Huskies.