LOUISVILLE 47, KENTUCKY 48
December 2, 2012
KFC YUM Center; Louisville, Ky
Louisville lost at the end Sunday against UK
As expected, this year’s Louisville vs Kentucky match-up was physical, and at times, not pretty to watch. Both teams employ aggressive defense and love to turnover their opponents. And for most of the first half, turnovers were the story. Louisville had 15 turnovers in the first half, Kentucky had 14. After a dismal offensive start, Louisville was able to take a 23-18 lead into halftime. Shoni Schimmel had 13 points and Antonita Slaughter came off the bench and had 9 rebounds.
The Cardinals came out hot in the second half behind Sara Hammond and Bria Smith’s inside scoring and stretched the lead to as many as 14 points. Kentucky continued to answer and went on several runs in the final minutes of the game to stay within striking distance. Over the final 2 minutes, the Cats outscored Louisville 10-3 and took the lead for the first time in the second half on a game winning three by freshman Janee Thompson to give Kentucky the win 48-47.
"We just didn't make free throws. If we make free throws, there really is no run. It stays at six or it stays at eight - that's when you just kill yourself. You go to the line and you go 1 for 2. Now, instead of being up six, you're up five. Then they score a layup. We come down at 1:41 and get fouled. You make two free throws and it's back to six again. When you got a six-point lead, it's a little more challenging and puts a little more pressure on shots. But then again, everything is put on the last two or three minutes of the ballgame. I could go back to the first half, where we had some opportunities in transition, and we just didn't convert the finish. It was a learning experience for all of us. I was really proud. I thought Shoni [Schimmel] played well. I thought she fought, I thought she competed. Sara Hammond played extremely well. Antonita Slaughter rebounded the ball great in the first half. We're a young team, we got some young kids out there. We miss Tia [Gibbs], we miss Asia Taylor - some seniors that could just handle the basketball. Hopefully, in a game like this, we're just one guard from being able to get some kids some spells because Shoni got tired out there. Bria got tired, but it's hard when I don't have another ball handler to rotate in there." -- Louisville head coach Jeff Walz
"I don't think I've ever been more proud of a team that shot 27 percent. Well that was a really hard fought basketball game. I just want to compliment the University of Louisville on their players and their coaches. That was a very tough team that we beat today. I thought they really outplayed us for the majority of the game. They made it very difficult for us to score as you can tell. I thought their players played with a lot of heart and tenacity. I give them a lot of credit. We were fortunate to win, but I was really pleased by our players for fighting when things weren't going well. They stayed at it and played a full 40 minutes and it took every bit of it to win this game today. For our team and our players, this is a great victory today." --Kentucky head coach Matthew Mitchell
With the Cardinals leading 41-30 with 10:07 to go in the game, UK went on an 8-0 run to pull within 3 points. Hammond then answered with a desperation three as the shot clock expired to stretch Louisville’s lead back to 6. However, Kentucky continued to make big plays to keep the game close. In the final minute, UK’s Thompson, who did not play in the first half, was fouled shooting a 3-pointer and made all 3 three free throws. She then hit the game winning 3 with 9 seconds to play to give UK the win.
Louisville only scored three points in the final five minutes of the game. The offense seemed to stall as the Cards went 3 of 6 from the free throw line, missing key opportunities to put the game away.
Louisville gave up a 14 point lead in the second half and missed several clutch free throws down the stretch to allow Kentucky to steal this one in the final seconds. Louisville drops to 8-1 after suffering their first loss of the season.
Louisville will host Valparaiso next Saturday at 7:30 at KFC Yum Center.