louisville's season ends in defeat, heartbreak to mississippi state
By Mike Gilpatrick
March 30th, 2018
March 30th, 2018
Louisville's season has ended the same way as Football and Men's Basketball: to Mississippi State. It was a tough contest, but Jeff Walz's squad came up short in overtime.
Both teams matched up well heading into the contest, and in some ways, the game went as expected. On one hand, it was a close game. Two points was the largest quarter lead in the entire game.
On the other hand, the game was incredibly low-scoring. Both teams averaged almost 80 points each, and the final was 73-63. Stellar defense was champion in the contest.
Both teams played stellar defense, and limited the other for the first quarter. It took over two minutes before Louisville scored the first points, via an Asia-Durr four-point play. Jaz Jones scored a mid-range jump shot a few seconds later, and then Louisville's offense went cold. The Cardinals only hit one free-throw for over three minutes; despite easy-ish opportunities. Later on, Louisville hit a 2:41 scoring drought to end the period.
If it wasn't for stellar defense in the first, the game would have been more in Mississippi State's favor. The Bulldogs didn't score for almost five minutes. The Bulldogs hit just 20 percent from the field. Most of their offense was via the free-throw. At the end of the first, Mississippi State led 13-11.
The second quarter was much more offensive. Mississippi State hit three of three, and then Louisville hit six in a row. The Cardinals hit 52.9 percent for the quarter. They built a five-point lead; before Mississippi State began to come back.
Mississippi State's 6-7 center, Tearia McCowan hit a layup, and opened a 7-1 State run to end the first half. The Bulldogs carried a 31-30 lead heading into the locker room.
Overall, Louisville shot 43.3 percent in the first half. They made one of seven three-pointers, and three of five free-throws. Dana Evans and Jaz Jones led scoring for Louisville, with nine points each. Arica Carter had four rebounds, while Myisha Hines-Allen and Sam Fuehring had three apiece. Defensively, Louisville held Mississippi State to just 35.5 percent overall, and 20 percent from three. The Bulldogs did have 10 second-chance points, however.
Both teams traded buckets to start the second half. They each had eight through the first six and a half minutes. Mississippi State attempted to put Louisville away, but couldn't seem to hit baskets. They missed three straight buckets, and saw a five-point lead disappear. Louisville came back, and both teams traded baskets. Asia Durr hit two threes with 42 seconds left, and one at the buzzer, giving Louisville a two-point lead heading into the fourth.
Hines-Allen led off the third with a three-pointer. Both teams missed shots, before Asia Durr made a jump-shot, and extended Louisville's lead. The Bulldogs weren't done. They went on a 10-0 run, erasing Louisville's lead. With just over two minutes left, Louisville trailed by three.
Hines-Allen made a jumper with a minute left, and Carter made a layup. Louisville had a one-point lead with 1:03 left. Hines-Allen fouled Mississippi State with 35.8 seconds left, giving the Bulldogs the possession. Vic Schaefer's team was forced to foul Louisville. Louisville had to inbound the ball with 14 seconds left. Durr made a perfect pass to Hines-Allen, who got a critical layup. 59-56 Louisville with 11 seconds left. Mississippi State's Roshunda Johnson drained a three with five seconds left, and sent the game to overtime.
Victoria Vivians drained a three to open scoring in overtime. It stood as the sole bucket for close to the entire period. Louisville appeared tired, and Mississippi State made a few key buckets to end the game.
As eluded to earlier, Jeff Walz will need to wait until the start of the 2018-19 season for his 300th win. Myisha Hines-Allen played in her final collegiate game. But the Cards have a lot to look forward to in the future. They return the entire team aside from Hines-Allen: Durr, Jones, Fuehring, and Carter, depending on transfers.
images from columbus
Photos by Jared Anderson and Seth Spalding, River City Cards