Women’s NCAA Tournament Oklahoma City Region Elite 8 Game Breakdown

Louisville Women's College Basketball

Women’s NCAA Tournament Oklahoma City Region Elite 8 Game Breakdown


#2 Tennessee vs. #5 Louisville (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

After taking out Baylor in one of the biggest upsets in women’s basketball history, Louisville must feel like they can beat anybody. And they should. The Cardinals could not miss from behind the arc and they stopped Brittney Griner with some tough defense. Louisville went to halftime with a 39-29 lead and held Griner to 0-for-4 shooting from the floor. Griner had just four points in the first half and did not do enough the rest of the way, scoring just 14 points. Louisville shot an amazing 8-of-11 from beyond the arc in the first half, with Antonita Slaughter leading the way. In the 82-81 upset, Slaughter totaled 21 points and Shoni Schimmel added 22 points. Senior Monique Reid only scored six points on the game, but her two clutch free-throws with about two seconds left gave Louisville the lead for good after a great comeback by the Bears. Louisville was up by as much as 19 points, but allowed Baylor to come back. The fact that the Cardinals relinquished the lead late in the game and still managed to do enough to win when all the momentum was going the other way says a lot about the mental toughness of Coach Jeff Walz and his team. Tennessee has cruised into the Elite Eight. Their latest conquest was 74-59 win over Oklahoma. The game was not quite as close as the score would indicate and the Lady Vols were playing in hostile territory in Oklahoma City.

Louisville will not be able to make 16 three-pointers again against the Lady Vols, but they might try. Slaughter and Schimmel are big time scorers and Sara Hammond is more than capable of putting up 20 points, as she did in the second round against Purdue. Hammond was limited offensively against Baylor since she spent most of her time picking up fouls against Grinner. The Cardinals will take some huge momentum into the Elite Eight matchup against Tennessee. However, the Lady Vols are a very tough team to defend. Louisville managed to play tough against Griner and that was enough for them to win the game, but Tennessee may prove more difficult. The Lady Vols have had four players score in double figures in each of their three NCAA Tournament contests. Finding a way to stop one player is not going to keep Tennessee out of the game. This is not a team that knocks down a lot of three-pointers on average, but Tennessee has been one of the more consistent outside shooting teams in the country. Meighan Simmons, Taber Spani and Ariel Massengale are all capable shooters and finding some consistency from behind the arc will be very important for Tennessee. So far in Oklahoma City, Coach Holly Warlick’s team has not shot particularly well. They were just 4-of-15 from beyond the arc in the win over the Sooners. Another shooting day like that will keep the Cardinals right in the mix for a trip to New Orleans.


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NCAA Tournament Central