By Ernest Stone
Lowell’s 53-24 blowout road win over Galileo on Friday night proved that the Cardinals are not only playing their best basketball late into the season, but they also have the depth and talent to overcome what they lack in experience.
“We had a poor week in practice and it really showed tonight,” said Galileo head coach Don Pappa. “The way they played forced us to do a lot of things outside of our comfort zone, and we were too slow and too quick to panic to make the necessary adjustments.”
What keyed Lowell’s (24-4, 11-1) dominance was its balanced offense. To begin the game, Lowell fired four shots from inside the key, only to attempt three straight three-point attempts directly after. The variety kept Galileo scrambling all game, resulting in numerous quality shot attempts for the Cardinals.
Unfortunately for the Lions, Lowell players capitalized more often than not, with six different players scoring in the first half en route to a 37-19 lead heading into the third quarter.
“Ever since about five games ago, we have made it our No. 1 goal to limit the turnovers,” said Lowell head coach Aki Kuwada. “Our players have stepped up to that challenge and then some, it will be really interesting to watch game tapes and see how different we played today as opposed to earlier in the year when we struggled against [Galileo].”
While Lowell’s offense was the dominant force of the first half, the Cardinal defense flexed its muscle in the second half, allowing just five points in the final 16 minutes of play. Not only was the defensive display by the Cardinals a relief, given their comparatively quiet offense in third quarter, but it afforded the bench key playing time in the final period.
Despite the loss, the Lions (13-9, 6-3) can finish in second place in the Academic Athletic Association’s Neff Division by winning one of their final three league games.
As for Lowell, a team that could have failed to score in the second half and still won by double digits, the short term and long term future looks quite favorable.
“We’ve settled down on the fast breaks,” said Lowell’s Katarina Lum, who led all scorers with 14 points. “We are a young team, and it took some time to work things out, but now we are ready to dominate.”
Katarina Lum – 14
Hana Murphy – 10
Lorna Tuufuli – 10
Angie Ng – 9
Tiffany Pak – 3
Kim Fung – 11
Cassady Chan – 5
Bianca Hussein – 5
Francine Talapian – 2