Sunday, March 9, 2014
-Shoni's jumper, Jude's steal give Cards four-point win of USF.
Never underestimate the power of Schimmels. In a semifinal game that looked like at times neither team wanted to win, Shoni nails a triple-teamed, driving jumper with six seconds remaining and sister Jude gets a key steal, gets fouled and seals the win with two free throws.
Louisville advances to the title game of the AAC Conference Tournament to face UConn Monday night at 7 p.m.
For awhile, one had to wonder if Louisville would survive Sunday. Credit USF for coming out strong and taking the early lead against the Cards. A slow UofL start and Inga Orekhova's three-point marksmanship had Louisville trailing 20-10 halfway through the first half.
Shoni saw some uncharacteristic bench time...the Cards seemed a step slow and out of sync against the Bulls driving offense and unable to get any kind of inside offense generated.
Finally, #23 returned to the game and things began to happen.
Led by Shoni and Jude...the Cards rallied with a 16-4 run which included three Shoni threes to take the lead 26-24 on a Jude layup.
The Cards took a nervous 33-29 lead to the locker room, Shoni nailing her fourth trifecta of the half.
USF was not intimidated and started the second half hot again to regain the lead. Courtney Williams picked up the slack for USF and they had the Cards in serious trouble...up 51-46 with a little over eight minutes left in the game.
Shoni and Tia Gibbs responded with back to back threes to put Louisville back on top.
With the score tied at 54-54, two Tia free throws gave Louisville the lead. The Cards got a break when Inga got fouled but missed the front end of a one-and-the-bonus. USF missed a shot inside which could have tied it, but Williams went strong to the paint for the rebound and putback to even it up at 56-56.
It came down to the final ten seconds. Williams went for a three but missed. Schimmel went coast-to-coast for the go-ahead bucket and on the USF inbounds after the score, Jude stole a pass from Williams and was fouled. The junior calmly sank both free throws and USF's final possession resulted in no points.
Shoni's 17 points led Louisville. Williams and Orekhova had 19 each for USF (19-12).
Huskies again. #1 seed possibilities almost flickered out...but re-kindled with Schimmel magic. Pretty? No, not at all...but it's survive and advance this time of year.
SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
- Louisville 88 - Houston 43
- Softball outslugs Ohio U 11-4
- Tough loss for lacrosse in South Bend
- Pick 'em contest standings
LOUISVILLE CRUISES TO SEMIS WITH WIN OVER COOGS
Louisville WBB jumped out to a 26-4 lead and was never seriously challenged by Houston in their opening game of the AAC Tournament Saturday evening. The 45 point win could have been even larger...Louisville had both Sara Hammond and Emmonnie Henderson foul out of the contest and played non-starters for most of the second half.
Sara did get off to a great start for the Cards...all of her 11 points came in the first eight minutes of the game...and the Cards advanced a 7-0 start into a 30-6 advantage halfway into the first segment. Houston couldn't score and Louisville couldn't miss...the Cards up 45-19 at half.
Mindful of the three games in three days ahead, Walz substituted freely in the final twenty minutes. Houston got 'chippy' about the blowout...committing cheap fouls with intent to harm...mostly out of frustration. It gave the Cards a rare five-point sequence when Nita Slaughter drained a three and a technical was called on Houston's Destini Texada. Schimmel canned both free throws to complete the "cinco de ballgame" and Louisville led 53-23.
Louisville led by 48 later before settling for the 45 point win. Shoni led the Cards with 15 points, Nita aded 14. All Cards played but Monny Niamke and all Cards scored. Jude Schimmel directed the Cards offense for long stretches in the final half and looked good in doing so...also getting inside and hitting some improbable penetrations amongst the trees.
Louisville gets USF today at 3 p.m. The Bulls blasted Temple in the nightcap. Earlier AAC action saw Rutgers knock off the SMU and UConn scamper past Cincy.
USF has weapons. Inga Orekhova found her three-point range last night in the Bulls romp. Jenkins is a great rebounds and Williams another prolific scorer. The Cards beat USF by eight in Tampa and 20 at the YUM! in the regular season.
This one is on ESPNU. Should be a good one...USF on the bubble for an NCAA bid by most accounts, so the Bulls will be looking to solidify a bid with a strong effort against the Cards. Rutgers and UConn begin the semifinal card @ 1 p.m.
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SOFTBALL OUTSLUGS OHIO SATURDAY IN RED AND BLACK
The Louisville softball bats were in full force during Saturday action in the Red and Black Classic in Ulmer Stadium. Maggie Ruckenbrod was 3 for 4 with three RBI's in the 11-4 Louisville win. The Cards (10-6) also got steady pitching from freshman Maryssa Becker and Rachel Le Coq after a rocky start for the Cards.
Ohio U pounded Becker for three runs in the first. The Cards were in great shape to tie it in the bottom of the inning...bases loaded and no outs...but a double play and pop out killed the threat.
The fourth inning was beneficial for Louisville. Katie Keller drew a walk and scored on a Whitney Arion double. A Kelsi Jones single and Brittany Duncan walk loaded the bags for Becker...who singled home Arion. Maggie then produced a two-RBI double to give the Cards a 4-3 lead.
Ohio U would tie the game but the Cards would respond with five runs in the fifth. Singles by Duncan, Ruckenbrod, Sims and Hannah Kiyohara ignited the charge that made it 10-4 Louisville.
The Cards swing back into action today with Ohio State at 3 p.m. and Ohio U again at 5:30 p.m.
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LACROSSE LOSES EARLY LEAD, FALLS TO IRISH
Louisville Lacrosse jumped out to an early 4-1 lead over Notre Dame yesterday and held a 7-4 advantage at halftime...but could not stop the Irish in the final 30 minutes...falling 12-9 in South Bend.
It's become somewhat of a recurring theme for this team in the early season...blowing out to early advantages and then losing in the final half.
Colleen O'Malley, Faye Brust and Nikki Boltja had the Cards up 4-1 before the Irish netted three straight to tie it up. The Cards answered with three scores...Boltja and then back-to-back from Kaylin Morissette to lead by three.
The Irish responded with four straight scores to open the final half before Boltja could tie it at 8-8. Unfortunately, ND went on another foul goals run and in was 12-8. Boltja tacked on her fourth score of the contest for the final 12-9 margin.
The Cards (4-3) travel to Buffalo, NY to face Canisius on Wednesday.
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With six games played in the AAC Conference Tournament, only one contestant remains undefeated...and that is Sonja.
She did list her picks earlier in the week in a column here at CARDINAL COUPLE...and they have proven to be perfect.
Nipping at her heels are seven contestants with one loss each ( David Watson, Jenny O'Bryan, Mike D., Bulls Fan, Kenny S., Joe Hill and Keith.) We also have seven participants with only two losses.
Three games to go. In case you want to know...her final three picks are UConn over Rutgers, UofL over USF and UConn winning it all...with a point total of 112 in the final game.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
- Day One: AAC Tournament
- Softball wins on Day One of Red and Black Classic
- Cards face Houston tonight in AAC Quarterfinals
- Congrats Shoni, Asia, Sara, Bria and Nita
- Lacrosse heads to South Bend
- Adios...Tom Collen
Houston pulls the upset...Cincinnati hangs on
The AAC WBB Tournament is underway and in Friday night action the Houston Cougars knocked off #7 Memphis 73-67 in an upset and #8 Cincinnati held on to defeat #9 UCF 54-52.
UC advances to get UConn. They'll play that one at 2 p.m. today. Houston gets Louisville at 6 p.m. ESPN3 has it on line. In other games today, SMU and Rutgers start action at noon and Temple and USF are the nightcap at 8 p.m.
Thanks to the 21 brave souls who entered the Pick 'Em Contest here at Cardinal Couple. After the first two games there are only two people at 2-0...Sonja and Barry B. Seven games left. (If Barry B.'s picks win this thing, there will have to be several MAJOR upsets over the next three days and Temple will have beome the 2014 AAC Tournament winner).
Softball slugs past UMass
Softball won their opening game in the Red and Black Classic yesterday 6-2 over UMass. Rachel LeCoq came on to pitch 5 innings of relief to lead the Cards to the win.
Kelsi Jones had a big afternoon for Louisville with three RBI's. Her home run to center field with Whitney Arion on base in the 4th. inning made it 4-2 Cards. The Cards put three singles together for two more runs in the sixth to secure the win.
Louisville faces Ohio State today at 5 p.m. and Illinois State around 7:30 p.m.
The WBB Cards get Houston at 6 p.m. tonight in the quarterfinals of the AAC Hoops fiesta in the Mohegan Sun Arena. Maybe a little surprising to Coach Walz and the Cards...the Cougars won but one conference game in the AAC this season...but got the job done last night against what appeared to be an out-of-sync and un-motivated Tigers squad.
Louisville beat Houston by 41 in the KFC YUM! Center back on Jan 21st. and by 19 in Houston on Feb 19th.
Cards will get the winner of USF and Temple on Sunday if they can dispatch of the upset-minded Coogs.
ESPN3 is the only televised/internet viewing outlet we know of as of now. Any other sources that you know of? Tell us.
Three Cards make 1st team...Nita awarded as a scholar!
Congratulations to Shoni, Asia, Sara and Bria !!!
The first three were selected to the 1st team AAC. Bria was picked for the second team.
And, way to go Nita! She is the AAC Women's Scholarship Athlete of the Year for 2013-14.
Lacrosse to face the Irish
Kellie Young's lacrosse squad, coming off a 12-11 loss on the road to Ohio State heads north again for a Saturday afternoon tilt against Notre Dame. The Cards (4-2) do battle with the former BIG EAST foe and future ACC opponent at 1 p.m.
The Irish are 5-2...with losses to Boston College and North Carolina. Nikki Boltja, Faye Brust and Kay Morissette are the top guns when it comes to Cardinal scoring.
These two took it to two overtimes last year at the Louisville Lacrosse Staium...the Irish getting the 16-15 win.
#13 Notre Dame is the third ranked opponent the Cards have faced so far this season.
Collen out at Arkansas
Finally...news about Tom Collen. In 2006-07, he lead Louisville WBB to a 27-6 record and to the second round of the NCAA Tournament...where the Cards fell to Arizona State. He had Angel McCoughtry coming back for her junior year and a strong supporting cast returning.
He left. For Arkansas. His "dream job".
They let him go yesterday. All that glitters isn't gold. The saga below:
Arkansas fired women's basketball coach Tom Collen on Friday, bringing a close to a disappointing stretch for the program.
The Razorbacks (19-11) lost in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament to Mississippi on Wednesday, the eighth time in nine seasons they've failed to advance past the opening game.
Collen was 132-90 in seven seasons at Arkansas after being hired away from Louisville. However, the school reached the NCAA tournament just once, during the 2011-12 season, and the Razorbacks were 40-68 in SEC play — including a 6-10 finish this season.
Athletic director Jeff Long says the program hasn't "made the progress necessary" to compete in the SEC, and that a national search will begin immediately to find his replacement.
"I want to thank Tom and his staff for their hard work and dedication to the Razorback program and to our women's basketball student-athletes," Long said in a statement.
Collen made $415,691 annually and was under contract through March of 2016. He'll be paid $250,000 for each of the next two seasons as part of a buyout agreement in his contract.
Collen was an assistant coach at Arkansas under former coach Gary Blair from 1993-97 before becoming the head coach at Colorado State. He went 129-33 in five seasons there, earning national coach of the year honors in 1993 after 33-3 season.
The Ohio native was hired at Louisville following the 2002 season and coached there for four seasons, going 88-37 and reaching the NCAA tournament in his last three years.
He was brought to Arkansas with the hopes of rekindling the excitement around a program that had largely floundered since Blair left for Texas A&M in 2003.
However, despite success in nonconference play, Collen's teams largely struggled in the SEC. The Razorbacks had just one winning season in conference play, a 10-6 mark during the 2011-12 season — Collen's only team to reach the NCAA tournament.
"I appreciate the opportunity that I have been given at the University of Arkansas, and I'm disappointed my time here is coming to an end," Collen said in a statement.
Friday, March 7, 2014
FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
- Red and Black Classic offers five UofL games in three days
Louisville softball has returned home after watching it rain for 3 days and will host the annual Red & Black Classic March 7-9. It's been since Feb 23rd that the Cards have had a game...that one a good one in a 8-0 whitewash of the Northern Kentucky squad to close out action in the Cardinal Classic.
Coming to town for the three days are Ohio State, Ohio University, UMass and Illinois State. Louisville faces UMass today at 3:00 p.m. in the Cards only game today. Louisville will play Ohio University at 5 p.m. Saturday and Illinois State @ 7:30 p.m.
Sunday's action has the Cards facing Ohio State at 3 p.m. and Ohio University again to close the tournament at 5:30 p.m.
As usual, the times are an approximate start.
Starring for the Cards is junior Valparaiso transfer Brittany Duncan, the Cards designated hitter...who sports a .394 batting average and has drawn 14 walks in fourteen games. Missouri transfer Kelsi Jones is knocking Mr. Spalding around for a .378 average, two over-the-fencers and is 4 for 4 in stolen bases.
At 8-6, the Cards have used three pitchers primarily. Senior Rachel LeCoq is 2-3 and carries a 3.41 ERA. She's registered 34 strikeouts in 37 innings. Fellow senior Caralisa Connell (3-3) checks in with a 3.43 ERA and has sent 28 batters back to the dugout on "K". Freshman Marissa Becker (3-0) has 23 send-em-back-to-the-dugout endings in just 17 innings.
Looks to be a great weekend for softball! Get out and enjoy the weather and the games.
On Saturday night at 6 p.m., Louisville WBB will face the winner of tonight's Memphis vs. Houston game. It's not too late to get an entry in ourAAC pick 'em contest. It's free and if you pick the most correct games of the nine you win a Cardinal Couple T-Shirt. Ties will be solved, if needed, by picking the total score of the championship game. Closest to the actual wins.
You can submit an entry to email@example.com or leaving one in the comments sections. Here's the picks from our illustrious David Watson. Haven't heard from either Worldwide or Jenny yet. Guess they're really studying hard.
Fri. night -- Memphis over Houston, Cincy over Central Fla.
Saturday -- Rutgers, UConn, Louisville and USF
Sunday -- UConn and Louisville
Monday -- Louisville
Points -- 100
Thursday, March 6, 2014
THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
- Shoni or Angel: Who's had the most impact on the program?
I spent a little time talking with a huge UofL WBB fan yesterday...someone who's followed the team even longer than I have. I respect the words that are offered by this wise counsel (who DID prefer to remain anonymous) and we had a great dialouge on Louisville WBB and what it has become.
This friend left me with this intriguing question.
"Angel or Shoni. Who's had the most impact on the program?"
I thought about the challenge for some time. Each has been so very special in their own way. I honestly couldn't decide for quite awhile. My dear spouse Sonja responded immediately.
"Angel. The leading record holder in almost everything with UofL WBB and the best player in the WNBA. Jersey retired in the YUM!"
I countered with...Shoni. Draws thousands of fans from across the nation to games home or away and has set a few records herself. A three-point, no-look, battle-to-the-end warrior. A phrase invented about her.
"You got Schimmeled."
Both have made NCAA Championship games. Both are one-name, first-name instant recognition.
I'm not so sure where I'm leaning, though.
Obviously there are many others who have built this program. This, though...is about these two.
Tell me what you think in the comments section. Angel or Shoni. Who ya got?
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We are having a little contest here about the AAC women's tournament that begins Friday night. Pick the nine games involved with it. Give us a total # of points scored in the final.
If you win, you get a CARDINAL COUPLE T-Shirt. On us.
Hey...if you're going to try and pick all the NCAA games and win a bazillion $$$...you might as well warm up with nine, right?
You can enter either in the comments section or by e-mail to:
Sonja offers her selections:
Game 1. Cincinnati over UCF. No reason. Either is one-and done
Game 2. Houston downs Memphis. There's always an upset, right?
Game 3. Rutgers advances over the SMU. C Viv has talent aplenty.
Game 4. UConn. Coach vs. former player. Another teaching lesson.
Game 5. Louisville. Cards are trying to secure a #1 seed.
Game 6. USF. Bulls gore the Owls in a rough one to watch.
Game 7. UConn. They just recently beat Rutgers by 40+. Advance
Game 8. Louisville . USF will hang around a long time.
Game 9. UConn. Sorry, Shoni...You don't beat them yet.
Join us in the fun, won't you?
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
- AAC Tournament begins Friday
- Lacrosse falls to The Ohio State University 12-11
10 teams will enter the Mohegan Sun Casino Arena and one will walk out holding all the chips Monday night. The pairings have been made, times set and rankings finalized.
Here's how it ended up (with a little free commentary from Paulie). We're holding a AAC Tournament Pick 'Em Contest. It's free, pick the nine games the way you see them and winner gets a CARDINAL COUPLE T-Shirt!
(Chicks in New York are paying top dollar for these...)
Send your selections to our e-mail address:
Or leave them in the comments section any day up to Friday 6 p.m. For a tie-breaker, we'll use total points by both teams in the championship game. You can see my picks at the end of this article. Have some fun! Pick nine games! Get a shirt! BE the envy of your neighbors, friends, clergy and associates...
UConn is the #1 seed. Gee, go figure...Will they win it all in Uncasville, CT? Most the chips are probably on them and they look like an odds-on favorite. Stranger things have happen though...
Louisville gets the #2 seed. They have given everyone else fits in the AAC except UConn. I see then facing the Huskies in the finals Monday night. I'm hoping for 'upset city, baby!' Cards are on some unfinished business, you see...
USF took the #3 seed away from Rutgers by beating them Monday night. They'll start against the #6 seed Saturday night. That would be Temple. USF beat them twice, but not easily, during the regular season.
Rutgers fell to the #4 seed. They get the unenviable task of facing UConn after trying to defeat the #5 seed SMU. The Scarlet Knights did defeat SMU in both regular season games but R.U. has lost three out of the last four. Wrong direction.
SMU gets the #5 seed by beating UCF yesterday. They've got Mays and she's a handful. The game against Rutgers should be a good one and tough to pick.
Temple as a #6 seed is dangerous. They'll give the Bulls a battle and would possibly face UofL in the semifinals if they can win against USF. They played UofL tough in both games.
Memphis draws the #7 slot. They'll play Houston in the nightcap Friday night. They survive that one, but the Cards await the winner. Bye, bye kitty.
Cincinnati takes the #8 position. They'll open tournament play against UCF...a team they beat by one in Orlando and ten at home. The winner gets UConn. Some reward, huh?
UCF at #9 is my upset special. They beat the Bearcats and then pull a shocker by dismantling UConn. After knocking off Rutgers in the semis...Huh? What?.Must have been dreaming
Houston has been #10 all year and that's where they enter the tournament. They'll need just one night of hotel reservations and can get back home in time to enjoy the weekend.
Friday, March 7 - First Round Game 1: No. 9 UCF vs. No. 8 Cincinnati (ESPN3) - 6 p.m.
Game 2: No. 10 Houston vs. No. 7 Memphis (ESPN3) - 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 8 - Quarterfinals
Game 3: No. 5 Temple/SMU vs. No. 4 Rutgers (ESPN3) - Noon
Game 4: Game 1 winner vs. No. 1 UConn (ESPN3) - 2 p.m.
Game 5: Game 2 winner vs. No. 2 Louisville (ESPN3) - 6 p.m.
Game 6: No. 6 Temple/SMU vs. No. 3 USF (ESPN3) - 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 9 - Semifinals
Game 7: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner (ESPNU) -1 p.m.
Game 8: Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner (ESPNU) - 3 p.m.
Monday, March 10 - Championship
Game 9: Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner (ESPN) - 7 p.m.
All times eastern
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Bracket to view:
OK, you've been paitent...so here are Paulie's picks.
UCF DOES KNOCK CINCINNATI ON FRIDAY NIGHT AND MEMPHIS WINS THE NIGHT CAP. RUTGERS SENDS SMU HOME SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND UCONN FINISHES UCF'S STAY. LOUISVILLE ROLLS BY MEMPHIS AND USF ADVANCES OVER TEMPLE. UCONN DISMANTLES RUTGERS IN THE SEMIS AND LOUISVILLE BEATS USF. LOUISVILLE PULLS THE UPSET OVER UCONN IN THE FINALS.
UCF, MEMPHIS, RUTGERS, UCONN, LOUISVILLE, USF, UCONN, LOUISVILLE, LOUISVILLE.
TIE-BREAKER? 145 POINTS SCORED IN THE FINAL GAME.
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|Women's Lacrosse Falls to Ohio State|
Morissette sparked the second run at the 20:28 mark, and Boltja followed suit with the team's second-consecutive unassisted goal. O'Malley capped the run on a pass from Boltja for Louisville's largest lead of the game, 6-2.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
- More of the same..."Stewie" and UConn dismantle Cards
|photo by charlie springer. uoflcardgame.com|
Breanna "Stewie" Stewart had 22 points and 13 rebounds, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis added 13 points and 10 rebounds and Moriah Jefferson shut down Shoni as the Huskies sled into town for a 68-48 win.
It was an energetic crowd. Maybe the loudest I've ever heard it for a WBB game...especially when the Cards jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes. You had to believe. You wondered how long the Cards could ride the Senior-night, emotion train.
About 10 minutes.
|another charlie photo...shoni's only three of the night|
When the Cards cut it to 12 in the second half, a faint glimmer of hope arose again. The Huskies proceeded to hold the Cards scoreless for ten minutes and led 62-42 before Shoni made a layup with 2:19 left.
FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM MONDAY NIGHT:
1) Geno thinks the Cards are a #1 seed. When asked what he would think of the NCAA Selection Committee sending UConn to Louisville as a #1 seed, he responded:
"I would feel like they spent most of the night here in the bourbon bar drinking."
He thinks the Cards will be a #1 seed. Three losses to UConn should affect that.
|Dallas Dick in the red hat. Yeah, I know. I'm not a photographer|
"I wasn't going to do anything fancy for this shoot, but people were calling me and telling me I would be on national TV a lot...so I cleaned up a little and did my braids."
Dallas, we can dig it. A pleasure meeting you.
3) Breanna Stewart is the best player in the nation. Louisville held her to seven first half points. Geno commented:
"In the first half, Louisville had some kind of triangle defense going and she was content to stand on the outside of it and watch the game. I suggested to her she move a little bit and she did That got her open, she got shots and they went in."
4) 47-30. That was the rebounding margin. Blocking out, going for the ball and contesting every missed shot. It's what the Huskies do. A 15-2 second chance margin. Speaks volumes.
5) Bob is cool, too. He was one of the officials last night with Dee Kanter and Cameron Inouye. He is an approachable sort of guy. I asked him during a time out if he was going to the ACC with the Cards. He grinned broadly and said he was already there waiting for us. I asked why he and his brother and son (all NCAA refs) didn't call the game. He laughed and said that would have been fun...then he looked at Dee and said..."But..." Keep whistling, Bob Enterline
Plenty of hoops to go. Shoni says UofL will beat UConn this season. They have one, maybe two more chances. But, maybe she needs to take Geno, Breanna, Mosqueda-Lewis to the bourbon bar and "keep 'em coming" to help that happen...