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Friday, December 31, 2010

Rebounding holds key to Lady Cards BIG EAST chances


FRIDAY @ THE COUPLE:
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-Rebounding the key to CARDS in BIG EAST
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-Down goes the Huskies
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-Battle of the Bluegrass toady at noon
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Sherrone Vails, pictured right, is one of the key components in the Lady Cards rebounding arsenal. (Photo by Charlie Springer-UofL Card Game).
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The BIG EAST awaits Louisville and the Cards final 15 games of the year will place Louisville in conference action from Tampa, FL. to Hartford, CT. with seven road trips and eight appearances in the KFC YUM Center. The Cards begin the quest for conference greatness with two at home...St John visiting on Tuesday, Jan. 4th and Pittsburgh stopping by on Sunday, Jan. 9th.
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For Louisville to prosper and climb the BIG EAST ladder, they'll need to maintain a strong and aggressive presence in the paint. Rebounding equals wins in the rough and rumble conference and night after night, the Lady Cards will find the competition strong and plentiful on both ends of the court.
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Keisha Hines has been there, done that. The senior knows all about the board wars that lie ahead for her and her teammates and has given a good account of herself going after missed shots during her time here. We'd like to see Keisha a little less foul prone...but she's excellent at creating her own space underneath the rim and won't back down from any opponent in the paint. Hines can be a useful scoring tool, too...by the backboard and Walz will not hesitate to call on her to take it to the hoop against sagging defenses and create second chance scoring opportunities.
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Sherrone Vails has been tested by the likes of rebounding powers Xavier, Tennessee and Kentucky and the experience gained against these teams will serve her well in BIG EAST play. Vails will need to be more aggressive in going after missed shots in conference play and avoid the thumping, shoving and brutal body checks that the post players in the BIG EAST will gleefully distribute night after night on the slender freshman from Maryland. Vails has shot blocking ability, we've all seen that...but she'll need to block out, grab and secure and muscle her way through the paint in the next fifteen at a much higher skill level if Louisville is to have rebounding success.
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Asia Taylor has the size, strength and skills to be a great board controller for the Cards. It's a question of whether she can do it sufficiently enough without fouling and whether she can acquire the positioning and leverage skills to be successful at it against this caliber of competition. With the Cards lack of players patrolling the paint this year, Taylor could be a key factor in keeping missed opponent shots from becoming second chance scoring opportunities. We'd like to see Taylor develop a softer touch around the rim when attempting putbacks or trying close in shots. Her skill level is there, she just needs to channel it and use it effectively.
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Monique Reid finds the ball. Never count her out of scrambling to grab any missed shot. Her ability to work inside, score the driving basket or be there for the follow up shot are unmatched on the Louisville squad. what we'd like to see Reid improve on is the defensive end. If Reid could put the same intensity into stopping opponents, grabbing missed shots and blocking players off the boards that she does when creating on the offensive end, she'd be All-World. She's a smart and heady ball player, it'll come for her and the recognition factor between her and Schimmel on the court will pay dividends in easy scores on lob passes behind the defense.
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Add Antonita Slaughter, who has the height to be an effective rebounder, Tia Gibbs...who rebounds way beyond her height expectations and the bruising, competitive Polly Harrington off the bench and the Cards have some options, some bright spots and strengths when it comes to securing missed shots. They just need to practice what Jeff Walz preaches and display it on game day.
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Down goes UCONN. After 90 wins in a row, Geno's Huskies see the streak end on the road against a fired up Stanford Cardinal squad in Maples Pavillion last night. The 71-59 loss on the road isn't all that much of a shocker...it was Stanford that gave the Huskies the most fits last year...leading big at halftime in the NCAA Championship game before losing and beating them in the 2008 Final Four in Tampa.
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The key to this one last night was Stanford racing out to an impressive early lead and NOT wiltering this time in the final twenty minutes. It also speaks volumes on how effective and helpful a raucous and rowdy home crowd can be a team's "sixth man." Jeanette Pohlen had a career game with 31 points against the Huskies but the play of Kayla Pederson, who was absent in the Cardinal loss to DePaul earlier this month was a key component also. Maya Moore did what she could to corral the Birds...nailing a three midway thru the second half to pull UConn within four at 48-44. She had a chance to cut it to four again late in the game but couldn't cash in on the front end of a 1-1 from the line.
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Over 7000 watched this one. If you put this game on a neutral court (did anyone say KFC YUM Center?) I bet you get 15,000.
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Speaking of the KFC YUM Center...big doings down there at noon Friday when the Battle of the Bluegrass tips off. There aren't many, if any, fiercer men's rivalries than Louisville vs. Kentucky. A sold out arena of 23,000+ will see if Louisville's recent love affair with the three pointer will be enough to overcome the talent and depth of John Calipari's Big Blue.
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David Watson weighs in with a brief commentary on this yearly battle. As usual, David's words are worth the read:
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Kentucky vs. Louisville. Cards vs. Cats. Big Brother vs. the DirtyBirds. Calipari vs. Pitino. I could use the rest of this column to list the monikers and marquee headlines this one has produced over the years. I won't, though. At noon Friday, an overwhelming majority of televisions and radios in the Commonwealth of Kentucky will be tuned in to this epic contest. 23,000 will be packed into the KFC YUM! Center to hoot, holler and witness this version of basketball insanity.
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There will be plenty of viewers up here in heartland Indiana as well. My friends who wager on such contests tell me that it's a game that expert gamblers lay off of. I will place my yearly, customary $5 offering on the line with my next door neighbor (a UK grad) and go over to his house with my wife and kids, a few beers and some potato salad. We'll watch, cheer and groan. We'll reflect on some of the classics of this series. I'll mention "Smackie" Walker's triple double. He'll counter with Rex Chapman's bombardment. We'll have a couple of great hours.
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I can't tell you who will win today. I only know that the rest of my New Year's Eve Day will be tempered by the outcome. My wife (Cardinal proud) will become a giddy schoolgirl again if the Cards prevail. If not, her wine consumption will increase dramatically.
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What I wouldn't give to be in Louisville's showcase by the Ohio River for this one. Even in the dark and cramped heights of the 300 sections. I will be there in spirit, though. I'll be helping Kyle Kuric follow through on every three point attempt. I'll grunt and go up with Rakeem Buckles on every rebound. I'll be Peyton Siva grinding my way past the UK backcourt pressure and that'll be me along with Rick Pitino pacing the sidelines and shouting out the switches.
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I love this game. I live for this game. I laugh and cry over this game. And I probably always will. Call it my addiction, my fetish or my own personal day of celebration. It is what college basketball is all about and it is right around the corner.
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Game on. Where's my red sweater and Cardinal Basketball ball cap?
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Thanks to David for his always insightful and heartfelt offerings. CARDINAL COUPLE is predicting a UofL win. Sonja says by seven. Paul by two. Bill the Goat likes Louisville by 12. The Cardinal Chimps are hoping for a three point win. Tip it up, let 'em go!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What is a fan?


THURSDAY @ C.C.


-What is a fan?


-Hey, Jude (ain't playing bad...)
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We hope that UofL fans never get to the point where they start burning jerseys. Maybe during the end of the Kragthorpe or Cooper years, it was considered...but, stay classy...Louisville. Always.
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WE like to refer to ourselves here at CARDINAL COUPLE as the fan voice for women's sports. We do get a lot of feedback and comments from UofL fans (and other fans) and try to present articles and reports to you from the fan point of view. What exactly is a fan, though? Each person probably has their own definition of "fan" WE like the one below:
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A fan never boos players or officials. A fan appreciates a good play, no matter who makes it. A fan knows the school or organization gets the blame or praise for HIS conduct. A fan recognizes the need for more good sportsmanship and less taunting.
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Sometimes, it isn't easy being a fan. Some of the trips we've taken to watch Louisville teams on the road have really tested the principles above. WE could go into details on specifics and you probably have your "road stories" to tell as well...but what's the point? You're there to watch a sporting event. Act like you've been there before.
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Booing happens. Sometimes, a play or player...call or decision can get your blood boiling. Booing isn't going to help the situation and it never reverses a call or play. I was a fierce "boo-bird" at one time in my life. I've learned that it doesn't help, only frustrates and creates a tense situation. I almost got my brains bashed in once on the road for unsavory remarks and got tossed out of a contest many years ago on the road for boorish behavior. I no longer "boo". Try positive reinforcement next time instead of bashing. You're going to feel a whole lot better, believe me.
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Enjoy good plays no matter who makes them. These are college kids. 99% of them won't make a living at hitting jumpers or stealing bases. They're students. Marvel at the ability, no matter which team or player is performing it. Recently, a young freshman guard came into the KFC YUM Center and had a "lights out" performance against the LADY CARDS. I enjoyed her skills.
I applauded her efforts.
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You are a representative of the team you cheer for. Try to leave a positive attitude and feeling amongst the rival fans after you leave their venue. We've made some great friends over the years in different cities by bring proud of our team but not critical of our opponent. They love their team just as much as you do yours. Celebrate that fanaticism and have some fun with it.
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Being a good sport isn't hard. It's easy to appreciate what your team does, acknowledge the successes of your opponent and celebrate a win. Never dwell on a loss. There will be another game down the road and no one goes undefeated forever. (Except Connecticut women's basketball). Back your team in the good times and in the bad. Things change in sports. Let your support remain constant and positive. The players will appreciate it.
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Shoni Schimmel's little sister Jude is off to a wonderful start in her senior year playing basketball for Portland (OR) Franklin. A BIG thanks to Mal Van Meer of K Hoops for this update on Jude:
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Schimmel has played in six games as of 12/26. Look at these numbers...
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vs. McNary. 33 points in a 77-55 loss.
vs. Parkrose. 26 points in a 59-45 loss.
vs. Liberty. 26 ponts in a 66-43 loss.
vs. Sandy. 37 points in a 82-73 win.
vs. Cleveland. 23 points in a 54-41 win.
vs. Madison . 31 points in a 42-39 win.
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Jude is averaging 29 points per game....tops in Oregon 5A. Check out this stat line from the Sandy game...
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SCHIMMEL, JUDE 35 points. (5) 3-pointers. 15 rebounds. 11 steals.
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Jude Schimmel is undeclared for college as of now. Sources report that Louisville and South Carolina are showing heavy interest. Jude has stated that she like to continue playing in college with her sister and teammate of three years in high school... Shoni Schimmel.
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Have a great senior season, Jude. Enjoy your successes and those of your sister at Louisville. When the time comes to make a college choice, you'll know what to do.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Breaking down the win over UT-Martin



WEDNESDAY @ CARDINAL COUPLE:


-Inside the numbers of the 25 point Lady Card win.



The Evan Williams Bourbon Bar. located under the seats behind the Louisville women's bench in Sec. 115, is a nice facility to relax with friends before, during or after a Lady Cards basketball game. I wonder how it would go if CARDINAL COUPLE covered a women's game from there one evening? (Photo by Cardinal Couple)


The University of Louisville women's basketball team improved to 10-5 with a 92-67 win over UT-Martin Tuesday night in the KFC YUM Center. Louisville led by 25 at the half (50-25) and reached the 90+ point plateau for the fifth time this season with the win. Let's take a look at some of the stats:


-The Cards shot 50% for the game (39-78) and went 40% from three point range (10-25). Free throws still a bit short of Walz's expectations at 50% (4-8) including a dismal 0-4 first half performance. Shoni Schimmel (24 points) led the way with 10-16 from the floor and 4-7 from beyond the arc. Monique Reid (20 points) produced 9-15 on Denny Crum Court with no three point attempts. Tia Gibbs (11 points) went 4-10 from the hardwood and 1-5 from trifecta land.

Becky Burke (10 points) had a 4-6 shooting night nailing 2-4 from the deep. The Cards outshot UTM 78 to 57 in attempts but UTM had 33 threes, making 12 of them. UTM shot 42.1% for the game. 33 of their 57 attempts were three pointers.


-Louisville won the rebounding battle 41-37 with Keisha Hines leading the way with eight. Reid grabbed seven, Asia Taylor five and Burke and Shelby Harper 4 each. The Cards won the offensive rebound war 17-12 but the SkyHawks took the defensive grabs 25-24.


-Schimmel led the way with 31 minutes played last night. Reid logged 26 minutes, Burke 25, Harper 22, Hines and Gibbs 20 each. Sherrone Vails played 18 minutes, Asia Taylor 17, Antonita Slaughter 16. Rachel Story saw 4 minutes and Polly Harrington 1. The Louisville starters played only 57 minutes combined in the second half out of a possible 100. Freshman guard Heather Butler saw all 40 minutes on the court for UTM.


-Louisville swept most of the other stat categories...23 assists (Schimmel 11) to 17 for UTM. The Cards committed only 13 turnovers (Harper, Reid and Taylor three each) compared to UT-Martin's 26. Louisville committed 12 fouls (Reid with 4) and UTM was whistled for 11. Louisville had an impressive 17 steals in the game (Schimmel seven, Gibbs five) and UTM five.


-The Louisville freshmen totalled 37 of Louisville's points but only four of them played, three of them with significant minutes. Antonita Slaughter, despite the defensive woes that Jeff Walz preached about after the game, turned in a good offensive performance with 9 points...all from three point range...and 2 steals in 16 minutes.


-Louisville used runs of 8-0 and 15-0 in the first half to build a 27-5 lead with 11:42 remaining in the first half. A 6-0 UTM run cut it to 27-11 but a 9-0 Louisville run made it 36-11 with 7:59 left. The teams battled to a 14-14 standoff the final eight minutes of the first half....so when you look at it, they played basically even for 28 of the 40 minutes of basketball last night.


-The Lady Cards largest lead came at the 17:44 mark of the second half after a Becky Burke layup made it 60-27. UTM would cut it to 18 points twice in the second half...73-55 with 8:59 to go after a Rickiesha Bryant jumper and 80-62 with 4:57 left following a Jasmine Newsome jumper.


-A lot of credit to the UT-Martin guard trio of Heather Butler, Jasmine Newsome and Taylor Hall. They accounted for 50 of the 67 Skyhawk points and went a combined 10-24
from beyond the arc. Butler and Newsome are freshmen, Hall a transfer playing her first year at UTM. Take out Hall's stats and you've got 47 points on 9-17 three point shooting and 15-31 from the floor total. Butler gets our MVP Award for the game (no offense, Shoni). 40 minutes, 29 points, no fouls, four assists, 7-14 from three point range and 4-4 on free throws. Martin. Tennessee residents are gonna love her over the next four years and OVC opponents are going to groan when they see her get off the team bus..Not confirmed but the SkyHawks were still firing threes at I-64 East entrance signs down on 2nd. street long after the game. UofL was still failing to guard them...


-We like the fact that Louisville's Taylor, Harper and Slaughter saw extended court time last night. In Vegas, the three didn't. The caliber of competition was better, obviously, in the Desert Duel...but Walz will be best served to have a contingency rotation of 10 players he can count on when BIG EAST play begins. Walz has been starting Hines, Vails, Schimmel, Gibbs and Burke. Last night... Taylor, Harper and Slaughter looked to be ready to be a part of the second wave. When you figure Charmaine Tay will see minutes as a backup guard and Walz has no plans to change Monique Reid's role from coming off the bench...there's your 10. Rachel Story, Polly Harrington and a healthy LaToya Johnson could contend for any of these backup spots...the BIG EAST is brutal, physical hoops and there is strength and safety in numbers.


-Louisville gets a week off, returning to action next Tuesday in the KFC YUM Center against top 25 BIG EAST foe St. John's. They're big, aggressive, very, very talented defensively and have lost only once so far this year...to Kansas State. Shenneika Smith and Da'Shena Stevens rocked Louisville for 35 points and 16 rebounds last year in a 91-56 Red Storm win in "Little Louie" Arena in Queens, NY. Guess what? Both are back and playing just as good this year. Game time is 7 p.m and Louisville needs about 10,000+ in the YUM for this one to bring it home.
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-In the "You've got to be kidding me" category...longtime local sportscaster Bob Domine is growing facial hair. It's a scary proposition and Paul had to serve as a buffer last night, sitting between Domine and Sonja...with LSR/CSR's Howie Lindsey flanked to the left in a split backfield formation to shield fair Sonja from the horrid sight. First observation? t He looks like that Spanish guy who does the commercials for beer...("I don't drink beer often...but when I do...it's Dos (whatever).." Some guys just look better clean shaven. Paul, on the other hand, is sporting whiskers as well right now and looks equally ugly with or without them. A man's got to know his limitations...
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Early Lady Cards blitz keys 92-67 win over UT-Martin


CARDS STRIKE EARLY IN WIN OVER THE SKYHAWKS




No such Vegas problems tonight in the KFC YUM Center for Jeff Walz's Lady Cards. Louisville jumped out to an early 9-3 lead in the first 2 minutes of the game, increased that to 27-5 with 11:30 remaining in the first half and coasted home with the 25 point win over UT-Martin.
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The Cards were led by the efforts of freshman guard Shoni Schimmel, who had 14 of her 24 points in the first half...a half where Louisville doubled the score on UTM and led 50-25 at the break. At her side was Monique Reid, tallying 10 of her 20 points in the first twenty minutes. The Cards forced 15 Skyhawk turnovers in the first half and Louisville nailed 6 of 13 threes to lead by as many as 26 at 45-19 with 3:40 to go. Walz played ten players in the first twenty minutes, all scoring but Rachel Story and Shelby Harper. The suffocating 1-2-2 press Louisville employed early in the game was the difference and the Cards scored 21 points off turnovers and 28 in the paint.
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Walz experimented with a lot of different combinations in the final twenty minutes and Louisville saw its largest lead at 60-27 with 17:35 remaining. UTM battled on gamely, though and used a 7-2 run midway thru the second half to cut the Cardinal lead to 20 points at 73-53 with 9:24 remaining. Louisville got strong second half performances from Tia Gibbs and Asia Taylor, though...to keep Tennessee-Martin at bay and notch their 10th win of the season.
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Schimmel led the Cards with 24 points and also added 12 assists and 7 steals to her 31 minutes of work tonight. Reid lit the board for 20 points and 7 boards. Tia Gibbs (11 pts., 5 steals) and Becky Burke (10 points) rounded out the double figure performers for the Lady Cards.
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UT-Martin got another outstanding performance from freshman guard Heather Butler who had 29 points and sank seven three pointers for the SkyHawks. Jasmine Newton, another freshman guard contributed 16 points. The SkyHawks launched 33 trifectas against the Cards, who seemed a step slow at times to defend the long ball. UTM ended with 25 turnovers and gave up a whopping 17 steals to the ballhawking Cardinal guards.
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All 11 that dressed for Louisville played...Charmaine Tay was not at the game due to travel delays in getting out of New Jersey and the big winter blizzard on the East Coast. LaToya Johnson sat out with an undisclosed injury. For the Cards, impressive performances by Antonita Slaughter who nailed three from deep for her nine points. Asia Taylor turned in a sold 17 minutes with six points and five rebounds.
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FROM THE POST GAME:
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Shoni Schimmel on the fast start:
"I felt like we just came out with good energy and things went well. We had a lot of making up to do after Vegas and I thought we came out and played harder."
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Schimmel on the Vegas trip and Walz's reaction:
"We did some good things and some bad things out there and he talked about all of them. He told us what to do and what not to do so we cleaned it up...basically...for this game. We're fixing it. Slow steps...that's what he told me."
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Monique Reid on UTM's three point production:
"Yeah, it was definitely a discussion after the game. We did let them shoot and it was on the scouting report...us needing to get a hand out there and we didn't do it that good. So, it's something we need to work on."
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Reid on having a week to prepare for St. John:
"We're going to concentrate a lot on us. We need to work better on certain little things. Getting prepared for the BIG EAST coming up."
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Jeff Walz on Shoni Schimmel:
"I'm really pleased with the way she's playing right now. I thought she did a fantastic job of taking care of the basketball. The one things we've talked about over the break was just trying to cut down some of her turnovers. She's always going to have 3 or 4 it's a part of the way she plays but at the same time...you won't see a lot of kids get 12 assists either. (On the night Schimmel had 1 turnover and 12 assists.)
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Walz on Schimmel' s biggest transition from high school to college:
"I think it was the speed of the game. She's really had to adjust and I think she's done a great job getting used to the quickness and it's going to be another adjustment now that we start BIG EAST play. We're going to face some quicker and stronger players. "
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Walz on the 33 three point attempts by UT- Martin:
"They're a three point shootin' team. I wasn't pleased with the way we defended the three in the second half. She (Heather Butler) was 2 for 7 in the first half. She was 5 for 7 in the second half....and it's not like it was a big surprise who was going to shoot the ball. That's something that we've got to get better at...knowing where shooters are. Antonita Slaughter got beat twice on the same play. First time shame on me, second time shame on you. That's one of the things she's got to start doing a better job for us defensively. She gives up back to back threes, then she makes a three...yeah, that's great but were still down 6-3. Hopefully, she starts to figure some things out because we need her to play some minutes for us....to give our guards some more breaks throughout the game. She does shoot the ball extremely well but for us she needs to figure out how to defend for us."
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Lady Cards face UT-Martin tonight in the YUM





TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE:



-Lady Cards return home to battle the SkyHawks.
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Keisha Hines (pictured right) and her Lady Card teammates return to the KFC YUM Center Tuesday night to face the University of Tennessee-Martin SkyHawks. This will be the final non-conference regular season game for Louisville before they return to BIG EAST action.



We don't know a lot about Martin, Tennessee except that it is due north of Jackson, Tennessee. Jackson has one of Paul's favorite barbecue restaurants on the face of the planet in Burnsie's Barn. We would expect that Martin has a few good chow stops as well...and Reelfoot Lake isn't too far away from Martin, either. Some of the biggest crappie Paul has ever caught and fished for came out of Reelfoot. We wonder if the town was named for entertainer Dean Martin? Maybe Beatles producer George Martin? Remember Dick Martin from Laugh-In? The incomparable, wild and crazy guy Steve Martin? Andrea Martin was a great comedian on SCTV... Oh, well...We digress. Let's look at the basketball playing Martins:


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UT Martin (7-5) plays in the Ohio Valley Conference. They're currently on a three game winning streak...in their last game they defeated Murray State in Martin, TN. 89-78. They are 2-1 in the OVC so far this year... downing Murray and Eastern Kentucky and losing to Morehead State. Other losses have come at the hands of Indiana State., Colorado, Missouri and Vanderbilt. The SkyHawks have flown past Southern Illinois, Indiana State (in a rematch), Belmont, Air Force, and Evansville in addition to their OVC wins.



UT Martin likes to put points on the scoreboard. They've hit the 90+ mark once, 80+ three times and 70+ twice. Missouri held them to their season low...30 points. On the road, UT-Martin is 5-5, at home 2-0. They started the season with ten straight in their visitor uniforms. They aren't hesitant about taking the three either...averaging 23 a game (92-280).


No rest for these birds during the holiday season...after Louisville, they travel to Lexington to face UK on Thursday. This is the first meeting between Louisville and UT-Martin.

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Beware these two. UT-Martin is led by freshman Heather Butler (left) and junior Taylor Hall (right). The two combined for 50 points and 11 threes against Murray State. Butler has been named OVC Freshman of the Week four times so far this season. Fellow freshmen Beth Hawn and Jasmine Newsome have also earned the honor once. Butler's seven threes against Murray State tied a team record and her 37 points in the contest were the most made by a freshman in a single game this season and were the eighth most scored points by a player in Division I this season.

Hall, who played her first two years at Roane State Junior College, has been named OVC Newcomer of the Year once this season and OVC Player of the Week once. No wonder they're both smiling...
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Louisville will need to perform the full court defensive pressure that Jeff Walz preaches early in this one to keep the SkyHawks from setting up and drilling the Cards from outside with uncontested threes. The Cards will also need to shake the slow start syndrome..which plagued them in all three of the Las Vegas games. If the Cards can benefit from their 1-2-2 press early on...they should be able to pick up a lot of points in the paint and some transition baskets.
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Haven't heard anything yet about this...but if some of the Lady Cards went home for the Christmas break, getting back to the 'Ville could be a problem for some of them. The big storm on the East Coast has paralyzed flight and other forms of travel. Sherrone Vails is from Odenton, Maryland. Charmaine Tay from Irvington, New Jersey and Becky Burke from Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. Let's hope these three Lady Cards have flown safely back to the nest if they did travel over the break.

UPDATE 3:45 p.m. Charmaine Tay is still unable to get a flight out the New York area and probably won't be in uniform tonight. Everyone else is good to go. .

Monday, December 27, 2010

Where are they now?


Welcome to the Monday view at Cardinal Couple!

-Where are they now?
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-WE try to predict the BIG EAST
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Ashley Rainey (pictured right) is playing at Lindsey Wilson College and averaging 20.8 points a game and 10.4 rebounds for the Blue Raiders (10-3). She has been named the Mid-South Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week twice for the NAIA school. Rainey played in 22 games for Louisville in the 2009-10 season...starting 16 before leaving the team. She averaged 6.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in her one season at the Ville.
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Janae Howard is at Western Kentucky University and the third leading scorer on the Hilltoppers (4-7) squad. She's started 5 out of the 10 games she's played for the Toppers and is averaging 24.6 minutes per game. Howard leads the WKU squad in three pointers made and attempted (25-69). Howard was a reserve on the 2008-09 Louisville squad that made it to the NCAA Championship game.
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Another player on that team, Mary Jackson, is at Memphis after sitting out her transfer year and comes off the bench for the Tigers. She recently had 11 points against North Carolina A&T and averages about 3 points a game. The Tigers (8-3) have won their last 5 in a row.
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Laura Terry played in 11 games for Louisville in 2009-10 before a knee injury put her on the sidelines during her junior year. She twice hit double figures for the Cards last year, with 11 points against IUPUI and 10 at Central Michigan. Terry is now a student assistant coach for the Cards and you can see her on the bench during Cardinal home games.
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Nikki Burton took part in 18 games as a part of the 2009-10 Cards and started 11 of them before going to the sidelines with injuries. She's on the injured list this year with a groin injury and is expected to redshirt this season. Burton averaged 5.9 for the Lady Cards last year and had 36 steals...good for second on the team despite playing only about half of the Cardinal contests.
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With BIG EAST play right around the corner, the action will be coming fast and furious amongst the 16 teams in the league. WE'VE got some very early conference season speculation on how the teams could finish up. Read at your own risk...
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Them that has:
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-Connecticut is loaded again and is our pick to win the BIG EAST schedule. Will Maya Moore ever graduate? They may eventually lose a game...we figure either the Connecticut men's team or the WNBA Connecticut Sun are the two most likely candidates to knock them off.
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-DePaul has a wealth of talent and can score from anywhere on the court. Sam Quigley and Keisha Hampton should be able to lead the Blue Demons to the runner up spot in the BIG EAST and....they did knock off #2 Stanford recently. UConn beware.
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-Georgetown has talent with Sugar Rodgers and Monica McNutt and will be a tough opponent for anyone who crosses their path in the BIG EAST. These Hoyas are a rough and tumble bunch...bring the first aid kit and team physician. Rutgers loss a wake up call.
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-Louisville is 2-2 against top 25 opponents this year and features a well balanced scoring attack led by freshman Shoni Schimmel. The Cards can be deadly in their zone presses and can score in bunches with the transition game. Try and zone them and they'll burn you from deep.
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Them that is pretty good:
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-Notre Dame returns talent from last year's team and led by Skylar Diggins...they can shut you down with pressure defense and tear you up outside. Wouldn't be surprised at all with a top four finish in the BIG EAST regular season. Muffet McGraw knows a thing or two about hoops.
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-St. John hasn't disappointed in the pre-BIG EAST schedule and returns a talented bunch of hoopsters that can light up the scoreboard. You won't win many rebounding wars against them and your defense better be clicking if you expect to beat them.
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-Syracuse plays the brutal possession by possesion ball that Quentin Hillsman teaches and it's paid dividends for them so far with an undefeated record. That'll change in the BIG EAST...but don't be shocked in the Orange pull off a few major upsets.
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-West Virginia is highly ranked so far under the tutelidge of Mike Carey and features one of the best players in the league in Liz Repella. The Mountaineers are well disciplined and won't beat themselves. They will whip up on quite a few BIG EAST opponents, though.
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Them that is so-so:
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-Rutgers is rebuilding under C.Viv Stringer but still has talent with April Sykes and company. They can throw scary defense on opponents and C.Viv is rarely out-coached. They did beat Georgetown.
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-Marquette returns three starters from last year and has gotten off to a strong start in pre-BIG EAST play. They don't get blown out and no one puts up big numbers on them.
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-Providence returns two starters from a team that made it to the WNIT quarterfinals last year. Mi-Khida Hankins are Symone Roberts are legit hoopsters.
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-USF has gained a couple of talented transfers in the Smith sisters and they've turned it around in Tampa. Beware BIG EAST teams that venture into the SunDome.
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Them that aren't so much:
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-Villanova will compete with anyone but the talent level there isn't quite enough to get them into the over .500 bunch in the BIG EAST. Harry Perretta begins his 34th. year there.
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-Pittsburgh does have four starters back from last year...four starters from a 16-15 team. Agnes will need a few miracles in the Peterson if they are to improve on that record.
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-Cincinnati has a young and bright coach in Janelle Elliott. It's a shame the Geno prodigy can't suit up for the under-manned Bearcats. They'll fight to stay out of the BIG EAST cellar.
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-Seton Hall is in Anne Donovan first year of coaching. She'll turn the program around in South Orange...we have no doubt...but it isn't going to happen this year.
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Catching up on the Lady Cards


SUNDAY @ CARDINAL COUPLE:
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Catching up on the Lady Cards
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We hope your Christmas Day went well for you and that Santa was accurate in getting the things under the tree you specificed. While the family blissfully sleeps after a day of excess and fellowship, it's time to catch up on the Lady Cards 2010-11 women's basketball season. Pictured here, Becky Burke and Shoni Schimmel respond to the notion that UK could actually beat them in basketball.
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Louisville is 9-5 on the season and currently 2-2 in their last four games. A win over BIG EAST Foe Cincinnati, followed by losses to Marist and Houston before defeating #21 Nebraska in the Duel in the Desert Classic in Las Vegas. The Cards are off until Tuesday, Dec. 28th...when they'll face Tennessee-Martin in the KFC-YUM Center. This tune up for BIG EAST play is the first of three straight in the YUM. Louisville faces St. John on Tuesday, January 4th. and Pittsburgh Sunday, Dec 9th. after the UT-Martin game.
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Freshman Shoni Schimmel leads the Cards in scoring with 16.3 ppg. The other double figure scorer for Jeff Walz's team is junior Monique Reid at 15.8 per contest. Rounding out the top five Cardinal point producers are Becky Burke (8.4 ppg), Tia Gibbs (8.3 ppg) and Sherrone Vails (8.1 ppg). Thirteen Cards have hit the court this year and are scoring 77.8 a contest. They are allowing 57.6 a game. Schimmel has attempted the most shots for Louisville (87-185), followed by Reid (87-152), Tia Gibbs (43-101) and Sherrone Vails (45-95). Schimmel has the most three points attempts for UofL (38-94), followed by Burke (26-64), Gibbs (19-48) and Antonita Slaughter (14-36).
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Keisha Hines leads Louisville in rebounding with 90. The other top five are Reid with 76, Gibbs at 60, Schimmel with 47 and Vails grabbing 46. Schimmel is the assist leader with 72 and it drops off to 27 for Reid in second. Schimmel also leads in turnovers with 54. HInes at 40 is second here. Gibbs has 36 steals to lead Louisville...Schimmel and Hines have 28. Vails has 3o blocked shots in 14 games, Hines 23.
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It's a game before the midway point of the season...but we'll hand out a few CARDINAL COUPLE awards anyway.
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-Most Valuable Player at the halfway point is Schimmel. The freshman has been everything advertised before hitting the campus and the offense seems to go through either her or Reid the majority of the time.
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-100% + Hustle Award goes to Tia Gibbs. The transfer sophomore never turns in a sub-standard effort and is probably the best defender in the back court.
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Super Sub. Going with Reid as long as she continues coming off the bench. Another option here could be Burke, who delights by coming off the bench and drilling threes.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays From Cardinal Couple and UofL Women's Basketball!



2010 UofL Women's Basketball Twelve Days of Xmas

Dean Martin- White Christmas



SATURDAY AT CARDINAL COUPLE:
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MERRY CHRISTMAS! Thank you so much for making us what we are today and WE hope this Holiday season brings you joy, contentment and peace. We'll see you Monday. In the meantime, please enjoy the incomprable stylings of Dean Martin...singing Paul's favorite Christmas song. It is snowing in Louisville as we write this and "may your dreams be merry and bright...and may all your Christmases be white."
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PAUL & SONJA

Friday, December 24, 2010

Cardinal fans have many things to be celebrating



FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE:
-David Watson is thankful

CARDINAL FANS HAVE MANY THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR AND TO CELEBRATE.

by David Watson
Special Correspondent to CARDINAL COUPLE

There is a favorite Christmas song of mine this time of year. It's called "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" and if you listen to your local radio station that plays non-stop Christmas music this time of year, you'll be likely to hear it. I'll admit that it mirrors my thoughts of this time of year also. The Christmas holiday season is my favorite time of the year. It probably started when I was a little boy. I grew up on a small farm outside of Louisville and my brothers, my parents and grandparents always made a big production out of the Christmas season. This has transferred over to my current situation. My wife and children do the same and enjoy the magic of the Christmas season with my large extended family. Still lucky enough to have my parents, parent-in-laws and three out of my four grandparents around to join in. The majority of us will gather later today at that same farmhouse to spend a couple of days for Christmas.

Cardinal fans have many things to celebrate and be thankful for this time of season also. Since this is a women's sports blog, I will devote the majority of this article to that aspect of Louisville sports. I must mention, though, the successes of the Louisville men's Soccer team and the thrilling ride Ken Lolla took us on in December. Can't forget the 'strong' football Cards and the Beef O' Brady bowl win, either. Rick Pitino has another winner in men's basketball and they finished the 2009-10 season well, too. Baseball is rolling under Dan McDonnell and the upcoming season in Jim Patterson Stadium looks to be a fun and victorious one. I'm thankful for the great memories these teams brought me over the last twelve months and can't wait to see what the next twelve offer.
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Jeff Walz has given Cardinal women's basketball many things to cheer about in his career at Louisville and the past twelve months have been pretty remarkable. Despite the disappointing end to the 2009-10 season, those few who were left on the injured and decimated Lady Cards squad fought till the end and brought pride and joy to Cardinal fans who watched them battle night after night in the always tough BIG EAST while out-numbered, out-talented and under-staffed. Realize that a half dozen of their losses were by six points or less and they finished the season with only eight healthy players. Gwen Rucker played two sports. Shelby Harper was a walk-on. Brandie Radde had re-joined the team in mid-season. The news started getting better when we looked at the first five recruits that were ready to become freshmen Cardinals. All top notch players and a top ten class by themselves. Then, the word came out of Portland, Oregon that #8 in the nation Shoni Schimmel was ready to don the red and black. The number changed to a top 5 class. The Cards also picked up a talented and wonderfully charming center from UNC named Cierra Warren. Wait till you see her on the court next year, Lady Card fans! Next, the best player in Kentucky girls high school hoops, Sara Hammond committed to Louisville over Connecticut. Also on the way, another standout in Quaneisha McCurty. And, the promise of one or two more. Finally, the beginning of the season and the Lady Cards did not disappoint. A gutty performance in a sold out KFC YUM Center against Tennessee. Another capacity crowd for the remarkable win over Kentucky. The freshmen gaining starting roles and Schimmel dazzling fans with her wizard skills on the court. Transfer Tia Gibbs playing lights out. Monique Reid scoring with ease and skill. Automatic Becky Burke from past the three point circle. I could go on and on. I'm very thankful for this current group of Lady Card basketball players and look forward to their quest to be the best in the BIG EAST.

It was a young and inexperienced group of Cardinal women's volleyball players that opened the season for Leonid Yelin this fall. There was promise, though. Outside hitter Lola Arslanbeckova returned and Gwen Rucker had made the decision to concentrate solely on volleyball. Anastasia Artemeva showed promise. It started slowly for the team, barely over .500 after twelve matches. Then, with a few adjustments and the improvement that comes with experience, they kicked it into high gear. Defeating BIG EAST powerhouse Cincinnati in the regular season. Finishing second in the conference standing. Winning the BIG EAST Tournament for the third straight year. Advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The future looks very bright in 2011 for Cardinal Volleyball. Lola, Gwen, Anastasia return along with Emily Juhl, Caitlin Welch and most of the 2010 squad. Cardinal Arena is going to be a crazy place next year and I can't wait for the excitement. Thank you, Volley Cards for the fun and success.

Pam Bustin geared her field hockey team toward great goals in 2010 and they didn't disappoint. A grueling early schedule paid dividends when Big East play began and the Cards made it to the BIG EAST tournament as a #4 seed. The incredible win over UConn at Trager Stadium in the regular season featured the largest crowd ever to watch UofL Field Hockey. Nicole Youman led the ladies to a successful season and was someone to be very thankful for during her four years as a Cardinal. Even though Pam has left to take over the Duke program, she is replaced by a very experienced and knowledgeable head coach in Justine Sowry from UMass. And Sowry has a lot of talent returning for 2011. It's going to be a great season for TEAM CARDINAL and I'm thankful that Cardinal fans get to see great talent in a state of the art facility.

Sandy Pearsall gave us exciting times with her 2010 Louisville Softball team. All-American Melissa Roth behind the plate, Kristen Wadwell on the mound, hard hitting Chelsea Bemis and a host of other Slugger Cards started out with a roar in 2010 and ended up 41-19 overall and 16-6 in the BIG EAST. They came in third in the BIG EAST regular season and second in the BIG EAST Tournament. They played four games in the NCAA Tournament before bowing out to Tennessee in Knoxville. Sandy's team isn't satisfied with these lofty accomplishments. They have Bemis, Colby Wherry, Alicja Wolny, Jordan Trimble, Kristin Austin, Katelyn Mann, Chelsea Leonard and Tori Collins just a few of the stars returning, plus a wealth of new talent. The Cards will be a force to be dealt with when it all gets started in March.
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Be thankful and excited about the successes Louisville had in women's soccer, rowing, track and field, lacrosse, golf, tennis, cross country, swimming and diving this year as well. Know that all of these squads are prepared to give the fans bigger and better in 2011.
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And if you live in the Louisville area, be thankful that you are in the best college sports town around. Take time to make the short drive to see these events, these teams. I no longer live within a short drive to witness these events. Each trip to Louisville to watch a sporting event is a celebration for me and my family. My oldest daughter wants to be the next Monique Reid or Becky Burke, Shelby Harper or Shoni Schimmel (it changes daily). My youngest is determined to be the best women's soccer player in the history of the school. We'll find out about that in a dozen years or so. My son wants to be the guy that breaks all the passing records for Louisville football. I'm a pretty lucky (and busy) guy with these dreams of my children.
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I'm thankful, also, for the chance to write for such a great site as CARDINAL COUPLE. A chance meeting with Paul at a women's basketball game last year developed into a great friendship and I wish I had the time to contribute more to this wonderful daily update of UofL women's sports. Me, my wife and kids (so far) are Cardinal fans and she's an alumni. I'll admit that I was a attendee of another school southwest of Louisville but 100% 'birdbrained' now.
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I hope the rest of your 2010 is a great one. I hope that your 2011 is the best year ever for you and yours. And, I hope that'll you'll support, enjoy, attend and cheer on the pursuits of all of the University of Louisville athletic teams in the next 12 months. We'll see you at some of them. We'll be depending on you to pull them through in person at the ones we can't make.
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David Watson is a free-lance journalist, part time claims adjuster and full time husband and dad in a small town in central Indiana. He writes for several trade publications, monthly newsletters and (thankfully) for us here at CARDINAL COUPLE when he isn't out looking at banged up automobiles. His wife is a registered nurse specializing in elderly care. You can contact him here at: cardinalcouple@insightbb.com Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to your and yours, David and thank you for sharing with us this Holiday Season.
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Now quit reading this and get out there and get those last minute gifts! Pick me up some egg-nog and where's my country ham?
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dear Santa


THURSDAY @ CARDINAL COUPLE
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-OUR WISH LIST for UofL women's sports programs.
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From the mailbag.
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Dear Santa:
We know it is kinda late to be getting this list to you. WE at Cardinal Couple have been very good this year, though (just ask us) and our wish list isn't for us, it is for the women's sports programs at the University of Louisville. Please find room for these on your sleigh and 'Ho-Ho The Mistletoe' .
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-For the Lady Cards basketball team, lots of wins in the BIG EAST and a NCAA Tournament appearance in 2011. We'd like to see Shoni Schimmel continue with the high scoring and Monique Reid perfoming great off the bench. Give Jeff Walz all the recruits he is after, too.
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-For the volleyball team, the continued improvement of the young players like Emily and Lola and another BIG EAST Tournament title. Toss in a regular season title, too..if there's room. Make it possible for Coach Yelin to hold another trophy or two up in 2011.
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-For Cardinal Softball, pleasant surprises to replace the seniors, a slugger like Melissa Roth, pitcher like Kristen Wadwell and fleet outfielders and sure-handed infielders. A BIG EAST title would be great and a long run in the NCAA Tournament. Give Sandy Pearsall 4-5 players on the BIG EAST all-conference team and a couple of recruits that will become all-conference.
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-For Louisville field hockey, a great beginning in the first year for the new coach and wonderful seasons for Caitlin, Haley and Lacey and all the other "flock". Let's add another win over UConn and a chance to play in the Field Hockey Final Four. Make it that Justine Sowry isn't sorry she came to the 'Ville.
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- For all the other teams, please bring winning seasons, conference titles and post season tournament appearances. A MVP or two would be great and maybe a couple of National titles if you have room? Here's a poem for you, Santa about the other teams...
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Lacrosse without a single loss
Things keep growing for rowing.
Each golfer with a hole in one offer
Soccer plays when it isn't snowing.
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Tennis a menace every game, set and match
Swimming skimming every event in the pool.
Track and Field will yield couple of more titles.
And Cross Country continues to rule.
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Sincerely,
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CARDINAL COUPLE
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From the Mail Call:
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Bill the Goat ate almost all the e-mails and letters during the CARDINAL COUPLE Christmas Party...(we forgot to keep an eye on him)...but we did salvage this great e-mail from Louisville Field Hockey junior M/B Caitlin Collins. We had asked her how the players were handling the loss of head coach Pam Bustin to Duke. She replied:
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Hi, Mr. Sykes!
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Pam leaving definitely came as a surprise to our team. We were all very sad to hear the news but we were confident that everything was going to be alright. Pam is an incredible coach and every field hockey program wants her! All my teammates and I are very fortunate to have been coached by Pam.
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Our athletic department took the search for a new coach very seriously. They weren't settling for anyone who wasn't going to commit to our team and the University 100%.
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We were all very excited to hear about our new coach! We've heard nothing but wonderful things and we all look forward to working with her this spring! We're anxious to get to know the whole staff and work together to achieve nothing but excellence.
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Also, finding out that Abby (assistant coach Abbie Heird) would be staying at Louisville makes us even more excited. She brings so much to our team and we are fortunate to have her return.
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Have a great holiday!
Caitlin Collins
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Looks like "the flock" is in good shape and we know that they'll return next year as one of the teams to beat in BIG EAST play. Justine Sowry has a ton of talent returning. Some good ones coming in. The best facilities in college field hockey. Need we go on?
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We look forward to the Field Hockey blog this spring from Caitlin and the other women that make UofL Field Hockey the success it is.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Football Cards come back against Southern Miss


WEDNESDAY @ CARDINAL COUPLE
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Louisville comes from behind to beat Southern Miss 31-28
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With the lack of UofL women's sports to report this Wednesday, we'll use today's column to congratulate the University of Louisville's exciting come from behind win over Southern Mississippi 31-28 in the Beef O' Brady bowl Tuesday night in St. Petersburg, Florida.
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It didn't come easy for Charlie Strong's Cardinal team. The Cards fell behind early 14-0 to the Golden Eagles and a sense of anxiety, despair and frustration started circulating throughout the Cardinal crowd in attendance. Louisville wasn't ready to get on the buses, though...and roared back to tie the contest at 21-21 by half-time. The crowd, overwhelmingly dressed in Cardinal colors buzzed during the intermission about the rally and became optimistic about 'the Ville's' chances in the final 30 minutes.
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Although Southern Miss drew first blood in the final half, the Cards tied the game with an electrifying 95 yard kickoff return by freshman Jeremy Wright on the very next play to even it up at 28-28. The Cards went ahead to stay when Chris Philpott kicked a 36 yard field goal midway thru the 4th. quarter.
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Kudos to Strong and his staff for finishing 7-6 on the season and restoring hope and excitement to Cardinal Football. Finish Strong, indeed.
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A hardy group of Parrish House personnel finished 2nd in the Beef O' Brady's fan challenge during pre-game tailgating activities and received a 3-foot trophy for their efforts. It will be on display during the 2011 football season and congratulations to Al, Mark, Tilly, Bonnie, Tom and the crew for wowing the judges and bringing home the silver. (They even let CARDINAL COUPLE co-owner Paul participate) and the gang was featured on WHAS and WAVE TV with their spirit and enthusiasm.
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Next year...gold for this group. (Bribing judges goes a long way.) It was a whirlwind of four days down here in Florida and an outstanding time.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cards salvage Las Vegas trip with 65-51 win over Nebraska


TUESDAY @ CARDINAL COUPLE:
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-Lady Cards win against Nebraska
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-Beach Party featured two great bands
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-Tailgate @ Tropicana full of Red.
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The University of Louisville's women's basketball team won their final game in the Duel in the Desert Classic with a 14 point win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Shoni Schimmel led the way for Jeff Walz's cagers with 22 points. Monique Reid nearly notched a double-double with 13 points and 9 rebounds and Tia Gibbs (pictured left) added 12 points and seven rebounds.
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Louisville started slowly, as they have the entire time in Vegas, and fell behind the Huskers 8-5. The Cards turned up the defensive pressure though and went on a 13-3 run to take a 18-11 lead halfway through the first half and would never trail again. After Nebraska rallied to cut the Cardinal margin to 18-16, Louisville responded with a 9-0 run and held a 27-16 advantage. The team went into the locker room at halftime with the Cards holding a 35-22 lead.
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Nebraska came out hot in the final half and whittled the Cardinal advantage to 41-38 before a 8-0 'Ville run midway thru the second half gave them a 49-38 lead. The Cards ended this one strong after another Husker rally and went on a game ending 6-0 run for the victory.
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Walz played nine Cardinal in this one and all but Shelby Harper scored. Keisha Hines, frustrated by the Nebraska height in the paint fouled out with only two points but did grab seven rebounds. The Cards shot 40% in the game and narrowly lost the battle of the boards 41-40.
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Nebraska lost all three of their games in the round robin format, Louisville went 1-2. Houston lost to surprising Marist the final day 78-70 to finish 2-1 and the Red Foxes swept all three of their contests.
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The battle of the bands on the Tradewinds Beach in St. Petersburg between Louisville and Southern Miss was a one sided affair. Louisville was selected the winner with an excellent performance before a packed crowd in pleasant temperatures. The Cards also won the LadyBird vs. Eagles dance team competition but the Golden Eagle defeated the Cardinal Bird in the mascot dance off. The Southern Miss tuba section outlasted all the perfomers, though...blasting away on the beach well into the afternoon after the competition ended. The crowd was primarily Cardinal red for the event and CARDINAL COUPLE staff ran into a lot of familiar faces and friends down by the water. The Cards face the USM Golden Eagles today in the Beef O' Brady bowl.
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The evening ended in fine fashion with a great tailgate party Monday night at Ferg's Bar next to Tropicana Field. Cardinal fans dominated the turnout, which featured a free buffet and beverages. The event went well into the evening and had both school's marching bands and a local live rock band. CARDINAL COUPLE saw numerous friends and readers. A great evening of fun and fellowship.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Lady Cards lose to Houston 92-80

MONDAY AT CARDINAL COUPLE:
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-Louisville loses to Cougars by twelve.
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- Party @ St. Pete a gala affair
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Despite a double-double by Louisville junior Monique Reid (27 points and 10 rebounds) the Lady Cards lose for the second day in a row in the Duel in the Sun Classic in Las Vegas 92-80 to Houston.
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Different day, same start for the Lady Cards who fell behind early in this one 9-2 and 19-8 at the 13:56 mark of the first half. The Cards did manage to go on a 10-0 run later in the half and gain a 22-21 advantage but Houston responded with their own 11-0 run to go ahead 32-22 and never looked back. The Coogs went into halftime up 50-37.
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Houston steadily increased the margin thru most of the final period, leading 87-62 with 5:25 to go. A game ending 18-5 run by the 'Ville made the final look somewhat respectable...but the Cards were outplayed, outscored and outshot most of the way.
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Beside Reid's heroics, Shoni Schimmel produced 23 points for Louisville and Tia Gibbs ended the double figure parade for the Cards with 10. Walz used 10 players in the contest and seven of them scored. Louisville did out rebound Houston 42-34 but the Cards did commit 21 turnovers.
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Louisville shot 42.9% from the field (27-63) and 9-28 from three point range. Free throws were not horrible but they need to improve...with a 17-28 effort.
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Louisville returns to the hardwood today against Nebraska.
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The Renaissance Vinoy was the staging area Sunday afternoon for a gala affair with some Louisville notables. Pictured here, former rock star from the sixties Zoot Von Dolby sits with a young lady early into the event. Zoot wowed the 100+ in attendance until the Vinoy staff and management shut the shindig down for a previously scheduled bar mitzvah/barbeque.
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Can't really go into all the details of the confab...we don't need any lawsuits...but rest assured that the food was plentiful and tasty, the beverages non-stop and conversation lively. Former Cardinal great Mario Urritia was one of the notables in attendance, rehabbing a foot injury but already excited about healing and trying the NFL camps next summer. Tom Jurich sure knows how to put on a get-together. The CARDINAL COUPLE designated attendees didn't even steal the silverware and serving dishes like they usually do.
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It's always great to run into ex-Lady Card Valerie Owens Combs and she was her usual beautiful, friendly and entertaining self last night at the Vinoy. Still our second favorite Lady Card of all time. Drew Deener was also in attendance and if you enjoy him mornings on CARDS RADIO 790 WKRD, having a live chat with him when he's not on the air is twice the fun. Poobah Al Parrish majestically welcomed and entertained the attendees from his table and the affair went a little past the 4-6 p.m. allotted time.
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An earlier party Sunday at the Tradewinds got a little rowdy when UofL and Southern Miss football players exchanged a few taunts and shoves during one of the competition events. Coach Strong, always the enforcer, came in and cleared the team out before things got out of control. Although CARDINAL COUPLE didn't have designated attendees at this one....credible reports back to us suggest the guys were in a dance contest and they did a little more than the 'hustle' and 'bump'. We've got the feeling these two teams don't like each other very much.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lady Cards fall to Marist 74-68


SUNDAY @ CARDINAL COUPLE
Tough way to start the three day event for Louisville, the Cards not hot early...Shoni Schimmel with 26 points in the loss but Louisville unable to close the margin late because of clutch Marist free throw shooting down the stretch.
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Keisha Hines added 11 for Louisville and Monique Reid 10 for Louisville (8-4). The road doesnt get any easier for the Cards Sunday with Houston up next.
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Asia Taylor, pictured here, returned to the court for Louisville and grabbed a couple of rebounds for the Lady Cards in limited playing time. Louisville grabbed 31 overall, one shy of Marist's total.
Schimmel got her 26 points on 10-26 shooting, including 3-10 from long range. She was the only Lady Card to play all forty minutes. Hines nearly had a double double with nine rebounds to go with her 11 points
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The Cards went 23-54 from the field for 42.6%. They were 7-20 from trifecta range...good for 35%.
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Both Hines and Sherrone Vails fouled out for Louisville...the Cards has 25 fouls whistled on them...compared to 17 for Marist.
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Marist goes to 7-2 with the win. Cornelle Varde had 25 for Marist in the win. They led early, 26-13 at one time in the first half. Louisville drew within one in the second half....before a 10-0 Marist run put the Cards away for good.

Airborne


SATURDAY @ CARDINAL COUPLE


-In flight to Tampa
Welcome to the in flight version of CARDINAL COUPLE. Delta offers free wi-fi, so why not?
MArky-MArk (pictured right) is on the flight with me, but not sitting near me. Instead, I have a businessman to my left and a delightful young lady to my right named Julia. We have been talking about the bowl game, she's headed to Tampa too.
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The sun is beginning to come up and we are high above the clouds. There are a lot of UofL fans on this flight to Atlanta...changing planes there to go to Tampa.
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This afternoon, the LADY CARDS play Marist in Vegas in the Duel in the Desert Classic. The men play Gardiner Webb in the YUM and we hope to find a place to watch it in Tampa. There is word of a game watch party and I guess we'll find out more about that when we get there.
Nice to be out of the ice and snow. The beverage cart is getting near, so I'm signing off. Julia says "Hi" but not to anyone specifically. I'll update you later.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

FIELD HOCKEY HIRES JUSTINE SOWRY



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Pam Bustin leaves UofL for Duke, Cards hire UMass's Justine Sowry.
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Preview of Lady Cards first opponent in the Duel in the Desert: Marist
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WELCOME TO THE FRIDAY EDITION OF CARDINAL COUPLE. TGIF!
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Don't mind telling you that this one caught us a bit by surprise here at CARDINAL COUPLE. After thirteen years as the head coach of the UofL women's field hockey team, Pam Bustin has accepted the head coaching job at Duke University.
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Bustin, pictured right, will be replaced by UMass's Justine Sowry, pictured left. Sowry was the head coach at UMass for four years and went 58-31 there. Her teams won three A-10 titles and made three NCAA Tournament appearances. She began her coaching career at the University of Louisville as Bustin's assistant from 1998-2002. The Australia native earned her bachelor's degree in Physical Education and mathematics from the University of South Australia in 1991.
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Other coaching stops were as a USA High Performance Coach with the U.S. Field Hockey Association from 2003-2007. She also spent a year at Stanford (2003) as an assistant.
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Sowry takes over a Cardinal team that went 13-7 in 2010 but failed to make the NCAA tournament. She brings in assistants Kelly Dostal and Abbey Heard for her staff...both are former USA Field Hockey National team members.
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Bustin actually accepted the Duke job on December 7th. She commented in an official press release:
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" I am thrilled to become a Duke Blue devil. I look forward to leading the field hockey team to many successful seasons and am honored to join the Duke University Athletic family."
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She replaces Beth Bozman, who stepped down on November 12th., 2010 after Duke's 8-11, 0-5 season in 2010. The Blue Devils missed the NCAA Tournament in 2009 and 2010. Duke plays in the powerful ACC conference, where Maryland and Virginia are two of the best teams year after year in women's college field hockey.
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Best of luck, Pam in Dookie-land. Thanks for the years. We'll never forget the gracious interviews and quotes you gladly provided CARDINAL COUPLE since our inception and updates on UofL Field Hockey.
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Coach Sowry... Welcome to Louisville and here's hoping you'll keep up the fine tradition and success that UofL Field hockey achieved under Coach Bustin and create some great new successes here at the 'Ville!
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The University of Louisville womens basketball team has arrived safely in Las Vegas. We saw Jeff Walz on Facebook yesterday marvelling about the free wi-fi on the team's flight to Sin City and let's hope he didn't lose too much coin in the airport one arm bandits...
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The Cardinals will face Marist University on Saturday in their first of three games in Vegas. Here's a look on how their season has gone so far:
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Marist is 6-2 on the season, with key wins over BIG EAST member Villanova 71-60 in Philly and have also knocked off former Louisville foes Vermont and Hartford this season. Other wins were over Grambling State, Dartmouth and Boston University. Their losses have come at the hands of St. John (64-50 in Manhattan, Kansas) and SBU 45-40 at home.
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Marist averages 65.5 points per game, allowing their opponents 52.5 a contest. They are 55-166 this year from three point game (21.2 threes a game) for 33%. They have a balanced scoring attack, with four players averaging 8.9 points per game or better. Players to watch:
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-Correlle Yarde. A 5'8" guard averaging 10.4 points per game. the junior is a starter and also an outside threat for her team.
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-Brandy Gang. The 6'2" junior forward is another starter and puts in 9.8 points per contest. Gang is also one of the leading rebounders for Marist. Another to watch from beyond the arc.
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-Kate Oliver. This 6'4" sophomore forward is the tallest of the Marist players and tallies 9.8 an outing in a starting role. An aggressive rebounder on both ends of the court.
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-Erica Allenspach. 5'8" senior starting guard with 8.8 points per game for Marist. Another player that will make you pay from outside.
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Leanne Ockender. The 5'10' freshman comes off the bench for the Red Foxes and this guard is one to watch if open beyond the arc, too.
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Marist is coached by Brian Giorgis, who is in his 9th season at Marist. Going into the season, Giorgis had a record of 194-62 at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference school. Giorgis got his 200th. career win at Marist against Boston Univeresity.
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The Red Foxes teams have made five straight NCAA Tournament apperances and six in the last seven years. Marist has won seven straight MAAC regular season titles and six out of the last seven MAAC Tournaments. They went 15-3 in the 2009-10 season in the MAAC, two games in front of Iona.
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SONJA SEES IT:
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So, it looks like the Cards run into yet another team with height, good guard play and three point ability. Given the scoring average for Marist, it looks like they like to 'take the air out of the ball' a bit as well. The Louisville (8-3) strategy for this season has been to go out and play their game...going for the fast break, transition scenario created by tough defense and guard awareness. The Cards probably won't top 100 point for the third time in this one but expect Schimmel and Burke to have good games against the smallish Red Fox guards. Marist's height in the paint may be some cause for concern, Louisville still isn't rebounding well enough to suit Coach Walz. An increased defensive performance from freshman Sherrone Vails would be just what the doctor ordered on Saturday and if the Cards can utilize their multiple presses to perfection with Vails on the front of the 1-2-2, they could reach another 30 turnovers created in this one. Getting Asia Taylor back on the team will help Louisville's rebounding numbers eventually...but one wonders just how much court time she'll see intially after the three game suspension.
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Can't help but chuckle when I type Red Fox in this report. I'm reminded of the late, great comedian Redd Foxx and role as Fred G. Sanford on the hit television show SANFORD AND SON. I think that Paul's truck is the original from the show...no Volvo for us like UofL CARD GAME observer's son Steve is rolling around in. Make sure and go over and vote for Steve for BIG EAST FAN OF THE YEAR at Charlie's site...www.uoflcardgame.com. You can vote once a day. Steve's in the lead in the contest so far and we're hoping he'll let us ride in the car if he wins.
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"Throw me the ball, LaMont! Get open Aunt Esther...no, Grady...roll off the pick! The "G" stands for GOAL! I'm coming to see ya, Elizabeth. It's the big one..."
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Good luck to the Cards Saturday and let's hope 'luck' is a lady dressed in Cardinal colors...
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lady Cards 78 - Cincinnati 40

Welcome to the THURSDAY EDITION of CARDINAL COUPLE. If your reading this Wednesday night, it's OK...go right ahead!!! We're taking tomorrow off.

Be careful out there today if you're on the roads in the Louisville
area. Ice is everywhere.

CARDS ROLL PAST BEARCATS 78-40

Louisville used an opening 13-0 run and then went on a 15-0 run to lead U.C. 28-4 in the first 13 minutes of the game tonight in the Fifth-Third Arena in Cincinnati to begin BIG EAST play with a convincing victory. The Cards (8-3) used a suffocating 1-2-2 press to force the Bearcats into 31 turnovers and five Cardinals hit double figures tonight.

Louisville got a game opening three from Tia Gibbs and never trailed in the contest. Gibbs had eight of the Cards first eleven points and Monique Reid added four to put the Cards up 13-0. The next 13-0 run saw Sherrone Vails, Becky Burke and Shoni Schimmel take over the scoring.

Burke would go on to have 10 first half points as Louisville actually was outscored 13-12 in the final seven minutes of the first half. Schimmel, Gibbs and Vails eight each for Louisville in the first half. The Cards created 17 first half Cincinnati turnovers with their stifling defensive pressure.

Louisville began the second half with a 6-0 run, then saw the Bearcats go on a 6-0 run with 15:50 to go in the game and the score 46-23. Louisville then took off on a 11-0 run over the next four minutes and led 57-23. The Cards increased that margin to 72-33 after an Antonita Slaughter three with four minutes to go, led by 40 when Shelby Harper hit her first three of the year with 50 seconds in the game and ended up winning by 38.

All eleven who played for Louisville scored. Burke and Reid with 13 each, Gibbs with 11 and Schimmel and Vails 10 to round out the double figure scorers. Slaughter added 7, Keisha Hines had 4 points, Charmaine Tay 4 points, Harper 3, Rachel Story 2 and Polly Harrington 1.

La Toya Johnson did not play because of illness and Asia Taylor sat out the final game of her three game suspension. Both will accompany the team to Las Vegas for the Duel in the Desert classic that starts Saturday.

Louisville shot 29-56 from the field (51%) and 10-24 from three point range. The Cards dished out 21 assists, had 20 turnovers but created 31 Cincinnati miscues and Louisville ended up with 15 steals.

A surprisingly big win on the road against a Cincinnati team that had played Xavier and Dayton fairly close in their two previous losses. The Cards expected a slow down pace from the Bearcats but scored the most points against U.C. this year and held the Bearcats to their lowest point total of the season.

With the expected inclimate weather due to hit the region tonight, let's hope the Cards get out of Cincy safely and to Sin City for the 3 games. Louisville opens against Marist, faces Houston on Sunday and finished with Nebraska on Monday.

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HARPER HITS ONE!

Shelby Harper finally hit her first three of the year as the game ended and we all breathed a sigh of relief here around the radio. She does a lot for the Cards, especially when at the top of the Cardinal 3/4 court press, but the ball just wouldn't go thru the net for her so far this year from long range. She nailed five from beyond the arc last year in Freedom Hall against the Bearcats.

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BATTERED BEARCATS

Cincinnati played all eight players Janelle Elliott had available for action tonight. The Bearcats are going thru similar dire straights that the Cards did last year...with a short bench and not much experience. Shareese U'lis is a talented point guard and Tiffany Turner grabbed a dozen rebounds against Louisville tonight but besides the outside shooting of Shelly Bellman and Reeves, the Bearcats don't have much on the table. Their "slow it down" weave approach on offense will keep them in a few BIG EAST games this year against the lower echelons of the BIG EAST schools like Seton Hall, Providence and maybe Pittsburgh and Villanova...but anyone with an effective press and a decent transition game won't have much trouble with Cincy.

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ASIA RETURNS ON SATURDAY

Glad that Asia Taylor has finally served her suspension and will be back in a Cardinal uniform for the rest of the season. Taylor adds rebounding strength and inside scoring prowess to the Cardinal roster. Plenty of that on the way next year with Cierra Warren, Quaneisha McCurty and Sara Hammond coming in and hopefully a healthy Shawnta Dyer on the court...but the Cards definitely could use Taylor's "paint" skills the rest of this year.

Always a sad thing when a player has to go through this kind of thing...but responsibility is a full time thing, on and off the court. We're confident she's learned from the situation and hope she'll look at the time off as a learning experience and go on and have a great career at the 'Ville.

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A quick quiz...no prize but if you get it right, have another cup of coffee and parade around the computer like you're a champ (or chimp).

Which state has the most teams playing in College Football Bowl Games this year?

a) California

b) Texas

c) Ohio

d) Florida

(No peeking)....

Wait for it....

NO GOOGLING!

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The correct answer is both (b) and (d). FIU, USF, FSU, UCF, Florida and Florida State represent the Sunshine State. UTEP, Baylor, SMU, TCU, Texas Tech and TexasA&M from the Lone Star state. Six each. What's the chances of either state going 6-0?

(Astronomical...)


WBB: Lady Cards open BIG EAST play Weds. Night



HUMPDAY CARDINAL COUPLE:

-Lady Cards at Cincy to begin BIG EAST

-Seven BIG EAST teams in top 25.

-That thud you heard was Pitino's crew

-We love something we are hearing, though
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The University of Louisville women's basketball team hops on the bus and takes I-71 to Cincinnati (unless they go via US 42) for Wednesday night BIG EAST basketball. It is the opener for both teams in BIG EAST play. Let's take a look at what the Bearcats have done so far this year.
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UC is 5-2 on the season and last played at home against Xavier. The Muskies topped the Bearcats 70-59. Cincy's other loss came on the road against Valpo. The Cards and the Bearcats
share one additional opponent beside XU...they've both played Dayton...UC losing to the flyin' Flyers on the road.
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The Bearcats work around a rotation of eight players who average 15 minutes a game or more. Leading the way so far for Janelle Elliott's team is senior Shareese Ulis, the returning point guard from last year, who averages 15.7 points per game. The youth movement is evident with the Bearcats, too...freshmen Kayla Cook and Tiffany Turner are next in scoring...Cook at 9.0 a game and Turner with 8.7 and 7.4 rebounds a contest. Daress McClung, a sophomore, tosses in 8.0 a game. Shelly Bellman is a redshirt senior that is back from knee injuries and on the court for the first time since the 2006-07 season. She adds 8.0 a game.
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Cincy averages 61.9 points a game and is holding opponents to 52.7 per contest. They shoot .433 from the field and are 51-144 from three point range...averaging just over 20 three point attempts a game. They also commit 15.6 turnovers a game.
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UC gets an average of 1784 in the Fifth-Third to watch games. Against Louisville, they are 13-11 when defending the home court but trail in the series 35-24. Last year the two teams split the series...Louisville winning at Cincinnati 63-49 but losing in Freedom Hall 74-68 in overtime.
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Jim Kelch will do the play by play on 790 AM/101,7 FM WKRD. Paul Sanderford is scheduled to describe all the colors present in the Fifth-Third arena. There's a remote chance that there could be a CARDINAL COUPLE associate at tonight's game in Cincy. We'll know more about that later today. Geaux Cards!!
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Seven BIG EAST teams are now ranked in women's college basketball's top 25. They are:
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# 1 Connecticut
#7 West Virginia
#17 Notre Dame
#18 St. John
#20 Georgetown
#22 DePaul
#24 Syracuse
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Louisville was picked to finish eighth in the BIG EAST this season and when you have seven top 25 teams in front of you...yeah, that's a hard row to hoe. Out of the seven, four are in the YUM and three are on the road (UConn, Notre Dame and Syracuse).
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Wow, did the UofL men's team look flat last night in losing to Drexel 52-46. Pitino's bunch got out rebounded by 20 and lost for the first time in the KFC YUM Center. It's the second time the schools have played each other in history..the first coming in the 1986 NCAA Tournament. They were first round opponents and when asked about them, Milt Wagner spoke the quote that lives in infamy:
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" I don't know much about them but I think they're one of those academic universities."
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The Cards won that game en route to the 1986 National Championship. Drexel probably had a better G.P.A.
Louisville men need some work on free throw shooting as well and Rick needs to find a few aggressive front line bangers. The Mike Marra hot shooting hand has gone cold as the weather we've been having around here lately.
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We hear from a pretty reliable source on campus that Louisville forward Asia Taylor may be out of Jeff Walz's doghouse soon and back on the hardwood. Maybe even in time to go to Vegas with the team for the Duel In the Sun three day invitational round robin tournament. Still no word on what Taylor actually did...but Walz has said it was not court related and a recent check of police records don't show Taylor being arrested for anything. We seriously doubt it was anything illegal either...just a poor judgement choice is what we're thinking. It'll be good to see her back on the court. She could have taught the UofL men a thing or two about rebounding last night. Hopefully, she's learned her lesson and will fly straight and in the right flight path for these Birds the rest of her time here....