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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lady Cards fall to Marquette 76-65


THURSDAY @ CARDINAL COUPLE
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-Cards lose on road
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-Men win against WVU
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-Softball picked to finish 3rd in BIG EAST.
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It's a tale that has been told several times this year and the Lady Cards added another chapter to it last night in Milwaukee...staggering out of the gate and dropping another BIG EAST road game. Doing their best Cincinnati Bearcat impression, Louisville spotted the Golden Eagles a dozen before Shoni Schimmel (pictured right) dropped a 3 pointer a little over three minutes into the contest. By then, even the popcorn vendors had lost interest and switched over to watch ESPN in the hallways...but the teams kept playing anyway. The 1200 in attendance must have been wondering what all the hoopla was about the upstart Louisville team...or whether Coach Walz got the right 12 girls on the airplane.
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Call it lack of Kryptonite, separation anxiety..call it whatever you want...but the fact of the matter is that this team of talented Cardinals can't play on the road. Take them across town to Bellarmine...they'd lose by eight. Since buying out games is not permitted in women's college basketball, Cardinal fans will probably celebrate five more times this season (home games remaining) and gnash their teeth four occasions (road games remaining). They use blindfolds to lead horses into the starting gate sometimes...maybe Louisville's head coach Jeff Walz should employ the same tactic when the team gets on the bus to hit the Interstate and goes to the airport.
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The game was a teaser. Louisville would rally to get near the lead and then Marquette would put a streak together to push the lead back out to close to double digits. The Cards had it narrowed to two with 12 minutes remaining in the first half but the Golden Eagles got interested again and sprinted out on a 12-2 run to lead 30-17. Halftime found the Lady Cards on the short end of a 38-26 game. Marquette shot 66.7% in the first half...taking advantage of the obvious Louisville pre-game strategy to make defense optional.
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After the intermission, whatever Walz discussed with the girls seemed to sink in briefly. Maybe he told them they were back in the YUM Center and Owsley Frazier was at half court. Louisville began the half with a 9-3 run to make it a 41-35 game. Marquette, slightly ruffled by the intrusion, promptly pushed the lead back out to eleven. Tortoise...meet hare.
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And so it went the rest of the way. Carrot and stick, greyhound and rabbit...fox and hounds. Louisville chipped away at the lead and Marquette regained focus and extended it. Shoni Schimmel showed why she is the best freshman in the nation by producing 25 points. Monique Reid notched a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards. The end result, though...was a "L" next to the schedule hanging on the wall.
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Rutgers comes to town Saturday. Stinging from their first conference defeat last night from the hands of UConn...they'll be a surly bunch looking for a road win and probably won't be intimidated by the 15,000 or so that will pour into the Bucket for the 6 p.m. game. Let's hope Walz had some pixie dust left to sprinkle on Denny Crum Court to turn his team back into an elite BIG EAST squad for a few hours.
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UofL is designating this one as a 'white out' game. Too early to get out the black mourning clothes, I guess. And, for the majority that will attend and wear white...it's all about the excitement and watching Shoni work her magic, Becky drill a few threes, Monique post another double-double and maybe Shelby will get in! They have no idea that Louisville lost last night, could probably care less...because Lady Cards basketball in the KFC YUM Center is an exciting event and there are no Jeff Walz or Shoni Schimmel bashers out there. Wouldn't Pitino and Siva love that? They'll get what they came for Saturday night...Louisville will defeat Rutgers in an exciting game in the Bucket and all will be right with the world again.
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Wow...congratulations to the guys last night. An exciting win over Huggie Bear and the couch burners in the YUM. A Peyton Siva layup with 4 ticks on the clock clinches it. Out of control, driving wildly down the lane...another Siva layup that normally gets swatted into the sideline seats finds its way past two defenders and drops through the net. He was due some luck...
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REMINDER, WE DRAW FOR A PANERA GIFT CARD TOMORROW. GOT YOUR E-MAIL IN YET? IT'S FREE TO ENTER AND YOU COULD WIN !!!!!!!!!.
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The BIG EAST softball coaches have spoke and Louisville has been picked to finish third in the upcoming softball season. Believe it or not, the season begins in two weeks. Louisville was ranked behind perennial softball power DePaul, who garnered 10 of the first place votes and Notre Dame, who got the other three first place nods. Here's how the skippers see it:
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1) DePaul
2) Notre Dame
3) Louisville
4) Syracuse
5) Pittsburgh
6) USF
7) Villanova
8) Providence
9) Connecticut
10) Rutgers
11) St. John's
12) Seton Hall
13) Georgetown
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West Virginia, Cincinnati and Marquette do not field softball teams. The Cards have hitting and pitching back galore from last year's team...including 2010 BIG EAST Player of the Year Chelsea Bemis. Other All-Conference players returning for Sandy Pearsall are Kristin Austin, Tori Collins, Colby Wherry and Alicja Wolny. Louisville went 41-19 last season and begins play on Feb.11th. in the Texas Invitational in Austin, TX.
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Softball is a fun and fast paced sport on the college level and Louisville has a state of the art facility to play it in with Ulmer Stadium. The BIG EAST Tournament returns to Louisville for the fourth year in a row beginning May 12th. I guess the 'Ville is the softball version of the XL/Hartford, CT. of BIG EAST women's hoops. Without Geno.

2 comments:

  1. I do not believe this was a bad loss. I do agree that they did not play very well...especially on defense. However, I figured this would be a loss for Louisville. I do think they can win a few road games (Villanova, South Florida, Providence)and will likely drop one or two at home. They are still tied for 6th in the league which is quite good considering how deep the Big East is this year. This young team is learning a lot of lessons this year that will surely carry over to next season.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The loss is disappointing because it's a game Louisville could have won if they'd responded early. After the 12-0 opening run, Louisville actually won by one the rest of the way.These two patterns..slow starts and inability to perform on the road could play havoc when NCAA selection time rolls around.

    Paul

    ReplyDelete

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