Saturday, January 8, 2011
SATURDAY @ THE COUPLE:.
-PITT PAYS A VISIT TO YUM..
The University of Louisville Lady Cards put a three game winning streak on the line Sunday when the University of Pittsburgh comes to town for BIG EAST women's basketball action in the KFC YUM Center. Game time is noon.
Pitt (8-6, 0-1) returns four starters from a tean that went 16-15 last season and split the matchups against Louisville. The Panthers defeated the Cards 72-69 in the Peterson Event Center during the regular season...but Louisville got revenge in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament...winning 79-71. Agnes Berenato's squad went to postseason play in the NIT but bowed out in the first round. Berenato begins her ninth season as the Panthers' skipper and is 138-95 as the head honcho of Pitt. She's also one of the most friendly and engaging coaches in the BIG EAST...two years ago when the Panthers lost in Freedom Hall 75-71 to the Cards...she greeted everyone on press row, the scorers table and just about everyone but the popcorn vendors.
This year's version of the Panthers is led by several returning and talented players. Brittaney Thomas is putting up 15.2 points per game for Agnes' bunch. Jania Sims averages 14.5 for Pitt.
Taneshia Harrison chips in with 13.4 a game. Chelsea Cole contributes 9.7 a game and grabs 10.4 boards a contest. Shalya Scott's numbers are 9.1 a game and 7.3 boards. Cole, Harrison, Thomas, Scott and Sims all battled against the Cards last year.
The Panthers have defeated Youngstown State, Radford, Loyola, Mt. St.Mary, Valparaiso, UT-Arlington, Austin Peay and Central Michigan this year. Losses have come at the hands of Minnesota, Duke, St.Francis, DEPAUL, Texas Tech and Duquesne.
The Panthers average 72.2 a game and allow 63.4 points. Cole is second in the BIG EAST in rebounds and also has seven double-doubles on the season. The Panthers are 5-2 at home and 3-4 out of "the Pete".
SONJA SEES IT:
Louisville will find the rebounding against Pitt a challenge. Keisha Hines, Sherrone Vails, Monique Reid and Asia Taylor will need to go to the boards strong and avoid fouls in the paint that an experienced team like the Panthers can draw you into. The Cards would be best served by opening up the tight Pitt defense with long range bombing and then working the frantic full court transition game that has served Louisville well in the last three wins.
Louisville could win this one rather easily if the Cards can follow the blueprint that DePaul used to beat the Panthers in Pittsburgh 67-51 earlier this year. The Blue Demons allowed the less than stellar Pitt guard outside shooters to go 4 of 27 from 3-point range and used a 21-11 first half run to build an insurmountable lead. DePaul guard Sam Quigley had 15 against the Panthers and there's no reason Shoni Schimmel can't do the same. DePaul went 7-21 from deep against Pitt...Louisville may attempt more trifectas than that...
The game will be televised on ESPNU and Jim Kelch and Paul Sanderford will have the radio call on Cards Radio WKRD 790 AM / 101.7 FM. Show up and bring a poster in support of the Cards. A poster contest is being held and the winner gets 2 floor seats to a LADY CARDS game.
(Feel free to use this one...they frown on posters down on press row...so WE can't do it.)