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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Second half surge sends Huskies past Cards 78-55


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Moore and Hartley's 50 points doom Cards
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UConn used a 17-5 early second half run to bury Louisville and outscored the Cards 47-29 in the final twenty minutes to go to 16-1, 6-0 in the BIG EAST in front of a sold out XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut this afternoon. #2 Connecticut broke open a 39-34 game with 15 minutes remaining the the second half and led the Cards 56-39 with 7:46 left in the game. Maya Moore (pictured right) led all scorers with 26 points.
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The Cards battled hard against UConn early on, leading
several times early in the contest. Their final lead came after a Keisha Hines basket to make it 9-7 six minutes into the contest. Connecticut went on a 7-0 run to gain the lead for good and led 29-18 with 3:42 remaining in the first half before a 8-2 half ending Cardinal rally made it 31-26 at the end of first half action. The Cards were aided by Maya Moore going to the bench with 5:16 remaining in the half. Moore still led the Huskies with 14 first half points. The Cards used balanced scoring to stay within reach against UConn...Tia Gibbs with two 3-pointers and six points and Keisha Hines and Shoni Schimmel with five each.
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Louisville hung with Geno's squad early in the final stanza and after a Shoni Schimmel jumper with 15 minutes left in the game was back within five at 39-34. Moore and Hartley took over after that, though...scoring 15 of the next 19 Huskies points. The Cards would steadily fade the remainder of the contest...trailing 61-44 when Keisha Hines fouled out with 5:51 left in the game. UConn led 73-49 after a Hartley jumper with 2:53 remaining and played out the rest of the game with reserves to notch the win.
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Louisville was led by Shoni Schimmel's 15 points. Gibbs and Hines had nine each for the Cards and Charmaine Tay added seven from off the bench. Becky Burke and Asia Taylor contributed five each. Monique Reid was held to four points on 1-11 shooting...the first time this year she has failed to reach double figures in a game.
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UConn starter Tiffany Hayes left the contest at the 18:30 mark in the first half following a collision on the court and did not return for the Huskies. Maybe a rueful blessing for the Cards, since Hayes has been one of the main Huskies catalysts this season. We hope she's OK.
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Louisville falls to 12-7, 3-2 with the road loss. The Cards once again found out that 40 minutes of solid basketball is needed to win in the tough BIG EAST. Costly turnovers, missed defensive assignments and blown scoring opportunities plagued the Cards during the Huskies 17-5 second half run that spanned nearly eight minutes...and Hines going to the bench a couple of minutes later pretty much sealed the door on any late Louisville rally. UConn outscored the Cards 20-11 after the senior LADY CARDS center left the game.
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A week of preparation for Walz's bunch before their next game...a visit from Cincinnati next Saturday at 2 p.m. in the YUM Center. Despite the lopsided final score, the Cards can gather some positive things from the defeat...especially from the first half...when Louisville's outside shooting and interior play gave UConn fits at times. Next objective: to put the good traits together against a Bearcat team that has improved leaps and bound since the Cards defeated them in Cincinnati back on December 15th.
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Jim Kelch handled the broadcast duites by himself for CARDS RADIO this afternoon, except for a few occasional comments by Lady Cards staffer Liz Sherwood, a former UConn grad. As usual, cool as a cucumber and showing grace under pressure...Kelch delivered another top notch play by play recount on 101.7 WKRD FM...since the men were on 790 AM today. It's one tough channel to get a clear broadcast on unless you happen to live next door to the transmitter...and coupled with watching the men on TV...I'm as worn out as the Cards after this one. Congrats to Pitino's crew...pulling out an amazing come from behind win over Marquette in the YUM this afternoon. NO MORE SAME DAY, OVERLAPPING GAMES FOR THE MEN AND WOMEN, TOM JURICH!!PLEASE....Between a scratchy radio signal and television feed that kept cutting in and out during the first half...plus the 11 a.m. start...I feel like I've put in 12 hours already in the middle of the afternoon....

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