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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cards upset DePaul 68-55



Monique Reid's 28 key in Cardinal upset of DePaul
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Watson weighs in on the win.
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With their best defense effort of the season, the Lady Cards simply shut down the potent Blue Demon scoring juggernaut and pulled off an upset win over #7 DePaul in front of 9257 in the KFC YUM Center tonight.
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The Cards held DePaul to 19-55 shooting for the game and their lowest point total of the season...while getting a game high 28 points from junior wing Reid...who went 10-17 from the floor.
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Key contributions from Shelby Harper off the bench and outrebounding the Blue Demons 38-30 were other telling factors in a hard fought, tenacious effort from the underdog Cardinals. Both Keisha Hines and Tia Gibbs fouled out trying to keep All BIG EAST forward Keisha Hampton at bay...and Hampton led DePaul with 20 points...but Louisville did a good job containing the other DePaul scoring threats Sam Quigley, Deidre Naughton and Anna Martin...holding them to a combined 3-18 from the floor and nine points.
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The Blue Demons roared out to a 10-3 start and it looked like Louisville might be in for a long night...but patient ball handling by Harper, some clutch shooting by Reid and Shoni Schimmel and an absolutely ferocious defense got the Cards back in it and sent them to a 18-14 lead halfway thru the first half. The aggressive Cardinals kept the Blue Demons off the boards and limited their scoring to just six points over the final ten minutes of the first half and went in up 26-20 at the break.
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Reid led all scores with 11 and Louisville held a 18-15 advantage on the boards. They forced the usually unflappable DePaul offense into 12 first half turnovers and no fast break points.
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The Cards came out with a 11-6 run to begin the second half and led by 14 at 44-30 with 11:32 to go. DePaul would make several runs at the Cards, including a 7-0 press fueled run that cut the Cardinal lead to 57-50 with 4:24 left...but the Cards roared back with seven out of the next nine points to hold an insurmountable 64-52 advantage with 53 seconds to go and coasted in with the victory.
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Louisville (18-10, 9-5) got 28 points and seven rebounds from Reid and Schimmel added 11 points and nine boards. Becky Burke had a big second half with all of her ten points and Keisha Hines a tough eight points before fouling out with 3:50 to go.
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DePaul (25-4, 12-2) had Hampton with 20, Felicia Chester added 10 before fouling out. We'll have much more on the victory and post game comments in the THURSDAY edition of CARDINAL COUPLE.
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(Special correspondent David Watson was not at the game tonight but was able to follow the action over "the net". His observations...)
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When Monique Reid comes to play, as she did in the amazing 13 point Louisville victory tonight over DePaul, the Cardinals are a team to be feared. Reid cut around, through, under and past determined DePaul defenders for 28 spectacular points tonight in what appeared to be a rowdy KFC YUM! Center crowd and won the heart and respect of this observer tonight.
(No offense, Charlie Springer...)
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Coupled with a Cardinal defense that would not be bullied or denied, the Louisville girls sent the Demons packing back to the Windy City in convincing fashion. I give CARDINAL COUPLE co-owner an A+ for her pre-game pontifications on what the Cards had to do to win. I also give Shelby Harper a life-sized statue for keying a Cardinal spurt in the first half that saw Louisville come from a seven point deficit to a four point lead over a dizzying seven minute span.
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This was, indeed, the best Cardinal defensive work of the season. Shutting down 4 out of the six bona fide DePaul offensive threats to a mere 13 points. Defensive determination. Staying in front of the opponent, blocking out, going for the loose ball...whatever Walz stressed in the several days of practice before tonight's game ought to be bottled, sealed and kept next to the Cardinal bench. They should play this one on the video board next to the Denny Crum Overpass down on Central Avenue. Or on one of the monitors at Churchill. A job well done, ladies. A classic coaching performance, Mr. Walz.
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It is only fitting that Louisville send off legendary Cardinal broadcaster Jim Kelch off to the Cincinnati Reds and spring training with a instant classic. Kelch is the epitome of class on the radio and will be missed on the Cardinal airwaves. I'll miss not hearing that 'clamdigger' voice call out the Cardinal action. Heck, I might even become a Reds fan.
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