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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cards face Excellent Xavier...





CARDINALS look to advance to Sweet Sixteen


Welcome to the Cintas Center!


It's 5:29 in Cincinnati and the activity here at the Cintas Center is already hopping. Deep in the depths of the arena, Jeff Walz has his Louisville Cardinals squirreled away, stressing the obvious and reminding the Lady Cards of the mission ahead.


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Make one thing perfectly clear. The Cards are happy to still be dancing and look to continue

the ball.
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"We're excited to continue to be playing and it's a great honor to reach the second round and to be facing a very talented Xavier team. We felt like we played well against Vanderbilt but there are some things that we still need to work on. We need to play even better Tuesday to have a chance against Xavier." Walz commented yesterday during UofL's closed practice.


What did Louisville learn from their early season game against Xavier in November?


."We didn't score enough points. We've played a good enough non conference schedule. We opened with Tennessee at home, we played Kentucky at home. We went on the road to Old Dominion and here at Xavier. We played a Marist team that is still playing. It's not one game where we learned something about ourselves. We broke this season down into four parts. We got stage one as half the non-conference schedule. Part two was the rest of the non-conference schedule. Then in the BIG EAST...a variety of 16 teams. We saw some with big post players."

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Forty minutes to tip and I'm watching the Cardinals and Xavier warm up. Sitting right across from the Cardinal bench and the Xavier players go thru their drills in front of me. Phillips and Harris look like amazons...They've got two more girls, also...that are 6'2".

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Al Greener has the pep band rolling and looking forward to a good game. -Paul 6:21 p.m

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The teams have left the court and the pep band battle reigns. Both cheerleading squads are active and Cardinal fans still continue to file in to Sections 107, 105, 103, 102 and 101. To the right of me...the Louisville radio crew is hard at work. A.J. just gave me a 'thumbs up.'...she's sitting with Paul and Matt. Gonna be a good night, tater. -Paul 6:42 p.m.

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Cards re-enter the court to a cheering Cardinal section. They look loose..having a good time and grateful for the fans and band. Xavier, on the other hand, looks very serious and not many grins and smiles. Sherrone Vails looks fine...no limp that I can tell. -Paul 6:53 p.m.
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2:43 to tip. Amazed at how many Cardinal fans are here! LET'S GOOOOO!! -Paul 7:05 p.m.
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Wow! 15:38 to go. Cards up 10-9. Schimmel with first eight points for Cards. Reid at line after media timeout. It's three city in here...-Paul 7:17 p.m.
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Schimmel another three...16-11. Cards on fire. -Paul 7:23 p.m.
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Burke with a three but Xavier keeps hitting them also. 23-19 Cards with 11:27 to go. Nine threes already made in the game by the two teams. -Paul 7:27 p.m.
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Another Tyeasha Moss three and it's all of a sudden 27-23 Xavier...Uh-oh. -Paul 7:31 p.m.
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30-23 now...Moss has 13 points for x and Louisville looks fatigued. -Paul 7:35 p.m.
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Special Jennings took a hard hit at half court and was down. Back up, appears OK. Didn't look intentional to me. Xavier fans think differently. A Burke three makes it 30-26. 7:32 to go. -Paul 7:38 p.m.
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Cards rallying...32-30. Baskets by Schimmel and Gibbs. Louisville aggresive on the boards. -Paul 7:43 p.m.
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Harris having her way inside against Cards. Putback makes it 36-32 with 3:41 left and she's on the line after the media timeout. She and Phillips have 16 points combined... Moss 14. Paul 7:47 p.m.
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Walz got a technical at the 1:40 mark arguing a call. He's still going at it with the ref. 40-34 after Jennnigs hits the free throws. Paul 7:52 p.m.
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40-37 at the half. Cards get a late three from Gibbs to draw within three. There's not a lot of love in here for Dennis DeMayo, the ref who T'd Walz up. He had to exit the floor in front of the Cardinal section and it looks like Christ on his way to Calvary...LOL. Louisville led by Schimmel's 16 . X doing a great job bottling Louisville up inside. Six 3's for Louisville, seven for X. Paul 7:57 p.m.
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According to Louisville S.I.D. Kim Pemberton, Walz didn't say anything worth getting a technical over. Seems like he and Dennis DeMayo, the ref in question, have a 'history'. Hmmm. Getting crazy up in here. Xavier only out-rebounding Louisville 17-13 so far. Cards with eight steals. Schimmel 16 points. The second half should be interesting. -Paul 8:09 p.m
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Tay took a hard hit on a layup at the 15:44 mark and was down beneath the basket for a few minutes. It's been a wild first four minutes 48-46. Xavier. Cards on a 5-0 run currently. -Paul 8:20 p.m.
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12:05. tied at 56-56 after a Reid layup on a fast break. These two teams are at it tooth and nail. Both teams fans are going berserk. Instant classic, already. -Paul 8:27 p.m.
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Two straight threes by Xavier and all of a sudden it's 62-56 and 30 seconds off the clock. Media timeout and Louisville has got to get out better on guarding Moss and Rutan beyond the arc. -Paul 8:32 p.m.
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67-60 Xavier. The Cards trying to hang around but Xavier keeps going inside and drilling threes. 6:38 to go. Need some turnovers and someone to stop Rutan and Harris. -Paul 8:41 p.m.
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Cards clawing back 70-67 and Schimmel going to the line after the media timeout. 3:07 left. Schimmel playing lights out tonight. -Paul 8:48 p.m.
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Schimmel hit one...but the Cards have the ball back...down by two 2:47 left. -Paul 8:50 p.m.
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SCHIMMEL THREE! 73-70 Cards. 1:40 to go. -Paul 8:52 p.m.
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Refs gathered around monitor. Must be watching NCIS....1:23 left 73-70 Cards. -Paul 8:55 p.m. Holy cow...intentional foul on Gibbs AFTER a foul on Rutan? World's gone crazy...
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78-71 now Louisville 52.6 left. Cards hitting free throws.
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Tay at the line. 2 more free throws in. Cards on a roll. Tay trying two more. Gets them. 84-71. Xavier fans headed to the exits. 36 seconds left. Turn out the lights...Xavier's party is OVER!
.Paul 9:04 p.m.
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FINAL Cards 85 -75. #2 seed goes down. Schmmel and Tay down the stretch. Schimmel with 33? Wow...just wow! CARDS WIN, CARDS WIN! Cardinal players climbing in the stands high fiving the fans. I just got a big grin from Becky Burke and a high five from Monique that about
took my hand off at the wrist. Sweet sixteen, here comes Louisville. Headed to presser. More later.
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