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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cards fall in BIG EAST Quarterfinals to Irish 63-53

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WELCOME TO THE COUPLE...MONDAY STYLE.



-Slow start to second half sinks Cards..
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-Breaking the game down.
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-David Watson not disappointed.
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LIVE UPDATES ON THE BIG EAST WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT:
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...Notre Dame rallies late to get revenge against the Blue Demons and win in the second semifinal game tonight 71-67. Brittany Mallory with two insurance free throws with 2.6 left on the clock. Keisha Hampton with 31 for the Blue Demons. Muffett McGraw rockin' the leopard spots skirt tonight...hubba hubba!
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Irish return to the BIG EAST finals for the first time since 2001. Unfortunately for them, UConn is the opponent. Bruiser Bruszewski got slammed with a couple of minutes to go by Felicia Chester...walked her off the court...did return but watched the rest of the game from the bench. Takes a lot to make that big girl cry...but she got a WWE Smackdown type shot by Chester. It hurt just watching it...Paul @ 10:19. (Good night, Allison Williams...wherever you are.)

...In Game Two, the Irish ran out to a 8-0 early lead and then went out and celebrated or something...allowing DePaul back in it. The Blue Demons didn't let the opportunity go to waste and leads by six at the half. Demolishion Peters isn't the force she was last night...maybe the Dilithium crystals need changing. Do either of these teams, both bona fide #2 seed NCAA candidates really want the win and have to go up against Geno and his sled dogs Tuesday?...Paul @ 9:15 p.m.

...No problem for UConn earlier tonight against the Rutgers Scalded..oops...Scarlet Knight...Maya Moore returned from the fifth dimension to score 22 against C.Viv's Jersey Girls. I do think Rutgers is easily in the NCAA Tournament. Or they'll send April Sykes out to beat members of the selection committee up...-Paul @ 8:43 p.m.
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Louisville bows out of the BIG EAST Tournament despite a strong effort vs. #3 seed Notradamus tonight in the BIG EAST Tournament. The Cards led only twice in the game at 2-0 and 13-11. Louisville was hindered by early foul trouble to Monique Reid..who sat out the final 15:28 of the first half. The Cards fought hard in the first half without Reid, though...behind the efforts of Charmaine Tay, Shoni Schimmel and Keisha Hines and trailed 26-24 after a Schimmel three with 2:16 left in the first half. The Irish would go on a 6-0 run to close the half, though behind the efforts of Devereaux Peters and take a 32-24 lead into the locker room at the half.
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Peters stayed hot as the second half began. Two straight baskets by her gave the Irish a 12 point advantage and minutes later a 12-2 Irish run had the Cards trailing 48-29 after another score by Peters with 14 minutes to go. Louisville regrouped, though...and responded with a 9-0 run to cut the lead to ten at 48-38. The Cards found themselves down 52-47 after a Schimmel three with 8:18 left. The pace slowed a bit after that...but a Reid jumper drew the Cards within six at 57-51 and 2:32 remaining. Louisville would get no closer, though... and saw Notre Dame outscore them 6-2 to end the game.
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One of the key factors in the loss was Notre Dame's large margin at the foul line. The Irish made 20-25 free throws and Louisville went 3-8. The Cards also did poorly from 3 point range...going 2-18.
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Schimmel was the only Card in double figures with 12 points. Tay and Hines finished with 9, Burke added 8 and Reid had 6. Sherrone Vails scored 4 points, Asia Taylor 3 and Antonita Slaughter 2. Both Shelby Harper and Tia Gibbs played but had no points.
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A tough loss against the Irish but a hard fought game for the Cards...who came back from far back and had a chance to cut it to three late. Louisville waits now for eight days before selection Monday to find out where they're headed to play first round NCAA action. Most feel the Cards are a lock for the "big dance" and, hopefully draw one of the close to Louisville regional sites. A little better night from the 3 point range and a smaller discrepancy in fouls...and the Cards have a chance at winning this one tonight. The luck of the Irish comes through via the whistles dangling around the necks of Dennis DeMayo's officiating crew and six blocked shots and 19 points from Notre Dame's "Devastation" Peters...
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In response to several e-mails...yeah, Paul will provide coverage on tonight's semifinal action. You're on your own Tuesday night, though. It's dart night and about the only thing that could keep the "big guy" away from that would be Louisville in the finals and playing in his back yard. Hey. the game Tuesday will be on ESPN...tune in and make your own judgements. We can't do everything for you, OK?
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The Cards (20-12) did not have the best of shooting night...although a lot of that can be traced back to the stubborn Irish defense. Louisville finished 24-63 (38.1%) from the field. Schimmel and Tay combined to take 27 of these attempts...sinking 9 for 33.3%. Three point marksmanship cost the Cards dearly also...Schimmel hitting 2-9 and the rest of the team going 0-9. The free throw performance and discrepancy was also huge...Louisville just 3-7 from the charity stripe and the Irish 20-25.
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Monique Reid grabbed 11 rebounds and the Cards actually out rebounded the Irish 37-32. Tay and Schimmel had six each grabs. The Cards did lose the defensive rebounding battle 24-19...Becca Bruszewski (10) and Devereaux Peters (9) leading the way for N.D. Louisville was whistled for 19 fouls....Notre Dame 10. Tay fouled out, Schimmel collected four, Keisha Hines and Asia Taylor were whistled for 3 each. The Cards did have 15 steals (Hines 4) compared to Notre Dame's 10...but Louisville committed 22 turnovers (Schimmel 6) and the Irish 21 (Natalie Novosel 6).
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10 Cardinals saw action...Schimmel logged 34 minutes and Burke 29. Reid played the entire second half after only five first half minutes and ended with 25. Tay had 27, Hines 24, Gibbs 23, Taylor 16, Vails 13, Slaughter 6 and Harper 3. Notre Dame used eight players in the contest...but only 29 minutes from the bench (Achowna, Miller and Turner.) Skylar Diggins and Brittany Mallory had 37 minutes, Peters 35, Bruiser Bruszweski 34 and Novosel 28.
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Louisville's freshmen accounted for 27 of the 53 points and 15 rebounds. They went 12-35 from the floor and had all four blocked shots. Four out of the five played and grabbed 80 minutes of the possible 200 of court time.
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All in all, a tough loss to take...especially when the Cards were within striking distance with three minutes left. WE'RE proud of the way Louisville fought back from 19 down...but solid defense and wise shot selection would have prevented Louisville from getting in such a deep hole. It was good to see Charmaine Tay emerge as a solid contributor for the second night in a row and assume she'll figure big in any post-season Cardinal contests. Tay at point frees up Schimmel to create more and when the Cards go "small" (Tay, Schimmel, Gibbs, Reid and Hines) they're hard to stop in transition. WE'LL wait in anticipation to see if and where the Cards head in the BIG DANCE...WE'RE confident that they'll get a bid and hope that the first couple of rounds are nearby. I can't be disappointed with this loss. Sad, yes, because WE always want Louisville to win. The lessons learned last night will prove to be of benefit down the yellow brick (or Cardinal Red) road.
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DAVID WATSON is a special correspondent for CARDINAL COUPLE and a horrible pick 'em contestant (6-6). He chimes in today on the Louisville loss, the rest of the BIG EAST Tournament and the future...in his own unique way:
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So it comes down to UCONN, DEPAUL, NOTRE DAME and RUTGERS. That wasn't the way I figured it would break down and I had two of these four advancing. RUTGERS will take their whipping after putting up a gallant effort tonight and who knows how the Irish and Blue Demons will end. I like Notre Dame here. If Devilish Peters goes on another swat and destroy mission tonight, someone should tell Homeland Security about her. She could probably root out any terrorists here in the states and block their efforts. Wouldn't surprise me if she could block Sarah Palin's attempts to run for President.
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And, Peters was the difference last night. Look at the stat line and you'll see what I mean. 19 points on 7-12 from the the floor. 5-5 from the foul line. Nine rebounds, six blocks, three steals and only one foul and turnover in 35 minutes. She probably sold BIG EAST programs up in the hallways during her five minutes off the court. She ended the first half with two of the final three Irish scores and started the second half with 10 of the first 14 Irish points. By then, it was 48-29 Notre Dame and the announcers on ESPNU had lost interest and were trying to interview a hoarse DePaul coach Doug Bruno. I also look at Louisville's woeful three point outing and wonder if someone altered the rims before tipoff. Take out Schimmel's two bombs and the Cards were 0 for game behind the arc.
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Would Reid made much of a difference in the first half with more minutes? She might have come in handy during the final two minutes. The 6-0 ending run by Muffet's Maulers was a momentum changer and the Cards could have used Reid inside to muscle one or two up or at least go to the line. I don't question Coach Walz much but I take the chance here and re-insert her. She went 20 minutes in the second half without a foul and I'm guessing she might have managed two minutes at the end of the first without fouling out. Coach knows best, though and he got this team to 20 wins while I sat back and arm chaired the action. Charmaine Tay was a spark that Louisville needed. She still makes freshman mistakes defensively but she played well at the point, isn't afraid to drive to the hoop and gives Walz a different dimension to throw at the foe. This loss is not a disappointment to me. After all, the Irish are a legit top ten team in the nation and deserve a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Cards battled their guts out against them and were in a postilion to win late. Can't be sad about that.
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So, the Cards wait for their fate next Monday. Bracketologist have ten BIG EAST teams going to the NCAA Tournament and Louisville is one of them.
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Charlie Creme, of ESPN Bracketology fame, has the Cards seeded 7th and going to Durham, NC. to face Marist in the first round. I see the Cards getting a bid, probably getting shipped out west somewhere and making some noise. Dare I predict a Sweet Sixteen appearance? I do. This was a #7 team in the nation last night that Louisville battled tooth and nail. You know Miss Muffet was nervous. Some of the cutaway shots of her during the second half made her look like she was watching a Wes Craven thriller instead of a quarterfinal basketball game. The horror, though, was much less bloody and benign. The plot line last night had The Irish holding on against the gang that couldn't shoot straight.
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(David Watson coaches his Wednesday night bowling team and has been known to go to full court pressure and denying the lane during the last 20 minutes of "happy hour" at Johnnie's Tavern.)
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3 comments:

  1. Didn't pick up the video stream from ESPN3, but it looks like a respectable performance against a legitimate number 2 seed in the Big Dance. Did the Tay we have been waiting for start to emerge? How many guards did Walz play at once, particularly with Reid on the bench?
    I note that 53% of ND's 200 total minutes were played by seniors, compared to only 12% for the Lady Cards.
    PDX Phil

    ReplyDelete
  2. Besides Mo getting in foul trouble early and Schimmel getting schooled by Diggins. The Cards played a descent game, especially TAY! Tays calm & cool ballhandling and rebounding is one of the reason I believe we didn't get blown away.

    Once Tay get some more game experience in tight situations I believe she'll really help the cards rebounding, scoring, getting fouls on the other team and in assist.

    Now Asia, she has to be a threat on offence. At least 8 pts a game and 5 boards, she's now un-officially a junior.
    Finally, again it's good to see Mo & Keshia taking the jump shot.
    Go Cards!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tay's performance was what we expected she could produce all season long. Some off-court issues had her in Walz's doghouse for awhile but we think she adds a valuable asset to Louisville's offense. Would still like to see her make needed improvement in her defense and on switches and cuts...but she's got huge potential and one would think she'd figure big in the Cards tournament games and next year.

    A nasty rumor surfaced a couple of weeks ago that she might be looking to transfer...but all sources we trust deny that she's a candidate for that.

    ReplyDelete

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