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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lady Cards down Vandy 81-62







-The fearless foursome of Gibbs, Schimmel, Reid and Hines
lead CARDS to second half romp.
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(Back in Louisville and power back to the laptop!)
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Tia Gibbs drilled five 3 point shots for Louisville and four Cardinals accounted for 76 of Louisville's 81 points in a 19 point win over SEC member Vandy in the Cintas Center Sunday afternoon in NCAA first round action in Cincinnati. Gibbs finished with 19 points and 8 rebounds and was joined in double digits by Monique Reid (22 points, 6 boards), Shoni Schimmel (19 points, three 3 pointers) and Keisha Hines (16 points, nine rebounds).
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Louisville was sparked by a 13-0 run in the second half, after Vandy had cut a 17 point Louisville lead to five at 49-44 with a 12-0 run of their own.
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Coach Jeff Walz said he didn't do or say anything special to get the Cards motivated to roll back out to a 62-44 lead with 8:11 left in the game. Hines hit an inside jumped and four straight free throws to get the Cards re-started and Reid finished the run with a layup and then a jumper plus one to put the Cards back up safely to stay.
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"There was no special motivation, no time out. They all know that it's one loss and it's over this time of year...so I just let them go and they got it straightened out themselves." Walz commented after the game.
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Louisville used a eye-popping 35-19 advantage on the boards to spark 12 fast break points in the second half and stop Vanderbilt's inside game. The Cards also shot a red hot 15-21 in the second half for 71.4% and sank all eight free throw attempts to keep Vanderbilt at bay.
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The three point barrage by Schimmel and Gibbs in the first half accounted for 18 of the Cardinals 41 first half points and two straight by Gibbs at the end of the first half put Louisville up 39-26 near the end of the first half. Reid inside, which Cardinal fans in attendance in Cintas Center saw plenty of, closed out the first half scoring...and Louisville led 41-26.
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The Cardinal fans in attendance far out-numbered the Vandy fans in the stands and proved to be a rowdy and loud support group for the Louisville players. They got the attention of Jeff Walz as well...who commented after the game that he and the players were very excited about the "red" in the seats and how the Cardinal supporters travelled the two hours to watch the Lady Cards in action.
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Louisville will face Xavier at 7 p.m. Tuesday night to attempt and advance to the Sweet Sixteen. The Muskies defeated the South Dakota State Jackrabbits 72-56 in the second game of the day in the Cintas Center. 6'5" twin towers Ta'Shia Phillips and Amber Harris combined for 43 points and 27 rebounds. The Jackrabbits stayed close for most of the first half and went in at halftime down only 39-30, but could not deal with the Xavier strength inside in the final twenty minutes.
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Paul lost his bet with Sonja that Howie Lindsey would not make the Louisville game and both of us would like to thank him for letting CARDINAL COUPLE readers know that WE were basically dead in the water with no laptop access. It's a simple rule, check the laptop case to make sure you've got ALL the essentials and accessories.
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If anyone had the biggest reason to celebrate the Cardinal win over the Commodores, it might well could have been former Vandy player and current Louisville Lady Card Tia Gibbs. After sitting out a season after transferring to Louisville from Vandy, the former Louisville Butler All-State selection has been a valuable contributor and starter for the 2010-11 Cards. Gibbs went a red hot 7-9 from the court Sunday, grabbed eight boards and had three assists and steals in 36 minutes of action. When asked about the win, she stuck to the standard script answer that Walz and Reid kept using as a mantra:

"I'm just excited to be playing"

Based on the way the Cards looked this afternoon, so is the Louisville fan base.
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Sherrone Vails saw only seven minutes of action because of a gimpy leg. When Walz was asked about the injury, he shrugged and said :

"It doesn't matter, she's got another one.".
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Walz then went into a short dissertation about the number of body parts she and the other Lady Cards have before commenting that Vails would be available for action Tuesday. It's good to know that all the Lady Cards have two eyes, arms and ears and only one nose each. When the press conference disintegrates into joking like that, it's time to end it and it did end shortly after the anatomy lesson. WE'RE glad that Jeff is a basketball coach and not a biology teacher at UofL. .
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CARDINAL COUPLE will be on-site for the Tuesday night match-up against Xavier. At least part of CARDINAL COUPLE, anyway. Sonja will be at work, listening to the radio accounts and descriptions of the game and pacing furiously. Paul will make the two hour trek to see it live.
GO CARDS!
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