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Monday, February 28, 2011

Cards lose heartbreaker at Providence 63-61

CARDS MISS OUT ON OPPORTUNITY TO GET DOUBLE BYE IN BIG EAST...
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-Hankins hits with 10 seconds for the Friar win...
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-Post game Walz comments...
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Mi-Khadi Hankins hit a baseline jumper with 10 seconds left and Providence pulls the upset over the Cards 63-61 in Alumni Gym tonight in Providence. With Marquette losing minutes before to Cincinnati 65-62, the Cards miss out on a gift-wrapped chance to draw the 4 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament beginning Friday in Hartford, CT.

That honor will go to Rutgers ( 11-5) who needed both Louisville (10-6) and Marquette (10-6) to lose tonight and win over Seton Hall...which they did handily. The Cards will go into the tournament as the sixth seed and play the winner of #10 seed West Virginia and #15 seed Cincinnati on Friday.

Louisville couldn't rebound or hold a lead tonight. Providence wins the board battle 30-21. A sluggish start for the Cards had them down from the opening tip and Louisville trailed 16-9 after eight minutes of action. Louisville finally found a spark late in the first half and used a 6-0 run to take a 27-24 lead after two Shelby Harper free throws and 1:48 on the clock. Providence would counter, though with a 5-0 run to close out the half and lead 29-27.

Tia Gibbs led the Cards with 11 points in the first twenty minutes and the Cards went 11-12 from the free throw line. Both teams had 15 turnovers in a very sloppy half of hoops...Gibbs also had five first half steals.

Louisville started the second half positivity with a 6-0 run to grab a 33-29 lead after a Monique Reid jumper...and stretched that out to a 38-31 advantage when Shoni Schimmel drilled a three with 15:13 to go... but Providence came back again and knotted it at 41-41 with a Cropper three at the 12:46 mark. From there on, it was back and forth...with both teams holding leads and making alternate good and bad plays. Keisha Hines tied the contest at 61-61 with a jumper and 1:45 on the clock. After Hankins' jumper to give Providence the final margin of victory, the Cards inbounded and Becky Burke attempted but missed a three pointer. Keisha Hines was there for the rebound but her foot was on the baseline and Providence got the ball back with 1.6 left in the game. Louisville fouled Hankins during the inbounds pass and she missed her front end of the one and one free throw attempt. Louisville called timeout and got a pass to Shoni Schimmel on the final inbounds play...but her half court desperation attempt went wide right and off the backboard as the buzzer sounded.

A disappointing loss for the Cards against a very beatable team. Louisville was led by Reid's 15 points...11 in the second half. Gibbs finished with 14 and Schimmel hit double figures with 13.

It was quite the night for upsets in the BIG EAST. In addition to the Bearcats knocking off Marquette...Villanova beat Pitt, WVU uphended St.John's and USF downed Georgetown.
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Jeff Walz in the post-game:

"We just didn't get it done. It's an embarrassing outing for us. I'm really just sick. Physically sick. I just don't know...I don't understand. I mean...our kids knew what was at stake. I even told them with four minutes to go...'hey...you just got a gift from Cincinnati. They beat Marquette. You gotta put it on the line...let's go'... and then on the next possession out of the time out..we let number one ( Tate) shoot a wide open three. She's their only three point shooter. She goes 3-5. No I take that back...#14 (Cropper) goes 3-4. You gotta know where they are. The problem is...we did not defend on the perimeter at all. That's guards and wings. We let them beat us off the dribble to the middle of the floor..time after time after time. It made us help in, help up and that let to wide open shots. It's an embarrassing outcome for us. One that I hope we can get over quick, as a team. It's one that is going to affect me for a while, though.."
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Walz on rebounding:
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"We did get beat on the boards. We had a seven point lead in the second half and gave up offensive rebound after offensive rebound. We just did not commit to playing hard.
As well as Tia Gibbs played, I think this is the first game..that I know of...where she plays 32 minutes and did not get one rebound the entire night. I thought she played hard but you've gotta find a way to come up with boards. We had 21 rebounds the entire night. That's embarrassing. 21 rebounds and 20 turnovers.
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On the start of the second half:
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We came out and played hard. We boxed out, we rebounded and then we just decided that that was enough and we're not going to play any harder.
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On getting ready for the BIG EAST Tournament:
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"I'm not real concerned about that. If these kids can't get prepared to go up to the BIG EAST Tournament and play..then I've probably got the wrong group of kids. We can't control what we just did tonight...it's over...we're going to watch it (the game film) and learn from it but there's nothing you can do about it and if you're going to feel sorry for ourselves and go up there on Thursday and let tonight's game affect us...then I've got the wrong group of players and I'm not doing a very good job of coaching...because that's the great thing about the sport of basketball...you've got opportunities to continue to play and right now we've got a great opportunity in front of us in going up to Hartford to play in the BIG EAST Tournament and we've got to come out and play and perform. Like I said...man, I'm just sick and it's been a long time since I felt this bad..but this was just a performance I'm embarrassed about and I'll go back tomorrow and apologize to the entire athletic staff..because it is just an embarrassment."
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Softball splits, Hoops tonight Part Deux







(We thank you readers for patiently awaiting the daily CARDINAL COUPLE dribble and drool for Monday, Feb 28th. Gremlins are gone...)






-Sandy Pearsall's UofL women's softball team went 1-1 in the final day of the Red & Black classic at Ulmer Stadium on Sunday. A tough outing against the Miami of Ohio RedHawks in the first contest...leading 3-0 early, seeing Miami grab a one run lead and then the Cards battling back to tie it up at 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh. Couldn't prevent the RedHawks from putting two on the scoreboard in the top of the eighth due to a UofL fielding error and had a chance to win it in the bottom half of the inning with a run in and Taner Fowler at first...but Miami's Jessica Simpson retired three in a row to shut down the Cardinal rally. Carlisa Connell (2-2) with the loss and two hits each from Fowler, Maggie Ruckenbrod and Katie Keller (way to represent freshmen!) in a 6-5 losing effort.


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The Cards jumped all over second game opponent Wright State early and led 2-0 after one when Alicja Wolny's double scored Chelsea Bemis and Keller. It went to 3-0 when Bemis single and scored on a Wolny double. The bombs continued when Louisville plated seven runs in the bottom of the sixth...keyed by a three run Fowler fence clearer and a three RBI double for Bemis. Tori Collins pitched the 10-0 shutout for Louisville, allowing just two hits and striking out eight. Collins (6-3) has four shutouts so far this season.

The Cards head to Cookeville, TN this weekend for action in the Tennessee Tech Combat classic.


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The charter has landed and Jeff Walz's Lady Cards are in Providence, RI for tonight's 7 p.m. game against the Friars in the Dunkin Donuts Arena.

(Homer Simpson would approve...donuts....yuuummm.) This is far from a pastry puff for the intrepid Cards, though....despite Providence's 5-10 BIG EAST record and worst shooting percentage in the league. Providence can rebound with anyone in the nation and Teya Wright is first in BIG EAST in offensive rebounds and Mi-Khida Hankins second in defensive grabs. They also prevent the three really well. Scoring isn't one of their strong suits...they average 57 points a game, compared to Louisville's 72 a contest. They do hold their opponents to 59 a game, though and Louisville gives up 59.8 on an average..so let that tell you whatever you need it to. They probably won't overflow the court if they win and decide to storm it...the Friars average a woeful 404 fans per game...worst in the league.

We see it and a case of Louisville needing to do several things well tonight to avoid the upset. They must go to the boards well against the Friars and block out on both ends of the court. The three point specialists on Louisville's roster need to find a smooth shooting game outside the friendly confines of the KFC YUM Center and the Cards absolutely, positively need Reid to show interest in this one and create in 'inside the paint' wizardry. Will the road (where Louisville rarely plays well) and the board prowess of Providence paint a portrayal of punishment for the power-challenged Cards? We can see a win here...not by much...but we can also see the Cards throwing in a clunker as well...CARDINAL COUPLE will review the action upon the completion of the game tonight. Tip-off is 7 p.m. and Matt Andrews and Liz Sherwood (yikes... two freshmen!!!) will have the call on 790 AM/101.7 FM WKRD...Cards Radio.
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The jumble for fourth place in the league standing comes down to the final night of regular season league play and the picture is a bit clearer. If Marquette wins and Louisville loses, the Golden Eagles get fourth because of the head on win by Marquette. A Louisville win and Marquette loss give it to the Cards. Rutgers could sneak up and grab fourth if they beat Seton Hall tonight and Louisville loses. They own the regular season win over Marquette. If Louisville, Marquette and Rutgers all win...call in the chimps and let them slug it out..because:
Louisville beat Rutgers and lost to Marquette
Marquette beat Louisville and lost to Rutgers
Rutgers beat Marquette and lost to Louisville
Joanie loves Chachi and I Love Lucy.
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(Who's on first?)
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What about the end of the Cards vs. Pitt men's game yesterday? It's overtime...Cards up by three late, grab a missed Pitt shot and Peyton Siva finds Kyle Kuric for a pass and dunk. Five point lead with 0.03 on the clock. But, the now infamous male cheerleader runs onto the court, tosses the ball up in the air with a sissified two-handed, underhand toss and.....BOOM!...technical foul on Cards for delaying play. They reset the clock to 0.05 (still don't understand that...) give Gibbs and Pitt two free throws...which he sinks....and the ball out of bounds. Fortunately, the desperation three falls short and Cards win by three. If it had been good (to tie it) and Louisville had gone on to lose in the second overtime...there'd be one less male cheerleader on the UofL squad most likely. If Pitino didn't get him...a fan would have.
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Softball Splits, Hoops tonite at Providence

This Monday column will be very brief for now, due to gremlins in the system.

In short, Louisville split in softball yesterday in the Red & Black Classic.

The Cards dropped the first one 6-5 to Miami (OH) and won 10-0 over Wright State.
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Jeff Walz has the Lady Cards basketball team in Providence for tonight's match-up at 7 p.m.
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We hope to be back up this afternoon with a full recap of all events and the wacky ending of the men's game yesterday. Basically, we lost a whole column this morning about these events due to a failed auto-save of the articles. It happens...see you later today.

(Posted by Paul from his cell phone 8:50 a.m. Monday)

grrrrrrr....

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Reviewing the Seton Hall win...Softball blanks Wright State





SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE:


-Reviewing Seton Hall win


-Watson reviews the game (sort of)...


-Softball shuts out Wright St.


-One week left to vote for Steve
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Asia Taylor, pictured here, drives for two while Sherrone Vails and Seton Hall's Whitney Wood mix it up in some sort of tantric yoga exercise...

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(Photo from Charlie Springer, UofL Card Game)
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Louisville didn't have one of their better outings against the Pirates...but once again...defense helped the Cards notch their 19th win of the season. The Cards allowed six Pirate points in the first four minutes and then held them to just 43 in the final 36 minutes of the game. Seton Hall shot 9 for 27 in each half...a 18-54 outing at 33%. The Cards went 23-54 against S.H.U. (42.6%). Free throws were another area that both teams missed opportunities at...Seton Hall 8-15 (53.3%) and Louisville 9-17 (52.9%). It should be noted that the referees really went to the whistle in the second half...against the Cards...four fouls in the first twenty minutes and 12 in the final twenty. Seton Hall committed 12 first half infractions but only eight in the 2nd half.
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Leading the Cards in scoring was Monique Reid with 16. Keisha Hines aded 12, Becky Burke 10 and Asia Taylor nine. Sherrone Vails tossed in five, Tia Gibbs with four and Polly Harrington knocked down a 3 pointer for her three points. Shoni Schimmel, Shelby Harper, Antonita Slaughter, Charmaine Tay and Rachel Story also played but had no points. Seton Hall's Jazzmine Johnson led all scores with 19 points and Tajay Ashmeade hit double figures with 11.
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Louisville won the rebounding battle 39-35 with Hines grabbing 10. Burke and Reid had five each, Vails added four, Taylor and Schimmel three, Slaughter and Story two each and Harper and Harrington had a grab. Seton Hall got a yeoman effort from 6'3" Ashmeade on the misses...ending with 15 rebounds and a double double.
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Louisville's freshmen combined for eight points and ten rebounds. This was the first time this season Schimmel had been shut out for a game. The playing time was evenly distributed by Walz Saturday...the Cards had nine players see 13 or more minutes...Burke getting 26. The Cards scored 30 points in the paints...Seton Hall 22. Louisville won the points off turnovers battle 23-15 and second chance points 19-8. The Cardinal bench was worth 18 points...Seton Hall's 17.
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9875 witnessed the win where Louisville improved to 19-10, 10-5. The Cards finish with 162,892 attending 15 games in the KFC YUM Center...tops in the BIG EAST in average (10,930) and total. Connecticut could catch Louisville in total with one home game remaining Monday night at the Gampel Pavillion.
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Coach Walz revealed in the post game presser that the diminished playing time for Charmaine Tay lately was not from an injury...but because she is dealing with some off-court issues and effectually is in the 'doghouse' until she gets them straighted out. We saw Walz do this earlier in the season with Asia Taylor and although we do not know the circumstances involved in this issue...we can only conjecture that Tay will be back in the regular mix once she completes her issues to Walz's approval. Tay did see brief action yesterday in a mop up role...maybe the worst is over for her. Gotta play by all the rules...on court and off...and pay the price if you don't.
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Louisville said goodbye to Hines, LaToya Johnson and Laura Terry in pregame ceremonies. The three will be missed and their hard work and contributions were monumental in the success of this Cardinal team.
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Louisville's men play Pitt in a big hoop-de-do down at the YUM today and the press row was basically cut in half yesterday by technicians working on setting up for the nationally televised game. Crowded and cozy conditions for the members of the working media...WE'RE not ones to ever complain...but...they needed 24 hours before the game to get all this together? And, the guys didn't seem too very busy during a certain two hour stretch yesterday...WE weren't in our normal viewing area next to Professor Abramson but got to spend two fun hours next to UofL Card Game owner and 'observer' Charlie Springer.
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It was Charlie who commented on the noticable weight loss on a couple of UofL assistant coaches. While we'd never call trusted Jeff Walz assistants fat...it is obvious that there has been some pounds shed and we encourage their efforts and results. Hey, if Paul can drop 35...anyone can...keep going, girls!
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DAVID WATSON was in the stands for the Seton Hall game with his youngest daughter and files this report...(We like the fact that David is in town for two days...and is taking us out to eat Sunday Night.)
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It was a good day for being in downtown Louisville yesterday. The pizza at Impelliezeri's post game is always top notch and the weather conductive to strolling down 4th Street Live after. The action in the KFC YUM Center was less than perfect but it goes to show what I've been saying for the last couple weeks...Seton Hall isn't the push-over patsy that most people consider them to be. Anne Donovan has made big strides coaching this young team ( 1 senior, 7 freshmen and sophomores) this season and will continue to do so. Watching Anne on the sidelines (she's hard to miss at 6'8") is a lesson in coaching. She is on top of each and every play, rotating between shouting out assignment and switches to her players, keeping a rolling and lively dialogue going with any officials within earshot and talking to her assistants. Anne, like Jeff Walz, doesn't spend much time sitting down.
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Her players are hustling, aggressive competitors that may have skill sets a bit behind the cream of the league but won't get out-worked. Give her a couple of years and the battle for women's college basketball supremacy in Jersey might just tighten up a bit.
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As for the Cards yesterday, I can't say much positive except for the play of Hines, Taylor and Reid. I'll miss Keisha Hines. She was usually overlooked when people pointed out the strengths of Louisville teams. She was her usual pound it out and refuse to back off Keisha again yesterday and it's the Keisha we've come to know and respect. Asia Taylor seems to wake up each year at the end of the season. Her effort yesterday is what Cardinal fans have expected all season. Maybe Walz could put her on a intramural team on campus that starts in August. By December, she'd be in top form and a year long contributor. Monique Reid just shines when she wants to and she decided to after a slow start yesterday. Put the determination and hustle of a Shelby Harper in that skillful Reid body and you'd have another Maya Moore.
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As much fun as yesterday was, I must admit that Sunday is going to be a bigger blast for my daughter and I. The seats for the Pitt game aren't nearly as good but the atmosphere in the KFC YUM! Center when it's full and the opponent is top notch is like nowhere else in college hoops. It'll be only our second men's game this year and I can't wait!
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David Watson is a special correspondent for CARDINAL COUPLE and can also sing over a dozen MONKEES songs in Japanese...
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The University of Louisville softball team notched their third straight shutout of an opponent yesterday at Ulmer Stadium...white-washing Wright State 8-0 in the Red & Black Tournament. Tori Collins went the distance and allowed just two hits while striking out eight...improving her record to 5-3 on the season.
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Louisville began the rout early with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Alicja Wolny's single drove home Jordan Trimble. Chelsea Bemis and Wolny scored when Maggie Ruckenbrod delivered a two RBI single. The Cards tacked on another run in the second when Chelsea Jordan walked, stole second and greeted her teammates in the dugout on a fielding error.
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The Cards ran it up to 7-0 in the fourth inning. Katie Keller drew a walk and Jennifer Esteban and Trimble followed with singles. Keller and Esteban scored on a throwing error and Trimble joined them with a run scored on another Raider throwing miscue. The Cards closed out the scoring in the fifth when Katelyn Mann reached first on a fielder's choice, advanced to second on a fielder's choice from Christina Roesel and got third on a wild pitch. Mann scored on yet another throwing error from Wright State to make it 8-0.
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Louisville concludes action in the Red and Black with games against Miami (OH) at 2 p.m and Wright State at 4 p.m.
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Steve Springer is hanging tough in the race for Biggest Fan contest in the BIG EAST and we appreciate all of you that have gone over to vote for him at:
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http://www.uoflcardgame.com/
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We've never met Steve but think the world of him and his dad...Card Game guru Charlie Springer. Steve is a remarkable person...a high school teacher that someone manages to be the sole bread provider for a family of six. His daughter Mackenzie was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis last April and his wife Casey had to put her college aspirations on hold to be the primary caretaker to the wheelchair bound eight year old. Please take time to read this heart-touching and inspirational story at http://uoflcardgame.com/biggest-fan-of-the-big-east-experience-3/23424 and continue to vote for Steve daily.
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We owe a lot to Charlie Springer for many reasons. He got us actively involved in his web site http://www.uoflcardgame.com/ as contributing writers and heartily encouraged us to go forward full speed ahead when we were debating whether to start Cardinal Couple or not. Anytime we need sound counsel, a photo or just dialogue and friendship...Charlie and his wife Barbara have been there for us. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree and Steve is a brilliant writer and dedicated young man. Please help Steve win this portion of the contest and repost, comment, Twitter and spread the word about Steve and his family's amazing journey.
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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Cards struggle past Seton Hall 59-49




-Louisville sputters but wins over Pirates

For awhile this afternoon, it looked like the Lady Cards had no interest in either playing or beating cellar dweller Seton Hall. Despite the early frantic urging of Coach Jeff Walz, Louisville slept-walked thru the first four minutes of the game and trailed the Pirates 6-2. A four minute 7-0 spurt by the Cards, though, gave them a 9-6 lead for good at the 14 minute mark of the first half.
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The catalyst wasn't Shelby Harper..for once..but Becky Burke, who nailed a three during the run. Harper didn't enter the game until several minutes later...and the Cards managed to jump out to a 21-12 advantage with 6:03 to go after Sherrone Vails converted from the line. From there, the Cards could only muster seven points the rest of the half but held the Pirates to nine and took a 28-21 lead into the locker room at halftime.
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(Asia Taylor delivered big in the second
half for the victorious Cards.)
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Louisville played the normal nine who have been in the Walz rotation of late and Monique Reid's nine points led the Cards after twenty minutes. Louisville was getting plenty of opportunities to score but 12 turnovers hindered the effort. At least they weren't the only team having
trouble hanging onto the ball..Seton Hall turned it over 15 times in the first half and Louisville did lead the points off turnovers stat 16 to 7.
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Most figured the Cards would make the necessary adjustments at half to take a commanding lead and slow down Pirate guard Jazzmine Johnson, whose nine first half points were tops for Seton Hall and four over her game average. And, Louisville did start the second half with a roar...out-pointing S.H.U. 12 to 5 and taking a 40-26 lead after a Monique Reid jumper at the 15:07 mark. Louisville led by 22 at 56-34 with 6:31 left and seemed in control when Walz started inserting the bench..the Pirates made a late effort, though and cut the Cardinal margin
to 56-44 before Polly Harrington nailed a three with 1:26 to go to make it 59-44 with 1:26 left.
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Walz had the starters back at the scorer's table ready to come back in, but recalled them to the bench and inserted Hines back into the game for three seconds...so she could leave to a nice round of applause for the Cards only senior.
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Reid led Louisville with 16 points, Johnson finished with a game high 19 for Seton Hall and Shoni Schimmel was held scoreless in nineteen minutes of action. Hines played her final game in fromt of Louisville home crowd and finished with 12 points...Becky Burke finished with ten.
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Asia Taylor sparked the Cards in the second half with nine points before fouling out with 49 seconds to go. She played a strong eighteen second half minutes for the Cards and grabbed three boards.
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A quick turnaround for Louisville...they play Monday night at Providence in the regular season finale.
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Marquette's win over DePaul tonight 60-53 makes the Cards quest for 4th place in the BIG EAST standings a lot tougher to acheive now...Marquette will need to lose at Cincinnati now on Monday night and Louisville will need to knock off Providence on the road. If both win...and finish 11-5...the Golden Eagles get 4th because they beat Louisville in head to head competition.
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Softball sweeps two...Seton Hall in for hoops today




SATURDAY @ THE COUPLE:


-Softball takes two on Friday


-Seton Hall visits for final home game


-No Lacrosse today...


-Girls high school hoops.
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The University of Louisville softball team got off to a roaring start in the first day of the Red & Black Tournament with two wins...defeating SIUE 10-0 and Boston University 5-0. Tori Collins (photo above by Terry Jackson) tossed a one hitter in the Cards first home game. A smallish and rowdy crowd braved chilly weather to see the second and third games of the four games played yesterday at Ulmer Stadium.
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Louisville began the attack on SIUE in the second inning, keyed by a three run homer by Jordan Trimble to right field...part of a five run Cardinal effort. The Cards tacked on two more in the third when Taner Fowler smashed a base clearing double deep to left field, scoring Alicja Wolny and Maggie Ruckenbrod. In the fourth, Louisville added three more runs...highlighted by doubles from Chelsea Bemis and Wolny to make it 10-0.
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Collins was masterful in the win...striking out five while allowing just one hit. She worked her way out of potential Cougar scoring situations in the second and third. Trimble had three runs batted in for Louisville.
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In the second game...Caralisa Connell took the mound and got the shutout by allowing just four hits and striking out three BU batters. Louisville gained the lead early when Bemis poled a two run homer high over the left field fence in the first inning...scoring Trimble. The Cards added two more in the fifth when Jennifer Esteban singled and scored on a Trimble triple. Trimble touched the plate a few minutes later on a wild pitch. The Cards put an insurance run on the board in the sixth with back to back doubles from Wolny and Ruckenbrod.
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Early start for Louisville in today's game...Wright State at noon.
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The fact that Seton Hall is 1-13 in BIG EAST Womens Basketball play would lead one to assume that the Cards will romp by a bunch today in the KFC YUM Center and fans attending the 2 p.m.
game should expect nothing else...unless Walz empties the bench early and the Cardinal Bird ends up as Louisiville's only three point threat.
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Talk all you want about respecting each and every BIG EAST opponent, anyone can beat anyone on any given day and whatever other cliches and non-sequitors you want: the pure and basics facts of the situation are that Seton Hall is the worst team in the BIG EAST and Louisville smells the blood in the water.
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SONJA SEES IT:
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If Louisville will do the things today that led them to the upset victory over DePaul earlier this week, then they'll have no trouble sinking the Pirates ship down by the Ohio River today. Defense, defense and defense. It's the blueprint for success and good defense creates good offense. I fully anticipate a romp of monumental proportions today in the YUM...and hope to see extended playing time for Harrington, Story, Tay and the rest of the Cardinal second stringers.
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The Cards are in a great position to secure 4th place in the BIG EAST by winning today and capturing one on the road at Providence on Monday. This earns them a double bye in the BIG EAST Tournament and would effectively take them off the bubble and put them in the NCAA Tournament. It's all about desire and motivation this afternoon. If the Lady Cards want it bad enough, it's there for the taking. I compare it to the cake on the table scenario. You're in your lazy boy, the cake is on the table...do you have the desire and motivation to stand up, walk over and cut a slice? Today, Louisville has their cake and eats it, too...
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CARDINAL COUPLE will have full game and post game coverage here later today.
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Marion County romped in the 20th. district final last night over Taylor County 73-51 to gain entrance in the Fifth Region playoffs. Here locally, the fighting Tigers of Fern Creek got a pass for the Seventh Regional by upending Assumption 54-39 in the 26th district final. Butler embarrassed Doss 76-10 in the 22nd. district final to make the Sixth Region playoffs. Holy Cross had no trouble with PRP in the 21st...60-35.
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The scheduled lacrosse game with Old Dominion today has been postponed because of inclement weather cancelling travel plans for the Monarchs..
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Friday, February 25, 2011

Soggy Softball Starts today...




FRIDAY as seen through the eyes of CARDINAL COUPLE:


-Red and Black Softball Tournament today


-Catching up on Girls H.S. hoops.


-Seton Hall set to visit LADY CARDS Saturday


Take off those soggy tennis shoes and have a cup of cocoa (bring two!) coz' it's time for the Friday edition of Cardinal Couple! (insert applause...)

Day One of softball's RED and BLACK Classic is scheduled to get underway at 11 a.m. this morning with four games on tap (weather permitting). The events today at Ulmer Stadium:

11 a.m. Boston University vs. SIUE
1 p.m. Louisville vs. SIUE
3 p.m. Louisville vs. Boston University
5 p.m. Miami (OH) vs. Wright State


The Cards roll into the three day event with a 5-5 record. This is Louisville's home opener...having spent the last two weekends on the road. The Cards participated in tournaments in Texas and Alabama...facing stiff competition in both from the host schools, Syracuse and Tulsa...among others. The Cards will play five games over the weekend...giving Sandy Pearsall's young pitching staff another tough test. We think Connell, Leonard and Collins will come through just fine...Chelsea Bemis (pictured above) should have a big weekend swinging the aluminum...


The Cards will open against Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE). The Cougars are 3-6 on the year and have been playing some very tough competition in UCLA, Tennessee and Long Beach State. They play in the Ohio Valley Conference and this is the first time the Cards and Cougars have ever met. Senior pitcher Erika Taylor is 1-4 on the year and shortshop Kasey Schlafke leads the team in home runs and runs scored.


Next, the Cards face Boston University. The Terriers haven't played yet this season but they have won the America East Conference two years running...so they'll be a good test for Pearsall's players. They're picked to finish first again and boast April Setterlund...who is on the National Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List. The senior outfielder set six school records in 2010 and was the AEC Player of the Year. First ever meeting between the Cards and Terriers.


The rain is supposed to be gone by game time and Ulmer is a great place to watch softball, so grab the coat and hat and head on out for a fun afternoon of pitcher versus batter. Admission is free and they sell coffee and hot chocolate. CARDINAL COUPLE will be there and will provide our readers will all the activities over the three day event.
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We've gotten a little backed up in high school girls basketball coverage but tonight is a big night in district play. Both Manual and Mercy have advanced to the Seventh Region playoffs and Manual's Mechael Guess has been named Seventh Region Player of the Year. Guess, a senior, is headed to Pittsburgh to play college volleyball for the Panthers.
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Manual beat Mercy in 25th district action 74-68 but both move on to the regionals. We're glad to report that Rockcastle County and Sara Hammond won the 47th. district finals and will advance to the regionals, too. Makayla Epps, Kyvin Goodin-Rogers and Bre Elder lead Marion County into the 20th district finals tonight. Other local district action:
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21st - Holy Cross vs PRP tonite for the title
22nd - Doss and Butler tonite in the finals
23rd - Central 59- Presentation 41 (both advance)
24th - Bullitt East 57 - Bullitt Central 43
26th - Fern Creek vs. Assumption (GO CREEK!)
27th - Sacred Heart 53 - Ballard 51
28th - Christian Academy 49 - J'Town 40
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Good luck to all!

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Louisville plays their final home basketball game of the year against Seton Hall Saturday and it will be Senior day for Keisha Hines and Laura Terry. Terry no longer suits up for the Cards (knee injuries) but has been a valuable and hard working assistant student manager for Jeff Walz and the 'Ville'. We'll always remember Terry's saving defense in the final seconds of the Louisville win against Rutgers in the BIG EAST tournament in the 2007-08 season. (Laura and the beautiful smile pictured here.)
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Hines is the other Cardinal that was brought in by former coach Tom Collen. Jeff Walz calls her a "survivor" and is the only Cardinal on roster to have played four years at Louisville. Hines came in as a backup to Chauntise Wright during her freshman year and impressed Cardinal fans right away with 25 points against Florida in only her sixth game as a Card. She moved into the starting position her sophomore year and has patrolled the post for the Cards ever since. Hines has been a blue collar, behind the scenes foundation for Louisville teams since she's been here. Never flashy of flamboyant...she's worked the paint against some of the best post players in college basketball over four years and always battled gamely and physically against them. Her play in the 2009 run to the Final Four was outstanding...despite the fact her grandmother passed away...she had a career game a day later against Oklahoma. Keisha has been like so many of us out here...gets up each day, goes out and does the job without any headlines or superlatives and does it well. (Keisha pictured on the job here.)
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We know that Anne Donovan hasn't has the kind of season to go running down the Jersey Shore yelling and celebrating about..but Seton Hall must be respected Saturday. A win over Louisville would be the high point of their season and they are fighting to stay out of the cellar in the BIG EAST. We hope the Cards have practiced well for this one and that Mo's ankle has held up. WE think the Cards win rather handily in this one and give the Louisville fans in the KFC YUM Center plenty of fond memories of playing and being in the YUM Center to carry over to next season.
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Certainly no pressure here, but if the Cards win, Rutgers falls to WVU, UConn beats Georgetown and Marquette loses to DePaul...Louisville would be alone in 4th place at 10-5 with one game to go. 4th place means a double bye in the BIG EAST TOURNAMENT. Make it so, Cards.
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cardinals 68 - DePaul 55. Quotes and Review






THURSDAY FROM CARDINAL COUPLE:






-Breaking down the victory


-Post game quotes


The Cards meet at half court following the huge win over DePaul Wednesday night in the KFC YUM Center. Louisville improves to 9-5 in BIG EAST play with the win and is now all but assured an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament with the upset of the #7 Blue Demons.
Louisville held Doug Bruno's squad to 34.5% shooting for the game (19-55) and only 25% from beyond the arc. (4-16). The Cards also out-rebounded the Blue Demons 38-30. Shoni Schimmel grabbed nine boards for 'the Ville', followed by Monique Reid with seven and Sherrone Vails adding six...all on the defensive end. DePaul and Louisville tied with 26 points in the paint but the Blue Demons did win the points off turnovers battle 22-14.
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The Cards forced Doug Bruno's squad into 20 turnovers (Sam Quigley with 4) and only committed 19 (Reid 6). Louisville dished out 14 assists (Schimmel 6) and DePaul ended up with 12 (Keisha Hampton 4). Louisville swiped 10 steals from the Blue Demons (Schimmel 3) while the visitors could only produce six from the Cards (Hampton and Katherine Harry 2 each). The Blue Demons did capture the 2nd chance points 12-4 but Louisville's defense held DePaul to zero fast break points and the Cards scored four on the runouts...
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Reid's 28 points were her second highest output of the season...29 against Pitt being her top point total. Schimmel added 11, Becky Burke 10 and Keisha Hines netted 8 before fouling out.
Tia Gibbs finished with 4, Antonita Slaughter sank a key three for her three points and both Asia Taylor and Shelby Harper had two points...all from the foul line. Vails gave the Cards 13 minutes of quality relief but did not score. The Cards went 6-16 from three point area...Schimmel 3-5, Burke 2-4 and Slaughter 1-1. Harper (0-2) and Gibbs (0-4) were the other Cards attempting trifectas.
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After a fairly 'whistle free' first half, Dennis DeMayo and his crew...especially Jennifer Rezac...got busy and callled 25 fouls in the second stanza for a game total of 40...21 on DePaul and 19 on the Ville. Both Hines and Gibbs went to the bench with five each, Reid collected three and Harper two. Taylor, Schimmel, Vails and Slaughter received one each. DePaul lost Felicia Chester with five, Hampton and Taylor Pikes collected four each.
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Nine Cardinals played in the contest...Schimmel on the court for 36 minutes. Reid logged 34 minutes, Gibbs 30, Hines 29, Burke 24 and Harper 22. Vails had 13 minutes off the bench and starter Taylor just eight. Slaughter saw four minutes on the floor. Rachel Story, Charmaine Tay and Polly Harrington dressed for the game but did not play. Point guard Sam Quigley for DePaul played 39 of the 40 minutes but Louisville held her to six points on 2-10 shooting, two assists. one steal and got her to cough it up four times.
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Obviously...defense got it done for Louisville last night but WE also look at the Cards excellent effort from the free throw line as another key factor in the win. The Cards shot 20-22 from the stripe. Reid went 8-8, Burke was 4-4 and Taylor and Schimmel 2-2. Hines ended 2-3 and so did Harper for the only Louisville misses. 90.9% is the Louisville high for the season from the line. DePaul shot 13-21 for a lower than average 61.9% for them.
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The Louisville freshmen produced 14 of the Cards 68 points...11 from Schimmel and 3 from Slaughter. 13 of the 38 rebounds and the three who played shot 4-13 from the field. No word on why Tay never saw action last night.
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FROM THE MEDIA INTERVIEW ROOM:
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Reid on containing DePaul point guard Sam Quigley:
"We just tried to stay in front of her and know where she was on the court. We knew she was their leader."
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Schimmel on NCAA chances with the win:
"This game was a key for us because it allows us to keep in the mix and continue to just go out there and keep running and it help us. Whatever we do, we just want to keep winning because it just helps us get a better seed...in the BIG EAST and the NCAA Tournament."
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Schimmel on the timeout discussion with the score 57-50 and 3:50 to go:
"He (Walz) just told us to go out there and execute the plays he wanted us to execute. To get down and defend people and that's exactly what we did...defend people and our offense came back. He was telling us what plays to run and it helped us right then and there. We worked on the double screens all week and it helped us tonight."
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(Jeff Walz had a slightly different version of what he said during the timeout...telling Paul that he probably couldn't put into print what he said during the break. Walz, suffering from upper respiratory problems last night, did not let the illness keep him from being vocal, demonstrative and active...but you could tell in the post game pressure he was feeling bad and ready to go home and rest.)
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Reid on Walz's words of advice:
"He told us to play them at their own game. They knew the double team, so we ran it and then kicked it out to our shooters and we were driving. We had success all night with it. We were well prepared for this game."
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Reid on the practices before the game and what was stressed:
"Defense and rebounding. Definitely, definitely. We held them to 11 offensive rebounds which is a big step for us because we've struggled with rebounding. We did a really good job with it. Defensively, we've been picking it up. We had a little struggle at Syracuse but we have definitely improved in practice."
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Reid on knocking off five ranked teams this year and the Cards being one of the most dangerous teams in the country:
"Yeah, I think so. When we have a beauitful arena and a crowd like this as momentum...we can do a lot of big things. We have a lot of lethal weapons. Never know what to expect..a point guard that can deliver a behind the back pass, shoot it from half court. She (Schimmel) sits down and we still got a dribbler and playmaker to bring in. We got shooters and post players. I'd fear us..."
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Reid on Burke's spark in the second half:
"That was one of the things we worked on in practice. We knew it was going to happen. Inviting the double trap, coming off the screens and we knew our shooters were going to be open. We kicked to the weak side and knocked down some big shots. She (Burke) is a junior and she definitely stepped up. She knew what she had to do."
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Reid on another win on her "payback list" from last season:
"Yeah, we're just checking them off...(Laughter).
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Reid on the defensive effort...holding DePaul to a season low:
"The key was just staying in front of them and knwing where the shooters were. We worked on it all practice and like I said before...we were well-prepared for this game. We executed the game plan... we did exactly what he told us to and that is why we came out with the "W".
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Reid on a possible letdown after such a big win:
"One could say that...but we're playing in the BIG EAST..any given night any team can win. It doesn't matter who you are or what team is on your jersey, you gotta play hard every night. If we come out hard and do exactly what Coach tells us to do..execute the game plan...we'll win again. "
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Reid on the team going 20-22 from the free throw line:
(Laughter) "Yeah, it makes you feel pretty good. we have been struggling from there.
Schimmel: We are getting better. Shelby hardly misses from the free throw line but you can't make them all, I guess...but she made up for it on the defensive end."
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Reid on her several bad performances earlier in the season:
"It's basically been a battle within myself. My confidence was down for a little bit because it's no fun when you are hurt. You're limited. I rolled my ankle again in practice yesterday. Again.
But, I just have to know my game and play within myself. Lately, my confidence has been really up . I feel like if I keep continuing to go hard in practice...I'll be more productive in the game and that's exactly what I did. I had a really good practice this week and hurt ankle or hurt whatever or not I still got to come out and play hard. This team needs me and I need them."
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A video of Coach Walz's post game comments can be viewed over at http://www.uoflsports.com/
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With the win, the Cards have now held 13 straight opponents to less than 27 points in the first have in the KFC YUM Center. Tennessee is the only team to manage more than 30 in the first twenty minutes. DePaul's 20 was a season low for them in first half production and their 55 total points were a season low as well.
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Louisville's 20-22 free throw markmanship (.909) is the best total from the line for the Cards since going 6-6 vs. Vermont in 2004. It is also their highest line percentage when they've tried 10 or more free throws since a 10-11 effort against Wofford in 2001.
Louisville is 5-5 against ranked opponents this year and has forced all ten into at least 18 turnovers. The average of all ten is 21.7 per game.
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Shelby Harper picked up her first career block against DePaul....swatting away a Sam Quigley layup attempt in the first half. Antonita Slaughter drained her only three point attempt of the game and has now hit 12 of her last 20. She is 26-54 (.481) from the deep this year. Slaughter's turnover was her first since Dec. 20th. against Nebraska.
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Reid has now made 18 straight free throws with her 8-8 performance last night. She is currently in fifth place on career free throw attempts. Becky Burke has 17 in a row now after making her four attempts against the Blue Demons. Reid's 28 points marks the ninth time this year that she has reached the 20 point plateau.
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Shoni Schimmel has hit at least (1) three pointer in her last 24 games. Her streak is 4th longest in Cardinal history...one behind Sara Nord's 25 game streak in the 2003-04 season. Nord is in first place also with 36.
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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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DePaul vs. Lady Cards tonight in YUM Center





WEDNESDAY @ CARDINAL COUPLE


-Blue Demons come to the YUM

-Softball this weekend

-Pitino's Hoopsters throttle the Scarlet Knights.
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-Marion County begins Sweet Sixteen quest.


Big time matchup tonight at 7 p.m. in the KFC YUM Center between Doug Bruno's DePaul Blue Demons and the Lady Cards. DePaul (25-3, 12-1) is currently ranked 7th in this week's Associated Press poll and has already secured a two game bye in the upcoming BIG EAST Tournament in Hartford. Louisville (17-10, 8-5) is 11-2 in the KFC YUM Center on the season and will be looking for their fourth win in the last five games. Sheronne Vails (pictured above) is one of many Cardinals who will need to pick up their game if Louisville is to succeed against the Blue Demons.

DePaul can attack an opponent from many angles. They're led by Keisha Hampton's 15.5 points per game...but have Sam Quigley, Deidre Naughton, Anna Martin, Felicia Chester registering double figure scoring as well. They have won 12 of their last 13 and are 4-1 on the road during the streak. So far, only Connecticut has managed to put an "L" on them in BIG EAST play.

Louisville will try to counter with the scoring punch of Monique Reid and Shoni Schimmel. Both average over 15 points a game and are augmented by the strong outside shooting of Becky Burke and overall hustle of Tia Gibbs. The Cardinals also get extensive play from freshmen Sherrone Vails, Antonita Slaughter and sophomore Asia Taylor. Louisville's rebounding is led by Keisha Hines, the lone senior in the regular rotation.

The Cards expect an up-tempo, "who needs a shot clock?" type of game against DePaul. The Blue Demons average 76.8 points a game...the "Ville" checks in at 72.1 per performance. WAZOO Sports will cover the televised contest locally and the game will also be available on WKRD 790 AM/101.7 FM Cards Radio. Sometimes you can also get the feed at http://www.uoflsports.com/ but we've heard that it is hit or miss over there.


Sonja sees it:

Defense. On two levels. The Cards will need their best defense effort of the season to stop the freight train that is DePaul. Louisville must go to the boards with aggression, block out and get back after missed shots on their end if they are to stay competitive in tonight's game. Also, defense in the aspect of being able to be productive against the stifling defense that the Blue Demons throw at opponents. No 1-17's by Schimmel and Reid has to take an active part in the half court set. Burke will need to be more than a spot up 3 point shooter and the combination of Hines, Vails and Taylor have to contest every missed shot on both ends of the court. It must be a 40 minute effort of intensity, pressure and smart play making by Coach Walz's players tonight and...if he has to go deep into his bench...Slaughter, Tay, Harper and Vails will need to show they can contribute. Louisville has risen to the task against several higher ranked opponents this season. This game is winnable for the Cards if they listen and perform the game plan and instructions that the Louisville coaching staff lays out for them. If not, it could turn into an embarrassing mismatch. I see it as a close, hard fought battle that Louisville will have a chance to win late...if the Schimmel and Reid show can stay focused, centered and effective.

We'll have post-game coverage here at CARDINAL COUPLE tonight after the contest.


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Softball returns to Ulmer Stadium this weekend with the Red and Black Tournament beginning Friday. Three days of ball versus bat, starting off with a double-header for the Cards...SIU-Edwardsville at 1 p.m. and Boston University at 3 p.m. CARDINAL COUPLE will have full reports on each contest and we're trying to get down on campus today for a look at practice and possibly some player quotes. Louisville (5-5) has faced a brutal weekend tournament schedule so far this season...going against the likes of #5 Texas and #3 Alabama...and the Cards are no doubt quite happy to be back in the friendly confines of Ulmer.
This weekend should give fans a great look and insight into how the young Cardinal pitching staff will fare the rest of the season and also showcase the potent Cardinal slugging crew of Bemis, Trimble, Wolny, Ruckenbrod and Wherry. Admission is free to Cardinal softball games...make plans to spend a few hours with the girls this weekend...

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A nice start to the Louisville vs. Rutgers hoops game last night in Piscataway, NJ with Louisville sprinting out to a 17-2 start in the 55-37 win. Three 3-pointers each for Preston Knowles, Kyle Kuric and Mike Marra. Louisville kept the Scarlet Knights to their lowest point total in four years. A great way to spend a birthday evening for the 'big guy' and thanks to the buddies and pals who made sure that the 'cup runneth over' and the wings were plentiful...Also, thanks to all that sent birthday messages via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and such.
Remember, Sonja's birthday is Thursday. Show her the same love.
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Marion County began district Girls high school play by demolishing Campbellsville 95-19. Isn't there some kind of 'mercy' rule available in cases like this? You don't want your players (at least on the winning squad) to change their style of play...but couldn't the game be speeded up by letting the clock run continuously or stopping a game if the lead gets over 60 or 70? Look out, Kentucky High School girls' basketball....here comes M.C.H.S.
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Other examples from last night that lead to our conclusion that a "mercy" rule needs to be implemented:
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Butler 86- Evangel 5
Sacred Heart 72 - Waggener 21
Central 88 - St. Francis 37
Bowling Green 78 - Warren Central 16
St. Henry 72 - Lloyd Memorial 22
Newport Central Catholic 67 - Bellevue 21
Jackson County 71 - Onedia Baptist 16
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Have you ever played in a contest where you were just simply outclassed, outmanned and had no way to prevent the opponent from pretty much scoring whenever they wanted to? It's no fun, it's tough to keep your mind in the game and after awhile...you just get pretty discouraged and wish it would end. C'mon KHSAA...come up with a "mercy rule". Once an opponent goes up by 50...keep the clock running continuously. 60+ and blow the whistle and end it.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

BIG EAST rolls into Judgement Time





TUESDAY OBSERVATIONS @ C.C.


-High School District action begins


-The BIG EAST prospective


-Watson weighs in on DePaul


-Jackson was a sign of the times.


It's here...girls (and boys) high school district basketball time. The next several weeks will be a cornucopia of dribbling, rebounding and yelling coaches as high school basketball shifts into high gear and races to the Sweet Sixteen. Things in Jefferson County began last night with several district openers.


-Mercy had no trouble advancing to the next round...submarining Male 81-39.

-Manual took a step forward, eliminating Collegiate 60-18


Louisville signee Sara Hammond led her Rockcastle County squad to an opening night win over Pulaski County 57-24.


We'll keep an eye on these three squads..as well as Marion County...as they advance and hope ultimately to be one of the sixteen teams that will vie for the Kentucky Girls High School Basketball championship title. Manual and Mercy square off tonight...regardless of the outcome...both will advance to regional play.


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As the BIG EAST rolls into the final couple of weeks of regular season action, things are getting very tight for the battle for 4th place in conference standings. UConn, DePaul and Notre Dame have pretty much clinched the top three spots in the regular season and will get the first two days off at the BIG EAST Tournament in Hartford. Technically, if the Irish were to lose their final three games...they could slip into fourth...but we don't see them falling to Cincinnati. They may struggle against DePaul and West Virginia, but we're giving them the benefit of the doubt here. The fourth slot for double exemption remains quite a battle though. No less than seven teams are still in the hunt...Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Rutgers, Syracuse, West Virginia and St. John's control their fate and destiny to breath the rare and purified air of not having to play until the quarterfinals.


Of the contenders for 4th, we think Rutgers(8-5) has the best chance of sweeping the final three. They get USF and WVU in the RAC...and play Seton Hall on the road in their final. St. John's (7-6) closes out pretty easily also at Villanova and hosting Pittsburgh but at West Virginia to end the season won't be easy. There might be an argument that Louisville (8-5) could take two...Seton Hall and Providence should be Cardinal wins...but DePaul visits the KFC YUM Center Wednesday...a very tough test for the Cards. Marquette (8-5) could grab two wins also...at Providence and Cincinnati...but they have DePaul left to face also. Georgetown (8-5) is another candidate for two out of the final three..Pittsburgh and USF in the win column but hosting UConn won't go so well for them. Syracuse (7-6) is in position to notch a couple of victories against Cincinnati and Providence but ending the regular season at Connecticut looks like a loss. West Virginia (7-6) has the toughest task ahead...with Notre Dame, Rutgers and St. John's to end the year. A week of hoops to go before regular season end. Should be very interesting...
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Kayla Alexander was named BIG EAST Player of the Week and her performances against St. John's and Louisville were worthy of the honor. The Orange were 2-0 last week and Alexander averaged 19 points per game. Bria Hartley got freshman of the week honors as the Huskies keep rolling along. The BIG EAST Honor Roll names...Maya Moore, Taneisha Harrison (Pitt) Lindsay Kimmel (Nova) and Madina Ali (WVU).
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Six of the seven games on Saturday were won by visiting teams. Only UConn could hold home court safe. Also, six BIG EAST teams now have 20 wins or more on the season...Marquette joining the club by winning at Seton Hall Saturday. UConn, DePaul, Notre Dame, WVU, and Georgetown have reached the 20 win plateau also. Syracuse has 19 going into at Cincinnati tonight.
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We have no doubt that Syracuse is the best rebounding team in the BIG EAST but did you know they also lead the nation with a 15.2 rebounding margin over opponents? Advice to their remaining three opponents...don't miss many shots...
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We're going out on a limb here (what else is new?) and boldly predict that LOUISVILLE uses the incredible home court advantage that the KFC YUM Center provides and beats DePaul tomorrow night. Take no prisioners and play like champions, LADY CARDS!!
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DAVID WATSON chimes in from time to time with his unique perspectives on BIG EAST women's hoops. WE got this from him late last night...
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So who is ready for the Rumble in the YUM Wednesday Night? Jeff Walz probably hasn't had a lot of sleep over the last couple nights because the demolishing DePaul Blue Demons are headed to town and they're not stopping by just to visit the Ali Center.
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At 25-3, Doug Bruno's Windy City tornados have schooled the BIG EAST opposition with the ease of my youngest son straightening out my internet problems. Only UConn has blemished the DePaul BIG EAST slate with a 23 point pasting in Hartford. UConn does that to everyone, though, so we'll give Bruno's brawlers the benefit of the beat down.
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They do have an impressive 20 point win over Stanford this year. A Stanford team missing a key starter, mind you, but still a quality W. They attack you with a multitude of options. Cardinal fans will hear the names Quigley, Hampton, Naughton, Martin, Chester, Pikes and Harry out of Sean Moth's lips with frequency Wednesday night. I'm hoping they hear a lot of mention of Reid, Schimmel, Burke and Gibbs also.
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What does Louisville have to do to exorcise these Demons? We'll start with defense. The Cardinal effort has to be on par with the WVU effort a few days back. It cannot mirror the Syracuse nor the Georgetown blunders. They also must have a big inside game from Reid, some clutch shooting from Burke and Gibbs and, most importantly, a Shoni Schimmel who gets more points than turnovers.
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I won't be in the stands for this one. I hope I can somehow pick up the WAZOO broadcast. As much as I pay for digital, worldwide, more channels than I can name satellite coverage each month, I hope this one is floating out there in the stratosphere somewhere I can find it. I encourage you, the readers, to go. Get loud and rowdy. Clap your hands and stomp your feet. I hope you have plenty of reasons to do so.
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(David Watson can be contacted at mrwatsonipresume@insightbb.com . ) Do so at your own risk...he rambles on about stuff for hours and often loses his train of thought.
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Our sympathies go out to the family and friends of former Cardinal basketball player Troy Jackson..who died unexpectedly Sunday. Jackson, 35, may have been the biggest Cardinal to ever take the floor at Freedom Hall. He arrived on campus back in 1996 weighing in at over 500 lbs. He gave Denny Crum and Cardinal fans two years of solid and sometimes unexpected showmanship on the court in 1997 and 1998 before heading off to become a Harlem Globetrotter and play AND1 hoops. The called him 'Escalade', after the Cadillac pickup, and he had a heart as big and giving as the engine of the vehicle.
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He was the sign of the times of Louisville basketball back then...Denny Crum trying to find the spark and catalysts out there to return him to the glory days of the eighties. BJ Flynn and the famous flops. DeJuan Wheat, the unflappable guard. Alvin Sims and Beau Zach Smith...
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Jackson moved on the court with skill and precision belying his enormous size...but around young children seeking his autograph...he was a gentle and lovable family pet. Rest easy, T.J. You will be missed...
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Monday, February 21, 2011

Women's track takes BIG EAST Indoor Championships



MONDAY through the eyes of CARDINAL COUPLE:

-UofL takes title in BIG EAST indoor track and field.

-Cardinal softball wins final in Alabama

-Lacrosse wins opening game.

The University of Louisville women's track team captured their first indoor conference championship...with some strong performances by several individuals. Head Coach Ron Mann and his staff were also named BIG EAST Indoor Women's Coaching Staff of the Year. Louisville had to rally to get the title after leading on Day 1. It came down to the final event of the day, the 4x400 relay. Louisville got a inspired performance from Chelsea Brown, Margret Harris, Charachesicia Lockhart and Ahlivia Spencer to take third place in the final. scoring enough points to pass UConn and finish tops overall with 110 points. The Huskies ended up with 108.5.

Other Cardinal participants in the final day:

SHOT PUT
1st. Khadija Abdullah
2nd. Chinwe Okoro
3rd. D'Ana McCarty
4th. Amashi Kendall

60 METERS
2. Sarvina Richardson
5. Margert Harris

500 METERS
4. Ahlivia Spencer

3000 METERS
13. Kim Grieshaber
17. Monica Herdandez
18. Emily Borsase

HIGH JUMP
3. Michelle Theophille
7. Megan Schubert

POLE VAULT
6. Andrea Sabbatine
11.Chelsea Lucas
TRIPLE JUMP
4. Lockhart
17. Maggie Gilbertson


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Softball ended their stay in Alabama with an extra inning win Sunday over UTSA 7-3. Trailing 3-2 going in to the top of the seventh inning, Katie Keller drove home pinch runner Tesha Payton to tie the contest. The teams remained scoreless until the Cards got four runs in the top of the tenth inning...a Chelsea Bemis double scored Jordan Trimble. After Colby Wherry reached on an error, Maggie Ruckenbrod hit a two RBI single. Wherry scored the final run when Hannah Kiyohara singled.

Jennifer Esteban and Bemis were named to the All-Tournament team.

Louisville returns to action Friday in the Red and Black Tournament over at Ulmer Stadium. SIU-Edwardsville and Boston University visit.


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Louisville lacrosse got off to a strong start of the season by winning the home opener 18-4 over Binghamton. UofL's Katie Oliverio scored just eight seconds into the game. After two Binghamton scores, Emily Dashiell tacked on two points within 19 seconds of each other. Louisville led 11-4 at the half and shut out the Bearcats 7-0 in the second half.

The Cards were led Bergan Foley with 6 goals. Foley led the nation in goals last year. Sammy Allen and Dashiell finished with three each for the Cards. Freshman Ashley Herbst started at goalkeeper and had 12 saves while limiting Binghamton to just four points.

The lacrosse team returns to action Saturday at home against Old Dominion. Action begins at 1.

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Louisville's baseball team went 3-0 over the weekend in the BIG EAST vs. BIG TEN Challenge in St. Petersburg, FL. Dan McDonnell has a strong pitching staff on this year's Cardinal team and a bunch of sluggers to score for him. No word yet from whether the Parrish House bunch that winters in Naples, Florida made the trip up.
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Softball splits, Swimming and Diving wins BIG EAST




SUNDAY @ CARDINAL COUPLE:



-CARDS split in softball

-CARDS sweep BIG EAST SWIMMING Championships

-CARDS lead after 1st round of BIG EAST track CHAMPIONSHIPS

-Commentary and comments on LADY CARDS WBB win over USF.

Louisville softball split Saturday in Tuscaloosa, AL. in the 'Bama Bash...beating UT-San Antonio 2-1 and falling to Alabama 9-8.


In the first game, the Cards fell behind early to the Roadrunners when Tori Collins gave up a solo shot to Molly Fischer in the top of the second. Louisville countered with a run in the third when Jennifer Esteban reached on an error and scored on a Alicja Wolny single. The Cards scored the go ahead and final run in the fourth...getting a double from All-American Chelsea Bemis and pinch runner Tesha Payton greeting the umpire on a Maggie Ruckenbroad single.



Tori Collins turned in a solid performance on the mound for Louisville...fanning 12 and allowing only three hits in seven innings. Bemis had two hits to lead Louisville in batting.



Against Texas, Caralisa Connell got the start and Louisville gave her a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the first when Esteban singled, moved to third on a fielding error and wild pitch and touched home on a Kristin Austin fielder's choice. The Cards pushed it out to 3-0 in the second. Jordan Trimble singled, Ruckenbrod sent her to third on a single and a Katie Keller ground out scored her. Pinch runner Katelyn Mann found the plate on a passed ball.



The Crimson Tide made it 3-1 in the top of the third but the Cards fired back with two runs in the bottom half of the inning...Chelsea Bemis drilling a right field fench clearer that scored her and Colby Wherry. Bama crawled back with a run in the top of the fourth to make it 5-2. The Tide added a run in the fifth when Jackie Traina smashed one over the center field fence off of Connell.



Louisville built a seemingly unreachable 8-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Bemis walked and Trimble, Fowler and Ruckenbroad all singled to make it 7-3. Two straight bases on ball scored Fowler for a 8-3 Cardinal advantage.



Alabama came back, though, with four runs in the top of the sixth, getting a solo blast from Keima Davis and a three run shot from Cassie Reilly-Boccia to change the scoreboard 8-7 Cards. The Tide took the lead in the top of the seventh on a two run fence clearer by Davis and Louisville couldn't score in the bottom of the inning.



The Cards fall to 4-5. Collins got the loss in relief of Connell...allowing five runs and five hits in 2 pitched innings. Louisville plays UT-San Antonio Sunday @ noon for their final game in the Bash.



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Cardinal swim teams swept the BIG EAST Championships in the Ralph Wright Natatorium yesterday and head coach Arthur Alberio was named BIG EAST Coach of the Year. The ladies snapped a 14 year Notre Dame hold on the title, outpointing the Irish 820.5-655.



Therese Bergstrom finished first in the 200-breaststroke for the Cards. Aileen Cole finished a very close second in the 100-freestyle and Eszter Povazsay claimed second in the 200-backstroke. Raine Thompson swam to second in the 200-fly and the relay team of Cole, Breann McDowell, Krissie Brandenburg and Grite Apanaviciute narrowly missed in the 400-relay against the Irish by .34th of a second.



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Women's track and field has the lead after Day One in the BIG EAST Championship competition in Akron, Ohio. D'Ana McCarty won the weight throw..an event that the Cards swept the top three spots in and Charachesicia Lockhart leaped to a first place finish in the long jump.

Gabrielle Jackson is currently fourth in the pentathlon and Sarvia Richardson (2nd) and Margert Harris (4th) qualified for the 60 meter dash finals. Richardson also qualified for the 200 meter finals...finishing fifth in the qualifier. Ahlivia Spencer's 5th place put her in the 500 meter finals.
In addition to McCarty's win in the weight throw...Al-Amashi Kendall claimed second and Patrice Gates tossed for third. The UofL squad leads with 42 points...WVU follows in second with 30 and Syracuse is third at 22 points. Action continues Sunday.

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JEFF WALZ'S POST GAME COMMENTS after the win over USF:

" Well, I told the girls that we definitely wanted to send you out Jim (Kelch) with a win on your last road trip. It was the pre-game speech..it was all about Jim Kelch...We wouldn't be where we are without you and we appreciate all you've done for the last four years..."

On the win:
"Without a doubt, I was really proud of the kids. It was a win we had to have, a road game that we had to come down here and get. We played well at times today...and at times we didn't. We really were taking care of the ball until the last four minutes and then we had some crazy turnovers that we have to address...but overall I was really, really pleased about the way we played today.

On the 18 turnovers and early low percentage passing by Louisville:
"I thought we took pretty good care of the ball...I know at one point in the game Shoni had nine assists and nine turnovers...but I thought she played a really good game for us.... she had some really nice passes into the post. She goes 6-16 from the field...not a great shooting percentage...but again, she's not taking bad shots. She gets a steal and misses a layup..there could have been some contact. I thought Mo(nique Reid) played as well tonight as she's played in awhile. It's tough...I guess..for people who don't get the chance to see us play on the road..but Mo actually wanted the ball tonight, compared to Wednesday night at Syracuse...where Mo actually kind of hid. It's hard for us to get her the ball when she doesn't want it. Tonight she wanted it and did some great things with it."

On scoring depth:
"We're still trying to find one more great scorer. Tia Gibbs hits a big three there for us in the second half when they started to make a little run at us. I've got to get Becky Burke to do a little bit more than just being a spot up three point shooter for us. I need her to be able to read screens. She came off a screen, a double stacker that we set for her...she was wide open to drive it through on the curl to the basket...but she's always looking to shoot the three. I know she has the game...I've seen her do it at times...but we need to get one more player besides Monique and Shoni to be a creator."

On Keisha Hines' performance:
"She did play well. I get on Keisha sometimes because we actually throw it to her and she passes up a lot of shots. She only took five tonight. I want her to score. We need her to be a scoring threat for us... every night she could get 10 to 12 points for us and if she could do that...Mo is going to get her 16-18, Shoni's going to get 16-18 and we got to get one more to get that 8-10 each night and then we'll have four out there that everyone has to worry about.

On Walz's pregame promise to the team that a win over USF would get them Sunday off:
" I told them that it (Sunday) is an off day. I did encourage the one that did not get to play much that...I personally would get in the gym and get some shots up. That's just me. Not mandatory...it is completely an off day if you want. Like I try to tell them all, though...are you somebody that wants to play basketball, or are you a basketball player?

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We love the "basketball player" comment above by Coach Walz! Looking at the basketball played yesterday by the Lady Cards...several things stick out to us. Monique Reid's 11-15 shooting shows that she can be deadly when the Cards run the offense and work to get her open inside. Secondly, five offensive rebounds for the entire game is pitiful. Even though the Cards shot 50%...USF had 22 defensive boards. Only three Cardinals managed to grab a rebound after a Louisville missed shot. 23 chances, five second chances. Gotta improve that.

The Louisville freshmen accounted for 16 points of the 66 Louisville total...all from Schimmel. Walz did not play Charmaine Tay and there was no mention of why she didn't hit the court. Sherrone Vails saw only nine minutes on the court and Antonita Slaughter just two. Sophomore Shelby Harper had her second straight extended amount of time on the court yesterday with 10 minutes after being barely visible for most of the season. WE think Walz had her out there to harass USF leading scorer Andrea Smith. Harper did hit two free throws and get a rebound, assist and turnover while on the court. Smith ended with 16 points, slightly below her season average.

A brief appearance yesterday for starter Asia Taylor. Only 12 minutes of court time after starting each half. One shot, no points, two rebounds and fouls for the sophomore. Different approaches for different opponents we're guessing...but could have more Taylor led to more Cardinal rebounds? Four cards accounted for all but two of the Cards 27 grabs...Hines getting seven, Gibbs six, Schimmel five and Reid four. We'd never question Coach Walz's decision making...mind you. Just an observation.

An announced crowd of 683 watched the event. Not surprising, given the Bulls record and a beautiful Saturday outside in Tampa. The Bulls students are known for their catcalls directed at opposing players and harassment of officials and we could hear plenty of that going on yesterday over the radio. We'll never forget a trip to the Sun Dome several years back when we were vacationing in Florida and happened to go to a UofL men's game down there. Wouldn't have wanted to be on the Cardinal bench that afternoon...the students sit directly behind the benches..in a small balcony type setting and the language and taunts coming out of the section directly behind the Cardinal bench would have made the late George Carlin blush.

A big time match up awaits the Cards Wednesday night when DePaul rolls into town. The Blue Demons grabbed sole control of second place when Notre Dame got spanked by UConn yesterday. With just one conference loss, Doug Bruno's team does face a tough test today against dangerous Georgetown...who comes in for a visit. The Cards play well in the YUM (usually) with a big fan base present and a huge turnout is needed Wednesday night for the DePaul game. Bring a buddy, tell a friend..load up the kids and that neighbor who tells you they'd like to catch a ladies game and get down there!!! Tip is at 7. Wazoo Sports is televising it locally if you can't attend...
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