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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lady Cards slow down Racers with 43 point win...105-62

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WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE:

-Lady Cards romp Murray State...KY next.

The University of Louisville women's basketball team ripped by the Murray State Racers 105-62 in women's college basketball Tuesday night in the KFC YUM! Center. Louisville scored the first 16 points of the game in a four minute stretch and led by as many as 34 in the first half. Walz started the game with Becky Burke, Sara Hammond, Cierra Warren, Shoni Schimmel and Bria Smith and the fivesome dominated play from the opening tip.

The Lady Cards were on fire and Becky Burke ignited the flames with eight of Louisville's first ten points. Her three-pointer with 18:56 remaining in the first half put her in the 1,000 point club...the 22nd. Lady Card to reach that plateau. Louisville...despite having to deal with mass substitutions every two or three minutes of four or five Racer players...had no problems keeping the Racers at bay while seemingly scoring at will. A nifty Monique Reid layup off a Shoni Schimmel pass made it 20-5 with 11:50. The Schimmel sisters got into the act after that...Jude with two free throws and Shoni with two three point bombs and the Cards were up 30-5 with 7:53 left in the half.

Contributing Cardinal Couple writer Jenny O' Bryan
 gives me "L"
during our halftime discussion.
Monique Reid took over from there...scoring 12 of her game high 18 points in the final six minutes of the half...the Lady Cards went in at halftime up 50-18.

Murray State did open the second half with the first score, but Louisville responded with the next 12 points to take a 62-21 lead with 15:48 left. The Cards slowed down a little for a six minute stretch...getting outscored by M.S.U. 20-15...but still had a comfortable 77-41 lead with nine minutes to go after Jude Schimmel put in a layup she took coast to coast.

The only real question left after that was whether the Cards would reach the century mark and they accomplished that with 47 seconds left in the game on a Sherrone Vails jumper in the paint that put Louisville up by 43. The teams scored five points each in a frantic final 30 seconds...Louisville winning 105-62.

Halftime dunk contest for kids!
Even distribution was the tone of the evening...Jeff Walz playing dozens of different combinations...including a five minute stretch in the first half where both Schimmel's were on the court at the same time. No player saw more than 22 minutes (Jude) or less than 12 (Mo). Besides Mo's 18 points four other Lady Cards hit double figures...Shawnta Dyer and Shoni with 14, and Sara Hammond and Becky Burke with 10 each. Bria Smith and Jude had eight points each, Shelby Harper and Sherrone Vails six, Cierra Warren five, Antonita Slaughter with four and two for Asia Taylor. Louisville shot 53.4% for the game and went 21-25 from the foul stripe...Shawnta Dyer going a perfect 6-6.

Mariah Robinson bombed in 22 for M.S.U., including five from beyond the arc.

The Cards out rebounded the Racers 62-32...Shoni grabbing nine...and a whopping 45 of those were on the defensive boards. 

Murray did force Louisville into 23 turnovers while committing 20 of their own. They also had 14 steals, one more than the Cards. 

We're still trying to figure out the Racers substitution strategy...they did try to press most of the game...but Louisville had 27 points off turnovers and won the fast break battle 18-4. Murray State head coach Rob Cross pulled all five starters at the 18:33 mark and then sent all five back in less than a minute later. Two minutes later, he did the same thing...and it was a pattern he continued nine more times in the first half...three, four or five players coming in and going out. The Chinese fire drill occurred 14 times in the second half. Cross used 14 players against the Cards...we were ready to suit up and give him 2-3 minutes...everyone else in the KFC YUM! Arena seemed to play...

The Cards were looking for a good tune-up before facing UK and they got it tonight against a hard-playing, pressing, three-point crazy Racer team. Sean Moth, Cardinal public address announcer, got a workout also, announcing lineup changes with the frequency of a auctioneer at an estate sale...

THINGS WE LIKED TONIGHT:

-Cards early point production. Louisville scored early and often and in a variety of ways to begin each half tonight. Whether it was Burke bombing, Warren in the paint, or Sara Hammond putbacks...the Cards weren't missing much and getting plenty of opportunities.

-Inside play. The Cards scored 56 points in the paint tonight and limited Murray to just 16. Shawnta Dyer and Sherrone Vails picked right up where Hammond and Warren left off...and the deadly threat of Mo inside was as strong as usual.

-Hey, Jude! The freshman came out with fire tonight and got the Cards thru their offensive progressions from the point. She had four assists tonight and easily broke thru the full-court Murray State defensive pressure most of the time.

-Free throw shooting. The Cardinal team that struggled to reach 60% from the foul line last year is long gone. 21-25 for 84% gets a big 'thumbs up' from us.

THINGS TO WORK ON:

(Not much here to discuss, but here's a couple)

-Turnovers. Still too high at 23 but Coach Walz seems to think anywhere between 18-25 is usually going to be expected. Nature of the Cards offense, we get that...just hate seeing them. High risk, high reward.

-Offensive rebounding. No Lady Card had more than four tonight (Slaughter and Warren)...but when you shoot 53% for the game and a smoking 64% in the second half....there aren't a lot of rebounds out there.

THEY SAID IT:

Monique Reid on the Murray State substitution pattern:

"I was shocked. It seems like they all played forty minutes cause they were coming in and going out it seemed like every play!  I've never seen anything like it."

Becky Burke's take on it:

"We knew they'd press the whole game, that's what they do...so maybe that was it."

Monique on her game tonight:

"I know my role and what it is. I'm a scorer and that's what I come in and do."

Monique on Shawnta Dyer:

Mo and BB...the two Lady Card seniors
"She's definitely getting better out there. She's getting more confident. I know it's rough...sitting out a whole year. She's getting her feet up under her and I think she's ready to go."

Becky on reaching the 1,000 point mark:

" (Laughing)...Yeah, I forgot to get into our press after I made it, I was happy... and I got yelled at...so...(Mo and Becky laughing)...yeah, but I knew I was really close and it's definitely an honor to be there and follow Mo there. I'm glad I got to play enough minutes and shoot well enough to reach it."

Becky on the UK game:

"This is everything for us. We're not going to go out getting embarrassed. This is our (referrring to her and Monique) last time playing UK at UK's place and we're going to do everything we can to get the win."

Mo on the UK game:

"Sunday is a huge rivalry. I can't wait. It's like the biggest game of the year for us...for me...I'm from Louisville and it's going to be huge in there Sunday."

Coach Walz on the effort tonight:

"It was nice. We came out and played extremely well and it was nice to see us get off to such a great start. "

Walz on Murray and their 37 three point attempts:

"Yes, we expected it. That's what they like to do...come out and press and run and shoot the three. I though we did a very good job in the first half...being there on the catch and trying to force them to put the ball on the ground. Second half I thought we were rather poor on discipline, on getting help from the ball side, they'd drive and they'd kick to the corner for threes."

Walz on playing time:

"There comes a point in time where you have to take advantage of your playing time. Doesn't matter when you're in there or what the score is. There's no such thing on my team as scrap minutes. Coming in and picking up the slop, there's no such thing. I evaluate you the entire game. If you can't play when you're up twenty...what makes me think you can play when it's a four point game? So, I've explained that to them and challenged them."

Walz on Kentucky:

"We'll start watching some film tomorrow and develop a game plan on Thursday. That'll give us three days to prepare. They like to press and trap and we'll need to take care of the ball. They defend extremely well, they rotate and trap. It's like I told the kids...I don't prepare for this game any differently that I would for...like the Murray State game. It's the next game on our schedule and that's the way I always look at it. I know, for our fans, it's the UofL vs. UK game and they're all ready to go at it. I've never gotten into all that and I'm not going to. You win on Sunday or you lose on Sunday...it's not going to make or break your season. For us, it's a non-conference game against a very good team and we'll try to get ourselves prepared as we move on. It's a very good challenge for us and, win or lose on Sunday, we're going to learn a whole lot."

Walz on Burke reaching 1000 points:

"You know, that was just great. She's really worked hard over her four years. She's really become a lot more than just a stand-still three point shooter. I'm proud of the way she's learned to take the ball to the basket. Her game is really starting to evolve and she's been working hard on her ball-handling. She's very coachable right now and I'm very excited for her."

beatukbeatukbeatukbeatukbeatukbeatukbeatukbeatukbeatukbeatrukbeatukbratukbeatukbeatukbeatukbeatukbeatukbeatukbeatukbreatukbeatukbeatukkickthekatsbratukbreatuk

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Louisville WBB takes on the OVC again

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TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE:

-  Lady Cards face Murray State for first time since 2004

-  And the answer is...

-  Show me the Monny

The KFC YUM! Center will host NCAA Women's College Basketball tonight with a 7 p.m. game featuring the University of Louisville Cardinals vs. the Murray State Racers. The Cards come in to tonight's contest with a 6-1 record and on a five game win streak. Leading the way for Louisville are seniors Monique Reid (16.8 p.p.g). Becky Burke (12.9 p.p.g.) and sophomore Shoni Schimmel (13.0 p.p.g.) 

Erica leads the Racers
in scoring.
Louisville brings in a Racer squad that has played their last three games on the road. They fell to St. Louis Saturday 59-49 and have lost their last three games in a row. 

Erica Burgess leads the Racers in scoring...the sophomore guard averages 15.8 a game. Joining her in the back court is Mariah Robinson, a junior delivering 11.2 points per game. In the paint, the Racers look to junior forward Kyra Watson, who is currently leading the Racers in rebounding with 6.7 grabs a contest.

Local girls' high school basketball fans may remember Allison Karst, who is a sophomore on the Murray State roster. She played her high school hoops at Christian Academy with current Card Antonita Slaughter. She's a sometimes starter for the Racers this year and is averaging five points a game.

Overall in the series, the Cards are 13-4 against Murray State. The Cards last played the Racers in 2004 and won a 97-45 decision on a Sunday in Freedom Hall. Missy Taylor had 23 points and 14 rebounds against MSU and then head coach Tom Collen called it the best overall game that the (7-4) Cards had played to date. 

Missy Taylor was both and
inside and outside threat
for UofL
The main objectives for the Cardinal squad tonight is to keep improving and not get caught looking ahead to Sunday's square off against UK in Memorial Coliseum. We would expect Walz to play a variety of lineups tonight and work on cutting back the high turnover amount that has plagued Louisville several times this season. The Cards blasted out to a sizable early lead in their last two games and that will be something Walz would like to see tonight.

We'll also be watching to see how the Cards do on the boards against the shorter Racer squad. Walz has been working with the squad on releasing the ball immediately after a defensive rebound and getting the fast break working. We'd also like to see Shoni find her eye and have a high percentage shooting night against Murray. She's attempted the most shots of any Cardinal so far this year...but is only connecting on 30% of her launches.

Anyone who attends a game like
tonight's ought to get bring a
free bowl of soup...
For tonight's game, Cardinal Athletics has teamed up with St. Matthews' Area Ministries to provide food to the impoverished in our area. Fans bringing a canned food item to the game can purchase a ticket for only $2. Season ticket holders and those who have already purchased seats for tonight are encouraged to bring canned items as well.

The folks at St. Matthews' Area Ministries do a whole lot of good work for those who aren't fortunate. Why not give them a hand tonight and bring a can to the game? Or two?

******************************************************************

OK, time for a pop quiz. How closely have you been following the Lady Cards this year? We've got ten questions below for you, so put away your media guides and stat sheets and...good luck!

1) Who is leading Louisville in total rebounds this year?
a. Sara Hammond
b. Cierra Warren
c. Jude Schimmel
d. Adrienne Johnson

2) Who has played the most minutes this year?
a. Sherrone Vails
b. Keisha Hines
c. Becky Burke
d. Sara Hammond

3. Which Lady Card has committed the most fouls this year?
a. Antonita Slaughter
b. Asia Taylor
c. Cierra Warren
d. Sara Hammond

4. Which player has made the most three-point shots so far?
a. Cierra Warren
b. Shoni Schimmel
c. Becky Burke
d. Sara Hammond

5. Three of the players below have 10 or more steals. Which one does NOT?
a. Bria Smith
b. Shoni Schimmel
c. Sara Hammond
d. Cierra Warren

6. Which player below has NOT fouled out of a game this year?
a. Sara Hammond
b. Asia Taylor
c. Antonita Slaughter
d. Shoni Schimmel

7. One Lady Card has started all seven games this year. Who is it?
a. Becky Burke
b. Sara Hammond
c. Bria Smith
d. Cierra Warren

8. Who wears #12 on her jersey?
a. Shawnta Dyer
b. Sara Hammond
c. Asia Taylor
d. Penelope Pitstop

9. Which of the Lady Cards below is NOT from Kentucky?
a. Shelby Harper
b. Antonita Slaughter
c. Asia Taylor
d. Sara Hammond

10. Who leads the Lady Cards in defensive rebounds?
a. Monique Reid
b. Abe Vigoda
c. Sara Hammond
d. Cierra Warren


Will Murray State need
specialized crying tissues
after tonight?

The ANSWERS:

1. B. Cierra Warren
2. C. Becky Burke
3. D. Sara Hammond
4. C. Becky Burke
5. C. Sara Hammond
6. D. Shoni Schimmel
7. C. Bria Smith
8. A. Shawnta Dyer
9. C. Asia Taylor
10. C. Sara Hammond

So...how did you do?

10 correct - Take your seat next to play-by-play announcer Matt Andrews
8-9 correct - You've been paying attention and reading the stat lines.
6-7 correct - Not bad. You're a well informed Lady Cards fan
4-5 correct - You can do better. Read Cardinal Couple daily
2-3 correct - You circled Sara Hammond on each answer.
0-1 correct - Always glad to have UK fans visit the site
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********************************************************************************************

Lindsey Wilson freshman Monny Niamke is having a great year
so far for the 4-3 Blue Raiders WBB team. She's started all seven
games this year and is second on the team in scoring, filling up
the rim for an average of 14.9 points per game. She leads the team
in steals (18), assists (28) and is second in....REBOUNDS! (She's only
a generously listed 5'5")

We haven't heard anything differently about her changing her plans
to enroll and play basketball for Louisville next year. The experience
she's gained as a starting point guard this year for LWC will come
in handy as a part of the Lady Cards team.

She's also shooting a torrid 46% from the court and 75%
from the charity stripe. You can never have enough accurate
shooters on a team. Keep showing them the "Monny"...Ms. Niamke!!

cardinalcouplecardinalcouplecardinalcouplecardinalcouplecardinalkcouplecardinalcouplecardinalcouplecardinalcouplecardinalcouplecardinalcouplecardinalcouplecardinal








Monday, November 28, 2011

Cards travel to Purdue for 1st & 2nd rounds of NCAA Volleyball...

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MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

-Lady Cards will play Cardinals Friday in West Lafayette

-Baylor handles Vols...the Walker report

-Current top 15 rankings for College WBB

The University of Louisville will face Ball State Friday at 5 p.m. on Purdue's campus in their first round match of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament. Louisville received an 'at large' bid...based on their winning the BIG EAST regular season title...but was not one of the top 16 teams selected and did
not get a home venue for the first two rounds. Doesn't matter, according to head coach Anne Kordes:

"I couldn't be more excited. Purdue is a familiar venue for us in tournament time now. Coach Steve Shondell has done a phenomenal job at Ball State since getting there. They will be the toughest ball control and defensive team we will face all year. It's a very tough first round opponent. Our first goal is to concentrate on preparing for them because they are very good."

Purdue and Morehead State are the other two team beginning play at West Lafayette. Louisville has faced both this year, downing the Eagles Sunday in straight sets and falling to Purdue 3-2 back in September in Champaign, Ill. in the the BIG EAST/BIG 10 Challenge.

64 teams will compete for the title. From the BIG EAST, Cincinnati and Marquette join the Cards. The top four seeds were Texas, Nebraska, Illinois and Iowa State. The University of Kentucky also made the tournament and drew Dayton in the first round. The only other team from the state to receive a bid is Western Kentucky, who will play Marquette in the first round.

******************************************************************

(Sandra Walker reports on the Baylor vs. Tennessee game yesterday from Knoxville.)

16,000 fans watched Tennessee threaten Baylor's #1 ranking yesterday in the Thompson-Boling arena. Although the Vols out-rebounded the Bears 56-34, they took a 76-67 loss at home. UT used a solid 2-3 zone to slow Brittany Griner down, but, in the end...they were plagued by 29% field goal shooting and the Bears pulled away late for the nine point win.

Tennessee's early, stagnant 1-4 offense, their inability to capitalize on shots in the paint over the 6'8" Griner and a brief but futile effort to try and contain Griner in a man-to-man defensive set was too much for the Vols to overcome.

At halftime, Pat Summitt and her son Tyler made an announcement featuring the introduction of the Pat Summitt Foundation...whose purpose is to raise funds for the eradication of Alzheimer's disease. Featured events and a website are already in place. Additional plans are in the works.

There is a Facebook page set up and you can find out how to donate there or e-mail contactus@patsummitt.org

(Thanks, Sandy...for the great report on the game! WE, here at CARDINAL COUPLE have been touched with the dreaded dealings and heartbreak of Alzheimer's...Paul's Dad and one of his uncle's were diagnosed with it.

Pat's cause is a worthy one and we hope our readers will do what they can to contribute. )



**********************************************************************************

Top 15 rankings in Women's College Basketball from the AP and ESPN polls:
AP                                                                     ESPN/USA
1) Baylor                                                  1) Baylor
2) Connecticut                                           2) Connecticut
3) Stanford                                               3) Notre Dame
4) Notre Dame                                          4) Texas A&M
5) Texas A&M                                            5) Stanford
6) Tennessee                                            6) Duke
7) Duke                                                    7) Tennessee
8) Maryland                                               8) Maryland
9) Miami, FL.                                             9) Miami, FL.
10 Georgia                                                10) Georgia
11) LOUISVILLE                                        11) Kentucky
12) Oklahoma                                            12) LOUISVILLE
13) Rutgers                                               13) Rutgers
14) Kentucky                                             14) Oklahoma
15) Purdue                                                15) North Carolina

(Here's how we see it at CARDINAL COUPLE)

1) Baylor. Bears have done nothing wrong this year. Won at tough Tennessee
2) UConn. They're not missing Maya Moore yet...
3) Texas A&M. They can punish you inside or out.
4) Notre Dame. Muffett has a strong cast of returning stars, good freshmen
5) Stanford. The Ogumike sisters still there. Lost to UConn, beat Xavier.
6) Duke. The best in the ACC this year. Should have beat Notre Dame.
7) LOUISVILLE. With Mo back and only one loss, the Cards are for real.
8) Maryland. Brenda will give the ACC title chase her full effort.
9) KENTUCKY. This group of Cats have some sharp claws and shoot well
10) Tennessee. Despite two losses, the Vols are solid, best in the SEC.
11) Rutgers. C-Viv has a strong, deep roster this year.
12) Miami, FL. Don't know a thing about them...but everyone likes them.
13) North Carolina. Sylvia's stars depleted, but Chay Shegog is all that.
14) Oklahoma. Will pull a few BIG 12 upsets. Team has a shot vs. Baylor.
15) Florida State. Despite the early rough going, Sue has a talented team. 

I know, we're heavy on ACC teams in here (5)...but there's a lot of talent in that league this year. Second best conference, next to the BIG EAST.  We almost stuck DePaul in at #15...but the loss to San Diego State was puzzling and they've got Tennessee coming up in the Maggie Dixon Classic...wait and see on the Blue Demons and Keisha Hampton currently...


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...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Volleyball sweeps Morehead...More on Lady Cards WBB win...Sandy previews Baylor vs. Tennessee matchup

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SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

-Volleyball sweeps Morehead...awaits NCAA Selection Show

-Breaking down the Cards win over FAMU

-Sandy Walker previews #1 Baylor vs. #7 Tennessee

Louisville Volleyball ended the regular season and celebrated Senior Day yesterday afternoon in Cardinal Arena with a 25-12, 25-20, 25-18 sweep
over OVC champion Morehead.

The Cards started briskly against the Eagles in the first game...blowing out to a 9-4 lead and increased upon that as the game went on...winning by 13. Emily Juhl, Kaitlynn James and Lola Arsanbekova using their kill shot prowess to produce 13 kills against the hapless Morehead defense.

Game two was almost a repeat...Louisville taking command early and well on the way to a rout at 17-11...but Morehead found some pride and rallied to tie the match at 20-20. After a Cardinal timeout, Anne Kordes' troops ran off the final five points of the set...Lola stepping up big for the Red and Black.

In the final, the teams exchanged leads early and the game was tied at 11-11 before the Cards ran off five consecutive points and eventually led 20-14 en route to a seven point win....Louisville scoring the final five point of the game.

THEY SAID IT:

"We did what we had to do today. Today was about taking care of business and it was a group effort for the win. Caitlin Welch did a great job defensively and Taylor Brauneis set a great and balanced offense against a very good Morehead State team. WE did what we could do to create the opportunity for the NCAA Tournament. Our goal is to advance in the tournament and continue the tradition. Now, we wait and see what happens Sunday on the Selection Show." - Anne Kordes, Louisville head volleyball coach.

The announcements of the brackets and pairing will be made tonight at 6 p.m. on ESPNU. Good luck to the Volleyball Cards for a great seed and continued success!

******************************************************************

A look at some numbers from Louisville women's basketball's 86-66 win over FAMU yesterday in Tallahassee:

-Louisville continues their surprisingly good marksmanship from the charity stripe...going 15-23 for 65.2%. Bria was 3-4, Mo 6-9, Asia 2-4 and Becky 5-7.


Gibbs could steal.

-Cards with a 47-37 rebounding edge from FAMU after being tied at the end of the first half on the boards. Asia with eight, Cierra had seven, Shawnta grabbed 6, so did Mo and the Cards ruled the defensive rebounds 31-17. Not so good on the offensive end...where FAMU won the battle 20-16. 


-Although turnovers were too high at 27...they were pretty well equally distributed. Sara and Jude had 4 each, Asia three and seven players had two each. FAMU had only 17 turnovers.

-FAMU led the steals department 11-10. Shoni and Becky with three each. This is one of the areas UofL really misses Tia Gibbs...she was a master thief. 

-Minutes played. No Cardinal saw 30 minutes of action against the Lady Rattlers. All 12 Cards that made the trip played. The breakdown:

Becky Burke 29       Cierra Warren 17        Shelby Harper 13
Bria Smith 26              Sara Hammond 16      Antonita Slaughter 10
S. Schimmel 24       Shawnta Dyer 15        J. Schimmel 9
Sara Hammond 18   Asia Taylor 15            Sherrone Vails 8

Finally, Louisville held FAMU to 31% shooting (22-70). The Lady Rattlers got off 12 more shots than the Cards but Louisville made nine more baskets.

SONJA'S EARLY SEASON AWARDS:

-- MVP Gotta go with Mo. She's returned from injury and been outstanding. 16.8 p.p.g. and unstoppable in the paint. Do the Cards beat Texas A&M with her in the lineup? We'll never know...but she would have had an impact. 

--FRESHMAN MVP WE'll take Bria Smith here. A starter and impact player on both ends of the court. That lightning fast first step and base-line control are way impressive and rare for a first-year player.

--OFF THE BENCH Since Mo already has a award...I'll take Asia Taylor here. She impacts a game when she steps on the floor and has developed a good touch from the charity stripe.

-- FAN FAVORITE Her time has been limited this year, but the Cardinal faithful still whip themselves into a frenzy when Shelby Harper checks in. Dauntless, fearless and always in a hurry.

--HEART AND HUSTLE I pick Sherrone Vails...she has stepped up her defensive efforts this year, battles opposing centers tooth and nail and brings a spark to the Cards lineup when she takes the court.

--POWER IN THE PAINT Going with Cierra Warren, even though her Florida trip wasn't the best. Warren has strength, size and a sweet shot inside...she exudes confidence and swagger on the court...just gotta keep away from the silly fouls and fading away from the basket on close-in shots. Lean in, big girl!

******************************************************************

(SANDY WALKER is a contributing writer for Cardinal Couple. She'll make the trek to Knoxville today to watch #1 Baylor visit the Tennessee Vols and Pat Summitt. Here are her pre-game observations...we look forward to her post-game report.)

#1 ranked BAYLOR and head coach Kim Mulkey are shooting for a shocking three wins in a row over TENNESSEE in a highly anticipated pre-conference duel. It was last March when the Bears and the Vols met up...the Bears showing Pat and company the exit door from the NCAA Tournament. Both teams will be eager to establish and maintain dominance over the other early in this contest...and it could lead to another spring matchup as the schools march to the NCAA tournament.

The teams enter today's game going in different directions. Baylor is fresh off a win over previously #2 ranked Notre Dame and U.T. reeling after an unexpected overtime loss to unranked Virginia.

Emotions will be high today...Vols fans instructed to wear their "WE BACK PAT" t-shirts in honor of their coach and her diagnosis on early onset dementia. Sales of the shirts have raised more than $150,000 for Alzheimer's research programs and the Tennessee Athletic Department will present checks to ALZHEIMER'S TENNESSEE and UT MEDICAL CENTER before the game.

(Thanks to Sandy for a wonderful pre-game preview. CARDINAL COUPLE received (2) WE BACK PAT orange t-shirts earlier this year as a gift from our friend Joe Hill...who recently moved back into the Gatlinburg area after "retiring to Florida". WE can honestly say that WE are UT Women's basketball fans this year...we were even UT football fans yesterday, but they couldn't extend the win streak over Kentucky...losing 10-7 in Lexington.)

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..
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

FAMU vs. UofL WBB...Lady Cards win 86-66

CARDINAL COUPLE GAME REPORT:

-Burke and Reid carry the load against FAMU

In-Game Report and recap...

Today's starters: Sara Hammond, Becky Burke, Cierra Warren, Bria Smith and Shoni Schimmel.

At the half...UofL 41-FAMU 29. The Lady Cards being led by Monique Reid's 19 points. Cards were sluggish to start, fell behind 5-0, but went on a 16-2 run to lead 16-7 after a Shoni three at 13:45 mark.

FAMU cut it to 28-24 with 5 minutes to go. The Cards went on a 13-4 run, led by Reid getting 10 of them, to end the half. Louisville, despite a height advantage, having trouble on the offensive boards and Cierra Warren and Sara Hammond with just 2 points each. Shoni has (2) three's for six points. 22-22 in the rebounding stats and Louisville has 13 turnovers already.

Reid played 12 minutes, didn't start...Shoni with 17 minutes.


Second half...Louisville began the second half with a 7-0 run and pushed that lead to 55-34 when Burke connected inside with 16:28 remaining. A Burke three and Dyer inside putback gave the Lady cards at 65-40 advantage with 11:05 to go. The Cards largest lead came after another Burke three made it 70-44 with nine minutes left. 

Burke left the game with 5:40 to go with 16 second half points and 21 for the game. With her and the other starters on the bench...the Cards lead fell to 16 at 82-66 with 1:30 to go, but Louisville got final four points...two by Dyer and two by Taylor to win by 20...86-66.

Louisville avoided the possibility of a letdown with solid, but not spectacular play today against a determined but less talented Lady Rattler squad. Seniors ruled the action for Louisville, besides Burke's 21, was Reid's 22. They accounted for half the Lady Cards points today. Smith had 11. Shoni finished with eight points.

Cardinal scoring:

Reid                 22 (in 18 minutes)
Burke              21
Smith              11
S. Schimmel    9
Taylor              6
Dyer                 6
Hammond       4
J. Schimmel    3
Warren           2
Vails                2

(Harper & Slaughter played...no points.)

THINGS WE LIKED ABOUT TODAY:

-Becky Burke from deep. Five baskets from three point range today. She is at 999 career points and should join the 1000-point club Tuesday night in the KFC YUM Center against Murray State. She'd be the 22nd. Lady Card to get there.

-Shooting defense. Louisville held FAMU to 31% shooting.

-38-10 points-in-the-paint advantage. Thanks to Reid, Dyer and Taylor...the Cards were getting put backs and inside scores.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT:

-Turnovers. Maybe fatigue had something to do with it, but 27 turnovers is way too many against a MEAC Conference opponent. Sloppy guard ball-handling and dropped feeds in the paint.

-Freshman slump. After playing a big role in the early season, the freshman contribution today fell off to just 18 points. With Reid back, we expected a bit off a drop-off...but not this much.

-Oh where, oh where did our Cierra Warren go? A virtual ghost today with just 2 points. Maybe Walz figured he didn't need her, or she was worn out from Friday's two point second half effort. Puzzling. Her fouls seem forced at times.

HE SAID IT:

Coach Walz was far from pleased with the effort today, calling it "sloppy" and "uninspired" at times. Other things he touched on after the game:

-The freshmen need to become more active in the overall effort.

-Jude's play was not good today. Needs to figure out why.

-Turnover numbers were embarrassing today.

-Liked the way the Cards came out to start the second half and the way they battled back early in the first half after falling behind. Wishes they wouldn't get in those come-from-behind early situations, though.

-Pleased with Reid's 18 minutes and stressed that she would continue to get about 18-25 a game. Won't be a 40 minute-a-game-player..she tires too easily. 30 minutes about the most she can go, if necessary...right now.

- Burke continues to communicate well and show senior leadership abilities.

-The Lady Cards guards must play better when guarding the opponent with the ball and rebound better from the guard position.

Louisville returns to action Tuesday night, in the KFC YUM! Center with a 7 p.m. contest against Murray State. After that, the annual matchup against UK - this year in Lexington. (Memorial Coliseum, Sun. Dec. 4th., 1 p.m.) The Lady Kats are 6-0 and play tomorrow.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Lady Cards 85 - Fla State 76 WBB

Saturday Cardinal COUPLE:

-Reid, Schimmel lead way in win over 'Noles

-Football notches seventh win, share of conference title

-WISE DAN takes Clark Handicap at Churchill

NOTE: UofL WBB game is at 4 p.m. today instead of 7 p.m. as previously mentioned.

The University of Louisville women's basketball team won on the road in
Tallahassee last night, withstanding two Florida State runs, to take a
hard fought 85-76 win over the 'Noles.

"For the first time this year, we played hard for 40 minutes." -Jeff Walz, head coach.

Shoni scored Louisville's
final five points of the first half.
Louisville started out the game in a flurry, running up a 7-0 lead on FSU when Cierra Warren scored in the paint and the Cards controlled the first ten minutes of action. Monique Reid sank two free throws to give Louisville a 15-6 advantage with 14:43 left in the first half and Reid scored from the paint to make it 27-16 with 10:50 on the clock. The Cards were still in control after Sara Hammond connected inside...giving Louisville a 35-26 edge at 5:35 in the half. From there, though...FSU went on a 14-4 run over the next four minutes and tied the contest at 39-39, thanks largely to the efforts of 6'4" center Cierra Bravard. The Cards had Reid and Warren on the bench with foul trouble and needed a spark.

Shoni Schimmel came through for UofL. After Sara Hammond scored to give the Cards a two point advantage, Schimmel scored the final five points of the half, including a buzzer beating jumper that concluded a 7-0 Cardinal run and it was 46-39 Cards at the break.

Reid was magnificent in the first half, coming off the bench to provide Louisville with 12 points in just eight minutes. Bria Smith added nine first half points and Schimmel, after nailing a game opening three, had eight for UofL. The Cards had a 18-14 edge in rebounds after twenty minutes.

The Cards started the second half in a hurry...Warren scoring first and Schimmel drilling another three and getting a steal for a layup to push the
Louisville lead to 53-41 after two minutes had ticked off the clock. That lead was still at 12 after another Shoni three at the 13:01 mark and it looked like the Cards might have FSU on their heels. The 'Noles were far from finished, though.

Bravard finished with
27 for the 'Noles
A 10-4 run drew FSU within six before Shoni found Reid with a half-court pass for two and it was 62-54 with 9:50 remaining. Florida State kept chipping away at the Cardinal advantage over the next five minutes and tied the game at 66-66 with 4:35 left. A Schimmel three broke the deadlock...but when Warren fouled out with 3:39 remaining, two free throws from FSU's Bravard made it only 71-70 Cards.

Reid and Asia Taylor went to work for UofL, though, and combined for a 7-0 UofL run to give the Lady Cards a 78-70 lead with 1:58 to go. FSU would get no closer than six the rest of the way and Louisville sank seven out of eight free throws down the stretch to preserve the win.

Louisville forced the 'Noles into 24 turnovers for the forty minutes, while creating only 17 miscues.

CARDINAL SCORING:

S.Schimmel 25 (in 40 minutes)
Reid           23 (in 24 minutes)
Smith         11
Burke           7
Hammond     6
Warren         6
Taylor          5
Dyer            2

Sherrone Vails and Antonita Slaughter both played but did not score. Shelby Harper and Jude Schimmel did not see action...but both will probably see extensive minutes Saturday night against Florida A&M, since Shoni logged 40 at the point tonight...a decision Jeff Walz said he made because of the 'Noles size and aggressiveness in the back court. Becky Burke played 37 minutes in the game.

WHAT WE LIKED ABOUT LAST NIGHT

-Louisville, faced with two opposition runs in front of an away crowd, came back and took control each time. They scored seven straight points to close out the first half after FSU tied it at 39-39 and went on a 11-3 run late in the second half after the 'Noles knotted it up at 69-69. Not folding on the road, a good sign of maturity and poise for the Lady Cards. 

-They're back! The 'Sho and Mo show' has returned and we're glad it's back on the airwaves. When Warren went to the bench in each half because of fouls, Shoni took over in the first half and both Shoni and Monique carried Louisville to the win in the second half...scoring 11 of the Cards final 14 points.

-Asia Taylor, with five clutch free throws down the stretch when Louisville had to have them. Her defensive work last night caused several turnovers and tied possessions also. She's becoming a spark off the bench like Mo and it couldn't happen to a harder working and more deserving player. Make 'em pay, A-Tayy!!

THINGS TO IMPROVE ON:

-Defensive stops in the paint. FSU's Bravard pretty much had her way against Warren, Vails, Dyer and Taylor inside last night and finished with 27 points. She may be one of the best post players Louisville will see this year...but she won't be the last tall and athletic one they'll face. Gotta limit the bigs...

-Preventing the opponent's runs. Twice last night, Louisville had 12 point leads and had FSU on the verge of getting blown out. Both times the 'Noles
came back to tie it. Developing a stronger "killer attitude" wouldn't hurt at all.

-Fouls. With Reid and Warren getting in early foul trouble, it put two of the Cards best scoring weapons on ice. When Warren fouled out, it left Louisville scrambling to find someone to shut down Bravard. Sure, calls aren't always going to go your way on the road...but solid defense without fouling would only benefit UofL.

A quick turnaround for UofL...the girls face FAMU at 4 p.m. today. The Rattlerettes lost a close one to Nebraska Friday, so they'll be tired also..but still dangerous.

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Nice work by Teddy Bridgewater and the Football Cards, ending the regular season with a 34-24 win down in Tampa over USF. First victory ever there for Louisville. The Cards have a share of the BIG EAST championship now, and with West Virginia roaring back to defeat Pitt last night...the Cards could get the BCS bid with a little luck. They need Cincinnati to lose...and without starting quartereback Zach Collaros, that's entirely possible. 

"A lot of Cardinal fans are counting on
you to beat Cincy! Are you able?"
Seven wins for UofL this year...including beating Kentucky, West Virginia and South Florida. And, this is a very young Cardinal football team. If Teddy Bridgewater isn't the best freshman quarterback in college football, show me a better one.  

Louisville needs Syracuse to defeat Cincinnati today in the Orange Dome. Game is at noon on the BIG EAST Network...if you want to see it.

(Was a Mountaineer fan last night, and a Orange fan today. This time of year brings out some pretty strange scenarios. I even found myself humming along with the WVU fans last night when they sang the traditional post-game "Country Roads" by John Denver. I seriously need help....Sonja kept me from burning any couches)

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Sonja at Churchill with buddies
Norma and Alan.
WISE DAN roared down the Churchill Downs stretch under the guidance of first time jockey John Velazquez and defeated 12 rivals in the $500,000 Clark Handicap yesterday at Churchill Downs. He was the second betting choice and returned $11 to win for trainer Charles Lopresti.

He was part of a successful Pick 4 for CARDINAL COUPLE...defeating longshot Mission Impazible and favorite Flat Out.

Wonderful day at the Twin Spires yesterday for CARDINAL COUPLE. Joined by Bread Boy in the Turf Club and meeting up later with Tommy Boy, we had excellent food, great racing luck and a fun Friday afternoon watching the horses.


Our bartending buddy Jo-Ann
Churchill does it right on the big days, but one has to wonder what they're trying to accomplish by ending the Twin Spires Club in February 2012. The announcement of TSC Elite is a slap in the face to the occasional bettors who can't afford wagering $25,000 a year to qualify as members.

It's the average race track attendee, who might not be there every day...but still bumps up attendance and wagering numbers...that is getting the muddy end of the bridle here. Several people we talked to yesterday are upset that the track will begin to charge admission for those who can't throw down 1/4th. of $100,000 a year at the historic oval.

It'll affect attendance, concession stand sales and drive some across the bridge to Indiana off-track facilities...where food and beverage is cheaper, admission is free and there are separate smoking facilities indoors.  

The Downs already is faced with the absence of casino-style wagering on the facilities and purses for racing are diminished because of this lack of extra purse money. Now they want to sock it to the little guy.

Sonja and Jo-Ann
Reconsider, Churchill. Even though the Friday Night under the Lights promotions are popular....turning your back on the common man will result in sparse attendance on days where major events aren't happening.

You're competing for entertainment dollars in a economy where those are steadily diminishing. Jacking up your prices and assuming an elitist policy probably isn't the brightest concept you've ever come up with...

Fla. State, FAMU await Lady Cards

FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

-Lady Cards in Florida for two

-Football Cards in Florida also

-Directions need to change in BIG EAST re-alignment?

Nothing better than heading to Florida for a few days after Thanksgiving, right? For the Lady Cards, another early season test against a ranked opponent might detract a bit from the sun and fun in the Sunshine state.

The Seminoles (3-2) are #24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. They've been playing a challenging schedule so far...with losses to SEC schools Arkansas and Florida and a win over Georgia State in their last outing at home. Home has been good to FSU when it comes to facing the Lady Cards...they've defeated Louisville the last five times UofL has visited and they lead the overall series 12-10 against the Lady Cards. 

Last meeting between the two schools was in the Tom Collen era...when they matched up in 2004 at the Lady Griz Classic in Missoula, Montana. FSU beat Louisville 69-54. 

After the Fla. State game, the Cards stay in Tallahassee to face Florida A&M. The Rattleretts are 1-2 on the season and play Nebraska tonight. The Lady Cards and FAMU have never met before.

-Hats off to Bria Smith for her theft capabilities. The freshman has 17 steals in five games. Only Sara Nord (21) and Angel McCoughtry (19) have started a season with more and both of them accomplished the pilfering as seniors.

-Becky Burke is 13-13 this year on free throws and 168-196 in her career. The .875 % puts her #1 in Cardinal history so far...narrowly ahead of Kristin Maddox (.852), who played at UofL from 1992-96.  

-When Louisville held Xavier to 12 first half points, it tied the record for second-least opponent points in a first half. The Cards held Houston Baptist to 8 last year in a 100-34 win. They also held Coastal Carolina to 12 in 1996.

-Shawnta Dyer set career marks with seven points and 10 rebounds against Xavier.


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Although the Football Cards are already bowl eligible, they're on a mission in Florida also...to record a first ever win against the South Florida Bulls in Tampa and stay alive for a shot at the BIG EAST title and BCS Bowl bid.


Remarkable accomplishments this year by Charlie Strong and his crew. The Cards were picked in the pre-season to finish seventh out of the eight teams that play football in the BIG EAST.

They stand a good chance today if USF quarterback B.J. Daniels can't play because of a bad shoulder. Daniels injured the should last week against Miami in a game USF lost 6-3. His playing status is a game-time decision, from what we've been reading...

Although football at 11 a.m. isn't exactly something WE get excited about...(3:30 has been and will always be our favorite kick-off time)...today's game holds a lot of implications for the near future of Cardinal football and we'll be watching and hoping Louisville can pull off a first-ever feat in Tampa.

*****************************************************************

CARDINAL COUPLE reader Jason (Louisville, KY) sent us an interesting re-alignment proposal for BIG EAST football. He thinks the conference should go in a north-south direction instead of east-west. His proposed alignment is below...

NORTH DIVISION

Connecticut
Rutgers
Villanova
Temple
Marshall
Massachusetts (or Army or Navy)

SOUTH DIVISION

Louisville
Cincinnati
South Florida
Central Florida
East Carolina
Memphis

One of the things about his idea we like is short travel distances to away games. Trips to Texas and out west aren't something we're looking forward to if the BIG EAST includes schools out there.

It's the BIG EAST, so anything could happen...but we not so sure that football should be driving the train for all the other sports that Louisville participates in as a member of the BIG EAST. Television and the $$$ they throw around has ruined the landscape of college football, in our opinion, and it's time for the athletic directors and Universities to start dictating the terms to the networks, instead of vice-versa.


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Thursday, November 24, 2011

U Can't stuff this





HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

We hope your Thanksgiving holiday is great and WE'LL see you Friday. WE appreciate all our great readers and are very thankful for you checking out CARDINAL COUPLE. As a fan voice for Cardinal Women's Athletics, we try to never forget that it's YOU who make CARDINAL COUPLE. We promise to provide you the best coverage we can on Cardinal Women's sports. WE'RE excited about this weekend and hope the LADY CARDS do well in Florida, that the Volleyball team gets a great seed in the NCAA Tournament and wish all the hard-working atheletes that don the Cardinal uniforms the best of successes and healthy bodies to compete and grow.

From Paul, Sonja, David, Jenny, Sandra, Donnie, Bill the Goat, Tommy Boy, Felton John, Poobah, Cletus, Co-Co and La-La...HAPPY THANKSGIVING and GO CARDS!

We offer this story for you today from a reader who tells us about a very special Thanksgiving memory and the aspects of giving.

It was a couple of days before Thanksgiving many years back, and most of the students/frat brothers were making plans to go home for the holidays. Since I was local, it was no big deal for me. Just hop in the car, make the 20 minute drive and I was there.

I saw the building's custodian early that morning and we chatted for awhile. I asked him about his Thanksgiving plans and he told me was going to the downtown Walgreens to have his dinner. Back then, some of them still had luncheonette counters. I asked why he didn't spend time with his family and he point-blank told me

"I don't have any family."

He went on to explain that his parents had been dead for some time, he had been an only child and he hadn't kept up with his dad's brother or mother's brother in years.

I thought about that as I got ready to go sit down with my family for Thanksgiving. How lucky I was to be able to share it with my family. That I wasn't alone in the world.

I made a slight detour before heading out to my parents' house. Went to the Walgreens. Asked the counter waitress if she knew the custodian. She did. I gave her some cash, enough to pay for his dinner, a piece of pie and a tip for her. I asked her not to tell him who did this. She was touched. She promised she wouldn't .

I graduated that next spring, went out of town for a few years on my first job, but made it back down to the frat house for a football homecoming party and asked about the custodian. I was told he had died of a heart attack two years earlier, while on the job. I remembered his lack of family situation and wondered aloud who buried him.

The young man I was talking to said..."We did. He'd do this big deal for us each year...hang Christmas stockings on our doors for us and we'd find them after we returned from Christmas break. Candy, snacks, and gift certificates to Walgreens. So, when we found out he didn't have anybody, we realized that he had US and we took up a collection, talked to a local funeral home who gave us a pretty good rate and we took care of it. Funny, we were the only ones at the viewing except for this lady who showed up late. She was a waitress. She said she knew him from Walgreens. We were just going to have him cremated but she tells us she has these couple of graveyard plots and she'd give one up for him to be buried there. Tells us that she'd been in love with him for years but she was too shy and unconfident to tell him. Tells us that she'd like him to rest next to her when she eventually died. She had enjoyed him coming in most afternoons for lunch and that he had asked her a week before he died if maybe she'd consider going to a movie with him. They never got to do that, but it meant to her that maybe her love wasn't unrequieted."

As you enjoy your Thanksgiving season, remember those less fortunate than you and do what you can. Sometimes, it can set off a wonderful chain of responses.

(Author's name withheld by request)
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