FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-Villanova visits the KFC YUM Saturday
The University of Louisville's women's basketball team closes out the first half of their BIG EAST schedule when the Villanova Wildcats visit Saturday at 2 p.m. The Wildcats are 3-4 in BIG EAST Conference play and 13-7 overall. Last time out, they defeated Cincy 62-53 in the Pavillion in Philadelphia. Lauren Burford had 16 against the Bearcats and Laura Sweeney added 14. It was a "Pack the House" promotion. About 600 showed up to see the Wildcats win.
In BIG EAST play, the Wildcats have also defeated Providence and Pittsburgh. Losses have come against WVU (61-56), Marquette (51-50), UConn (72-49) and Notre Dame (76-43).
'Nova is led by 6'2" junior forward Laura Sweeney, who averages 15 points a game. Rachel Roberts, a 5'9" junior guard, adds 9.6 points per contest. Burford is a 6'0" red-shirt freshman forward who totals 8.2 each time out. Other starters are Lindsey Kimmel, a 6'0" senior guard and Jesse Carey, a 5'10" junior guard.
Nova plays five off the bench pretty regularly. Devon Kane, Megan Pearson, Emily Lear, Emily Suhey and Taylor Holeman all see double digit playing time as a rule.
Three point threats are Burford and Roberts. The Wildcats don't seem to put the trifecta up as much as in past years...but they did launch 24 against the Bearcats and 15 versus the Irish in their last two games out.
So...another mid-pack BIG EAST team comes into the KFC YUM! looking for a top 25 upset. Louisville will probably run into the "stop Shoni syndrome" again...which didn't work for Georgetown.
KEYS TO THE GAME
--Louisville will look for continued production and prolific performance from Nita Slaughter again. Consistency has been a problem for her this year, but when she's on..she's brilliant.
--BIG Shot Becky will test the Wildcats from the deep. She's been pretty accurate from beyond the stripe this season...good for 3-4 treys a game. Let's hope the home court is where the heart (and the shot) is.
--Battling Bigs. Never know just which one of the centers and forwards will step up and provide the big game inside for this year's edition of Lady Cards. Wouldn't it be great to see Sara, Cierra, Shawnta, Sherrone and Asia all have big efforts?
--Driving Miss Bria. She should have plenty of opportunities to drive the baseline and create the inside scoring or passing opportunities against the Wildcats. Let's hope they're successful trips.
Can't see V.U. coming into the YUM and pulling the upset. Most likely, they'll get back on the plane bearers of a double digit loss to the Cards. We see Louisville getting the win...call it 71-54.