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Monday, February 27, 2012


-Lady Cards 63  - Seton Hall 53

-BIG EAST Monday Action

-FINAL BIG EAST STANDINGS & Tournament matchups.

-Bracket for 2102 BIG EAST TOURNAMENT

Louisville defeated Seton Hall in South Orange, NJ tonight behind the 22 point effort from red-shirt freshman forward Shawnta Dyer. The Cards led by 17 with 8:19 remaining but had to withstand a late, furious Seton Hall run --aided by plentiful Cardinal turnovers -- that cut the Louisville lead to six with 45 seconds. Free throws by Becky Burke and Bria Smith in the final 30 seconds preserved the win.

Louisville will play Saturday @ 6 p.m. in the BIG EAST tournament against the winner of the Friday 6 p.m. Villanova vs Seton Hall match up.

STARTERS: Burke, Vails, Taylor, Shoni, Smith 

The Cards jumped to a 6-0 lead on two Becky Burke three's and held the Pirates scoreless for the first six minutes until  Terry Green hit a three for SHU. The Cards defense was forcing the Pirate offense into wild and pressured shots. 

Bria Smith picked up her second foul with 15:40 left in the half and Antonia Slaughter replaced her. Louisville got a jumper from Shoni Schimmel and a layup from Shawnta Dyer off a nice feed from Shoni to lead 10-5 with eight minutes gone in the half. 

Louisville extended the lead to 20-12 after Becky Burke drilled her third three of the game and then sank three free throws 30 seconds later after being fouled on a long range attempt. Asia Taylor drove the lane for a layup with 7:40 left. After two Dyer free throws, Louisville led 22-12. Slaughter's putback of a missed Taylor shot gave Louisville a 24-14 edge. 

Louisville held a 24-17 lead after Shoni missed two free throws with 4:46 remaining. She made up for it, though... by scoring the next five points for Louisville -- including a three -- to give Louisville a 29-17 lead and 3:05 on the clock.

The Cards would get a Burke free throw with 90 seconds remaining in the first half and take a 30-21 lead into the locker room. 

Burke led the Lady Cards with 13 points. Shoni had seven, Dyer six, Slaughter and Taylor two each. All ten of Walz's players saw action in the first twenty. Louisville was 4-9 from 3-point range, 9-23 overall for 39.1%. Taylor had seven rebounds and (sit down before you read this) NO first half turnovers for Shoni. Smith never returned in the first half after drawing her second foul. The Cards had six first half turnovers, Seton Hall seven.

Louisville was ragged at times but was doing the job defensively and getting big numbers out of "Big Shot." Seton Hall out-rebounded Louisville by two. The Cards did not hit a basket in the final 3:51. 

Bria Smith returned to start the second half and hit two free throws to open the scoring. A 4-0 Pirate run cut the Louisville lead to 32-25, but a Taylor putback and then eight straight points from Dyer gave Louisville a 42-29 lead with 14:59 left.

Two free throws from Burke and one from Smith had Louisville up 45-29 with 12:55 on the clock. Taylor's layup on a feed from Smith had Louisville up by 18. Louisville was pulling away and on a 10-2 run. Would it be a blow out against the 1-14 Pirates? 

Sara Hammond got her first two of the game on a Taylor feed to give Louisville a 51-34 advantage with 8:19 to go.  
Dyer got to 18 points for the game on a pass from Hammond to make it 53-38 Louisville and 6:36 remaining. Dyer got to 20 points when Shoni found her with a pass and 4:25 left. 

Seton Hall would put together a rally and cut Louisville's lead to 55-43 after a 3-pointer by Green with 3:47 left. Tajay Ashmeade's jumper cut it to ten and Crew's score inside had the Pirates within eight and 2:26 remaining. 

Dyer broke the Pirate run with a jumper but Crew countered with a score. Smith pushed the Cardinal lead back to 10 with two free throws at the 1:30 mark but Johnson got it to 59-51 after a Johnson jumper. After Shoni missed the first of a one and one from the line, Brown made it 59-53 with 45 seconds left. A Burke turnover gave Seton Hall the ball back...but they couldn't convert and fouled Burke when Louisville rebounded a missed Johnson shot. Becky hit two this time and Louisville led by eight. Bria Smith's  two free throws with 14 seconds completed the game's scoring and Louisville gets a 63-53 win. CARDS WIN! CARDS WIN! (Whew!) 

Even though the Cards did not hit a shot from the floor in the final two minutes, they converted the free throws when needed to preserve the win. Seton Hall's full court pressure over the final minutes led to 13 Louisville second half turnovers....19 for the game The Pirates turned it over 13 times. Louisville went 4-15 from 3-point range, Seton Hall 4-20. 

The Cards came back to win the rebound battle 39-37. Official attendance was a bleak 522. For senior night? C'mon Seton Hall. Gotta do better than that. Louisville had a sizable amount of fans in the stands...mostly friends, family and followers of Queens native Bria Smith. 

Dyer led all scorers with 22 points...16 in the second half. It was her highest scoring game of the season and it couldn't have come at a better time.  Burke finished with 17. Shoni had seven, but no points in the final twenty minutes. Bria Smith had seven second half points after getting none in the first half. Asia Taylor added six points and a team high 12 rebounds. Slaughter and Hammond scored two each. Vails, Harper and Jude played but did not score

A win, but a shaky one. Seton Hall used a late 13-4 run to get within six but the Cards held the Pirates scoreless over the final 45 seconds. The dribble drive from Seton Hall and defensive pressure was impressive, though. Especially from Jasmine Crew, who finished with 20 points for Anne Donovan's squad. 

Tough beginning for Bria in front of her posse. She did improve in the second half and her free throws late ( 7-8 for the game) helped clinch the win. For Shoni, only nine shots in 35 minutes. She did contribute in other ways, though...five boards, a team high seven assists and two steals. Asia was very impressive on the boards, especially on the defensive end...where she grabbed 10 out of her 12. 34 minutes for A-Tayy Monday night and only 2 fouls. Proud of ya...#31! 

Vails saw only eight minutes and never seemed to be able to get untracked. No points, rebounds, a foul and a turnover...but she did have two shot blocks. The final starter, Becky Burke, blistered the nets early with the first six points and went 8-9 from the charity stripe. Only four second half points, but all were clutch free throws. 3-8 from the field, all 3-pointers. 

From the bench, Dyer was the top performer. 30 minutes, eight boards to go with the 22 points. Tough, hard-working and was a scintillating 9-10 from the floor and 4-4 from the free throw line. Nita Slaughter may have played the most invisible 20 minutes of the season for her. Two points, two rebounds and a block. 1-3 from the floor and 0-2 from the line. Sara Hammond gave the Cards eight hard-working minutes and hit her only shot. A great assist to Dyer in the second half. Two turnovers and two rebounds. Jude Schimmel spelled Shoni for four minutes in the first half. A blank stat line except for a foul...but the offense didn't suffer or stagnate when she was on the court. Shelby Harper a minute of action. Not the type of opponent that she'd fare well against...the Seton Hall guard contingent of Morris, Brown and Crew very physical and pressuring. 

Louisville finishes tied for the sixth spot in the BIG EAST with Rutgers and Rutgers gets the tie-breaker. The Cards end the season 21-8 and 10-6 in conference. They'll face the winner of the Villanova vs. Seton Hall Friday game.

Louisville head coach Jeff Walz expressed frustration with the Cards careless turnovers at the end of the game.

 "We made some very poor basketball decisions late and they came back to bite us." Walz commented after the game. "We gave them 18 offensive boards. But...Shawnta Dyer worked so hard tonight and I'm proud of her. Shoni didn't score a lot but played a smart game for us and Becky got us off to a great start" 


All 16 teams played Monday in the final day of the regular season. The results:

- Notre Dame defeated UConn in the XL Center 72-59
St. John's handled Georgetown 54-45 in D.C.
- USF knocked off Providence 64-56 in Tampa
- Villanova downed Syracuse 68-60 in Philadelphia
- West Virginia won at home over Pittsburgh 60-42
- Louisville traveled to Seton Hall and won 63-53
- Rutgers defended the RAC with a 69-58 win over Marquette
- DePaul blasted Cincinnati 73-51 in Chicago


Final BIG EAST regular season standings: 

Notre Dame    15-1                     USF           8-8
St. John's       13-3                     Villanova    6-10
Connecticut    13-3                     Cincinnati  6-10
Georgetown    11-5                     Syracuse   6-10
West Virginia  11-5                     Providence 5-12
Rutgers          10-6                     Marquette   4-12
Louisville        10-6                     Seton Hall  1-15
DePaul            9-7                      Pittsburgh  0-16

Notre Dame, St John's, Connecticut and Georgetown earn the double byes and will play Sunday. 

Notre Dame gets either DePaul, USF or Pitt. St. John's will face either Louisville, Villanova or Seton Hall. Connecticut draws from Rutgers, Cincinnati or Marquette. Georgetown faces either West Virginia, Syracuse or Providence. 

West Virginia, Rutgers, Louisville and DePaul receive single byes and will start tournament action on Saturday. The Mountaineers get the winner of Syracuse vs. Providence. Rutgers receives the victor of Cincinnati vs. Marquette. Louisville takes on either Villanova or Seton Hall. DePaul will tangle with the champ in the USF vs. Pitt game. 

Friday action and game times:

noon -- #12 Syracuse vs. #13 Providence
2 p.m. -- #9 USF vs. #16 Pittsburgh
6 p.m. -- #10 Villanova vs. #15 Seton Hall
8 p.m. --#11 Cincinnati vs. #14 Marquette

All games Friday will be shown on BIG EAST TV and can be watched at the official BIG EAST TV web site. 

Personally, we love the Louisville draw. If they can get by either Seton Hall or Villanova...teams they beat in the regular season, they'd have a Sunday quarter-final game against St. John's. Most likely UConn would be the Monday opponent in the semi-finals if the Cards can down the Red Storm. 

Exciting basketball ahead! WE INVITE YOU TO PARTICIPATE in the Big East Tournament Challenge we're sponsoring here at CARDINAL COUPLE. 15 games, pick who you think will win them. Most wins gets the $25 gift card. PANERA or Wal-Mart. Tie-breaker goes to the player who has the most final four teams picked correctly. 

David woke up at
4 a.m. to make sure
he posted first.
We promised writer selections and here's the first one. David Watson e-mailed his picks to us at 6 a.m. He hopes to better last year's horrible performance where he had only two of the final four picks. Here's David's picks: 

Friday -- Syracuse, USF, Villanova, Cincinnati
Saturday -- West Virginia, USF, Louisville, Rutgers
Sunday -- Georgetown, Notre Dame, Louisville, UConn
Monday -- UConn, Georgetown
Tuesday -- UConn

Think you can top him? Send your picks to: by Friday noon.

Or, if you're as bold as David and want the CARDINAL COUPLE readership to see them, leave them in any comments section. A downloadable, printable bracket available at the BIG EAST Official site.




  1. I'm in and not shy.

    Providence, USF, Seton Hall, Marquette, Georgetown, DePaul, Louisville, Rutgers,
    Georgetown, Notre Dame, St. John, UConn
    Notre Dame, UConn, Notre Dame

    Blue Lou

  2. Blue Lou, your 5th pick isn't possible. Georgetown doesn't play until Sunday. Please choose from either West Virginia or Providence.


    1. oops...make it WVU instead.

      Blue Lou

  3. Friday: Syracuse, USF, Villanova, Cincinnati
    Saturday: West Virginia, DePaul, Louisville, Rutgers
    Sunday: West Virginia, Notre Dame, Louisville, Connecticut
    Monday: Notre Dame, Connecticut
    Tuesday: Notre Dame.

    Send me a WalMart card. This is the winning pick.

    -Matt B. The Owensboro officer

  4. Friday
    Syracuse, USF, Seton Hall, Cincy
    WV, Depaul, Louisville, Rutgers
    WV, Notre Dame, Louisville, UConn
    Notre Dame, Louisville
    Notre Dame

    Call me ambitious!

  5. Picks with my heart instead of common sense. Who knows?

    FRIDAY -- Syracuse, USF, Villanova, Cincinnati
    SATURDAY -- Syracuse, USF, Louisville, Rutgers
    SUNDAY -- Syracuse, Notre Dame, Louisville, Rutgers
    MONDAY -- Notre Dame, Louisville
    TUESDAY -- Louisville

    I know. No chance in the world.

    "Naples" Joe Hill

  6. Friday. Prov-USF-Villa-Cincy Saturday. WVU-DePaul-UofL-Rutgers. Sunday. WVU-Notre Dame-St.J-UConn Monday. Notre Dame-UConn Tuesday UConn.
    BLT no Mayo

  7. Friday: Syracuse, USF, Nova, Cincy; Saturday: WVA, DePaul, Ville, Rutgers; Sunday WVA, ND, St. Johns, UConn; Monday: ND, UConn; Tues: UConn
    Hope I'm wrong about the Johnnies beating the Cards. Walz won't make the mistake he made last time by playing Harper + Jude 23 minutes, while playing Nita only 5, but Shenneika Smith wasn't at full strength last time, and the Cards still do not consistently, effectively play inside out, which spells trouble away from home.
    --PDX Phil

  8. Phil...Shoni also shot about 20+ times only making 3 or 4 shots....

  9. Cards guards Shoni, Jude, Becky and Bria accounted for 51 of the 64 points in the St. John's game. Warren, Dyer and Slaughter had the remaining 13. Taylor, Vails and Harper did not score.
    The last team to beat St. John's is Notre Dame who has a pretty fair guard or two.

  10. Friday- Syracuse, USF, 'Nova, Cincy
    Saturday-WV, USF, Louisville, Rutgers
    Sunday-WV, Notre Dame, Louisville, UCONN
    Monday-Notre Dame, Louisville(cautiously, cautiously optimistic!)
    Tuesday-Notre Dame


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