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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Burke's big bombs blast Syracuse into submission in 89-62 Louisville win.


-Burke's 28 points, eight 3-pointers spark Lady Cards to 27 point win over Orange.

Becky Burke's eyes light up and a big smile crosses her face when she hears the term "2-3 zone".

She responded Saturday afternoon in the KFC YUM! Center in front of 12374 rabid fans with eight three pointers and Louisville set a new school record with 18 total threes in the 89-62 Lady Cards win over Syracuse. Burke tied the individual player record of eight threes and Louisville surpassed the previous team record of 14...set against Xavier last year and Memphis in 2006. Four Cardinals reached double figures in the Louisville win and the Lady Cards shot a sizzling 50% from the field.

Cards come out to an amped-up
and appreciative UofL crowd.
Louisville led 51-40 at halftime, hitting 9 of 16 three attempts in the first twenty minutes.

A much needed today against a solid BIG EAST foe.

STARTERS:  Burke, Vails, Taylor, Smith and Shoni

Young cheerleaders fire up the UofL crowd.
This one actually got off to a weird but successful start for Louisville when Shoni Schimmel went to the foul line and hit two free throws before the opening tip. The reason? Syracuse did not turn in their starting lineup to the official scorer 10 minutes before tip-off. Failure to do so is what is called an administrative technical foul and the opposing team gets two free throws. 

Watching the young ones perform throughout the
game during timeouts was just as fun as watching the game.
When actual play started Syracuse actually scored first in regulation.

Louisville then went on a 12 -0 run over the next four minutes...getting a layup from Sherrone Vails, three from Shoni and three straight layups by Asia Taylor and a free throw. It was 14-2 Louisville with 14:46 left and Syracuse had four turnovers, three fouls and three missed shots before Rachel Coffey connected 30 seconds later.

The Cards raced out to a 20-6 lead after two consecutive threes by Burke (she had missed her first two attempts). Coffey rained down a three to get Syracuse within twelve at 23-11...but the Lady Cards took off on a 10-0 run after that...getting a three from Nita Slaughter, two free throws and another three from Burke and a Shawnta Dyer score from the paint.

The Lady Cards played well in the pink uniforms...despite
Walz's reluctance to have the girls in them again. Louisville
is 1-4 in them now...all time.
It was 33-13 with eight minutes to go in the first half and the Lady Cards fans were dancing in the YUM! Center aisles.

Syracuse mounted a mini-rally to trim the Cardinal advantage to 39-23 after a Kayla Alexander jumper with 5:42 left. Sara Hammond drilled a jumper to give Louisville a 48-32 lead with 2:45 left but Syracuse would outscore the Lady Cards eight to three the remainder of the half and get within 10 before a Shoni three with 42 seconds left made it 51-38. Alexander's layup completed the first half scoring...Louisville led 51-40.

Burke led all scorers with 14 points. Shoni had 11 and Taylor 7 for the Cards. Both Slaughter and Dyer contributed six points, Hammond added five and Vails two for the Cards 51 points. All ten Cardinals available for Jeff Walz played. Bria Smith, Shelby Harper and Jude Schimmel were held scoreless.

Louisville shot 16-28 for a red-hot 57.1% and was 9 of 16 from trifectaland. The Cards led 17-15 in the rebounding battle and committed just five turnovers.

Breast cancer
survivors walked
the court at
the half.
Syracuse got 11 points from guard Rachel Coffey and 10 from towering center Kayla Alexander. Iasia Hemingway, the 'Cuse's go-to player besides Alexander was held to 0 points in 12 minutes due to the outstanding defensive efforts of Asia Taylor.

Syracuse opened the second half getting a score by Elashier Hall to get the Orange within nine points. It was the closest they would get the rest of the day. Threes from Burke, Schimmel, Burke again and Bria Smith pushed the UofL lead to 64-46 with 15:18 left. The Lady Cards tied the team three point record when Shoni knocked down her fifth of the day to make it Louisville 69 - Syracuse 52.
This 93 yr. old Syracuse
grandmother was
cheering on her Orange

(Photo from Sandy Walker)

Sara Hammond hit the record-breaking three to give Louisville a 74-54 lead. Burke's eighth three of the day came with 3:03 left and pushed the Louisville lead to 84-60.
Shoni added another three and Taylor connected on a jumper to make it 89-62 Cards. Cards win ! Cards win !

Burke's 28 points came on 9-16 shooting and two free throws. Eight threes tied the record Helen Johnson and four other Cardinals shared. It is a Lady Card individual BIG EAST record and just two behind the 10-in-a-game record this season by WVU's Taylor Palmer and GU's Sugar Rodgers.

Shoni ended up with 20 points. Hammond and Taylor finished with 12 each. Slaughter and Dyer added six points each, Bria Smith good for three points and Vails two. No points for Harper or Jude.

The 18 three's came from Burke (8), Shoni (6), Nita (2) and one each from Smith and Hammond. Taylor popped a shot late that looked like it was behind the line but the official signalled two. Burke had a chance to get a ninth three but missed with 3:22 to go. Louisville did not attempt any more after that until Shoni's with 42 seconds left and a Shoni miss at the buzzer.

Syracuse got 20 points from Kayla Alexander and 11 each from Elashier Hall and Rachel Coffey. Iasia Hemingway finished with just two points on 0-4 shooting and 2-2 from the line in 29 minutes.

The Cards won the rebouning battle 34-33. Louisville committed just 11 turnovers...Syracuse 19.

Playing time for Louisville consisted of 38 minutes from Burke, 33 for Shoni, 29 for Asia, Nita saw did Vails.
Hammond logged 19 minutes, Bria 16, Dyer 10. Jude seven and Shelby two.

Louisville goes to 18-7, 7-5 with the victory. Syracuse is now 15-11, 4-8.

After the game Walz talked about the cohesion, tightness and freindship between the ten current Cardinals. He stressed that even though today was a big effort and he and the coaches were proud of the players..they'd go right back to work Sunday to get ready for the next game...a trip to Pittsburgh Tuesday.

The smile on Becky's face in the post game presser said it all. Cold shooting streak abated, at least for now. The self-assured look of confidence Asia Taylor exuded in the presser spoke volumes, too. Confident, producing and a key component. Shoni always has this little half-smile working for her unless the question posed to her is one that requires a ton of thought or is just plain silly. A smile that comes from the knowledge of just how good her game is now and how great it'll be by the time she's a senior here.

No worries or scared thoughts about being down to 10 players currently. It's a strong, hard-working, close-knit and inspired 10.
That'll be needed, along with some luck and good Louisville races down the BIG EAST stretch with a trip to Pitt, hosting Notre Dame and DePaul and closing the season at Seton Hall.

(From very proud of you, Becky and all the girls today...Asia. Keep completing the job and helping to spin the wheel. You can do it! All of you can. Go take what's yours.) 

Q does the post
game radio show/
Finally, no major outbursts, fits, dramatic acting or threats of violence today from the "Q". His usual referee-instructing, non-stop chatter and constant movement for awhile...then he just sort of crouched down, took a knee and watched the onslaught.

We expect better next time. Still entertaining to watch and comical on the sidelines with those priceless facial expressions. Probably burdened with the weight of a team that can look fantastic one night and then throw a clunker the next.
That's life in the BIG EAST. Feburary rolls on...3/4th. done with the BIG EAST regular season schedule and "survive and advance or fail and fall" time for the teams.


  1. Great to see all the pink in the arena today. My wife (a breast cancer survivor) is in Florida. I called her at halftime, and then in the second half just texted a number whenever we hit a three. When I got to "15" she texted back "you're kidding, aren't you??"

  2. LOL. Love it! When the players came in for the post game presser...I asked them (Shoni,
    Asia and Becky) if they were finished shooting threes yet. They all laughed, Becky was just beaming...Shoni responded "We're just getting warmed up" and Asia kinda pouted and said "Mine should have been a three" then she bust out laughing.

    So good to see them like that, especially after all the stuff they've been through the last couple of weeks.

  3. Lots of positives from this one, but to me the most significant one is an indication that Walz recognized that his substitution patterns in the past three games didn't give the team the best chance to win. Today, when Smith came out with 12:16 to go in the first half, Walz brought in Slaughter to play the 2 instead bringing in Harper or Jude and moving Shoni to the 2. Same thing in the second half: with 14:27 to go, Slaughter again comes in for Smith and Shoni stays at the point. The importance of keeping Shoni at the point cannot be over-emphasized.

    With the departure of Warren, the substitution pattern should become more predictable, and that may actually help the players play with more confidence. Dyer now backs up Vails at the 5, clearly establishing Taylor at the 4, with Hammond as her back-up. (No let down for Hammond from the UConn game in this one. That elbow jumper is looking pretty, and she does the dirty work on interior defense.) Slaughter is now the "swing" player, backing up Burke at the 3 and Smith at the 2. Walz will have to be willing to give Slaughter minutes at the expense of Burke against more athletic teams, because, although Burke can be a great spot up shooter when she's on, she can't create her own shot(all 9 of her field goals today were assisted - 6 from Schimmel, 2 from Slaughter, and 1 from Taylor), and Slaughter is a better ball handler, defender, and rebounder. But, if Walz gets Slaughter's minutes right, this group of 8 can compete with Notre Dame at the YUM.
    --PDX Phil

    1. See you are still on the Shelby, Jude, and Becky low minute kick. I think it depends more on matchups than anything. Some games they will be more effective than other games. And Shoni cannot play 40 minutes a game for every game left on the schedule. Becky also has her place, evidenced yesterday, not to mention she is the ONLY senior contributing right now. Definitely need her leadership on the floor.
      Not really against your arguments other than that.

  4. With the substitution patterns yesterday, Walz was trying to "keep a lid" on Iasia Hemingway and Kayla Alexander. He wasn't too particulary concerned about the Syracuse guards. Taylor did a great job on Hemingway. So did Hammond. Vails and Dyer weren't as effective at stopping Alexander.

    The Syracuse starting guards (Coffey and Tyson-Thomas) were 6 for 19. Bullard, who saw a lot of time at guard with 28 minues was 4-6. These three guards only effectively contributed 23 points. Mission accomplished. The two "bigs" didn't control the game and the guards were given the chance for a big afternoon and didn't have one.

  5. Thoroughly enjoyed the game. Another enthusiastic crowd-can't say enough about that!
    Props to the ladies for the record setting blowout victory! Real nice to see Becky come back with a vengeance. Sitting there thinking that eventually Syracuse would figure out that she is the one player you can't let keep shooting open threes, but...and then heard Coach QS say that UL hit a bunch of shots they don't usually make. Dude, teams don't usually let them keep shooting open shots like that!
    Also nice to see Sara playing with lot's of confidence, that mid range jumper will have her on teams scouting report from now on I'll bet!
    Who would have thought before this season that losing four probable starters (Gibbs, Reid, Tay, and now Warren) that this season could still turn out to be very rewarding one?


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