SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-Louisville muscles past Villanova 63-47
-Connell's no-hitter leads Louisville past Memphis
-St. John's preview
-Seven remain "perfect" in Pick 'Em contest
The University of Louisville women's basketball team used a strong second half to break open a 29-29 halftime contest against Villanova and win 63-47 tonight in the second round of the BIG EAST Tournament. Shoni Schimmel led the Cards with 20 points and Asia Taylor and Shawnta Dyer combined for 22 second half points to advance the Lady Cards to a Sunday match-up against #2 seed St. John's in the quarterfinals.
STARTERS: Shoni, Smith, Taylor,Burke and Vails
Louisville took the early lead in this first-half three fest on a Schimmel jumper at the 18:34 mark. Villanova countered with the first of their seven first half threes when Lindsey Kimmel connected from beyond the arc. The Cards and Wildcats went back and forth on the lead early...Villanova's first 15 points all coming on 3-pointers. Becky Burke joined in the 3-party by knocking down two trifectas...the second one giving the Cards at 16-15 lead at the 10:22 mark.
Louisville couldn't contain the outside bombs from 'Nova...but was having some success on their offensive sets from Burke and Shoni. Burke nailed a two-pointer to give Louisville a 21-17 lead with 7:00 to go and two Shoni free throws made it a 24-20 Cardinal advantage with 4:34 on the clock. Becky and Shoni had 20 of the Lady Cards 24 points and 18 of the Villanova points had come from beyond the arc from five different players.
The Wildcats responded with a 9-2 run over the next three minutes...Laura Sweeney going to work against the Cardinal defense...and her three made it 29-26 Villanova with 1:14 to go in the half. Louisville tied it on a off-balance, heavily guarded 25 footer from Shoni at the buzzer to tie it up after 20 minutes.
The Cards were led by Shoni's 15 first half points and Burke had 10. Bria Smith and Nita Slaughter had two each for the Cards. Nine Lady Cards saw the court in the first half...Jude Schimmel the only Card not to hit the court. Louisville went with a four-guard line-up much of the half...garnering Shelby Harper extensive first half minutes...to try and combat the catch-and-release tactics of the Wildcats. Devin Kane led Harry Peretta's crew with seven points.
The Cards needed to find an inside presence on offense and curtail the 'Nova long range bombing in the second half.
Louisville begin the second half the same way they ended the first...Shoni hitting an improbable, deep three under heavy pressure at the shot-clock buzzer during the Cards first possession. After Lauren Roberts countered with a jumper, the game endured several stoppages because of the game clock malfunctioning. Bria Smith hit one of two free throws to put Louisville up 33-31 after three minutes of action.
Then, it became the Asia Taylor show. Her jumper and free throw made it 36-31. Seconds later she followed her own missed shot and scored again. She and Laura Sweeney traded two baskets each over the next two minutes and Louisville held a 42-35 edge with 15 minutes to go. The Lady Cards were getting some distance from the tiring Wildcats and the inside game was percolating.
After two Shoni free throws put the Cards up 44-37, Shawnta Dyer took over the offense production. Dyer scored the next nine UofL points to push the Cards to a 53-41 lead with 7:16 on the clock. Taylor took over again after that and two free throws...followed by a basket had Louisville on a 15-4 run and leading 57-41 as the clock read 5:32.
Nita Slaughter made it 11 straight Louisville points in a row by drilling a three with 3:53 remaining. It was Louisville 60 -Villanova 41 and it was basically over.
The Wildcats got six of the final nine points of the game...Bria Smith scoring the only Louisville points in the last three minutes with a three at the 2:08 mark.
Cards win....63-47. Louisville had outscored Villanova 34-18 in the second half and the Wildcats had no threes in the final twenty minutes.
Shoni led all scorers with 20 points. Taylor finished with 13, Burke 10, Dyer 9, Smith 6 and Slaughter 5 for the Lady Cards. All ten Lady Cards played in the final half. For Nova...Devin Kane and Laura Sweeney finished with 13 each and Rachel Roberts added 10.
The Cards out-rebounded the Wildcats 38-29...Shoni leading the team with eight..all on the defensive end.
Louisville forced 15 'Nova turnovers while committing 13 miscues. Louisville was 22-52 from the field for 42.3% and held the opponent to 19-52 (36.5%). Villanova attempted 22 threes, hitting seven. The Cards were 7-20 from beyond the arc.
An impressive second half for the Cards. They pushed the ball well in transition and dominated the paint in the final twenty. Defense and rebounding were solid and...out of Louisville's 34 second half points...22 came from Dyer and Taylor after getting 0 in the first twenty.
And Harry kept his shirt-tail tucked in all evening.
WE tried listening to the radio feed while watching the game for awhile...but the 13 second delay was torture. Radio much faster than the video feed. Frankly, it got confusing and distracting...so we turned off Matt and A.J. and listened to Bob and LaChina. They weren't bad, but Paul donned the headsets midway through the second half and gave up the video. You'd think in this age of technology, where phones talk to you and will call you "Rock-God" if you request it, that this could be remedied.
Dennis DeMayo's crew didn't actually call a bad game from an officiating stand-point. He used to be one of the best in college basketball. I guess every dog has his day now and then.
St John's tomorrow. Won't be easy, could go to the wire. Game time scheduled for 6 p.m. Same TV deal...432 or 11.2. Big East TV as well. We'll have a full report on this one and summaries on all the day's action. Check out the CARDINAL COUPLE preview after the softball article.
|Connell tossed a no-hit|
against the Tigers
It was the first Cardinal no-hitter since Catherine Bishop tossed one against Syracuse back on April 22, 2006.
Louisville started the scoring in the third inning when Katie Keller blasted a "goodbye Mr. Spalding" over the left-center field fence, scoring Kristin Austin.
The Cards added four more runs in the fifth. Whitney Arion singled and scored on Jennifer Esteban's triple.
|Fowler had a two-rum homer|
Louisville completed the scoring frenzy in the sixth inning. Jordan Trimble doubled and scored when Hannah Kiyohara's routine fly ball was mis-played. Esteban followed with a double...scoring Kiyohara and then Keller reached on a single. A blast from Whitney Arion out of the park cleared the bases and it was 11-0 Cards.
Louisville plays Boston University today to conclude their stay in Knoxville.
The University of Louisville women's basketball team plays St John's University tonight at 6 p.m. in quarter-final BIG EAST Tournament action. The two faced each other in the regular season on January 8th. in Queens, NY...the Red Storm taking a 72-64 win. McPherson and McKenith led the Red Storm to the win...McPherson tallying 16 points in the win. Louisville was led by Becky Burke's game high 19 points.
Louisville leads the series 6-3 and Walz is 4-2 against Kim Barnes Arico. Louisville won last year 84-73 in the KFC YUM! Center.
St John's has four players who can be counted on to have big performances each night. Besides the "Mac" attack, Shenneika Smith and Da'shena Stevens can fill up the net. St. John's is on a eight-game win streak...last losing to Notre Dame 71-56 back on Feb. 4th. in Queens. They've conquered the pre-season injuries that played a factor in their 8-6 record in non-conference regular season play and have a win over UConn to attach to their resume.
Louisville must do a better job of communicating on the court tonight if they want the win. The Cards will face a different kind of opponent than the sedentary Wildcats they defeated last night. St. John's can and will run on you, they go to the boards as good as any team in the BIG EAST and McKenith is second in the conference in steals...so the young Cardinal guard compliment will need to be wary and focused.
McKenith is the key that starts the St. John's offense...the point guard has over 130 assists on the season and is second on the team in scoring. Unlike Villanova, they don't base the offense on 3-pointers...they were last in the BIG EAST in made threes but 4th. in 3-point defense. The Red Storm was 4th in blocked shots.
Multiple weapons, a crafty point guard and solid, veteran lineup. It seems like Smith and Stevens have been there 5-6 years.
Louisville can win this game. They'll need another big performance from Shoni tonight, a large 3-point performance again from Burke and will need to get the twosome of paint prowlers Taylor and Dyer involved earlier tonight than last night. Slaughter must be accurate early and Smith a factor for 30 minutes or more. Tough...but not impossible.
Fatigue shouldn't be a factor for Jeff Walz's squad. Despite three players logging 30+ minutes in the Villanova win (Shoni, Becky and Bria)...none of the front line players logged more than 21 minutes. And, this is where this one will be won or loss tonight...in the paint. If the Cards can duplicate the second half inside effort from last night for a full forty minutes tonight, they'll walk of the XL floor with a win.
Survive and advance. It's what its about this time of year.
Second round "Pick'em" results are reviewed over on the left side of the site at the top. Seven of you have gone 8-0 so far and there's a log jam at 7-1. Good luck in the final seven.
Have you forgotten your picks? Send us an e-mail and we'll share the good (or) bad news with you .
Undefeated so far are: Sandy W. ( from Louisville), Andy (Cincinnati), Nat G. (Chicago), William B. (Morgantown), Jessica L. (Louisville) Mark S. (Louisville) and Smitty (South Bend)
Your writers performance so far:
Sandy W. 8-0 (Has Notre Dame winning it all)
Paul 7-1 (Ditto on the Irish)
Sonja 6-2 (Picked UConn to take the crown)
Jenny 6-2 (Another Irish picker)
David 6-2 (Joins Sonja with a UConn winner)
The Cardinal Chimps are 1-7. Co-co blames La-La, La-La blames Cletus, Cletus doesn't care and Mondo Vendo blames our society. They thought Pittsburgh would cut down the nets. They like the zoo up there. Those darn chimps!
Neither Bill the Goat or Felton John submitted picks. Bill probably ate his and Felton is more interested
in the Conference USA tournament. (He likes the pretty logo!)