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Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Cardinal couple

-Day One action: Syracuse 57- Providence 47. USF 60 - Pitt 59

-Shoni Schimmel, Bria Smith receive BIG EAST regular season awards.

-Fun Facts about the BIG EAST WBB Tournament

-We share writers picks

-Article on Asia 


Marquette 54 - Cincinnati 51

Marquette got 16 second half points from Arleisa Morse, including two clutch free throws wit 2.2 seconds left to rally past the Bearcats in the final game of BIG EAST Day 1. A very scrappy and competitive second half that saw Marquette erase a seven-point UC halftime lead.  

1st half

Another one that started slow and didn't get much better as the half drug on. Eight minutes into it, it was 6-6. When Marquette's Katherine Plouffe went to the bench with foul trouble, so did Marquette's offense. Cincinnati turned a 16-13 deficit into a 28-21 half-time lead. If it hadn't been for the 3-point shooting match between Cincy's Bjonee Reeves and Marquette's Katie Young (they each had three), this could have been even worse. UConn fans cheering on the Bearcats because of Jamelle Elliott...former UConn assistant and current Cincinnati coach. 

2nd half

Marquette found another three point threat in Arleisa Morse and battled back to take the lead in the second half 44-42 with seven minutes remaining. This one was another close affair at the end....Morse sinking two free throws with 2.2 seconds remaining to give the Golden Eagles a 54-51 and Dayleesha Hollins rimming out a 3 at the buzzer that would have sent it to overtime. #14 seed MARQUETTE with the upset over #11 Cincy 54-51. The Golden Eagles get Rutgers tomorrow night.

Seton Hall vs. Villanova

Villanova came back from a 13-point first half deficit to catch an inspired Seton Hall team midway through the second half and hold on for a nail-biting 61-60 win. The Wildcats squandered a eight-point lead with a little over a minute left to escape. 

1st half

This one started slowly. 4-2 Nova after four minutes. They took a 10-6 lead but Seton Hall tied it at 16 all with 7:24 to go. It turned out to be part of a 18-1 run for the Pirates that had them leading 30-17 with 2:24 left. Villanova rallied to cut it to 30-25 at the half. Four important things about the first half... Brittany Morris and Jasmine Crew are Seton Hall, Harry Peretta kept his shirt tucked in the entire first half, Seton Hall's Alexis Brown looks like a guy from the shoulders up with that haircut and Bob Enterline's officiating crew is calling a very good game. Upset brewing? 

2nd half

Another exciting finish today! Villanova came back to tie it up at 34-34 and the teams went back and forth until Nova used a late surge after Laura Sweeney fouled out with 3:17 left to take a 57-49 lead with a little over a minute to go. It didn't last. Jasmine (One Women Wrecking) Crew willed Seton Hall back in it an it was 61-60 with 4.6 seconds to go and Nova at the line. Devon Kane missed both free throws but Crew's buzzer beater attempt fell short. Villanova wins 61-60 and advances to play the Cardinals. Harry's shirt stayed tucked in the entire game...

-- Awards announced today.

Da'Shena Stevens (St. John's)
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (UConn)
Kim Barnes Arico ( St John's)
Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame)

Wow...scary weather in the Louisville area this afternoon. Tornadoes in Southern Indiana and south of Louisville. Hope that all area readers are OK and have power. Looks like March waited a day to roll in like a lion...

Almost upset alert. UK WBB came from 14 down in the second half to beat Florida in the SEC Tournament 71-67. 

USF 60 - Pitt 59

Heroic effort by Pitt to rally from 19 down at the half to take the lead and almost defeat #9 seed USF. Agnus Beranato getting big games from Brianna Kiesel and Leeza Burgess in the loss. Clutch shot by Andrell Smith to give USF the lead with 41 seconds left. The Russian Rocket Inga Orekhova fizzled out in the second half for USF after 21 first half points. USF gets DePaul tomorrow.

1st half

USF employed the Russian Rocket Inga Orekhova in the first twenty minutes for 21 first half points -- including five 3-pointers -- to take a 18-7 lead in the first eight minutes and go in up by 19 at the half. Pitt getting no scoring except from Brianna Kiesel. Halftime score Orehkova 21  USF 39-Pitt 20. Dee Kanter calling this one, plenty of whistles...

2nd half

This one got real interesting in the final twenty. Pitt steadily chipped away at the USF lead throughout the second half and took the lead 57-55 on a Leeza Burgess jumper with 1:51 left. After USF tied it back up on a Jasmine Wynne score with 1:22 left, Brianna Kiesel gave Pitt a 59-57 lead with 52 seconds to go. Andrell Smith knocked down a three to send USF back to the lead 60-59 and they win it after a Kiesel shot with a second to go rolls in...then out. 60-59
USF. The Russian Rocket finished with 25 points. They get DePaul tomorrow

Syracuse 57 - Providence 47. 

Syracuse holds off a second half Providence rally that got them within a point to win by ten. Outstanding games from Syracuse "bigs" Iasha Hemingway, Kayla Alexander and Shakeya Leary. They get West Virginia Saturday.

1st half

It took Providence six and one half minutes to score their first basket. When they did, it made it 5-3 Syracuse. Yep, a snore-fest. Defensively, Lady Okafor (former UofL target) has been all the Syracuse "bigs" for Providence. Providence may be even worse than Louisville when it comes to scoring a two foot, uncontested shot. It's half-time. It's threatening to be nap-time, also...if this one doesn't get exciting. Even "Q" seems sedate. 23-18 Syracuse. 

2nd half. 

Providence went on a 6-0 run to get within one at 29-28. That prompted Syracuse to respond with a 17-0 run to lead 46-28. The Friars got back to 48-41 with five minutes to go -- but the  'CUSE earns the right to face West Virginia tomorrow with a 57-47 win. Hemingway and Alexander with 15 each for Syracuse...Roberts 12 and Okafor 9 for Providence. 


Louisville sophomore Shoni Schimmel has been named to the All-BIG EAST First Team and Bria Smith has been selected for the All-BIG EAST All-Freshman team. The announcements yesterday revealed eight different awards categories. Honors for BIG EAST Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Coach of the Year will be announced today at 5 p.m.

Shoni joins 10 other BIG EAST women's basketball players on the first team. 9 of the 11 selected are guards. Here's the list:

Bria Hartley-UConn                 Tiffany Hayes-UConn
Anna Martin-DePaul                Sugar Rodgers-G'Town
Shoni Schimmel-UofL              Skylar Diggins-ND
Natalie Novosel-ND                 Devereaux Peters-ND
Khadijah Rushdan-Rutgers     Shenneika Smith-St.John's
Asya Busse-WVU

Eight of the above were selected for the Preseason All-BIG EAST team. The others from the Preseason selections were Monique Reid (injury), Keisha Hampton (injury), Kayla Alexander (named to 2nd. team) and Da'Shena Stevens (named to 2nd. team)

No Cardinals were selected for the second team or honorable mention. 

Bria Smith joins nine BIG EAST freshmen on the All-Freshman team. The others:

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis-UConn        Kiah Stokes-UConn
Brittany Hrynko-DePaul                       Bria Smith-UofL
Arlesia Morris-Marquette                      Brianna Kiesel-Pitt
Betnijah Laney-Rutgers                       Amber Thompson-SJ
Lauren Buford-Villanova                      Linda Stepney-WVU

Other awards:

-- Defensive Player of the Year - Peters (Notre Dame)
-- Most Improved Player - Jasmine Wynne ( USF)
-- Sportsmanship Award - Deanna Ortiz (DePaul) and Shenneika Smith (SJ) 

The BIG EAST Tournament gets under way today at noon when Providence and Syracuse take the XL Center floor.

WE'LL have updates all day here at CARDINAL COUPLE on the action. You can watch it for free.BIG EAST TV


Some useless facts about the BIG EAST Tournament that you can put your co-workers to sleep with and get tossed out of the break room by revealing. Here's eight items you don't remember by 5 p.m. this afternoon:

-Most points scored in a BIG EAST Tournament Game:
107 by Providence in the 1991 semifinals vs. Pitt. (who scored 92 in a losing effort). 

-Least points scored: 32. By Villanova in 2000 and West Virginia in 2010.

-Number of overtime games: 17. Villanova and St. John's went to 3 overtimes back in 1989 before 'Nova won 82-78.

-Only two players have won the Most Outstanding Player Award twice: Maya Moore in 2009 and 2011 and Kara Wolters in 1995 and 1996.  Both Huskies. Not sure why Moore didn't get the nod in 2010...but she did make the All-Tournament team. 

-UConn players have been selected Most Outstanding Player five out of the past six years and 17 times in the 29 previous tournaments. 

-Nine teams advanced out of the BIG EAST Tournament last year to play in the NCAA Tournament. 

-The BIG EAST Tournament has been played in 11 different locations over the last 29 years. The XL Center (Hartford), Louis Brown Athletic Center (Piscataway), Gampel Pavillion (Storrs), Walsh Gymnasium (South Orange), Alumni Hall (Providence), McDonough Arena (Washington), Fitzgerald Fieldhouse (Pittsburgh), duPont Pavilion (Philadelphia), Roberts Center (Boston), Manley Field House (Syracuse) and Alumni Hall (Queens).

- Preseason Coaches Poll was:

1. Notre Dame                             9. West Virginia
2. UConn                                    10. USF
3. Louisville                                 11. Marquette
4. Rutgers                                   12. Pittsburgh
5. Georgetown                             13. Villanova
6. DePaul                                    14. Providence
7. St. John's                                15. Cincinnati
8. Syracuse                                 16. Seton Hall

Actual finish:

1. Notre Dame                              9. USF
2. St. John's                                10. Villanova
3. UConn                                     11. Cincinnati
4. Georgetown                             12. Syracuse
5. West Virginia                            13. Providence
6. Rutgers                                    14. Marquette
7. Louisville                                  15. Seton Hall
8. DePaul                                     16. Pittsburgh

Well, they did get Notre Dame right. Biggest over-achiever?
Gotta go with St. John's. Biggest under-achiever? Pitt.


Finally, we bring you CARDINAL COUPLE writers Jenny O'Bryan and Sandra Walker's picks for the tournament. We'll do a head to head comparison here...and fire the loser at the end of the tournament, whaddya say? 

Just kidding, of course. Both are valuable, volunteer writers for us and we don't know what we'd do with out them. 

Ladies, start your engines:


JENNY                                             SANDY

Syracuse                                          Syracuse
USF                                                  USF
Villanova                                           Villanova
Cincy                                                Marquette


West Virginia                                     West Virginia
South Florida                                     De Paul
Louisville                                            Louisville
Rutgers                                              Rutgers


West Virginia                                      West Virginia
Notre Dame                                        Notre Dame
Louisville                                            Louisville
Connecticut                                        Connecticut


Notre Dame                                        Notre Dame
Louisville                                            Connecticut


Notre Dame                                        Notre Dame

You can get in on the fun, too, if you e-mail or put your entry in the comments column by noon today. 52 brave and hardy souls will compete with you (as of 8 a.m. this morning) for the chance to get a $25 PANERA or Wal-Mart Gift Card. 

Great news! We've also had a donor offer us a $10 Cracker Barrell Gift Card for second place. So, if you're not on board yet...get crackin' !!


Jody Demling, of Courier-Journal fame, offers this great write-up on Sonja's favorite basketball player on the earth -- Asia Taylor. We love Jody's writings and can honestly say that, over the past two years, we can't remember ever seeing him without a perfect head of hair. We even saw him smile last week...after looking at a picture of Howie Lindsey's baby boy. We also hear he's a pretty good golfer (Jody...not Howie's son). Click the link below to read all about it. 



  1. What a great game the Pitt v USF was to watch. These Pitt girls were bound and determined to win this thing an they nearly did. Kiesel's shot was in and then rattled out for Pitt.

    Stay safe down there in Louisville Cardinal Couple readers. Some of the Weather Channel pictures of the tornadoes are awfully scary.

    Can't say much for the BIG EAST TV coverage of the games. But, they're free.

    David Watson

  2. Enjoyed the article about Taylor. If anyone is wondering whether she's got her hops back, check out photo #10 from the photo gallery for the DePaul (home) game.
    --PDX Phil


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