MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-Cards fly into SkyHawks nest in battle of birds
Cards survive a scare in the second half and defeat UTM 79-61 Monday night in Martin, TN. Louisville jumped out to a 18-4 lead in the first six minutes and led 41-22 at the half. The Cards stretched that to 52-26 in the second half with 15:16 left...but the SkyHawks cut the lead to 68-57 with 4:56 to go.
Shoni Schimmel's three with 1:40 remaining was the death knoll for the SkyHawks...making it 77-61. The Cards were able to outscore UTM 11-4 the final 4:56 of the game to get the "W" and and go to 7-0.
Five in double figures for Louisville, led by 16 each by Bria Smith and Shoni Schimmel.
We'll have much more on the win in the Tuesday edition of CARDINAL COUPLE.
They may not be as well known as a couple of the teams in their state like the Vols or Commodores, but Tennessee-Martin hopes to gain some national name recognition with a defeat of the University of Louisville tonight in women's college basketball. Playing the #6 Cards shouldn't give the SkyHawks any jitters or anxiety...they've already faced Baylor and Stanford this season.
UTM ran the gauntlet of fearsome opponents in their recent trip to Hawaii for a tournament. Having to face the home team....Hawaii...and national powerhouses Stanford and Baylor probably gave the SkyHawks all the preparing for a big game lessons they'll need for the rest of the season. Although UTM failed to win any of the three contests, they didn't get pulverized by the trio either.
UTM (1-4) was picked to win their division in the Ohio Valley Conference in a preseason coaches poll and will have the home court advantage tonight against the Cards.
Jasmine Newsome, a junior guard from Millington, TN. was named the adidas Ohio Valley Conference Co-Player of the Week for her efforts in the Jack in the Box Rainbow Wahine Classic in Hawaii last weekend.
(Don't you just love how awards and events always seem to have sponsors now? Maybe WE need to become The 'That's a Good Dog!' CARDINAL COUPLE Website"...)
Newsome put up 20.3 points, six rebounds and 5.7 assists in the three games. 25 points against Hawaii, 24 against Baylor and 12 against Stanford. She played against Louisville last year in the KFC YUM! Center and had 11 points in 38 minutes in a 70-57 loss to the Cards.
Another UTM player to keep an eye on is Heather Butler. She and Newsome combined for 135 of the SkyHawks 204 points in Hawaii. Butler played against the Cards last year also and led the SkyHawks in scoring with 13 points.
Louisville goes to SkyHawk Arena (capacity 5000) to face their second OVC opponent of the season. The Cards travelled to Clarksville, TN to play and defeat Austin Peay back on Nov. 15th. They are 2-0 lifetime against the SkyHawks, as is Jeff Walz. We've never made the trip to Martin, TN....so we can't give a lodging and restaurant recommendation report if you're headed down to the game. It's a college town, probably a few nice bistros and chain hotels.
Louisville struggled in the first half last year against UTM and led by only 35-30 at half-time. In the Cards' defense, it was a game played three days after Christmas and the Cards first in nine days...after returning from their west coast swing against Portland and Washington State. The SkyHawks put up a eye-popping 30 three-pointers against Louisville last year (sinking 6). Our guess is Butler and Newsome will launch the majority of the trifectas again tonight against Louisville...they went a combined 11-19 in a win over Arkansas State earlier this year.
For Louisville, it's a road trip that comes at the end of a stretch that has had the Cards on the road for games since Nov. 11th. At 6-0, Louisville has a busy week ahead, hosting Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday and Kentucky Sunday in the KFC YUM! Center. Mix in Cardinal Volleyball on Thursday and Friday nights and the KFC YUM! Center looks to be a busy place this week.
The game will be on the OVC Network if you want to watch it online. Link is below. You have to register for the site, but it's free. Tip is 8 p.m. E.S.T. We'll have the full report shortly after the action for you.
Cards vs. SkyHawks