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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday Cardinal Couple -- Cards test Huskies tonight


TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


FINAL: UCONN 72 - LOUISVILLE 58

Shoni with 14 in a losing effort to #2 UConn. Cards fought hard and UConn had to leave the starters in most of the way. Jenny will have the recap in the Wednesday CARDINAL COUPLE.

-Connecticut hosts Lady Cards tonight in Hartford.

(Quentin Voigt provides the pre-game scout of Louisville's opponent tonight...the mighty UConn Huskies. Paulie's comments follow. Tip is at 9 p.m. CBS Sports Network has the feed. Cards Radio 790 locally. )

Jitterbugging With Geno's Gals

Maybe UofL could get Angel
to strangle Geno tonight?
Geno Aureimma, head coach of the UConn Huskies women's basketball team, has assembled a juggernaut-like basketball squad made up of Hoopgurlz #1 and #2 rated players combined with top-50 role players from across the country. Coach Auriemma has sprinkled his magic "go get 'em" dust over them to up their intensity on the nasty scale and turned them loose. Season to date, they are hitting shots at a rate of 50.2% from the court and holding foes to 29.9%.

From 3-point range, UConn's starters connect almost 50% of the time. If fouled, they'll sink 3 out of 4 on average. The Huskies commit a scant 14.7 turnovers a game, create 23.5 assists and grab 41.7 rebound per outing while allowing just 31.5 grabs by the opponent.

The stars of the team are many. Kalena Mosqueda-Lewis averages 16.9 ppg and the 6'0" forward grabs around 4 rebounds a night. 6'4" forward Brianna Stewart scores 14 ppg and nabs over 7 rebound a game. 6'5" post Stefanie Dolson puts in 12.9 ppg and accounts for 6.5 rebounds per contest. 5'11" guard Kelly Faris adds 10.4 ppg. 5'7" guard Bria Hartley comes up with 10.4 an outing as well. Guard Caroline Doty is 17 for 49 from three-point range, third best on the squad. Kiah Stokes a shot-blocking threat who also can burn you from multiple locations on the XL Center floor.

Like a rude partner on the dance floor, these Connecticut girls will attempt to lead at every given opportunity and each break. They are accustomed to winning by large margins and have slipped up only once this year in 14 games, a narrow 73-72 loss to the visiting Irish of Notre Dame. They visited and romped Stanford by 26, who beat Baylor earlier in the season.

So, how do you slay the giant? Keeping them within range on the scoreboard is a must, which means preventing streaks and runs offensively. Going toe-to-toe on the boards must happen. Creating and scoring off turnovers is important. Making a final stab late in the game if close enough to win. In short, having...by far...the best game of your season. Difficult, but not imposible.

Bring home the win, Louisville.

-Quentin Voigt

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When you look at the Cards 14-3 record, you notice two things. First, no one has blown the doors off Louisville this season. A mere 11 points are the difference between a 3-loss and undefeated season. Second, the Cards have not lost a game this year where Sara Hammond has been the leading scorer.

And, that will be the difference maker tonight. I'm not worried about how the Cards guards will match up with Geno's. They'll be fine. Not sweating the fact that UConn leads the BIG EAST in threes made. Louisville will get out and pressure the shots.

Inside. The paint. How will the combination of Hammond, Reid, Slaughter, Vails and Walton mix it up on the boards with the BIG EAST's leading defensive rebounding squad. Will they be able to get Hammond scoring from inside? Will Mo be able to get her patented "catch and bank for two from the block" working? Can Slaughter go up against the taller Huskies and give the Cards some tough rebounding? Can Smith rotate down and grab a few?

I like the combo of Bria Smith and Shoni in the Cards backcourt. We're liable to see it most of the 40 minutes that this one will go tonight, sans foul trouble, of course.
They'll get their points, too.

This one will be decided from five feet in tonight. The Cards are second in the league in rebounding defense to...UConn. The Cards are third in the league in rebounding margin (+10.3). Guess who's second?

Control the paint, win the game. Get caught watching it dry and get an "L" painted on you. Block out, hit the boards and play interior defense 

Do I think Louisville actually has a chance tonight against UConn, in Hartford? Strangely enough, I do. No one is expecting a close game. No pressure on the Cards. Play strong, play positive and throw a few Rutgers-like elbows and forearms to show you aren't scared or intimidated.  

And rebound.

-Paulie

(CARDINAL COUPLE COLUMNIST JENNY O'BRYAN WILL HAVR THE RECAP FOR THE WEDNESDAY EDITON OF CARDINAL COUPLE. GOOD LUCK CARDS!)




9 comments:

  1. One of Hammond's best games last season was against Dolson. IF we can hold our own on the boards, IF we can minimize the turnovers that lead to layups at the other end, and IF we can get some interior scoring, we have a shot. Three big IFs. Do I expect a win? No. But I went down to New Orleans expecting a loss and fearing a blowout, and look what happened.

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  2. I agree, Mike. Hammonds’s best game last year was against Uconn. She started strong this year, and has been in a bit of a rut the last couple of games. No doubt she will come out of it, I just hope it is tonight. The rest of the paint players have to have a great game. Nita, Mo and Hammond need to work the boards.

    The thing about Coach Walz and Company is that they are great scouts of the game and fantastic game planners. With UCONN, any one player can beat you on any given night. Last year, we were in it until close to the end. Coach Walz decided who he was going to make beat us, and on that night, she did. Caroline Doty was the player last year left unattended, while the focus was on the other players. She and Farris got the least amount of defense from us, and Doty beat us. No doubt, Coach Walz has a game plan in mind. If the Cards can pull off that game plan and have a good offensive night, we have a shot.

    The one thing in our favor, so to speak, is that Bria Hartley (Uconn PG) and freshman phenom Brianna Stewart are both nursing bum ankles. Hartley is said to be a likely go for tonight, and Stewart is doubtful. With Hartley not at full speed and Stewart likely not in the game, that is two things in our favor. Their other players are worthy and very dangerous in their own right, but Hartley and Stewart have logged a lot of minutes. Those minutes are likely to be made up with the other strong freshman in the class Morgan Tuck and Moriah Jefferson. Both were in the top of last years recruiting class and are able to beat you. But, they have not gotten a lot of time on the court. So, they could be a bit rusty, more prone to fouls, turnovers and jitters in a big game.

    Tonight should make for an interesting game. I agree that the pressure is on Uconn, not Louisville. While it would be great to win, we are not expected to. If we keep it under 10, it will be a great game. Get out there and play hard, take care of the ball, hit the boards and defend the paint. If those things can be done, and that is a big if, then we are in this game til the end.

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    Replies
    1. Anything under 10 point loss tonight would be awesome. Last year losing by 10 in the YUM! was amazing. The cards actually won the rebounding battle in a slow down 56-46 loss.

      Will Walz resort to the same "let the air out of the ball" tactics tonight? Will someone guard Doty on the three? (5-11 last year). We can only hope.

      Curtis Franklin

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  3. OK...what's the over/under on how much time Jude sees at guard?
    I set it at 12 minutes.

    Whatcha got, over or under?

    Paulie

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    Replies
    1. Under, I hope. We need 35 minutes out of both Shoni and Bria. Jude is effective against some teams, primarily because of her smarts and quickness, but she often looks overmatched against big, quick, smart teams like UConn.

      Delete
  4. All depends on how clean we play. Get in to foul trouble and we are going to see more of her.
    I think Jude or Megan could surprise UCONN if thy see any playing time IF they play to their potential. But, don't expect them to see a whole lot of minutes if the others stay out of foul trouble.
    Jenny

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  5. Shame on us for continuing to doubt Jude. She is by far, for me, the player of the half for Louisville. Poised at the point, not afraid to shoot, taking and making good shots.
    Jenny

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  6. Jude undoubtably the MVP for Louisville tonight. No fear. Rebounding the difference tonight in the first half, with UConn grabbing 13 more than Louisville and building up a 14 point lead.

    Paulie

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  7. Great effort against a National title contender. Go Cards!

    ReplyDelete

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