MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-All's well that ends well in CARDS Four Act Play
-Lacrosse tumbles to Hoyas 14-11
-Pick 'Em Results
You could almost call the UofL women's basketball 25-point win over MTSU Sunday afternoon a play of sorts Just call me Paulie the Playwright and listen to my tale of gladness and woe... we'll call this little tale..
On to 32.
Act I : The Rise of the Empire
Louisville absolutely roared out of the castle and bounced out to a 20-3 lead in the the first 6:37 of the first half. Beginning with Vails and Hammond pounding the backboard for points inside and ending with Reid, Shoni and Smith hitting a varying array of jumpers and layups, the Cards looked like they were playing Middle School Tennessee instead of MTSU and Reid layup capped a 16-0 run with 13:23 left in the first half.
All cylinders were clicking and the Blue Raiders looked blue and absolutely raided. It was a delight to watch.
Act II : Sailing Along while the Enemy Forces plot Revenge.
The Cards maintained the lead in varying numbers for the rest of the first half...anywhere from seven to sixteen points as the scoring effort remained balanced and Louisville had their way inside when MTSU played defense MTSU did rally to climb within eight with 4:49 on the clock -- a Kortni Jones jumper dong the trick to make it 26-18-- but Louisville looked to be headed into the locker room up by double digits before a Reid shot met rejection from Ebony Rowe and Kortni Jones drilled a three off the rebound to make it 34-27 at the half.
The Cards were still in command..but the countryside was rumbling with a bit of trepidation, worry and wonder. The Empire was showing a few cracks in the armor and the Blue Raiders were narrowing the gap
Act III : The Empires Stumbles
MTSU came out on fire in the second half and drilled two threes in the first 3:12 to cut the once-safe UofL lead to one at 34-33. Over the next five minutes that narrow UofL advantage would fluctuate from one to five points...a three from reserve Laken Leonard cut the Cardinal lead to 42-40 with 10:23 remaining. It looked like the Cards had been driven into the ropes and pummeled but were refusing to go to the canvas.
MTSU had momentum, a loud and rowdy fan base in the southwest corner of the KFC YUM! Center was roaring and Louisville needed some answers fast.
Act IV : Riding the Redemption Train to Tuesday
The UofL resurgance began quietly enough. Shoni hits a contested jumper at the 10 minute mark and sinks the accompanying free throw as well. A missed MTSU attempt leads to a Smith jumper that tickles the nets and both the Schimmel sisters take the stage after that. Shoni's steal and layup increases the lead to nine and Jude's three-bomb makes it 52-40 in just a 90 second span.
There was fire and determination again in the Lady Cards' eyes and the MTSU fans in sections 101-103 could have avoided additional agony by accessing the exits after Vails' jumper made it 56-42 with 7:01 to go.
The Blue Raiders were vanquished invaders. Reid inside made it 64-44 with 4:30 left and when Rowe finally hit a layup with 3:55 on the clock...the Cards were on a 24-6 run and the only question left was how big would the win margin be.
Rowe added another inside score for the Raiders final tally to cut the Louisville lead to 21 at 70-49 with 2:24 in the game. Free throws from Vails, Shelby Harper and a Jude Schimmel lay-in off a steal with 1:15 left provided the final score of 74-49.
WIth the win, Louisville gets Purdue Tuesday night in the KFC YUM! Center at appox. 7 p.m.
|Mo goes for two. Photo by Charlie Springer. See his site|
Hats off to Sherrone Vails also for a strong 21 minutes and nine points. She and Sara Hammond seemed to be favorite whistle stops for Dee Kanter's crew...each seeing bench time with three fouls.
Coach Walz couldn't find too much to complain about in the post game presser. Happy for the win and pleased to be playing Tuesday, he wished free throw shooting and missed layup opportunities would have been better. For a man on the eve of destruction and tournament elimination, he engineered a remarkable rally and...as he has said before...any win is a good one.
This was a good one. Not great. Frittering away a 13 point lead ito one over a six minute period spanning two halves has to be a bit of cause for concern. This time of year, though...what doesn't kill you means you're alive to fight another day.
Purdue awaits. They shackled Liberty earlier Sunday on Denny Crum's Court. The battle should be a good one.
How's the competition stack up? Sandy Walker (yes, she's still out there, folks) sends this link on Team Performance Index.
UPS Team Performance Index
While the WBB Cards were heating up the KFC YUM! Center, Louisville lacrosse was in the cold battling BIG EAST opponent Georgetown in Washington, D.C. The results weren't as good for the Cross Gals...losing 14-11 to the # 8 in the nation Hoyas.
Kaylin Morissete had a career high five goals in the loss for Louisville.
Down 3-0 early, UofL battled back to 3-2 with two unassisted scores by Morissette. Georgetown fired back, though, and went up 6-3 before Monica Negron found paydirt to get Louisville to within two with 14:15 remaining in the first half.
Nikki Boltja and Coleen O'Malley followed suit, benefitting from assists from Katie Oliverio over the next two minutes and Louisville tied the match with 12:12 to go.
Georgetown went on a 3-0 run to regain the three goal advantage but the Cards weren't done...Oliverio netted her first score of the game and Morissette went back-to-back with scores...her fourth of the game coming with three seconds on the clock to tie the contest 9-9 for the halftime break.
The Hoyas took their turn at scoring to start the second half. Three GU scores in the first ten minutes had them ahead 12-9. Morissette responded with 15:53 left with a net-finder and Nikki Boltja got her second tally with 12 minutes remaining to draw the Cards within one at 12-11.
Unforutnately, that was the end of the Cardinal scoring and G'Town added two insurance goals to take the 14-11 win.
The long road trip finally ends. Louisville returns home for a pair of BIG EAST matchup. Notre Dame visits after spring break for a Friday, April 5th. match at 5 p.m. The Cards will also host Marquette Sunday April 7th., at noon.
Whoo, boy! We got us a contest going on over here at the COUPLE in our Bracket Pick 'Em Contest! With 32 games played, we got nine players that are 28-4 OR BETTER!
Here's the honor roll:
30-2 Nell J.
29-3 Jeff McAdams, Jenny O. ( both Cardinal Couple columnists! ) Keith B. and Andy K.
28-4 Curtis F. Matthew M., Steve O. and Kenny S.
|Jenny and Jeff in a four-way tie for second|
There are also at 27-5 and 26-6...so the game is far from over.
Meanwhile, in 'Loserville' (bracket-wise)...Paul sits at 23-9, Sonja at 24-8 and David Watson is keeping her company there. Worst entry? Once again the Cardinal Staff Chimps have come up with a bracket that is at 4-28. They did get the #1 seeds right in the first round. After that, nada. They've also got three of the #1 seeds going out in the second round. Darn chimps!