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Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Cardinal Couple -- Cards defeat St. John


(Game report...Louisville lost to Notre Dame 83-59 in the BIG EAST women's tournament semi-finals tonight. Shoni Schimmel had 20 in a losing effort for the Cards. Louisville trailed by six at the half, but Notre Dame blew out to a 31-point lead in the second half. Louisville did draw within 18 late against the Irish reserves. Jenny will have much more in the TUESDAY edition of CARDINAL COUPLE.)

-HAMMONDS 22 points, 11 boards lead Cards to semis

-Softball crushes Illinois State on final day of Classic

-DAY 3 Big East Tournament recap.

If you listened to the Saturday broadcast of CARDINAL COUPLE radio, we laid it out for you. Paulie predicted  that Sara Hammond would step up big for Louisville against St. John's.

Sara, if you were listening...thanks for making me look like a "stinkin' genius". The 6'2" sophomore from Mt. Vernon, KY had her highest point total of her career and recorded a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds in Louisville seven-point win 62-55.

A win that should have been a double-digit win...why Bria Smith fouls on a three-point attempt with Louisville up by ten is subject to federal investigation...and a game that early on looked like Louisville was playing St. Matthews' Community Center, not St. John's.

The Cards, behind the efforts of "The Hammer" hit five of their first six shots and led early 15-2. Then, just as inexplicably portrayed against Syracuse last week, the ball went out of the air for Louisville and Shenneika Smith and the Red Storm went from a cold front to a tornado warning...outscoring Louisville 22-6 to lead at halftime 24-21.

Louisville missed a glaring 24 of 27 shots after the streaking start and a head-scratching 0-11 from beyond three point range.

The Cards kept it loose and light in the locker room at halftime, though...according to post-game comments by associate coach Stephanie Norman. Louisville regained the lead in the final twenty minutes when Shoni Schimmel (scoreless in the first half) drained a three to make it 32-30 Cards. Right after that Hammond converted on a hoop and free throw and Louisville was on its way to the win.

Bonita was not the ref for the game. Dennis DeMayo
did just as inadequate job, though.
St. John's didn't go away, staying within anywhere from 2-5 points and it was 54-50 after a pair of Nadirah McKenith free throws and 3:11 to go. Louisville got the next four points, though...and the Red Storm never threatened the rest of the way.

McKenith basically took herself out of the game with 54 seconds to go...slamming her head into Sara Hammond during a defensive double-team by the Cards. She remained on the court, in obvious pain and also probably caught up in the emotions of the loss to Louisville and had to be helped to the locker room. She had injured a leg the night before against Seton Hall and was noticeably hobbling at times in the Louisville game. Tough way for the sparkling St. John's senior to go out.

Whether St. John's (18-12) has done enough to earn an NCAA bid remains to be seen. They did win seven out of eight down the stretch and they are hosting NCAA First and Second round action like Louisville.

Big efforts by senior Monique Reid inside and Bria Smith defensively down the stretch as the Cards go to 24-7 and will face Notre Dame tonight.

We wish the Cards the best of luck in this very tough matchup. Hopefully, the Bulls gored the Irish enough to soften them up for Louisville.


Cardinal Softball continues to hit everything in sight, romping Illinois State 9-3 Sunday to go 20-3 on the season.

Alicja Wolny opened the scoring for Louisville with her sixth round-tripper of the that poor, battered scoreboard in left that's become a favorite punching bag for Louisville batters...and the Cards led 1-0 after an inning.

After a ISU score, Louisville made it 3-1 in the third when Katire Keller tripled and scored on a throwing error. Wolny drew a walk and reached home on a Maggie Ruckenbrod double.

ISU got a run in the fifth to make it 3-2 but Louisville countered in the bottom half of the inning when Wolny was walked again, Chrisanna Roberts came in to run for her and scored on another Ruckenbrod double. Ruck came to the place also when Hannah Kiyohara singled and it was 5-2 Cards.

UofL produced four more runs in the sixth. Keller led off with a walk, Jordan Trimble doubled and Wolny got another base on balls to load the bases. That set the stage for another Ruckenbrod double to clear the bags and make it 8-2. Kiyohara singled home Ruckenbrod and it was 9-2 Louisville.

Caralisa Connell got the win to go to 12-2 on the year...pitching four innings. Rachel LeCoq got her second save of the year with three innings of relief.

Louisville hosts WKU on Tuesday with a 5:30 start time.


DAY 3 of the BIG EAST Tournament saw the top seeds advance to the semifinals.

-Notre Dame prevailed in a 75-66 win over USF. The Irish put four players in double figures in a closer than expected win of the never-say-die Bulls.

-Connecticut demolished DePaul 94-61 to advance to tonight's action. Breanna Stewart's 21 was one of five Huskies in double figures.

-Syracuse held off Villanova 61-56 to earn the right to face UConn. Kayla Alexander went off for 34 points for "Q" and company. Nova leading scorer Laura Sweeney did not play...concussion suffered against Georgetown kept her out.


CARDINAL COUPLE Pick 'Em Contest still has...eight entries that are "perfect" or 11-0. CARDINAL COUPLE staffers consists of three of the eight in Jenny, Quentin Voigt and Sonja! Those left with a fighting chance below:

11-0  Quentin Voigt, Jenny O, Sonja, PDX Phil, Curtis F, Allen H, Nick B and Andrea S.

10-1 Perry S, K. Starks, Carol W, Sally K, Micha L, Andy L and Matthew Mitchell for Governor.

Other Cardinal Couple staffers...not so good. Jeff McAdams and Paulie are 9-2, Sandy Walker, Timmy the Intern & Bill The Goat 8-3, David Watson 7-4, CoCo 2-9 and the Staff Chimps 1-10.

Three games left. Good luck!


Speaking of tournaments, have you purchased your NCAA Round 1 and 2 tickets forLouisville's apperance at the KFC YUM! Center? If not, what are you waiting for? Go to and get in on the action!

Louisville is also a game watch party for the Selection Show March 18th. Admission is free that Monday night at the KFC YUM! Center to join the Lady Cards as they find out who their opponents will be. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m.

BE there!




  1. Game on, other seven! I've got ND, Conn and ND advancing. What about you? Allen H., do I have a shot at you since you beat my entry by 14 minutes?

    Curtis Franklin

  2. Actually, you do have a huge shot, Curtis. Allen has Notre Dame, SYRACUSE and Notre Dame winning.


  3. We most likely won't beat ND but I hope our ladies show some heart and pride this time around.

  4. We'll give it our best shot tonight. No pressure and probably no negative impact on NCAA seed if we lose. Just hope that a few of the outside shots are falling and that we can take care of the basketball and avoid the turnovers that turn into layups at the other end.

  5. Does anyone else think we should hope for a 6 and take our chances vs. a 3 at home? I would much rather play a 2 in the S16 then a 1 but we will most likely get a 4 or 5. No hope for a 3 unless we beat ND

    1. I'd love a 4 or 5 and bring Dayton (playing very well) in here as a four or five.


    2. I see your point (in the Sweet 16 I'd much rather face teams like Duke, Penn State, Kentucky or California than the "Big Four" #1s) but first you have to get there. I'm all for getting the highest seed possible and maximizing our chances at getting to the Sweet 16. And, if you look at the first-round sites and at the latest Bracketology, we're odds-on to get either Dayton (most likely) or Georgia here, whether we're a #4 or #5. If we should knock off ND tonight we would have to be moved up to a #3 with teams like Florida State and Iowa State as 6 seeds.

  6. Oh, and I can't wait until next year. We are going to be deep and every position. I hope Cannon brings that hot 3 points shooting here. We're going to need it!

    1. Huge props to Janelle Cannon, who had 49 points in Southwestern Illinois College's 106-99 win over Kaskaskia College (in overtime) in the finals of the Region 24 Junior college playoffs. SWIC advances to the NJCAA D1 Tournament.


  7. Paul, Jenny and Jeff - I just finished listening to Saturday's radio show on SoundCloud. Nice work! And, Paul, nice call on "The Hammer." As I think you know, she is my favorite player and I'm real happy to see how she has hung in there and made herself a better player. Looking forward to two more years from her.

    1. Thanks, Mike! WE have a lot of fun doing it. Just had a feeling about Sara. She was very confident Thursday in the aspects of knowing what she had to do up there and what she could do if St. John's was the opponent.

      She is a very polite, witty and pleasant young lady to interview. All of the Lady Cards are...and that's a testament to their upbringing, coaching and personalities.


  8. I do not understand why Jeff waited until the end of each half to play Mo. By the time he put her in during second half it was a done deal as a loss. I thought at first that she was physically unable to play but that apparently was not true. We could have used her when entire team went cold and ND took over. Go Sara!


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