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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesday Cardinal Couple -- Cards WBB falls at Syracuse 68-57


-Cards "siesta" proves deadly in 11 point loss

-BIG EAST Tournament Pairings


Louisville women's basketball team didn't play too badly for 32 minutes against Syracuse Monday night. It was the eight-minute nap that they took offensively that was the downfall in the 68-57 loss to the Orange in Syracuse, NY.

441 fans in attendance for a matchup between two top-25 teams. Disgraceful. They should send Syracuse to the Horizon Conference instead of the ACC in women's hoops...

A Jude Schimmel steal and layup had the Cards ahead 38-37 with 14:56 to go in the game. Louisville didn't score again until a Bria Smith steal made it 53-40 Syracuse with 6:33 to go.

A 16-0 Syracuse run..where the Orange got points from five different players...and set a lead that the Cards couldn't overcome.

Louisville did try to fight back. The Cards responded with a 18-7 run over a 5:30 stretch to climb back with four at 60-56 after a off-balance, falling down Shoni Schimmel three at the 1:07 mark. Syracuse made the best out of their free throws the rest of the way to end the game on a 8-1 run.

The Cards came out hot to start the game, going on a 8-0 run after Brittany Sykes gave the Cuse the early 3-0 lead. Nita Slaughter's second three of the game put UofL ahead 8-3 at the 15:48 mark. Louisville still lead 14-11 after a Sherrone Vails jumper at the 8:51 mark. Syracuse briefly grabbed a 24-23 lead with 2:39 left in the first half...but the Cards got two Shoni threes in the final 1:25 of the first half...the final one with three seconds give Louisville a 29-27 lead at the half.

Shoni and Sara Hammond had eight points in the first twenty, Slaughter added six, Jude with five and Sherrone Vails two for the Cards in the first half. Syracuse out-rebounded Louisville 19-17 but had 12 turnovers.

Syracuse started the second half on a 7-2 run and led 34-31 on a Sykes layup...but Jude drilled a three to tie it with 17:25 left. Jude steal and layup gave Louisville their final lead at 38-37.

Then, the rim closed for the Cards.

Shoni led all scorers with 19 points, Jude added 12 and Slaughter and Hammond ended with eight each. Smith and Denies finished with four each and Vails two points. Shelby Harper and Cortnee Walton played but did not score. Monique Reid was available but Coach Walz chose not to use her...feeling the extra rest before the BIG EAST Tournament would do her good.

Louisville lost the rebounding battle 47-34 and Syracuse enjoyed a 18-8 advantage with points-in-the-paint. Freshman Brittany Sykes and senior Kayla Alexander had 16 points each for Quentin Hillsman's Orange.

Bonita Spence...Paulie's favorite referee in the whole wide world...actually didn't do a horrible job...she only missed about a dozen calls instead of her normal 20-25. Harper and Hammond getting creamed by 'thug-girl' Kayla Alexander in the final minute...and the resulting "no calls" were moronic by Spencer. Especially the swinging of the elbows by Alexander at Hammond's face. Control your dogs, Quentin. I hope Alexander dislocates those elbows the next time she tries to get "street" in a game already decided.

Uncalled for and very poor sportsmanship.

With the win, Syracuse gets the #3 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament. Louisville gets #4 and will play next at noon on Sunday against either Cincinnati, Seton Hall or St. John's in the quarterfinals.


Norte Dame is the #1 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament defeating UConn in three overtimes last night 97-88.

First round match ups on Friday:

Cincy plays Seton Hall
Pitt plays Marquette
Providence plays Georgetown

Second round on Saturday

#5 seed St. John gets the Cincy/Seton Hall winner
Rutgers and DePaul play each other on Saturday
Villanova gets the winner of the Pitt/Marquette game
South Florida gets the Providence/Georgetown winner.

Sunday action

Louisville against Cincy, Seton Hall or St. John's
Notre Dame against Rutgers or DePaul
UConn faces Pitt, Marquette or Villanova
Syracuse draws Georgetown, Providence or South Florida.

The semi finals will be played Monday night and finals Tuesday night at the XL Center in Hartford.


CARDINAL COUPLE once again proudly presents the BIG EAST Tournament Pick 'Em Contest. At stake, a $25 CHILI'S gift card to the winner! 14 games in all, pick the winner for each and take the prize.

Here's Bill the Goat's bracket as an example.

SETON HALL over Cincy. PITT over Marquette. GEORGETOWN over Providence in first day action.

SETON HALL over St. John's. RUTGERS over DePaul.
VILLANOVA over Pitt . SOUTH FLORIDA over Georgetown in the second day of games.

LOUISVILLE over Seton Hall. NORTE DAME over Rutgers.
CONNECTICUT over Villanova. SOUTH FLORIDA over Syracuse in the quarterfinals.

LOUISVILLE over Notre Dame. CONNECTICUT over South Florida in the semifinals.

LOUISVILLE defeats Connecticut in the finals.

Another way is:

Seton Hall, Pitt, Georgetown
Seton Hall, Rutgers, Villanova, South Florida
Louisville, Notre Dame, Connecticut, South Florida
Louisville, Connecticut

14 games played, 14 winners picked. (No one said Bill knows anything about basketball...BTW.)

Send your picks to or you can leave them in the comments section of any of the articles this week.

-- Entries close at noon Friday. Be sure to give us a name and e-mail or phone # to contact you by...if you win.

We'll try to find a decent bracket set up and post it Tuesday or Wednesday. Good luck and may the best prognosticator win!

Download the BIG EAST Women's Tournament Bracket at:




  1. We lost this game because Jeff had our team jack up 32 3. He blamed our players toughness and inability to embrace contact. I do agree that we will be lucky to win a game in the BE tourney and NCAA. No consistent players on our team. We are in deep trouble if we have to play a good defensive team in the tourney. Trap, press and make us shoot outside shots and you will win 99% of the time.

    Oh, and I don't want to play St. John's again. Bonita is AWFUL. We usually don't win with her officiating.

  2. I didn't get to listen to the postgame radio show. What did Walz say?

    Rebounding has been our Achilles heel and it killed us again last night. And it was another of those games where we don't get into our offense until deep in the shot clock and are forced to end up taking a three. Our half-court offense is looking pretty stagnant.

    1. Coach Walz talked about lack of toughness, lack of offensive rebounding and inability to score over Syracuse's tough 2-3 zone. He wasn't as mad or apathetic as I've heard him in the past...wanted to win, obviously...but knows he has a double bye and NCAA bid with first two games at home.

      On a scale from The Carpenters (placid) to Metallica (full of rage), I'd give him a "Journey" last night in the post game. Driving but not destructive.


    2. Thanks for the update. And as much as I hated to see us lose last night, when ND finally finished off UConn I told my wife that I'd rather have the four seed and potentially get ND rather than the three and get UConn on their home court. Although, honestly, we don't want any part of either of those teams right now. Just hope we can get by (probably) St. Johns in the quarterfinals.

  3. No inside game last night. Vails was working her @#$ off in the post and got very few touches. Where was Hammond? Did Smith even drive to the basket last night? Not sure that it matters, but not a very encouraging game for fans as we enter tournament season. I think they will win their first round game in the BE tourney. As far as Uconn and UND...they are unbeatable by any other team in the Big East this year. They are several steps ahead of the rest in the league. I think this team can make the Sweet 16 this year, which would be amazing considering they are down 4 starters.

    1. The CARDS displayed a classic, on-the-road, big game collapse last night in the second-half. They might have wanted to win but Syracuse HAD to win to get the double bye. Louisville's second half play for about a nine minute stretch was horrible. No defense, casual and timid offense and no team direction or leader out there. It's why your Cardinals will crash after the two game gift you have in the NCAA and probably get beat by St. John's in the Big East Tourney.

      No heart and no leader. A good team at times, but not a team capable of beating anyone who has good rebounders or can play a good zone.

      -Matthew Mitchell for Governor-

    2. Take away 4 starters from UK and your team doesn't even make the tourney this year. Walz is the bomb and finishing 4th in the Big East is an amazing feat. Go Cards!

    3. In all fairness, Louisville did climb back to make it 60-56 with a little over a minute left. They chose to foul a marginal free-throw shooter instead of playing for the missed shot or turnover. It backfired, Hall made both attempts. In hindsight, maybe one of those coaching decisions you'd change if you had a "do-over" but at the time, it made sense. The clock wasn't going to move while Hall was at the line and if she misses, you've got the ball if you rebound the miss, you're four points down and you have momentum on your side with over a minute to go in a two-possession game.

      Just a theory...


    4. Hey Mattie, we had your kitty cats down by 17 with 2 starters out and 1 playing limited minutes. Would have kicked their butts if our coach hadn't slowed things down and tried to protect the lead. And don't continue to blame that one on free throws. Our coach had a brain fart.

  4. Cards had a horrible shooting night in the cavernous Carrier Dome that has difficult sight-lines for shooters when it is empty.

    And it was empty. Less than 500 people? C'mon Syracuse, step your attendance up. Bellarmine probably draws more for women's games.

    Joe Hill

    1. They open the Carrier Dome for 500? Sheesh!

  5. Didn't get to actually see the game so it's hard to say what happened exactly, but from the call of Matt, sounded like on multiple possessions the Cards were settling for 3 pointers. See from the stats that Shoni took 17. That has never been a good formula for the Cards, especially when they are not making them. Got to find better ways to get the ball inside, whether it's driving or passing. They have also got to rebound the ball better also, something that should have been accomplished this far into the season. Hoping to at least get past the first weekend this year, regardless of who is and who is not playing. Think the ones we do have are entirely capable of winning two at home.

    1. In fairness to Shoni, a lot of those shots were deep in the clock when there were no other options, and she was the only player who ever passed the ball into the post. I could go on, but I won't.
      --PDX Phil

  6. Big East Picks. Seton Hall. Marquette. Georgetown. St. John's, USF, DePaul. Villanova, Louisville, Notre Dame, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Connecticut, Notre Dame.

    Send me the card.

    Curtis Franklin

  7. Paulie, what are you using as a tie-breaker for your tournament?

    1. Earliest entry, as usual.

      In the words of ex-coach Hunter Punter..."you gotta get out there early and establish your turf. gotta punch them in the mouth, stomp on them when they're down, return every shove, glare, handful of dirt and dirty word they throw at you. never stop unill they turn the lights out and be the last to leave the arena."

      Hunter was referring to the swim teams he coached in the 1980's at Our Lady Of Anticipated Pentenance...



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