WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
*******NITA SLAUGHTER UPDATE********
This from the UofL SID staff on #4:
Antonita Slaughter is still in the hospital undergoing tests today and tomorrow
to determine what caused last night's episode. She is alert, in good spirits
and surrounded by her family. We hope to have testing completed by early
Thursday. Once we have results and a diagnosis, we will be holding a press
conference to update everyone on Nita's condition. At this time we ask that you
respect the family's privacy.
We'll discuss more on our favorite wing in the Thursday edition of CARDINAL COUPLE...which we may start calling "Slaughter COUPLE" until our pal is back on the court and draining treys.
-Nita Slaughter rushed to hospital during game
It's the kind of thing one hopes to never see at an athletic contest. A player on the floor, surrounded by medial staff and EMS techs. Loaded onto a cart and hastened off the court...motionless and eyes closed. Players standing around in shocked disbelief and worry.
Shortly after coming out of the game Tuesday night at the 17:44 mark, Nita Slaughter grabbed a seat on the Cardinal bench and then went into seizure mode. Quick thinking medical and arena staff personnel went into action, laid her on the floor of Denny Crum Court and had her on the way to the hospital via ambulance.
The reports finally came in. Slaughter was responsive and answering doctor's questions at the hospital.
She is OK.
UofL sent this e-mail out at 8:15 about her to members of the media:
She had been pulled from the game early on by Coach Walz...along with Asia Taylor and Sara Hammond so he could question them on a designed play that backfired...with the Cards holding a 6-2 lead. Slaughter had scored the first goal of the game just 19 seconds into the contest.
Coach Walz gathered the players after the incident by the free throw line and discussed the matter. He told them that she was in good hands and that if Nita was there...she'd want them to play hard and well.
And, they did for Nita.
Louisville raced out to a 15-4 lead when Shoni drained her second three-pointer in a row with 14:22 on the clock. Her third three of the game made it 22-8 Cards and a Emmonnie Henderson jumper pushed the Cards to a 16-point advantage with 12:35 remaining in the first half.
Two free throws from Tia Gibbs made it 30-11 Louisville...part of a 13-2 run over a four minute span that put Louisville comfortably ahead 37-13 with 7:36 to go.
The shots kept falling for the Cards, who shot a blistering 61.1% in the first twenty minutes. A Shawnta Dyer jumper in the paint gave Louisville their largest lead of the half...47-19...at the 3:47 mark. the Cards would go on to lead 55-30 when the half ended. Shoni led all scorers with 11 first half points and Bria Smith contributed 10 on 5 for 6 shooting.
The final half was a bit slower offensively but the Cards defense tighten up markedly over the final 20. Missouri State would not score in the first 4:38 of action...and when Kenzie Williams hit a layup for the Bears...it made the score 61-31 Cards.
Louisville steadily increased the lead. Shoni's final three dictated a 67-41 margin at the 12:17 clock reading and Cortnee Walton scored a layup to increase the margin to 75-44 with 8:26 remaining. It was part of a 12-3 Louisville run over the next five minutes that culminated when Monny Niamke bounced home a layup to set the score at 87-47 and 3:12 to play.
Megan Deines jumper made the final 91-49 and the Cards had done what they set out to do...play hard and win one for their teammate.
The post-game presser with the players and Coach Walz was centered around the Slaughter incident and Walz was headed to the hospital to meet with the doctors and Nita's family after his media appearance. Shoni and Bria indicated they wanted to go also when asked in the presser.
A nice win under scary circumstances early on. Louisville solved the turnover bug with only 12 against the MVC foe. Louisville turned up the defensive effort in the second half...going to a zone and extending the defense in the Bears passing lanes. The Cards shot an acceptable 56.5% for the contest and created 24 MSU turnovers. Louisville also had 24 assists on 35 made baskets...a stat that Walz praised. Free throw shooting still can't quite get to the 70% mark,..the Cards going 14-23 for 60.9%. Shawnta Dyer's 2-6 and Cortnee Walton's 0-2 stats from the charity stripe lessened and otherwise decent effort for the Cards at the foul line.
THE FINAL WORD
Thoughts turned to Nita as we watched first half action...we relied on asst. women's basketball SID Kim Pemberton's updates and all breathed a sigh of relief when it was announced during halftime to us that Nita was alert and responsive.
As Shoni mentioned in her post-game remarks...this team is family and they were just as worried as Slaughter's family about the prognosis and event. We, as media, also have had great post-game interviews with the perpetually smiling wing and our concern was genuine and heartfelt.
As Jody Demlng mentioned to me as second half action began...it may have been one of the best early game substitutions in Walz's coaching history...even if it was purely coincidental. Imagine Nita running down the court, leaping in the air or battling for a rebound and the event occurring. She was sitting when the seizure struck and that may have been a blessing because her chances of hurting herself were greatly reduced.
We wish her a positive diagnosis and speedy return to the court.
POST-GAME WALZ WITH MEDIA
In other news, Jeff Walz debuts his call-in radio show tonight at 6 p.m. on ESPN Radio 680 AM in the Louisville area. Matt Andrews will co-host with the Coach.
Let's hope they review the seven words you can't say on the radio with Coach prior to broadcast.
Here's the Louisvillle SID release:
LOUISVILLE, KY. -HEAD COACH JEFF WALZ WILL BEGIN HIS WEEKLY RADIO SHOW ON ESPhereN 680 THIS WEEK. THE FIRST HOUR LONG SHOW WILL AIR ON WEDNESDAY, DEC 4 AT 6:00 P.M. THE CARDS PLAY-BY-PLAY ANNOUNCER, MATT ANDREWS WILL HOST THE SHOW.
THE SHOW WILL RECAP THE PREVIOUS WEEK AND PREVIEW THE UPCOMING SLATE. FANS ARE ENCOURAGED TO CALL AND ASK THE COACH QUESTIONS AT (502) 267-9680.
THE JEFF WALZ SHOW CAN BE HEARD LOCALLY ON ESPN 680 AM, STREAMING ON-LINE AT ESPNLOUISVILLE.COM OR VIA THE TUNE IN APP FOUND IN THE APP STORE OR GOOGLE PLAY STORE.
THE DECEMBER EDITIONS OF THE JEFF WALZ SHOW WILL BE THE 4TH, 11TH, 18TH, AND 30TH ALL FROM 6:00-7:00 P.M.
So there you have it, Walz defenders and detractors. Your chance to call in and ask him the questions you bomb our e-mail box with. Maybe I'll use my Russian accent and call in to ask him if he would like Memorial Coliseum marked for razing. Or have the Cardinal Dames from our radio show give him a ring and invite him out for pastries, shots of bourbon and one-on-one hoops out on the driveway of their mansion in Goshen.
Let's hope he doesn't get a call from Don Paulie...