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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wednesday Cardinal Couple -- Rally falls short. Maryland 76 - Louisville 73


- Schimmel's 31 lead Cards in loss to Maryland

Photo by Charlie Springer - UofL Card Game
They ran the play to perfection. 3.5 seconds on the clock, Maryland not guarding Sara Hammond throwing the inbound pass to Asia Taylor. Asia finds Shoni on the right side of the three-point arc. Pass delivered and Shoni sends her fourth three of the last 29.2 seconds toward the rim. A clear look despite the defensive pressure.

A sickening bounce off the back of the rim.

Time expires and Maryland advances to the Final Four with a 76-73 win over Louisville Tuesday night in the KFC YUM! Center in front of 14,002 screaming fans...99% of them dressed in red or black.

Do not blame Shoni for this loss. She put this team on her back and erased a 70-60 Maryland lead after two Alyssa Thomas free throws with three threes in 29.6 seconds.

Tia Gibbs two free throws got Louisville within three points at 73-70 with 14.5 seconds left. Louisville had just benefited from the second of Shoni's threes and Gibbs drew the foul on the Maryland inbounds possession. The Cards fouled Shatori Walker-Kimbrough after Gibbs' scores and the freshman Terps guard calmly sank both to make it 75-70.

Six seconds later, it was Sho-Time again. Another deep three made it a 75-73 game with 3.3 left on the clock. Another foul by Louisville on the inbounds play and senior Maryland star Thomas missed the first but made the second charity attempt to set up the Cards desperation attempt.

If that wasn't the most exciting final minute of basketball I've seen this season...I challenge someone to point out another.

The whole game had the aura and intensity of a championship match. early...grabbing an 8-2 lead at the 16:40 mark. The Cards fighting back to get within one at 11-10 after a Jude three. Maryland going on a five minute, 11-2 surge to take a 22-17 advantage. The Cards grabbing a 24-22 lead off a 7-0 run over the next three minutes...capped by a Nita Slaughter three at the 5:45 mark. Louisville going on a 8-2 run in the last 2:53 of the half to lead at the 20-minute mark 36-32.

Shoni had 14 of her game-high 31 at that point. Alyssa Thomas...the other All-American on the court...had 9 for the Terps and sharp-shooting UM guar Katie Rutan had bagged four trifectas.

The Cards began the second half with a quick 5-0 spurt in the first minute and the KFC YUM! Center was pure bedlam.

Maryland fought back determinedly. Shoni's incredible driving, twisting layup gave the Cards a tenuous 43-40 edge with 16:14 to go.

Then...the train screeched to a halt. Louisville would muster but two points in the next five and a half minutes and a 14-2 Terp run put them ahead 54-45 with half of the second half gone. It was 60-51 with four minutes remaining and Shoni had missed her last seven shots. Louisville could not buy a layup.

The Cards would score eventually...A Tayy dropping in two free throws. Maryland would counter. Shoni's layup with 1:55 left cut the UM advantage to 10 but it looked like time was running out on the Cards. It was her first basket in 13 minutes.

It was 66-56 Maryland.

Four Maryland free throws in the next minute set up the wild, final 56.8 seconds. 

An incredible but heart-wrenching end to an incredible season by these UofL players. A superlative senior scoring night...where Asia, Tia, Nita and Shoni had 65 of Louisville's 73 points.

A group that will be missed greatly and remembered fondly. An effort that got the dejected group of girls leaving the court a standing ovation from an appreciative and admiring fan base. To hear these four seniors pour their hearts out in the post game press interviews will endear this group of ladies to me for a very long time.

To see Sonja with tears streaming down her face at the same time Asia's fall on the podium. To see Walz gently comfort Shoni as she breaks down in mid-sentence. To see four girls who left it all out there on the court and get so close, but fall so very short on a silly bounce of a rubber ball off an iron rim...sitting there...bravely answering questions about the final game of their college careers. Hurting inside. Having given their best and finishing second best.  

Losing sucks so bad...

A perfectly run final play. A shot that probably goes in 4 out of 5 times attempted.

This game they call never ceases to amaze, does it?


Tournament awards:

MOP: Alyssa Thomas, Maryland
Shoni Schimmel, Louisville
Antonita Slaughter, Louisville
Meighan Simmons, Tennessee
Lexie Brown, Maryland



  1. We should have won this game. We outplayed Maryland in every category besides FT shooting. I knew we were in trouble when I saw Ms. Ponytail laughing it up with Maryland coaches and players. Also, I'd rather just host the 1st & 2nd round of the tourney. A hell a lot more pressure on your shoulders with a trip to the F4 on the line. Our home court advantage didn't seem to influence the officials. I have never seen so many 3 balls go half down and pop out. Tia had at least 3 of them tonight

    107 total wins with 11 NCAA tournament wins for this senior group. Thank you for 4 great years of excitement.

    PS. Frese looked like an ass at the end of the game dancing. Act like you've been there.

  2. It was an amazing game and such a fantastic group of young women. We have been privileged to watch them play. We can look forward to what the "mad scientist" will do to make next years seniors have a great season. I have nearly zero interest in the tournament at this point. With Notre Dame hobbled, looks like a cake walk for UConn. Been there, done that. Off to watch some other wonderful UofL teams strut their stuff. Softball out of town this weekend but seems like a great time to take in a baseball game. Lacrosse will be back in town in a couple of weeks. UofL fans are great and we can share our enthusiasm with some of the other teams.

  3. I'm glad I went to the game last night, but I wish I had not. Matt Andrews must
    have burst some blood vessels over those refs and I didn't get to hear his call.

    The men lost because free throws and rebounding, their season-long problems,
    finally did them in and ended an era. The women lost because missed layups and
    referees, their seaon-long problems, sealed their fate and ended an era, as

    I'm truly proud of these seniors, both men and women, but Russdiculous and The
    Show are gone, leaving me a bit hollow inside.

    I don't know what happened to Sara and Bria but they seemed a 1,000 miles away
    the last few games.

    Women will have some growing pains next year, but they won't have to play UConn;
    just ND, KY, NC and Duke!


  4. There were a 100 reasons why Louisville lost last night but a missed 4 step shuffle by Maryland's S Walker- Kimbrough at 9.2 seconds transferred a 3 point down with the ball situation to 5 points down with the ball.

    Would someone - say the head of referees - provide us with the answer of how 3 of the " highest ranked" referees the NCAA has to offer could all 3 miss the person with the ball committing not just a 3 but a true 4 step shuffle travel? ( video replay confirms we all were not delusional and the ball was under her control so that does not work)

    A travel that not only the average fan in the stands could clearly see but also one which the ESPN broadcasters did not even try to ignore or convince the viewer that it did not happen. The women's game has speed up which was reflected by a change to 3 referees - what next 4 or perhaps a financial penalty for every wrong or inappropriate no call with a bonus for correct calls or correct no calls?

    I personally know that the folks in charge of referee training as well as the referees are honest, hard working people who value the credibility of the work product. Unfortunately, if last nights trio are truly ranked as among the best referees we have, then the credibility of the group as a whole is in shambles.

    The profession needs to look for something different in training. Perhaps virtual games or automated game recreations like pilots use to create life like scenarios? Ideas anyone?

  5. Despite the NBA refs, they had their chances, a lot of missed layups. Shoni gave us alot to talk about for years to come, she left her imprint upon Louisville, and she will always forever be a legend in our community here on the Umatilla Rez. I had to hold back some tears when she missed that shot, I feel for her bc you can see she WANTED it. Shoni has made a name for herself and is like the Michael Jordan in the Native World. As for Jude, I have another reason to keep watching Louisville, but I'm pretty sure I am a Cardinal Fan for life now ;-) There is another like her, I'm telling you, over on the WarmSprings Rez, on the other side of the state of Oregon in Mariah Stacona, she is being recruited by D1 schools.--Umatilla23

  6. Freshman year here Recent HS Playoff game here ----Umatilla23

  7. Tough way to go out. Joe Clay tribute to the Cards and the Shimmel Sisters:


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