Thursday, February 19, 2015
WBB Cards look to avoid wreck at Virginia Tech -- Thursday Cardinal Couple
#8 Louisville faces Hokies tonight at @ 7
The 22-3, 10-2 Louisville Cardinals hope to stay within reach of ACC Conference leader Notre Dame tonight with a win over Dennis Wolff's Virginia Tech Hokies. The contest will be shown on ESPN3...pitting the Cards, who have won their last three, against a VT squad that has lost their last six games.
On paper, Louisville looks to be an easy double-digit winner tonight against a Va. Tech squad that is 1-12 in ACC competition. As we all know...they don't play these on paper.
Va. Tech led dangerous Syracuse in their last outing with less than three minutes to go...eventually falling to the Orange 59-51.
Fueled by the chance to defeat a top 10, the Hokies will make Cassell Coliseum a tough place for the visiting Cards to win tonight. Louisville is 5-10 there in the 32 game series between the two former Metro Conference members. It's been twenty years since the two last met...the Cards taking a 68-60 loss on Feb. 26th. 1995.
Granted...most of the current Cards were either in diapers or not born that night...but Louisville will need to keep an eye out for several of the current Gobblers this evening.
Guard Vanessa Panousis leads VT with 13.2 ppg, three pointers (59) and also in assists with 83. A hot night from her could spell danger for the Cards. Rachel Camp averages 12.6 ppg and 6.2 rebounds. Taijah Campbell goes for 7.8 and 7.1 a night.
Head coach Wolff has a youth movement present on the 2014-15 squad with no seniors and just three juniors on the roster. Panousis -- from Sydney, Australia -- is one of five international players on the squad.
The Cards will need to do the usual things on Coach Walz's priority list to secure the victory. Avoiding a slow start, hitting from the free throw line, establishing a presence on the boards on both ends of the court and engineering a fast break, transition game.
Mariya Moore leads the Cards in scoring with 14.1 ppg and
also in assists (98) and threes (41). Myisha Hines-Allen is contributing 12.3 ppg and Sara Hammond is also a double-figure producer at 11.2 per night.
We hope to see all three crest the double-digit mark tonight and have several other Cards greet them there. We'll look for big games off the bench from "E" and Shawnta' and see just how far Bria Smith has made it out of the Walz doghouse. Steady, dependable Jude Schimmel will need to be accurate in her ball-handling and hopefully on mark from the deep. We'd like to see Ariana Freeman get quality minutes tonight as well.
Should be a fun one to view (and listen to on 790 Cards Radio) on a night where record temperature lows are predicted for the Louisville area.
Let's hope the travelling Cards don't reach any lows tonight offensively and create a few season lows for VT.
We'll recap the action in Friday's edition of CARDINAL COUPLE.