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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bullying the Bulls...Cards head to Sweet Sixteen -- Tuesday Cardinal Couple

Women's Basketball vs USF


--CARDS 60 - USF 52--



UofL got off to a quick start in the round of 32 game against USF, a very familiar opponent, to say the least.  With a 12-2 run to start the game, it started to look like this game might not be all that competitive.  That's not a good bet to make when your opponent is a Jose Fernandez coached team, though.  And sure enough, a couple of what-were-you-thinking passes by Mariya Moore and some tight officiating by the Dee Kantner led crew, and USF was back into the game down just two, 16-14 at the under-12 timeout.  

Coming out of the timeout, USF got another bucket to tie the game up at 16, and set up a defensive battle for the ages.  Approximately four minutes later, at the under-8 timeout, the score had barely advanced, with The Cards having gotten the only score of the stretch for an 18-16 lead.

A collision between USF's star guard Courtney Williams and another Bull sent Williams and Bria Smith to the floor, with Bria landing on top of Williams leg.  Williams came up limping and concern started to set in for the Bulls.  The Bulls guard continued to play and with the exception of some grimacing and occasional hint of a limp, seemed no worse for wear.

UofL finally got some offense going again, and in what may be the highlight of the season, Shawnta' Dyer drained her first-ever-attempted 3-point shot taking UofL to 24-19 at the under-4 timeout.

At the half, The Cards were hanging on to a 28-23 lead.  At the half, Bria Smith had been credited with two steals, but it seemed like more, Mariya Moore also had two steals on the stat sheet, but quietly.

Starting the second half, Sara Hammond finally got on the scoresheet, then stripped USF and fed a nice passing in to Myisha Hines-Allen to swing the momentum to Louisville.  That triggered a USF timeout with the scoreboard showing 34-26.

USF started a stretch where they were reeling UofL back in with a bit of a curious call.  After Jesperson committed an over-the-back foul on Mariya Moore, the flailing Moore made contact with Jesperson as Moore went to the ground.  The over-the-back was called, and a huddle at the monitors resulted in a dead-ball technical being issued to Moore.  I'm a little mystified as to how that was a technical foul.  I could have understood a flagrant 1 as there was arguably contact by Moore's elbow to Jesperson's face, but a technical seems a bit over-the-top to me.

After the technical, USF made a bit of a run with a few calls that could've gone either way going in favor of the Bulls, but UofL didn't let it fluster them.  UofL continued to dominate the offensive glass giving them two, three, and sometimes even four attempts at getting shots.

With Bria on the bench with four fouls, Sara also collected her fourth and took some time on the sidelines.  With a cold shooting stretch by Louisville, USF was finally able to fully reel in The Cards at the under-4 timeout and take their first lead of the game at 47-46.

The Cards did not quit, however.  Louisville kept calm and continued to play their game, confident that some shots would start falling, and they did.  UofL started to pull back out to a small lead, but it wasn't comfortable until Jude sank some clutch free throws with under a minute left to put The Cards up 7.

With the foul-to-stop-the-clock game on in full force, Mariya Moore pulled down a rebound, was fouled, and landed awkwardly on her left knee perhaps, based on my armchair remote diagnosis, slightly hyperextending it.  In a gutsy display, Moore walked up to the free throw line and sank both of her free throws to put the game away for sure.

The Cards advance in a predictably tough game against USF to the Albany regional Saturday night to face Dayton after their upset over UK. Game time is set for approx. 2 p.m.


Kelsi Jones Gets ACC Nod


Kelsi Jones, in her fourth conference in four years, just got the ACC Player of the Week nod.  In a busy week of six games where The Cards went 5-1, Jones had a home run and a double, scored 9 runs, and got 6 RBIs.  She also picked up three stolen bases and was walked eight times, three of which were intentional.

On a barely related topic, on the @CardCoupleRadio twitter account this week, I explored the phenomenon of some Softball teams wearing hair bows while others don't.  Louisville has traditionally been a very non-hair-bow-wearing team.  Kelsi shook up the status quo last season by being the first UofL player that I'm aware of to wear a hair-bow while playing.

Hair bows: the hard hitting sports journalism you've come to expect from Cardinal Couple.

In all seriousness, though, Kelsi Jones has had a fantastic couple of weeks of Softball, helping Louisville sit atop the leaderboard in the ACC conference standings and is well deserving of ACC Player of the Week honors.

Lacrosse Rankings


There are times when I think I have some of these sport rankings polls figured out, and then we have situations like the last couple of weeks in Lacrosse that leave me scratching my head.

Last week, after a week of two loses to Boston College and Duke...Louisville Lacrosse moved up two spots in the IWLCA (Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association) coaches poll.  To be fair, the loses were very competitive, with the loss to BC being only by a single point in overtime, and the Duke game being a loss by only two points.  BC is 2nd, and Duke is 6th in the IWLCA poll, so apparently there was recognition that playing so competitively against two very good teams was worthy of a bump.

In the meantime, the Cardinals win against a couple of good, but unranked teams this week in Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech, and the reward?  Still sitting in 10th place.

I guess there are just some things that I'll never really understand.

CARDINAL COUPLE PICK 'EM CONTEST



Hard to believe, but 48 of the 63 games in this year's NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament have been played. The leaderboard for our contestants: 

40-8 Curtis Franklin. A previous winner of this event, CF has surged to a narrow lead over the field.

39-9 Charlie MC, Blue Lou and Kenny S. stand waiting in the wings...ready to pounce

38-10 Two CARDINAL COUPLE staffers...Jeff MC and Sonja are two games back...along with K. Starks.

We're in the stretch, headed for home. Who will hit the wire first? 



jmca

33 comments:

  1. Hi Mattie. Hope that win in December is enough to hold you over until next season. As much as I hate losing to UK and this senior class never having beat them, I would much rather advance further into the tournament than win that game. Enjoy the offseason Mattie, U of L will continue "Walz"ing.

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    1. Fly high now, little anonymous birdie. Albany and the dynamic Dayton squad awaits you. If you manage to claw past them, Walz's best buddy Geno will be there to administer his yearly beatdown on the DirtyBirds. Maybe mugger Mariya Moore can throw a shoulder, elbow, hand or body block into Stewie. That might lessen the loss to 20 or so.

      Yes, you are still dancing. But the music is fading and if the Cards manage to make the Final Four, I'll put on a UofL Shirt and take a selfie of myself in it. The oods of that are roughly equal to Walz beating the Cats next year.

      Matthew Mitchell For Governor.

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    2. Mattie, spit out the sour grapes your munching on and take a look at the cold, hard facts. UK lost. We cannot predict the future obviously...but if Dayton puts up 99 points on Louisville, I'll buy a UK shirt and have Sonja snap a pic of me on it and post it on the website.

      -- Matador defense in the NCAA Tournament = loss.
      -- Benching your starting center for a game (even though the cause was justified) = loss
      -- Taking you frustrations out on your rival that is still dancing = loser

      Here's Dr.Paul's remedy:

      Swing by Lessington, pick up your beloved and take him on an extended Spring Break in Daytona. Take him by the barber shop first and buy him a floral shirt and flip-flops. Stop by the booksellers and get him a copy of "Women's basketball Defensive Strategies 101" or include (Babbling) Brooke Weisbrod in your soiree..she's the self processed "know-all" in guarding and defense.

      Then, just sit back...take in a little sun, order a few of those drinks with the little umbrellas in them and cry on each other's shoulder. Would love to join you...but I gotta watch my gals do some more dancin'.

      Paulie

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    3. And the score after one inning is Paulie 1 - Mattie 0.

      Classic comeback, Paulie!

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    4. I dunno..."Daytona" looks and sounds a lot like "Dayton". That might cause some stress. Maybe Destin? No, that's still kinda close, isn't it? Panama City Beach...that'll do it.

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    5. BTW...Nice work on the write-up today Worldwide. Sleep deprivation. It's what's for dinner. LOL

      Paulie

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    6. Great reply to the Gov Paulie! What do you think our chances are against Dayton? The Gov is right about one thing. UConn will beat us up if we get that far but what a year if we get to the Elite Eight!!!!! Does KY know how to count that high? Thank God we have Coach Walz. How he gets these kids to win sometimes is beyond me.

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    7. The game against Dayton should be another stiff test of our defense. They are as adept at the dribble-drive, guard penetration as UK is and they can also pop the three. Physically and athletically, I think we are superior...if we can lock them down defensively (they love to "get-it-and-go") and establish an inside game (which UK couldn't) I like Walz's chances. He and the staff started working on a game plan last night. Giving the "mad scientest" five days to get a game plan in place can be compared to giving Gen. George Patton all the tanks, petroleum and ground troops he needs to sweep thru Germany. It will turn out well and he'll end up in Berlin. Then, UConn. Never say never. No one gave us a shot against Baylor...

      Paulie

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  2. I watch the Louisville, South florida from the comfort of my TV room and must say that I was uncomfortable most of the time. I saw seasoned senior frequently playing like freshmen. But we won. On to our next quest. Go Cards over Dayton.

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    1. Sara Hammond is 4-21 in the tourney shooting so far. Please only shoot inside Sara and when going to your left! Thanks!
      Did you notice 2 clutch free throws in the final minutes by Bria Smith?
      Did anyone expect Shawnte Dyer to have the impact she has had this year?
      Jude and Hines-Allen terrific games. Jude needs to continue to play with confidence and create opportunities. Her shooting percentage is low but I was glad she kept putting up shots at the end.

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    2. All true, Wade, I am pleasantly surprised and will enjoy the rest of the season, however long that is. A really great bunch of women we have and more to come next year. We are truly blessed.

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  3. This, from Charlie Creme, on ESPNW website referencing things of note in the Monday night performances:

    5. Little sis goes big: Louisville's Shoni Schimmel had plenty of spectacular and dynamic NCAA tournament moments during her four years under Jeff Walz. Who can forget the over-the-shoulder scoop shot over Brittney Griner in 2013?

    Nothing Shoni's younger sister, Jude, does will likely ever be as dramatic as that, but she had her tournament moment Monday night. With South Florida on the verge of completely turning around their second-round matchup in Tampa (the Bulls erased a seven-point deficit to take a one-point lead), Schimmel delivered as clutch as anything her sister used to do. She scored two of the Cardinals' next three baskets, including an end-to-end layup that got the lead back for good, assisted on the other, then made four free throws and grabbed a key defensive rebound (did we mention she's listed at a generous 5 feet, 6 inches). It was a good way to wrap up a 13-point, six-rebound, five-assist night.

    Once again, a Schimmel got Louisville to a Sweet 16, the program's fourth straight and sixth in seven years, but this time with a more straight forward approach.

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    1. Thanks for sharing the info on Jude!!

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  4. Jude Schimmel, Performance Player of the Game! Sweet 16 here we come! If we get past Dayton can we pull off another upset of the ages???? Is it possible?? ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! Overall, its good to see them make a run.

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  5. Great story on Mariya Moore
    http://www.examiner.com/article/byu-women-run-into-a-louisville-slugger-en-route-to-ncaa-tourney-loss

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    Replies
    1. Cheap shot story. It wasn't an elbow, it was a shoulder, and although it was a cheap shot, every story and comment I have seen about this cheap shot, not one mentions the cheap shots Mariya took before hers, or the cheap shot Bria took later.

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    2. No one is excusing what Mariya did. She's getting pummeled in the press and by BYU and USF fans. If you follow basketball at all you know that the scouting plans against our Cards were to stop Moore no matter what. Both teams were banging on her from the tip off. The only surprising thing to me is that she evidently felt the need to retaliate when she has spent most of here roundball career getting banged on. She made a freshman mistake in retaliating in the wrong way at the wrong time and she got called out on it, not only in the game but in the national sports media. Enough already from them and you.

      She's not some sort of an evil being that deserves contempt, particularly from someone like you that claims to be a ULWBB fan. If you can't live with it go support BYU, USF or better yet UK along with the Gov. Just don't come here throwing up links poor mouthing our kids while claiming to be a Card supporter.

      Here's the bottom line. She screwed up. Her teammates picked her up and together they broomed BYU and USF. UK choked after being overseeded, getting their cool new Nike sneaks and all of the national media talked about them taking on UConn and how great BYU and USF were. Not one mention of what our Cards would do until the actually did it.

      Either get on board or get off. Either way tune in three years from now when she's an All American.

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    3. Threatening me ? Do I need to conform to your views? You can't handle an opposing opinion? Must we all fall into your little homer conformist box? Please.

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    4. Save your drama for someone that is buying it because I'm not. Threatening...really?

      I'm going to try put this out there as simply and clearly as I can hoping that even you can understand it. If you want to continually hammer on one of our ballers and link to negative and obviously biased articles maybe you should hang out somewhere else. You're entitled to your opinion but if you are going to continue to denigrate one of our kids this isn't the place to do it. Is that clear enough for you?

      That's not a threat, that's an observation that will benefit both you and others that actually believe this kid isn't the evil you seem to want everyone to think she is.

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    5. OK guys, go to seperate corners here and grab a seat. The beauty of the site is that we'll accept all views on here as long as they don't get chippy toward eaxh other. Regardless if you agree or not with the referees' assesment of her actions in the last two games...we are not the judge nor jury. This is something that the coaching staff will address and assign importance to.

      Clean up the accusations on commenters, though. I know we poke fun at the Mrs Gov. (and she does enjoy the banter) but I don't like the way this is escalation is going between you two.

      Paulie

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    6. I agree, Paulie, this is basketball not politics and even in politics it behooves us to be civil. When we are not and when we start calling each other names, we sound like third graders on the playground. Let's all try to be adults, here.

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  6. Be sure to check out our good friend Charlie Springer's write up on the game. The Observer makes some good points. uoflcardgame.com

    Paulie

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  7. Interesting take from USF Head Coach Jose:

    “I thought they imposed their will in the paint - that was a big difference,” Fernandez said. “This looked like the Connecticut game a week and a half ago. We did a great job rebounding all year and tonight we didn’t do a good job of that.”

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  8. Been meaning to get to this sooner, but now is the perfect time.
    This season, especially, has been all about team ball over any individual. But if forced to choose one, my MVP is Jude. The only player this year that we absolutely have to have in there. Her numbers do not tell the whole story about her leadership or calming effect.

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    Replies
    1. Mariya Moore is my mvp even though I detest her recent actions

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  9. Not that we are starting an MVP contest, are we Paulie? I am hard pressed to choose between Jude and Shawnta Dyer. I think I would pick Dyer, because of how little we knew she would be able to do this year. She has far, far exceeded it. To battle all that she has, this team would have a few more losses on their record without her. Same is true for Jude, too. However, we expected it of Jude, knew she was capable and healthy to do it (well, at least some of us "knew" it).

    Bria Smith has also had a a fantastic year defensively. I've kind of given up on depending on her offensively. But using some Walzian math, her defense does adds up to offense, by subtraction. Right Paulie?
    Jenny

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    1. I will refer to the basic theorum that Walz presented me at the start of the season. "3 is better than 2". In the case... #3 is Vails. #2 is Hines-Allen. Therefore Vails is the MVP of the team if we stick to the general underlying theory.

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    2. Great remark, Jenny. I believe that Cardinal Couple should start a yearly re and ward for the player who has overcome adversity and made a big contribution to the team. In the past we could have given it to Mo Reid, Tia Gibbs. It would be nice to name the trophy the Dyer trophy. I will spring for the trophy each year.

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  10. I have two problems with this account of the game. First, Jude led the team in scoring, rebounds, assists and steals, as well as cool-headed leadership. She scored 8 of the last twelse points, had a beautiful assist to Dyer on the other key bucket, as well as pulling down the two most important rebounds of the game. She is hardly mentioned in the write up except in passing as making a couple of free throws at the end.

    On the other hand, for Moore's repeat of her shameful play is turned into some kind of a victim. That play cost Louisville its momentum and brought about a six point turn around. For most of the game Moore pouted around the court, failed to hustle, through the ball away repeatedly, and failed to try to get to passes and loose balls. Then the write up gives Moore a paragraph at the end for her heroic effort to get a rebound and make two free throws after Schimmel and Dyer had already put the game out of reach. Her injury may be part of the reason for her poor play, but it is no excuse for her shameful assaults on other players. But what is worse is ignoring the true heroes of the game who played with trendmondous determination and excellence.

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    1. Wholeheartedly agree with you on Mariya Moore . She is far from a victim. Coach needs to stop being an enabler. After her shameful act against BYU they were both laughing when the refs were reviewing the flagrant foul at the scorers table.

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    2. No one made excuses for Mariya. Everything happens in context and that's what has been put forward. Further no one is minimizing the contributions of Jude, Dyer or any other contributors. I mean seriously...Charlie Creme and other national sportswriters have acknowledged Jude's amazing game. No "true heroes" got ignored.

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    3. Thanks for your input and for reading.

      Paulie

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  11. All you kitty kat fans get off Mariya's sports bra stap and stop hating, I know you're fearful of what's gonna happen to your gals and the rest of the wbb teams out there next. CAN'T STOP IT JUST GET OFF THE TRACKS CARDINAL CANNON BALL COMIN. Keep your head up Mariya ignore the haters and keep ballin.

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