Thursday, January 28, 2016
Louisville women's basketball looks to grab the Tigers by the tail tonight -- Thursday Cardinal Couple
CARDS DEFEND WIN STREAK AGAINST CLEMSON TO START HOMESTAND
The year was 1965 and Buck Owens and his Buckaroos released the country hit "Tiger By The Tail". It was a fun honky-tonk ditty that featured the excellent guitar work of Don Rich and the song spent some time atop the country charts. Owens was on a hot streak in the country music world at the time...much like the Louisville women's basketball squad is riding the wave lately. Now, with today's musical look-back complete, let's look at tonight's contest.
LINK: TIGER BY THE TAIL - BUCK OWENS
Fast forward the calendar 50 years and the Louisville women's basketball squad will attempt to tame Tigers tonight -- the Clemson Tigers -- in the KFC YUM! Center at 7 p.m.
These felines haven't been producing much of a roar this season...standing 4-15 on the season and 0-6 in ACC play. Last time out, Audra Smith's squad dropped a 13-point decision to Georgia Tech.
The squad, like Louisville's, is a young one...with six freshmen, seven sophomores, one junior and no seniors. Of local note, Louisville native Margaret Richards is an assistant coach on the squad...in her first year after serving several seasons for Michelle Clark-Heard at WKU. There's a few of us who still remember Margaret's high-scoring game when she ran the hardwood for Louisville Central.
Scoring comes from Nelly Perry at 25.3 a game. Alliyah Collier leads Clemson in rebounds and did garner 18 points against Georgia Tech. Victoria Cardaci is the three point threat...averaging almost eight per outing....and all three are sophomores. Freshman Danielle Edwards contributes 10.2 ppg.
Wins for the Tigers have come against Charleston Southern, South Carolina State, UNC Asheville and a 71-53 beating of common opponent Tennessee Tech in Cookeville. Louisville beat the Techsters 76-54.
We hope to see a game where the Cards can jump out to an early lead and allow Coach Walz to get some significant playing time for the freshmen. A game like this presents a great opportunity to get work for Sam Fuehring and Erin De Grate inside...and meaningful minutes for Taja Cole and Brianna Jones.
Of course, the Cards will need to take care of business early and build a substantial advantage over the visitors. Walz will look for improvements from Mariya Moore and Briahanna Jackson offensively from the Syracuse outing and Asia Durr should be ready and able to compliment the recent riptide she's been on.
It's a chance for a signature win in an otherwise bleak season for the Tigers and don't expect them to come in and chase their own tail. They haven't scored more than 50 points but once in their ACC contests...and suffered 30 point plus beatings from Miami, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Duke...but, as we all know...a wounded tiger isn't something to mess with.
Smith is in her third year as the Tigers skipper, coming in from a previous stint at UAB. She brought along associate coach Daryl Oliver and assistant Marc Wilson from UAB with her for the rebuilding. The trio went 13-19 in the 2013-14 season and 9-21 last year.
The highly heralded TUNE IN app is supposed to be up and running for tonight's game for hearing the excellent Cards 790 tandem of Matt "Bengal" Andrews and Adrienne Johnson. It will also be televised on ESPN 3...with venerable Don Russell and former Cards coach Sara White as the talking heads.
Louisville won the contest 81-49 last year at Clemson and a similar outcome tonight wouldn't be shocking at all. We'll be back later tonight to recap it.