SUGAR BEARS SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE SURPRISE
Somehow, they got there.
A seventh-place pre-season pick in the Southland Conference didn't phase them. A 17-15 record from 2014-15 was in the rear view mirror. Upset minded Sam Houston State in the conference tournament finals couldn't bring them down. The Sugar Bears, the 14th seed in the Dallas region, are dancing. The opponent? The powerhouse Louisville Cardinals in the KFC YUM! Center on Friday around 2:30 p.m.
These Bears went 28-3 for the regular season and tournament. They are on a nine-game win streak and complied a 16-2 conference record. A review of their schedule reveals only one embarrassing loss...a 102-47 thrashing from Tennessee in their second game of the season in Knoxville.
Players to watch for? Guard Maggie Proffitt, a 5'7" junior guard leads the Sugar Bears in scoring with 14.3 ppg. Central Arkansas is a guard-oriented squad...Brianna Mullins, a 5'6" junior guard adds 10.5 ppg and has distributed 110 assists. Add 5'6" senior guard Jameka Watkins to the mix, with her 118 assists...and the Sugar Bears have their own version of Attack Yorkies.
CAU may be height-challenged, with their tallest starter... Raquel Logan checking in a 6'1"...but they did out-rebound their opponents by an average of eight rebounds per game. Defense does it for Sandra Rushing's squad...they limit opponents to 51.8 ppg...while averaging 65.3 a game. They also pass the eye-test with 73% marksmanship from the charity stripe.
For Louisville, the four fundamentals will need to be employed for a win. Solid defense, aggressive rebounding, taking good shots and finding Myisha Hines-Allen are the keys to a Louisville victory.
The Cards have won 24 of their last 27 games and feature Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year and All-American candidate Hines-Allen, who averaged 17.5 ppg and 8.4 rebounds a game. Louisville could use a resurgence from Mariya Moore from the deep and a strong rebounding performance from Cortnee Walton. Asia Durr off the bench has been spectacular lately for UofL and the spark and hustle of Briahanna Jackson will be keys if the Cards are to advance to Sunday.
The teams have no common opponent for comparisons...checking the RPI's reveals UofL at #14 and Central Arkansas at #90. It's hard to imagine Louisville not winning this by 20+ but it is Tournament Time and no opponent can be overlooked.
Get your tickets if you haven't already. E-mail Jeff Walz for a note to your employer if there are work conflicts. It should be a fun Friday afternoon...the DePaul v James Madison game should be an entertaining opening game that will feature two teams that can get it up and down the court with alacrity. Looking for an early round possible upset-special? JMU, a #11 seed, has won their last 20 games in a row...DePaul was on a nine-game win streak before being eliminated from the BIG EAST Tournament by St. John's in the quarterfinals.
See you tomorrow at the YUM!
RAPID START LEADS LACROSSE TO 15-7 WIN
Louisville Lacrosse scored three goals in the first three minutes and ran off the first six scores against Canisius in Buffalo, NY Wednesday afternoon to improve to 7-1 on the season. The #6 in the nation Cards also found a new scoring threat in sophomore Madison Hoover...who netted three of Louisville's first five goals.
The Cards held the Golden Griffiths scoreless for the first 13 minutes of the contest and took a commanding 12-3 lead into halftime.
Canisius showed heart and moxie by not rolling over for the Cards...actually outscoring UofL 4-3 in the final thirty minutes. By then, head coach Kellie Young had begun substituting liberally, the outcome successfully secured.
Kaylin Morissette continued her domination on the draw...winning 16 of the 24 face-offs...which is a season-high for her and three Cardinals had three goals or more each...Julia Wood getting a career high 4 scores and Kelli Gerding joining Hoover with a hat trick.
Brittany Read had eight saves in goalkeep...the Cards had a 36-23 shot advantage.
The LAXCards return home for a 1 p.m. Sunday match-up against Coastal Carolina. Whether it's a North or South Carolina coast...we're not exactly sure...but were pretty sure it's on the Atlantic Ocean.
CARDINAL COUPLE NCAA WBB PICK'EM
It's not too late to get in the CARDINAL COUPLE NCAA WBB TOURNAMENT PICK 'EM! We've had a great response so far...on the line is a $25 Gift Card to either Cracker Barrrel or Panera.
And, it's free!
|Peyton working on his pick...EWWWW!|
You can check the comments section for some of your competitors picks and here's a link to download a blank bracket...
Entries in by Friday noon, please.