Friday, November 11, 2016
SEASON OPENER FOR LOUISVILLE WBB at UTM -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
CARDS OPEN ON ROAD AGAINST OVC FOE
It's finally here.
The University of Louisville women's basketball team starts the 2016-17 season tonight at Skyhawk Arena in Martin, TN against the University of Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks at 6:30 ET.
The squads met last year in the KFC YUM! Center on Dec. 28th...Louisville getting a 88-66 win over Kevin McMillian's crew. Myisha Hines-Allen had 13 for the Cards in the contest...Cortnee Walton and Briahanna Jackson added 12 each for Louisville.
If these UofL stars look familiar to McMillian and the Skyhawks...the Cards will most likely remember Jessy Ward and Emanye Robertson...starters last year that return for UTM. The Skyhawks come into the contest with a 76-48 exhibition win Monday against Christian Brothers. Freshman guard Kendall Spray tallied 21 points for the Skyhawks...junior transfer guard Teddy Vincent added 15 and freshman guard Ansley Eubank ended with nine points and 11 rebounds. Leading scorer from last year Ward is considered day-to-day with an injury and missed the Christian Brothers contest.
Louisville leads the series 5-0. McMillian enters his eighth year as the UTM head coach (142-83) and has been selected OVC Coach of the Year twice in his career at UTM. UTM has won the OVC three consecutive years and defeated Memphis in the first round of the WNIT last season. Despite replacing half of their roster...they were selected pre-season to take the OVC crown again this year.
The Skyhawks favor an up-tempo pace...which Louisville should have no problem with whatsoever. The Cards laid 97 on Lindsey Wilson in their lone exhibition game...and the speed merchant conglomeration of Asia, Briahanna, JJ, Myisha, Mariya and company would probably prefer an up-and-down the court contest for the entire 40 minutes tonight.
Locally, this one will be on WTFX 93.1 FM and the video feed comes (free of charge) from the Ohio Valley Conference Digital Network....accessible at www.utmsports.com
UTM draws well for WBB...so the Cards will face a pro-active Skyhawk fan base hoping for the upset. Skyhawk Arena holds 7,000 and they averaged close to 2,000 for home games last year...tops in the OVC. Given that it's UofL and there should be a contingent of Cardinal fans in the stands...that number should be higher tonight.
Louisville will need to do four things (in my humble opinion) to walk out of the Skyhawk Arena with a convincing win tonight.
1) Hit free throws. The Cards were a dismal 13-26 against LWC. We set the standard here at Cardinal Couple at 70% last year.
2) Cut back on the turnovers. 15 against LWC was simply too many.
3) Control the paint. The Cards out-rebounded LWC 45-36 Sunday. I'd like to see that margin higher tonight.
4) Play solid defense. Louisville did that in the 1st and 3rd quarters against Lindsey Wilson. We'd like to see 40 minutes of solid defense tonight.
We'll be back tomorrow to recap it for you.
VOLLEYBALL HEADS TO CARDINAL ARENA
Louisville Volleyball looks to extend their win streak to three when they face Virginia at 7 p.m. tonight in Cardinal Arena. Don't head downtown for this one (unless you're going to see the men's BB squad play Evansville)...this one is at on-campus Cardinal Arena.
The Cavaliers are 14th in the ACC...so Louisville's chances are mas bueno for a "W". I expect Worldwide will be there and recap it with us on Saturday morning's THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR. It should be a fun hour...we'll have River City Cards Jared Anderson in studio with me, Case and Worldwide Jeff.
You have been warned.