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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Louisville women's basketball -- Cards get 800th. program win...defeat Clemson 60-46...FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


It wasn't the prettiest win in UofL women's basketball history, but the Cards used two runs to pull away from a determined Clemson and get their 19th win of the season -- and 800th in program history -- at the Littlejohn Coliseum Thursday night in front of 346 people. 

Louisville (19-4, 6-2) came out sloppy and "unfocused" to start this one...Jeff Walz and the coaches noticed it in pre-game warmups...but managed to take a 7-3 lead after a Myisha Hines-Allen jumper at the 7:03 mark. Hines-Allen would have 16 points in the contest to lead all scorers...but Clemson would go on a 8-3 run over the next six minutes to take a 11-10 lead after Aliyah Collier sank two straight jumpers. The Cards were able to get the final four points in the 1:39 minutes closing out the layups from Sam Fuehring and Briahanna Jackson to secure a 14-11 lead. 

It wasn't pretty basketball by either team in those first ten minutes...and things would get worse for Louisville before it got better.

Asia Durr would start things off well for UofL to start the second with a three...but Clemson scored seven of the next eight points to tie it up 18-18 after a Victoria Cardaci three with 5:23 until halftime. Two minutes of scoreless hoops ensued until Mariya Moore banged home a three. Ciera Johnson would add a free throw and basket in the final 2:06 and the 6-0 run gave the Cards a 24-18 halftime lead. 

The Cards needed that late half wake up call to continue into the second half did. 

Cortnee Walton got her only two points of the game to start the third quarter on a putback and Hines-Allen followed with a jumper a couple of minutes later. A Durr three and two straight Hines-Allen jumpers pushed the Louisville lead to 35-20 over the next minute. The Cards were on a 11-2 run to start the second half and a 17-2 run...going back to the second period. Hines-Allen would hit again and Durr added a layup to end the period...but Clemson would get two buckets to end the time frame and trailed 39-30 with ten minutes to play. Hines-Allen and Durr had 13 of the Cards 15 points in the quarter. 

The third frame also featured the old school-yard play of throwing the inbound pass underneath your basket off a defender with her back turned and then retrieving the "ball-in-play" for a basket. Nelly Perry pulled the prank on was the only two points Clemson's season-leading scorer would get on the night. 

Clemson made one last charge at the Cards to start the final quarter.

Danielle Edwards would cash in two free throws and a three-ball...sandwiched around a Hines-Allen layup and Clemson was within six at 41-35 with 8:19 to go. Louisville turned off the snooze alarm, got out of bed and responded to the threat, though...going on a 15-2 run over the next four minutes -- aided by a Shook three, BJ basket and two Moore free throws and a three. Louisville found themselves with their largest lead of the game at 56-37 with 4:16 remaining in the contest. It was 58-39 Cards after two Moore free throws at 2:12.

Clemson outscored Louisville 7-2 the rest of the way...Bionca Dunham getting the final points of the game on a nice feed from Brianna Jones with 10 seconds left in the contest. Final: Cards 60 - Clemson 46. 

Louisville put three in double-figure scoring. Beside Hines-Allen's 16...Moore and Durr finished with 13 each. Durr and Moore had three 3's each and Louisville ended up shooting 39.7% (23-58) for the night...holding Clemson to 29.4% 15-51). 

Color Jeff Walz unsatisfied on the Cardinal effort: 

" I don't care what somebody's record is, you're playing an ACC program. It's my fault. It amazes me you can't come prepared to play every might. You only get so many opportunities." 

Add Hines-Allen to that list: 

"We have to get better because once we go further into the season and the ACC Tournament starts, we can't have those slow starts...when you get to the tournament, it's one and done." 

ACC wins on the road. You take them, say "thank you", exchange final good-byes with the foe, wave to the probably 50 Cardinal fans out of the 100 or so left in the arena, hit the bus, get on the plane and come home to work on what didn't go so well and prepare for the next one. Based on Louisville's "on again-off again" performance, we suspect the next two days of practice should be interesting. 

(Game photos courtesy of Ned Taylor - Clemson Athletics) 


Actor Fred Willard...of Anchorman fame. 
Free Throws --  7 for 9 for Louisville! Mariya Moore a perfect 4-4. Clemson fared well also from the line going 13-14. The Cards 77.8% warrants we hand out a capital "F".

Rebounding -- Clemson won the boards battle 39-34. They are not a particularly tall team but out-hustled and out-positioned Louisville on missed shots. Hines-Allen ended with seven and Shook had three in just seven minutes. Collier had 11 for Clemson. She's a 5'9" guard. We can't award a letter for this stat.

Effort/Execution -- It was a pretty dull and un-inspiring effort from Walz's bunch tonight...except for the runs. True, Louisville only had 11 turnovers...but the Cards seemed to just settle for three-point attempts at times instead of working the ball. BJ was hustling and so was Mariya at the end but Louisville lost the points-in-the-paint battle and had a mere two points off fast-breaks. The Cards won, so we'll award a lower case "e". Barely.

Defense -- Holding the Tigers to 46 points and 29% shooting are both good numbers. Creating 16 opponent turnovers is good also. Winning works. We'll give out a small case "d" because the Cards did just enough put away a win-less in 39-straight games ACC opponent by a much lower victory margin than most of us expected. Maybe the huge win over Georgia Tech spoiled us.



-- Winning the fourth quarter. Louisville stumbled at the beginning of the quarter but was able to regroup and put the opponent away. Moore, BJ and Myisha responded like veteran starters should and had showed a bit of killer instinct with the 15-2 run. 

-- BJ's hustle. It isn't always the leading scorer who has the best game. We liked Briahanna Jackson's hustle tonight and her six points, five rebounds and four assists. Her 3-10 shooting wasn't a joy to watch...but she hit a couple of absolutely needed baskets and the shot selection was good, not forced, for the most part. They're gonna fall, BJ...they're gonna fall eventually. 


-- Cherish the moment and come to play. The lack of focus, hustle and awareness was painfully hard to watch at times tonight. You just don't show up and get guaranteed a win in this league. You go out and earn it. The Cards did win...but, at times, they seemed to just be going through the motions and not the #9 team in the nation. A 5'9" sophomore guard had a double-double on you (10 points and 11 rebounds). Nothing to be proud of there...unless you are Aliyah Collier.

-- Rebounding. Normally this isn't an area to worry about when discussing Louisville women's basketball. It was tonight, though. Maybe it was because Cortnee had limited playing time? Clemson was 13th. in the league in rebounding margin coming in to this game and Louisville was I have to ask...what happened? 


I'll take the win but I do have lingering questions about the effort. It's not like Clemson is an ACC power-house. Louisville is striving to become one. I saw enough to realize that when this team is locked-in, on the same page and focused...they can compete with anyone in the country. When they stink, though...they smell pretty bad. It wasn't an intimidating home crowd. It wasn't the referees (although Luis Gonzales does look like that creepy guy from THE  MUMMY...Arnold Vosloo (High Priest Imhotep). Maybe he scared a few players.

We promote the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here at CARDINAL COUPLE. Some days...there are more occasions to celebrate this joy and excitement than others. 

Just about any player you ask will tell you they would rather play games instead of practice. So why not take advantage of those 40 potential minutes you have 30-some times a season? After all, you could be at Clemson...and not have 10,000 adoring fans in the stands or a shot at NCAA Tournament play. 

Maybe this win will look better if Clemson gets it together and gets a few upset-ACC victories. The way it stands now, was just an unremarkable victory against the win-less cellar-dweller in ACC women's basketball. A win on the road...valuable in conference play always and earned against a Clemson team that knew the odds stacked against them and came out and gave it their best shot. 


The Friday 7 p.m. matchup in the Republic Bank LIT Tournament at Bellarmine features two future Louisville WBB players going against each other. Senior guard Lindsey Duvall from Bullitt East High School (Mt. Washington, KY) faces junior guard Seygan Robins (Mercer Country) in quarter-final action. 

The survivor heads to Assumption High School as one of the four semifinalist for Saturday action. The two stars are good friends, as are the coaches of each program....Bullitt East's Chris Stallings and Mercer County's Chris Souder. 

Duvall averages 24.7 ppg for #11 Bullitt East (20-4). Robins is good for 15.5 a night for #2 Mercer County (16-5). 

Other quarterfinal action involves:

 #1 Louisville Butler (20-1) vs. South Warren (13-5) at 4 p.m.

 #5 Louisville Sacred Heart vs #4 Simon Kenton at 5:30 p.m.

 #3 Louisville Male (18-1) vs. #17 Henderson County (17-2) at 8:30 p.m.

Cardinal Couple will hit the Newburg Rd. Knights Gym facility for the Chargers vs. Titans action, hopefully get a few interviews and report on contest in tomorrow's column and on the THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR Saturday morning. 

It's one of those games where I can't take a side and cheer for one team. Just sitting back, enjoying the game and hoping I can score a media pass. The popcorn is pretty good at Knights Gym. I wonder if they'll have fish sandwiches as well...also very good there. Maybe Nick Curran brought some extra boiled peanuts back from Clemson and will show up with them in hand. 

Or not. I tried them several years ago and they aren't exactly on the Paulie Gastronomical Delight Top Ten list. 


-- Notre Dame downed Duke 62-58

-- Florida State wins at Georgia Tech 69--63

-- NC State takes Pittsburgh 55-42

-- Virginia whomps Virginia Tech 76-27 (Wow!) Didn't see that coming...

-- Wake Forest over Boston College 71-55

-- Miami outscores North Carolina 100-88 

Paulie's Picks  went 6-1 on Thursday...the Virginia win my defeat. 
Overall, I stand at 46-10 on the season....good for 82.7%. 

grumpy old man? Maybe...


  1. Greetings Paulie and Cardinal Couple readers!

    I was one of the 352 at the game last night and was proud of my Tigers effort. I feared a 40-point blowout and was impressed by the way Clemson hung around. Aliyah Collier is a keeper for us. It was Nelly Perry's first game back after the shoulder separation and she wasn't quite back to her regular game yet.

    Louisville athleticism was impressive, when they were going full speed and strength. I think our 2-3 zone may have given them a bit of worry, but there's no doubt that Moore, Hines Allen and Durr are three of the best players in the country.

    352 is slightly lower than what we get for a game. We usually get close to 600 for home contests. Sadly, our student base doesn't pay much attention to women's basketball and does not show up in great numbers.

    I like Hines Allen's mid range jumper and Jackson is a real spark plug for you. As for us, many of us are starting to wonder if we need to go in a different direction in coaching. 0-39 in conference now tells me that we're just not getting the kids that can compete at ACC level. They try hard but the skill sets just aren't on par with the Notre Dame's, Louisville's, Duke's and FSU's of our league.

    Best of luck the rest of the way, I'll be cheering for you!

    Your Clemson friend
    Greer, SC

    1. Thanks for checking in and giving us the report, Arthur! I was impressed with Collier and Thornton. Give Georgia Tech an "L" Sunday!


  2. It's a road win and I'll take that. The Virginia vs. Virginia Tech game was a major surprise last night. Of course, the Wahoos took the Cards to overtime, so maybe we should have expected the thumping. It just goes to show that anything can and will happen in this league. Wake up, Cards. There is no free lunch or automatic "W" out there in the ACC.

    Curtis "Still living in the 80's in my 40's" Franklin

  3. Notre Dame is going to slaughter you. Nice website. The Mummy movies scared the holy heck out of me and I love the Gonzales/Priest connection.

    Clemson Pa

    1. Not so fast, dear visitor. I like Louisville's chances up there. Thanks for visiting and commenting!


    2. If we play the same way we did against the worst team in the ACC last night you're probably right. Fortunately we won't. Check back in when you get a league win.

    3. Clemson Pa, challenge you to check back in AFTER the Notre Dame game.

    4. I will. I plan on reading this site daily now because of the intelligent comment, playful banter and nice recaps. I wish Clemson had a site like this. We have to play Notre Dame yet and it'll be here. I think they beat us by more than 14.

      Clemson Pa

    5. Cool. And yes, this site is a blessing to us Card fans!

  4. I'm hearing Clemson might try and get a women's basketball program started. Good luck with that! Maybe Dabo Sweeney could coach it in his spare time.

  5. The cards outside shots didn't fall last night the problem was getting out rebounded, and also clemson packed in there defense.

    1. This would have been be a blowout if asia & maryia shots were falling. This was a grind them out win.PS clemson played hard like a wounded dog.Great ACC win!

    2. I was going to comment about the poor outside shooting but then I saw the VA Tech / VA box score...

      Even more than the poor outside shooting I'm concerned about the negative body language from BJ and the M & M's. They were all passing up open looks late in the first half. It's all about confidence and they need to get it if they're going to make a run.

    3. Yes agree where the killer instinct cards played down to the competition.

    4. That's what happens when you "settle" for jump shots. No movement, no drive and dish, just uninspired settling.

    5. True enough...but you can't beat a zone without decent jump shooting. That's why zones exist, to help less talented teams that can't win one-on-one beat more talented teams by forcing them to shoot from outside. If you can't shoot a jumper you don't beat a good zone. If they dare us to shoot jumpers and we can't hit them there won't be a good outcome.

    6. That's what happens when you "settle" for jump shots. No movement, no drive and dish, just uninspired settling.

    7. That's what happens when you "settle" for jump shots. No movement, no drive and dish, just uninspired settling.

  6. Boiled peanuts? They have got to be the worst-conceived way to prepare a food item in the history of culinary offerings.

    1. I agree it a down south lol
      I live in Philadelphia pa my whole life move to south carolina and tried boil peanuts not good.

    2. Bleccchhhh! I tried boiled years ago in Cherokee, NC. The guy gave me a couple to sample. I spat them out. It took 4-5 cold, chilly brews to get that taste out of my mouth.

      Cards are fine. Everyone get off the panic wagon. Walz always blows stuff out of proportion. Don't forget that Clemson played NC State close before they faced Louisville.

      I do think Clemson will get a couple of wins in conference play. Maybe against Georgia Tech, who they get to play twice, and maybe against UNC, who has fallen down a well and broke the rope in the process. The Deb Factor

  7. Very uninspired. Extremely uninspired. It happens (except UCONN!). Doubt we'll see that again this season, so, take the w, don't dwell, get ready for the next game.

  8. Take away the second period where the Cards shot just 25% and Louisville didn't really shoot the ball that bad. I'll take 7-19 from 3 range all day along. Clunkers are never enjoyable but the Cards did shut down Clemson's last attempt in the fourth.

    Here's one for Worldwide's highly anticipated all-ACC name team.

    Clemson sophomore center Sirah Diarra.

    Nick O.

    1. Ooh...I'm glad I don't have to pronounce that name on a regular basis. I *would* get it wrong, and it would be...embarrassing.

      -- Worldwide

  9. I was really impressed by Fuehring's 18 minutes last night. She did take that one bad shot, but she played solid defense and got a couple key rebounds. Walz must have been pleased or she wouldn't have gotten the minutes.

  10. Sam is a hard-worker, no doubt about it. It's just getting her to work smarter and not harder. And, maybe a haircut. She's constantly fussing with it! HA HA.

  11. Paulie, I was less than impressed with our Cards win last night but they did respond to the challenge when Clemson cut it to six in the fourth quarter.

    I still want more minutes for Kylee. I though Jazmine looked lost at times on the floor last night.

    As a few have said today, ACC wins on the road are good things. Louisville needs to make a statement at Pitt Sunday.

    -- The Real Joe Hill --

    1. More minutes for kylee �� Jaz needs to slow down.
      Shook is looking better every game.
      Good on offense and a good rim protector.


  12. Great picking, Paulie, but how do you stand on beating the spread. :)

    1. stats on that...but probably lower than the Cards WBB free throw shooting % for the season...which is .675.



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