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Monday, January 23, 2017

Louisville Women's Basketball -- Triumph in Tampa...WBB beats Bulls 66-52. MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Louisville women's basketball got 27 points and 12 rebounds out of junior forward Myisha Hines-Allen and the Cards never trailed in an excellent performance in the Sun Dome Sunday...beating the USF Bulls 66-52. 

The Cards never trailed in the contest and led by as many as 19 in picking up their 18th win of the season. #9 Louisville had one of their better defensive performances of the year in holding the #23 Bulls to just 38.5% shooting and leading scorer Kitija Laska to just five points...nearly 15 below her average.

Louisville started the contest fast...jumping to a 7-0 lead in the first ninety seconds. The Bulls withstood the opening salvo, though, and climbed back to within two at 9-7 with six minutes left in the opening period. A Hines-Allen jumper made it 13-9 with 3:10 to play and Asia Durr scored a putback at the buzzer to move the scoreboard to 17-13 UofL. Hines-Allen had six points in the ten minutes, Louisville had a commanding 13-4 rebounding edge but Briahanna Jackson had picked up two early fouls and the Cards were being a bit sloppy in their possessions with five unforced turnovers. 

Hines-Allen went on a 6-0 run to start the second session...scoring inside with 7:30 until to put Louisville up 25-13. A Durr triple had the Cards prevailing 28-16 but Cortnee Walton picked up her third foul at the 4:42 mark. Scores by Mariya Moore and Hines-Allen kept the Cards in control at 36-22 and Sam Fuehring muscled one in from the paint with 40 seconds until half giving UofL a 38-25 advantage after twenty minutes. 

The Cards were shooting a deadly 55% from the floor, Hines-Allen was 7 for 10 from the hardwood for 14 points and USF was an uncharacteristic 1-5 from the charity stripe. 

Hines-Allen keyed a 6-0 start in the third quarter with two buckets but BJ gathered her third foul with 7:11 left. Walton would pick up her fourth foul 90 seconds later...but the Cards held their largest lead of the contest at 44-25 before USF went on a 7-0 run to get within 12. It was time for Hines-Allen to go back to work and two straight scores from her put her at 21 points and two Ciera Johnson free throws had UofL sitting pretty at 50-35. BJ would get her first points of the game with a minute left in the third and Hines-Allen's conversion in the paint with 31 ticks left on the clock gave Louisville a 54-37 edge after 30 minutes of action. 

The final frame started rather slow for both squads. USF drew first blood at the 7:19 mark. It started to a 6-0 run for Jose Fernandez's Bulls and suddenly it was 54-43 with 6:16 remaining. The 2500 in attendance...about 100 Louisville fans...came alive and Louisville needed an answer. 

It came from Myisha with a smooth jumper. USF would get within ten a minute later but a Durr jumper and Hines-Allen putback of a missed Walton shot gave the Cards a 60-47 edge with 3:19 remaining. Durr and BJ would add threes in the final two minutes...BJ's coming as the shot clock was expiring and 18 seconds remaining and the Cards had met the test and emerged triumphant with a 66-52 win. 

Louisville snapped USF's 14-game win streak at home with the victory and had dominated the boards against a strong rebounding Bulls squad 44-23. 


Activist Fredrick Douglass
FREE THROWS -- The Cards went to the line only six times in the 40 minutes...a rarity in a Joe Vaszily refereed contest...(USF had 16 free throw attempts) but made the most of their trips...hitting 5 of 6. It was the Ciera Johnson show from the charity stripe...a 4 for 4 performance. Hines-Allen took the other two for UofL. 83.3% scores a capital "F" in the category...the foul differential was a bit disturbing, but USF, normally  a very good free-throw shooting squad was just 9 of 16 for a lackluster 53%. 

REBOUNDS -- Thumbs up for the Cards on the grabs. MHA's 12 led all performers. Walton took six, Moore five, Shook and CJ had four each. A 44-23 advantage says capital "R" to us

EFFORT/EXECUTION -- Hines-Allen was All-ACC Sunday and Moore, despite gathering only five points, had a game-high 11 assists. Every time USF seemed to catch fire, someone for Louisville was there to douse the flames. The first quarter turnovers and three starters with four fouls each was a bit trifling...but overall, a 14-point win on the road against a top 25 team will justify a capital "E" in this area. 

DEFENSE -- Another strong effort from Louisville tonight. Shutting down Laska and limiting the Bulls front line starters to just 22 points was the key to victory and the Cards held USF to just 3-14 from the deep (23%) All that makes it an easy choice for a capital "D" on the defensive effort. 



The Return of Myzilla...Call her Myisha Hines-"All The Time" in this one. The reigning ACC POY gave notice that she's still alive and well and has scored double digits in seven of her last eight games. Even her defense was passable Sunday. Hines-Allen on the court = Cardinal "W". 

More from Moore...Yes, the California junior can do more than just bomb threes. Her 11 assists were impressive, she fought well on the boards and led the Cards with 37 minutes. The shot was a bit off Sunday...but the knockdown three to start the second half was a momentum-starter for the Cards. 

Seeing Ciera...A solid nine minutes in relief for the 6'5" freshman...the four free throws an unexpected pleasure...but she also grabbed four rebounds and scored a basket. On a night where Cortnee played only 16 minutes...Johnson, Shook and Fuehring maintained the post presence very acceptably. 

Jose points out the turnover he wants. 

Close the Bakery on Sunday.  The Cards had 14 turnovers...that's a few more than we (and Coach Walz) would like to see. Especially in the first ten minutes...when the Cards looked pretty inept. 

Slamming the door. Louisville had a 19 point lead and possession in the third and it would have been a great chance to build on it. Instead, the Bulls run off seven straight points. The lack of productivity to start the fourth (going over four minutes before scoring) won't fly against the Notre Dame's and NC State's ahead. 


Myzilla confronts a defenseless, falling-back Mariya
 while Paulie looks on
Overall, a very good win for Louisville in several aspects. It was the Cards first road win against a top 25 opponent. The bench came in and gave Louisville a lift and that's important, especially on the road, showing opponents that just because starters are sitting...the attack and effort hasn't taken a seat. 

Hines-Allen came through on an afternoon where the Cards weren't getting the kind of outside productivity they usually can depend on. 13 for 17 from the floor is a number she and Walz would take each game....and only two fouls in 35 minutes a stat we'd like to see repeat itself over and over the remainder of the season. 

Briahanna Jackson's homecoming to Tampa was a win...even if her night wasn't the most productive in the history of her career. The three at the end of the game a "feel-good" moment for her and her fan-base in attendance. 

Former UofL head football coach Charlie Strong was in attendance and spoke with Walz before the contest. We're not sure if USF head football coach...planted a bug in Walz's ear about going to Jurich and asking for a football series or maybe a chance to have Paulie come down and set him up on some media questions. 

We'll see if Joe Hill chimes in later in the comments section. He was purported to be at the contest with his bride. 


Head coach Jose Fernandez on the difference in rebounds:
“This week, we talked a lot about rebounding with our kids.  That is the one thing we have been stressing. How the game ended, is how the entire game went. They beat us to the glass. Here is the thing, we were at home; that shouldn’t happen at home, or anywhere. When a shot goes up, you have got to be individually accountable and we weren’t.
Head Coach Jeff Walz on the Cardinals bench. 
"I thought our bench really came in and gave us a lift," Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. "And we're really going to need them as we continue on throughout the season because they just bring a different dimension to us. That's one thing I like about my ball club is, that we've got a lot of different parts that we can throw out there depending on how we're being guarded. 


Paulie picks

I went 7 for 8 yesterday in Paulie Picks. Syracuse dealing me my only loss in a surprising, huge win over Miami. Sykes with 29 for FSU. 

-- Notre Dame handled UNC without much trouble  in a 77-55 win at Chapel Hill.

Brianna Turner with 24 for the Irish. 

-- Florida State handed Virginia Tech their third conference loss with a 82-55 shellacking of the Gobblers in Blacksburg. 

-- Pitt held the upper hand over visiting Virginia...getting a 62-54 win and improving their conference mark to 3-3.

-- Louisville taking a road victory 66-52 over USF. Myisha Hines-Allen pouring in 27 for the 18-4 Cards. 

-- Duke prevailing with a 67-44 win at Boston College. They remain tied with the Cards and NC State at 5-2 in conference. 

-- NC State holding strong at home with their 65-53 win over ACC-winless Clemson. 

-- Wake Forest getting an ACC road win at Georgia Tech 70-65. Wake at 3-3 in ACC play. 

Overall, I am 40-9 (81.6%). A sparking 13-1 for Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday! 




  1. Very nice win.

    BJ needs to think before committing the unnecessary fouls (like the one in the backcourt early in the third quarter). This team needs her on the floor.

    1. Maybe some nerves playing for the first time in hometown Tampa in her UofL collegiate career. The fouls, fortunately, weren't a factor Sunday. You are right, reason to commit that one.


  2. Hi, Cardinal Couple readers.

    Just a few comments on the Louisville WBB win yesterday. My wife and I attended and had a great time. The first quarter was a great start and then a bit of a thud. Too many turnovers that were player-initiated (unforced). I thought Louisville looked really good defensively against a pumped-up Bulls squad that just couldn't get the ball through the hoop.

    Jose was visibly upset about USF's inability to hit the boards and Laska's efforts but a lot of that was due to Louisville's hustle. It was off the charts. He and Walz seem to be great friends, they were having an animated, friendly conversation before the game.

    A nice contingent of Cards fans there. Audible support for B. Jackson and J. Jones. Even Charlie Strong was in the house and spent some time with Walz in conversation before the game. I wasn't close enough to hear the words, but both guys were smiling a lot, so I assume they were pleasant. I hope he does well for USF. Taggert left him a very strong roster.

    I like attending games at the Sun Dome. I've been up there a couple of times this year to watch USF play and it's a top-notch facility. USF is a good squad, probably second best in the AAC. I wish they were ACC, they'd be a good middle-of-the-pack member in WBB.

    The halftime show was absolutely crazy. A bunch of pogo-jumpers had the place hopping. Sorry about the pun.

    I got some comments from a few USF fans who are used to seeing me there supporting the Bulls. I wore my Lamar Jackson jersey and Delores had on one of the CARDINAL COUPLE t-shirt Paulie sent us. All in good fun, of course. I wish we'd taken a picture.

    Talked to David Watson a bit before and after the game. His thoughts pretty much mirror mine. He wasn't feeling great, a doozy of a sinus infection almost prevented him from making the drive down from Bradenton. He was wearing a "Russdiculous" shirt which also got a few stares and comments.

    We ran into a guy at the half who said he reads Cardinal Couple all the time. He's out of St. Pete and I know this sounds silly but we never exchanged names. Maybe he'll comment.

    So, nice win and it was good to see it in person. Delores had a great time and absolutely loves Asia Durr. GO Cards !!!!!!

    -- The Real Joe Hill --

  3. BJ needs to keep playing point guard well ,shoot the ball with confidence when she is open.
    She can really open the floor for the team. Marvelous Maryia the dime dropper 11 assist.Go Cards!

    1. Agree. She's running the team very well. If she can find a way to knock down consistently that mid range jumper, it'll open up the drive to the rim for her.

  4. Quality win over a good opponent. Busting up the USF home win streak impressive.


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