Listen to our weekly show !!

Listen to our weekly show !!
CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO'S LATEST BROADCAST IS UP AND RUNNING IN THE ARCHIVED FACEBOOK LIVE. We are all about the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports from a fan's perspective! CLICK THE WCHQ LOGO TO HEAR OUR LATEST BROADCAST !! ***DOWNLOAD THE WCHQ APP*** YOU CAN SEND YOUR DONATION TO: CARDINAL COUPLE LLC c/o Paul Sykes PO BOX 91521 LOUISVILLE, KY 40291 ( make checks payable to CARDINAL COUPLE) Thank you for considering!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Louisville's Magical Season Comes to Unsavory End -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cards Fall to Mississippi State in OT; 73-63


Louisville was outscored 14-4 in the overtime period, bringing their season to an end a game shy of the desired length. The loss was Louisville's first under Jeff Walz when making it to the Final Four, as each other Final Four appearance had resulted in a championship game appearance as well. For those that watched, there was a pretty glaring reason that Louisville didn't win the game in regulation, ultimately leading to the loss. I'm going to try to avoid harping on that reason, but the more I get into the stats, the more it stands out. As we all know, though, it is never one reason that a team loses a game. When it comes down to it, Louisville had a three point lead with less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation and couldn't close the deal. Poor shooting and inopportune cold streaks ultimately doomed the Cards.

After a jittery start by both teams in the first quarter, Louisville finally broke into the scoring column, and it couldn't have been anyone else to get the Cards started. Asia Durr got open on a screen and knocked down a three while picking up a foul and converted the four point play. On the Bulldog's next possession, Myisha Hines-Allen came away with a steal which turned into a Jazmine Jones' bucket. Louisville led 6-0, which would be their largest lead of the game until much later. As would happen too often in a big game such as this, Louisville squandered an opportunity to press the issue and extend their lead. Sam Fuehring missed a jump shot and Arica Carter committed a foul on the next possession. Victoria Vivians of Mississippi State, a player with which every Louisville fan became much too familiar last night, missed both free throws, giving the Cards another chance. MHA missed a jumper on the next possession before Mississippi State came back down the floor. 

Teaira McCowan gathered her first offensive rebound off of a Vivians miss, and Sam Fuehring committed her first foul. McCowan converted both free throws and the Bulldogs were on the board. Louisville would finally score again on a Jazmine Jones free throw with 4:20 remaining in the quarter. She was one of two from the line, but Louisville's first cold streak of the night had ended. It had lasted just under three minutes and the Cards had missed four straight shots and committed 3 fouls. All the while, Miss St sat on 2 points, and a golden opportunity to seize real control of the game had been missed. After the free throw, Miss St converted on all but two of their offensive possessions for the remainder of the quarter and limited Louisville's scoring chances. Bulldogs led 13-11 after another pair of McCowan free throws were the last scores of the quarter.

The first five minutes of the second quarter were filled with good back and forth basketball. Both teams, offensive by nature, had seemed to find their rhythm and were scoring on nearly every possession. Mississippi State stretched out their largest lead of the game to 5 at the 7:12 mark before Louisville refocused and pushed out a 5 point lead of their own with 3 minutes left in the half. The Bulldogs would not be denied, though. They recovered from Louisville's charge and pushed back to regain a one point lead on a Vivians layup with 5 seconds remaining. Cards trailed 31-30 at the half. 

Louisville had gotten only 6 of its 30 points from Durr and MHA combined in the first half as MHA had been limited to 6 minutes of game time. She, along with Arica Carter, Sam Fuehring, and Kylee Shook, all had been tagged with 2 fouls in the first half, with both of Myisha's coming in the first quarter. Durr had been targeted hard by the defense and was struggling to find open space. Louisville didn't shoot particularly poorly, going 13-30 from the field, but they were only 1-7 from behind the arc and just 3-5 from the free throw line. Mississippi State shot worse from the floor in the first half, with just 11-31, but had picked up 8 points on 10 opportunities at the free throw line. After playing all 20 minutes of the first half, Teaira McCowan felt it necessary to complain to Holly Rowe that the refs needed to pay more attention to all the times she was getting fouled. This came after she was called for one foul in the half and every Louisville player that had defended her had picked up 2. Oooooookay. All in all, it was set up to be a new game in the second half.

In the second half, two stars came out to shine as Vivians opened the scoring for Miss St and was answered by a Durr jumper for Louisville. The Cards quickly tried to get MHA involved, as well, with a runout but Myisha could not convert the lay-up. Myisha's first basket came a minute and a half later, to keep the Cards within one. Louisville stumbled after that, with the Bulldogs going up by 5 by converting their next two trips and Durr missing a pair of threes. Fortunately, the Cards were able to keep Miss St from running away with the game when MHA grabbed a steal that led to offense for Arica Carter. Louisville went on a 6-0 spurt to regain the lead with 3:12 remaining in the quarter. The lead changed hands six more times in the quarter with Asia Durr and Victoria Vivians trading back to back to back threes in the final 46 seconds. Durr's shot came with 2 seconds and put the Cards up by two to end the quarter.

Myisha Hines-Allen opened the scoring in the fourth quarter, making just her tenth three pointer of her career to put the Cards up 5. Two minutes later, Asia Durr stretched the lead to 7, the largest of the game for either team, with 7:14 remaining. Then, the Cards went cold. Louisville went the next five minutes and twelve seconds without scoring. Mississippi State went on a 10-0 run while Louisville missed 5 shots, committed two turnovers, and picked up two fouls. The two fouls were Fuehring's 4th and 5th, with the last coming on a technical for "demonstratively arguing a call". I might slap the floor in frustration too if I was called for a foul after being hooked around the neck and shoved down by someone that had been getting away with murder under the basket all night.

Calmly, the Cards recovered, scoring the next two baskets to regain the lead. However, the damage was done. What had been a strong lead with 7 points remaining had been stripped to a single point lead with a minute left. Every missed shot by the Cards kept Mississippi State in a game that was closer than it should have been. With both teams having fouls to give, it was clear that Mississippi State's play was to foul Louisville and try to force a turnover on the inbounding pass. They almost made it happen, with Jeff Walz being forced to call his final timeout to save a five second violation. After the timeout, Asia Durr took over the ball and lofted a pass over two Miss St defenders to Myisha Hines-Allen. MHA dribbled easily past McCowan toward the basket and then laid in a more acrobatic shot than seemed necessary. 

Louisville was up by 3 with 11 seconds left and there were two questions. 1) Why hadn't Myisha pulled the ball out to kill clock, as she was 15-20 feet from the nearest defender? 2) With a foul to give, would Jeff Walz foul to prevent the three or foul to send Miss St to the line? The first question was unanswerable. The second was answered when Roshunda Johnson buried a three to tie the game. With seven seconds left, Arica Carter inbounded to Myisha Hines-Allen who dribbled straight up the middle of the floor with McCowan sprinting alongside. MHA's layup bounced off the backboard as she was clearly fouled to floor and Jazmine Jones' putback fell off the back of the rim as time expired. There was no whistle, and the two teams got set for overtime. 

Here's what I don't like. When players clearly foul on a last second shot, miss me with the "I'm glad they didn't call the foul. Let the players decide the game." garbage. (Looking at you, Skylar Diggins.) The players DID decide the game. Teaira McCowan decided to foul Myisha Hines-Allen on the layup attempt. She could have decided to attempt to cleanly block the ball or alter the shot in some other way, but she didn't. This happens all of the time in basketball. Referees apparently decide that the final shot attempt in a tie game should take place in the Wild West where rules don't apply. The more clear it is that refs don't want to end a game at the free throw line, the more likely it is that players will start to get hurt in these situations as defenders foul more aggressively to prevent buzzer beaters.

Anyway, the game wasn't over yet, and the Cards still had an opportunity to win. That is, until their final cold spell set in to ice the game. Louisville missed their first four shots in overtime and committed a turnover. Victoria Vivians scored 5 points for the Bulldogs before fouling out with 58 seconds remaining. Somehow, Louisville still only trailed by 3 after the Durr free throws. Jazmine Jones cut the deficit to 1 with 50 seconds left, but Louisville's point total would stay at 63 for the remainder of the game. Mississippi State scored 9 points over the final 50 seconds to give the final tally.

Despite the significant size disadvantage, and the clear lack of interest from the refs in calling anything on Teaira McCowan (she finished playing all 45 minutes with just the one foul), Louisville only lost the rebounding battle by 8. They outshot the Bulldogs in regulation by 5 percentage points, but were doomed in that battle by a woeful overtime. Louisville committed fewer turnovers and had more steals. In fact, Louisville wasn't even a victim of clear discrimination in the foul column. Louisville finished with 8 more fouls than Mississippi State but it was only a deficit of 3 in regulation and both teams were called for 5 in the second half. The difference was that Teaira McCowan was able to do whatever she wanted on the floor without consequence, including head seeking Kylee Shook with an elbow at the end of the third quarter, and aggressively confronting a referee during overtime. That a player was given a free pass all night and used it liberally was what was so frustrating about the officiating. We say it a lot here at Cardinal Couple and we aren't the only ones; women's basketball officiating is embarrassing, and the NCAA doesn't seem to care at all. Refs are bad when Louisville wins, too, don't get me wrong. But the officiating across the board is awful, and the NCAA is putting a bad product on the floor without repercussion.

Watch:

COACH WALZ, PLAYERS POST GAME PRESSER

The CASE Report


 I've thrown out some frustrating stats there, so let's take a look at the breakdown in my favorite way. 

C-Care: As I mentioned, Louisville turned the ball over 11 times to Miss St's 14. Already, we know that the Cards will get half a point here. Mississippi was 48th in the country this season in turnovers forced at 18.6 per game. (By the way, Lamar University led this stat pretty much all year forcing 27.6 (!!!) turnovers per game.) Louisville's 11 turnovers are 59% of MSST's 18.6 average, so Louisville earned a capital 'C'.

A-Assists: I didn't mention assists in my earlier stats rant and there was a reason. The Cards finished with 7. Louisville had been playing outstanding offense in this tournament by moving without the ball and passing players open for good shots. They didn't do that last night. They stood around without the ball. They dribbled into turnovers in the lane. They held on until too late in the shot clock. Seven assists on 27 made shots. 26% assist ratio. 0.64 assist to turnover ratio. Yikes. No letter.

S-Steals: Louisville's 7 steals were a shade under the 7.5 benchmark, but they did finish with  more than Mississippi State. Not much else to say here, as Mississippi State still outscored the Cards in the points off of turnovers column. However, the Cards did achieve a goal, so it's a lowercase 's'.

E-Efficiency: Louisville shot 43.3% in regulation after identical halves of 13-30 shooting. Three point shooting was not good, and the Cards went 1-10 from the floor in overtime to finish with an FG% of only 38.6% Louisville went only 5-7 from the free throw line (no free throws in the second half), finishing at 71.4%. That's below the 75% standard set for the CASE Report, as the FG% is below the 45% benchmark. No letter.

Louisville finished their final game of the season with a C-_-s-_. It was not an ideal game, and the things that had been working for the Cards, namely their offense, fell out in last night's game. The Cards made it further than all but two other teams, though, and only one team can win it all. The final 36-3 record is astounding for Louisville and Vince Tyra's second major act as athletic director needs to be to quash all of these rumors around Jeff Walz. Keep Coach here. He's doing amazing things with the women's basketball program and it would be a shame to see that come to an end prematurely.

Finally, I couldn't end without praising Myisha Hines-Allen. Her career at Louisville came to a close last night, and it was a storied one. 2000 points. All-time leading rebounder. MHA has been a thrilling player to don the red and black. In addition to her work on the floor, she has been a great ambassador for the university off the court. Myisha is a very special talent, and I hope that she is able to continue her amazing career with success at the next level. I saw someone last night say that they hoped Louisville could find another talent like her soon. I don't see that being likely. Myisha was different. We may never see a player quite like her again. There will be more players that we celebrate when their career here is done, but none will be quite like her. Congratulations to Myisha on an outstanding career, and good luck to her in the future.

All photos of last night's game provided by Jared Anderson. More photos available on his Facebook page.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour returns today, perhaps with a bit less joy than last week. We'll spend quite a bit of time on the basketball game, as you could assume, with multiple call-ins to the show. Paulie will man the fort and we'll see just how he's doing after the long drive back in solitude rather than celebration. Tune in to WCHQ FM via 100.9 on the radio, the WCHQ app, wchqfm.com, or the WCHQ FM facebook page. 

Until next time, Go Cards.
-CH-

Friday, March 30, 2018

WBB Final Four -- Other News and Schedules -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

WBB Faces Mississippi State

Nationwide Arena Seating Chart
Paulie gave a great preview of Mississippi State in yesterday's article.  The Bulldogs will be one of the toughest tasks UofL has faced all season as they are a well-rounded team.  Against Oregon State, UofL was able to shut down Marie Gulich and from there halted the Beavers' NCAA run.  During the Sweet Sixteen, Louisville was tasked with stopping Brittany McPhee and Dijonai Carrington, which they did for the most part, but did not have to worry about scoring threats from the rest of the players on the floor.  Mississippi State has five players on the court at all times that can do it all instead of relying on just one or two players.

Mississippi State ranks high on several categories on the year: 82 points per game (10th), 56.1 points allowed (15th), 25.9 scoring margin (3rd), 39.5% on three-pointers (6th), 10.6 turnovers (3rd fewest), 541 made free throws (5th).

Louisville's success in the Lexington Regional came from limiting turnovers and stepping up their defense.  Against Oregon State, Louisville committed a school record and tied an NCAA record with three turnovers, all by Asia Durr.  They held Oregon State to a season-low 43 points while giving up 59 against Stanford including hold the Cardinal to 14 or fewer in the final three quarters.

Jeff Walz and his wife, Lauren
Just like the game against Stanford this is the first meeting between Louisville and their next foe.

Paulie and I will be in attendance at the game.  Mr. Cardinal Couple will be somewhere along media row giving you live updates on the game.  I also expect him to have some quirky question that will send Jeff Walz on a tangent during the post-game press conference.  I will be somewhere in the arena taking pictures.  Only the big media will be in the boxes on the court taking photos while all of the smaller sites have a location behind section 115 to post up.  You all will get treated to pics from a different angle than my normal spot so let's hope for the best!

The 7:00 tip-off is set to be shown of ESPN2.  If you cannot get to a tv to watch I highly encourage you to tune into the radio to hear Nick Curran and AJ continue their excellent coverage of the game like they have done all season.  For Twitter, follow Paulie (@cardinalcouple) for his tweets and sly comments during the game.


Asia Durr named to WBCA All-American Team 


Asia Durr was one of ten players named to the WBCA Coaches All-American team yesterday afternoon. Myisha Hines-Allen was named to the Honorable Mention list. She's the second Cardinal ever to be named to the squad. Angel McCoughtry made the team three times during her career at Louisville. 

Durr joins these players on the team: 


Name
Institution
Year
Position
Kalani Brown
Baylor
Junior
Center
Asia Durr
Louisville
Junior
Guard
Sabrina Ionescu
Oregon
Sophomore
Guard
Teaira McCowan
Mississippi State
Junior
Center
Kelsey Mitchell
Ohio State
Senior
Guard
Arike Ogunbowale
Notre Dame
Junior
Guard
Katie Lou Samuelson
Connecticut
Junior
Guard/Forward
Victoria Vivians
Mississippi State
Senior
Guard
Gabby Williams
Connecticut
Senior
Forward
A'ja Wilson
South Carolina
Senior
Forward


For Myisha, A bit of sadness that she, too, did not make the ten-team roster. Here's the Honorable Mention list:  



Name
Institution
Year
Position
Kristine Anigwe
California
Junior
Forward, Center
Ariel Atkins
Texas
Senior
Guard
Jill Barta
Gonzaga
Junior
Forward
Kenisha Bell
Minnesota
Junior
Guard
Monique Billings
UCLA
Senior
Forward
Allazia Blockton
Marquette
Junior
Guard
Lexie Brown
Duke
Senior
Guard
Tyra Buss
Indiana
Senior
Guard
Jordin Canada
UCLA
Senior
Guard
Chennedy Carter
Texas A&M
Freshman
Guard
Kaila Charles
Maryland
Sophomore
Guard
Napheesa Collier
Connecticut
Junior
Forward
Lauren Cox
Baylor
Sophomore
Forward
Sophie Cunningham
Missouri
Junior
Guard
G'mrice Davis
Fordham
Senior
Forward
Katelynn Flaherty
Michigan
Senior
Guard
Loryn Goodwin
Oklahoma State
Senior
Guard
Rebecca Greenwell
Duke
Senior
Guard
Marie Gulich
Oregon State
Senior
Center
Megan Gustafson
Iowa
Junior
Center
Tyasha Harris
South Carolina
Sophomore
Guard
Ruthy Hebard
Oregon
Sophomore
Forward
Myisha Hines-Allen
Louisville
Senior
Forward
Maria Jespersen
South Florida
Senior
Forward
Kitija Laksa
South Florida
Junior
Guard
Marina Mabrey
Notre Dame
Junior
Guard
Stephanie Mavunga
Ohio State
Senior
Forward
Brooke McCarty
Texas
Senior
Guard
Brittany McPhee
Stanford
Senior
Guard
Jaime Nared
Tennessee
Senior
Forward
Kia Nurse
Connecticut
Senior
Guard
Caliya Robinson
Georgia
Junior
Guard
Mercedes Russell
Tennessee
Senior
Center
Tyler Scaife
Rutgers
Senior
Guard
Jessica Shepard
Notre Dame
Junior
Forward
Azura Stevens
Connecticut
Junior
Forward
Shakayla Thomas
Florida State
Senior
Forward
Hallie Thome
Michigan
Junior
Center
Carlie Wagner
Minnesota
Senior
Guard
Kristy Wallace
Baylor
Senior
Guard
Morgan William
Mississippi State
Senior
Guard
Imani Wright
Florida State
Senior
Guard

Swimming Claims Four ACC Awards

Mallory Comerford claimed the Female Swimmer of the Year after claiming her second straight NCAA title.  Mariia Astashkina won Female Freshman of the Year after a strong rookie season.  Nicolas Albiero won Male Freshman of the Year after winning gold at the ACC Championships.  Arthur Albiero won Female Swimming Coach of the Year after leading the women's swim and dive team to a school record fifth place finish at the NCAA Championships.  Things look bright over at the Ralph Wright Natatorium.  Our in-house champion is a rising senior and will give it her all in her final season while Astashkina and little Albiero are both freshmen.  Coach Albiero has no plans of leaving Louisville for a long time so expect even greater results next season.

Softball Hosts NC State

A slumping Louisville softball team is in need of some wins this weekend when the Wolfpack visits Ulmer Stadium.  The Cards sit at 22-10 on the season and are 2-4 in conference play.  NC State is 19-13 and is 3-5 in ACC play.

Danielle Watson, the freshman stud, is third in the conference with 13 wins.  Her 2.11 ERA is a team-best and opponents' batting averages sit under .200 when Watson is in the circle.

Caitlin Ferguson holds the highest batting average on the team at .392 and her 31 RBI's also lead the team.  Sidney Melton and Celene Funke have a combined 18 stolen bases on the year.

The Cards have a doubleheader beginning at 2:00 p.m., with the series finale on Saturday at noon.  Admission is free.

Dani Busboom Kelly and Amanda Green Join Ranks of European Tour

Last week Molly Sauer was named to the US Collegiate National Team Tour in China.  Yesterday the European Team Tour was announced.  Amanda Green is on the active roster and will be coached by a familiar face.  Dani Busboom Kelly will take on the role as the head coach for the European Tour crew.  The tour will be July 4-15.  Specific locations have not been announced.

To those traveling to Columbus for the Final Four please be aware of the rush hour traffic in Cincinnati and Columbus. Drive safely in the expected rain and we hope to see you there!

Jared

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Louisville Women's Basketball -- Knowing the Foe -- Miss. St. -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



BULLDOGS UNDER SCHAEFER ARE A 36-1 SQUAD


When Louisville women's basketball takes the court to play Mississippi St. in the NCAA Women's FInal Four semifinals at 7 p.m. on Friday night, they'll face a squad that has been ranked #2 most of the season, is 36-1...with a lone loss to South Carolina in the SEC Tournament...and a team that did something last year that Louisville hasn't been able to do since 1993. 

Defeat UConn. 


The Starkville program was at a cross-roads back in 2012. They had just hired Vic Schaefer as their head coach, who had left Texas A&M, where he had won a national title with the Aggies, and the affable head coach knew he had work to do to build MSU into a top-ten program. 

Schaefer makes no bones about it: 

" I didn't believe I was brought here just to build a top 25 team. I told then Athletic Director Scott Striklin that I wanted to build a top 10 program. There's a lot of difference between a top 25 team and a top 10 program. I believe I could do it." 

Success did not happen overnight for Schaefer and MSU. That 2012-13 team ended up 12th in the SEC and were defeated by an average of 27 points per game in conference. They finished with a 13-17 record. Schaefer indicates it may have been one of his favorite teams, though...just like Jeff Walz often fondly remembers his 14-18 squad back in 2009-10 during his third year at Louisville. 

"We didn't panic. I didn't think we'd win three games, much less 13." Schaefer jokes. 


MSU coaches like to put their hands over their
heads in funny positions, it seems...
But, the coach had a blueprint and plan and the next season they went 22-14 and made it to the quarterfinals of the WNIT. Year three under Schaefer got them to 27-7 and the second round of the NCAA Tournament. 

2015-16 got them to 28-8 and a second place SEC record. They advanced to the Sweet Sixteen but ran into Geno and the Huskies in the third round and things did not go so well. They took a 60-point beating and it humbled them going into 2016-17. Last year's squad was a juggernaut with a 34-5 record and the 68-64 -- 64-point turnaround against Connecticut in the NCAA Tournament semifinals, before falling to South Carolina in the title game. 

This team has no McDonald's Burger girls but features a very strong starting lineup that has started all 37 games for Schaefer. 

Victoria Vivians is a do-everything guard on the MSU squad and led the 'Dogs in scoring with 19.6 ppg. She was also second in rebounding with 6.1 per night. She has many of the qualities Louisville's Asia Durr possesses and will be one that the Cards will need to know where she is on the court at all times, with her explosiveness and play-making abilities.

The 6'1" senior also shot 41% from the deep (61-161) and penetrates the paint with the ball very effectively. 






Teaira McCowan patrols the paint for Schaefer and had a dominating season with 18.1 ppg and shot 61% from the floor. The 6'7" junior was far and away the leading rebounder with 502 grabs (13.6 a night) and fouling her isn't the answer, she shoots a solid 63% from the charity stripe. The other four starters average over 80% from the free throw line. McCowan had 76 blocks on the year and only fouled out of one contest. Jeff Walz has had success over the years in containing "bigs" and the Cards did a great job on Oregon State's Marie Gulich last time out...but McCowan will pose another set of problems for UofL. 


Roshunda Johnson is the third double figures producer for the
Ro, ro, Roshunda gently'
down the lane...
Starkville school at 11.7 ppg and the 5'7' red-shirt senior guard can also connect from trifecta range at 42.2% for the year (74-174). She's a transfer from Oklahoma State after her sophomore year. She sat out 2015-16 and has played two years for the Rebs. Tough defensively, she also has speed and another that will beat you down court and make you pay if you lose track of her.


Blair Schaefer, coach's daughter, averages 9.4 ppg and is a 5'7" senior. She leads the team in three-point attempts and makes (95-228) and the guard has logged the most minutes on-court with 32.2. A tough competitor, she's considered the floor leader for MSU and possesses great knowledge of the game. You won't see her at the free throw line much but she's deadly when she gets there (32-26) at 89%. 


"Captain" Morgan does some responsible celebration
Morgan William, a 5'5" senior, rounds out the starters and averages 8.2 a contest. She's the assist leader for Schaefer with 170 on the year and, although not a huge three-point threat, she's one you want to avoid fouling and sending to the line also at 86%. She'd easily qualify, as would Schaefer and Johnson, for our "Attack Yorkie" status here at Cardinal Couple and was quite instrumental in the latest MSU win over UCLA. 

Jazzmun Holmes, Chloe Bibby and Zion Campbell are the first three normally off the bench for Coach Schaefer, none of them traditionally see more than 15 minutes per game, though and all average below 5 points per game. 


Matty couldn't get a win over the Cowbell Crew and
his explanation pictured here was a surprise, it seems.
In common foes, the Cards and Miss. St share five different opponents. both MSU and UofL were undefeated against them.  MSU began the season defeating Virginia in Starkville 68-53. Oregon visited Starkville on 12/13 and fell 90-79. Quentin Hillsman put his Syracuse Orange on the floor against them in the Duel in the Desert in Vegas and recorded a 76-65 "L" against them. NC State faced Miss. St. in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament and Ms. Wuf's Pack suffered a 71-57 defeat. 

UK tried Mississippi three times and lost all three. In Starkville, the Cats went down 74-55. At Lexington, MSU left with a 85-73 victory and in the SEC Tournament, the Bulldogs eliminated Matthew Mitchell's squad 71-57. 


In the NCAA Tournament, MSU has averaged 81.5 points in four contests and allowed 59.0 a night, for a +22.5 average margin of victory. They started at home against Nicholls St. with a 95-50 win, downed Okla. St 71-56 and went to Kansas City for the Regionals, downing NC State 71-57 and UCLA 89-73. 

It will be a challenging test for Louisville, maybe their second toughest of the season.  The obvious threats of McCowan inside, Vivians all over the court and Schaefer's three point-prowess give UofL several different aspects to consider in building a defensive game plan. 


Jeff Walz is the "mad scientist", however, and there are very few who can analyze and develop a plan to beat a squad as well as he and his staff can. With Durr, Hines-Allen, Carter, Jones and Fuehring...Walz puts a formidable group on the hardwood and they do have the advantage of already playing a game on the Nationwide Arena court. You might remember that contest to start the season. A certain Ms. Durr found the shooting went well for her and with Louisville almost seven hours closer to Columbus than Starkville, one would hope that the Cards will have more in the seats than the Mississippi school.  

The contest will be shown on ESPN2 and you can hear Nick Curran and Adrienne Johnson's call on 790 AM WRKD if you're unable to be there. CARDINAL COUPLE will have Paulie on Media Row, Jared Anderson taking photos and Jeff McAdams in the stands. Frequent CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR guests Mike Gilpatrick, Daryl Foust and Paige Sherrard will also be in attendance...so we'll have a contingent of friendly faces on-site. 

We suggest you check out their work as well...at River City CardsThe Crunch Zone and Cardinal Sports Zone


THURSDAY IN COLUMBUS


-- Louisville has a closed practice today in Nationwide Arena from 11:05 a.m. to 1:05 p.m.  They'll follow Mississippi State's 9 to 11 a.m. closed practice.

-- Louisville will do Radio Interviews in Nationwide Arena from 1:15-1:35 p.m. (Sorry, but the Cardinal Couple nor River City Cards crew won't be there...not sure on the other members of the alliance.) 

-- A news conference and open locker room for Louisville follows from 1:40 p.m. to 2:10 p.m. 

-- The Associated Press Coach and Player of the Year will be announced at 4:30 p.m.

-- WBCA Coaches All-American Announcement is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. 




SOFTBALL FALLS TO LIPSCOMB


A trip to Nashville resulted in a 3-1 loss to Lipscomb College yesterday for Louisville Softball. The Cards hit the scoreboard first when "Poof" Nicole Pufahl led off the inning with a double and got home on a Jamie "New Pride of New Egypt, N.J" Soles single. 

The Bisons (never would have guessed that as their nickname) tied it in the fifth on a single home run shot and combined three hits, a walk and an error in the sixth to plate the final two runs. 

Megan Hensley (8-4) took the loss for the Hit and Pitch Cards. She relieved Danielle Watson who went 4.2 innings and surrendered one run. 

The Cards (22-10) return to Ulmer for a three-game, ACC series hosting NC State that begins on Friday. 


LAX LOSES AT BROWN 10-17


Louisville Lacrosse evened their season record up a 6-6 with a 17-10 loss at Brown University yesterday. 

The Cards got the first two scores of the contest from Tessa Chad and Emily Howell, but could not maintain the edge and trailed 7-6 at the halftime break. 

The Cards fell further behind in the final half despite the strong efforts of Madison Hoover, who led Louisville with three goals and Lexie Ball at goalkeeper. She tallied 11 saves. 

Brown scored the final four goals of the match. Louisville brings in Virginia Tech to the LLS on Saturday at 1 p.m.


Paulie
xxxxx