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Monday, April 1, 2019

Louisville women's basketball -- Cards fall to UConn 80-73 -- Softball, Lacrosse and Tennis results -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



LATE SURGE FALLS SHORT IN LOSS TO HUSKIES



It is always hard to write about the last Louisville women's basketball game of the season and it hasn't gotten any easier over the years. It means the Cards have lost. Lost the game, lost the chance to gain a national championship.  The season is over and that a group of seniors have played their last in the Louisville uniforms. 

For the Cards, it was an afternoon where they seldom enjoyed a lead, made a huge run at the end to climb with two with 26 seconds to go but ultimately saw the Huskies go 5-6 from the free throw line to close out the scoring and end the 2018-19 season end for UofL at 32-4. The fourth-most wins in the history of the program but two games short of where they wanted to be.

Losing does suck...to use a term Coach Walz and many others have. Losing to UConn makes it even more "sucky" and, once again, thanks to the NCAA for making it quite easy, convenient and possible for the Huskies to have the advantage in location ,crowd attendance and game-time scheduling.  


This one was a game of runs. The Huskies started out on a 7-0  one to begin the game. Louisville came back with a 9-0 run to take a 16-12 edge and UConn put together a 10-0 run to grab a 22-16 advantage.  All in the first quarter. Connecticut would go on a 11-3 second quarter run in the first five minutes of the second quarter to take a 33-23 lead -- buoyed by the 4-4 three-point shooting of Megan Walker -- then, it was Louisville's turn and a 6-0 run had UofL back within four at 33-29. Arica Carter busted a 8-2 half-ending Connecticut run with a three as the clock ticked down to 17 seconds to make it 41-34 -- your halftime score.

This was a position the Cards were unaccustomed to.  Trailing at the half. The normal early blowout of a foe didn't happen. Asia Durr was struggling to find her shot. The Cards were just 3 for 11 from three-point range and UConn was 9 for 16 from the deep. 



Score. Stop. Score.  The simple but relevant halftime directive from Walz was Louisville's objective in the second half. It kept the Cards hanging around in the third frame and got them within four at 57-53 with a 4-0 run in the final 45 seconds after a Durr steal and layup and Dana Evans steal and layup.

Louisville had momentum. UConn's Katie Lou Samuelson was on the bench with four fouls and one had to love Louisville's chances in the final 10 minutes. Cardnation had hope rekindled and it was shaping up to be one heck of a final quarter.

Back and forth that fourth quarter went. 

64-57 Huskies at the 6:21 mark. Louisville comes back to make it 64-61 after a couple of Durr baskets. Samuelson re-enters and nailed two threes to push UConn to a 74-63 lead and 1:47 on the clock, in the game. These were two heavyweight fighters, standing toe-to-toe in the center of the ring, slugging it out -- giving each other their best shots.

Just when it looked like UConn had Louisville down for the ten count...the Cards fire back with a 10-1 run over the next 1:24 and it's 75-73 UConn after a Carter layup. 26 seconds on the clock. A memorable, incredible rally. A chance, where there wasn't much hope of one a few minutes earlier.  

I'd like to tell you that UofL kept that momentum flowing and regained the lead and took the win. but it would be a cruel April Fool's prank on you if I did, though. 

The Huskies hit the forced free throws and advance to Tampa. 80-73. All five Husky starters in double figures and those starters accounting for all of UConn's 80 points. Katie Lou leading all with 29 points. 

Durr recovering nicely in the final twenty to end with 21 points and nine rebounds. Sam Fuehring having another strong NCAA performance with 15 points and seven grabs. Jazmine Jones providing countless sparks and tallying 10 points and six assists. 

I have to wonder a bit about Kylee Shook seeing no second half court time, but, I've never professed to have any coaching skills and the UConn post weren't stay-at-home-in-the-post types...like the Cards previous two opponents. Could she have helped the Cards 0-4 three-point shooting in the fourth quarter? 

This Louisville squad, these Louisville seniors will live in my -- and I'm sure your -- memory for a very long time. Here's hoping Asia, Arica and Sam go one to compete in the WNBA. To go on and have happy and productive lives and come back to visit the campus often. They leave behind a squad that has promise and a lot of potential excitement for the 2019-2020 season. You can't keep them forever and what these seniors and this unit accomplished here in their time was incredible, record-setting and so much fun to watch and cover. 



Three incredible players, from three different places in the nation and portraying three different personalities came here to help form and lead a nucleus that won't be forgotten anytime soon.  Going into less-than-favorable conditions as a #1 seed in basically the #2 seed's home turf, they fought with their teammates until the clock stopped them from playing. These seniors pass on that competitive spirit, that drive and desire to the underclassmen -- who exhibited a lot of the same this year. 

We can only thank them for what they did, what they brought and how they thrilled us -- as we say....not good-bye... but "we'll see you further on down the road". 

The greatest test of courage is to bear defeat without losing heart. My heart remains with Louisville women's basketball. How about yours? 


THE FRED REPORT


Fred Willard says, "Turn the TV off, I don't want to see
anymore of this." 
FREE THROWS -- They weren't a strong point for the Cards Sunday. 11-17 equals 64.7% and the vast majority (10) were up to Asia. UConn got 20 attempts and made 16. You know the rules, you shoot less than 70%, we can't award a letter.

REBOUNDING -- 42-36 in favor of the Huskies, but UofL did win the offensive boards 12-11. Asia and Sam corralling almost half the Cards grabs. Another case where if you don't win the battle, you don't get a letter 

EFFORT/EXECUTION -- Louisville never quit fighting, despite the rough edges and periods of less-than-perfect execution stages. They had only five turnovers. After the slow shooting start in the first, they shot 23-49 (47%) in the final thirty minutes. we normally see numbers like these equated with a "W" for the Cards. It wasn't a "W", though...so we'll award just a small "e". 

DEFENSE.  The Cards allowed the second-highest point total of the season -- Notre Dame had 82 in their win over UofL -- but Louisville did force 13 turnovers and had nine steals. The killer was the Huskies 14-26 (53.8%) three-point proficiency. I will give the Cards credit for tightening the game up late but can't award a letter after a loss

FINAL FRED TALLY OF THE YEAR:   _-_-e-_



So, we shed a few tears and move along. A season to remember. So many fond memories of the 36 games. Three wonderful seniors and the promise of a very talented and deep squad for next year.

Despite the controversies, playing conditions and less-than-satisfying final game...I still enjoyed this season immensely and we'll continue to bring you tons of news and reporting on Louisville WBB here at Cardinal Couple in the off-season.

The future of Cardinal women's basketball still burns brightly, under the direction of one of the best coaches in the nation and I encourage you to be an even bigger part of it next year.  


LACROSSE DROPS A CLOSE ONE TO DELAWARE


At the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium Sunday afternoon, the Cards and Delaware Blue Hens were involved in a close match that was tied late but ultimately ended up in the visitors' favor 9-8. 

A game of runs, as well, in this one...the Cards going up 2-0 early but Delaware going on a 4-0 run to end the first half.

Louisville trailed 5-3 at the half in chilly but clear conditions on Floyd Street and found themselves down 6-3 at the start of the second half, but, thanks in part to some excellent goalkeeping work from Rachel Florek, the Lax girls battled back and forced a 9-8 affair....Caroline Blalock getting the goal with about a minute left in the contest. The Cards could get the equalizer, though, as time expired. 

Florek had 13 saves in the contest and Louisville head Lacrosse coach Scott Teeter commented after the match: 



"If it wasn't for Florek's work in the cage, it definitely could have been worse." 

Ally Hall with the hat-trick in scoring for Teeter's team and Tessa Chad and Blalock added two goals each, as the Cards go to 4-9 on the season. 

Louisville Lax brings UNC into "the Ellis" Saturday , April 5th. for a Senior Day ACC match that'll start at 1 p.m. The Tar Heels are 9-3 after yesterday's 9-7 loss at Notre Dame and are ranked #4 in the nation as of Friday.

We encourage you to come out and cheer on these hard-working LAX women. 


SOFTBALL OUT-SLUGGED IN BLACKSBURG


In the final contest of the three-game series against Virginia Tech yesterday, the UofL Softball squad managed five runs on five hits but it wasn't enough of an offensive output to match the 13 "home plate touches" the Hokies ended up with. 

Falling behind 11-0 after three innings, the Cards did tally four runs in the fourth inning. Doubles by Madison Cousineau and Charley Butler got four Cardinals home, but Louisville couldn't produce enough fire-power to make up the deficit and the Hokies two-run, bottom of the sixth effort ended the contest. 

UofL takes one of the three in Blacksburg and the 22-12, 4-5 Cards come home to face Lipscomb Tuesday, April 2nd, with a 5 p.m. opening pitch planned. Plenty of great softball to be played in Ulmer this year, make sure and be a part of it! 


LOUISVILLE TENNIS  FALLS TO B.C. ON SENIOR DAY



In their final home match of the season and on Senior Day, the Louisville women's tennis team got wins from Raven Neely and Ola Mally, but the Eagles captured the day with a 5-2 overall performance. 

The Cards, won one of the three doubles matches...losing the doubles point there... and four of the six singles matches. 

Louisville women's tennis ends the regular season on the road with four matches in the next 12 days...at Virginia Tech, Virginia, Miami and Florida State. 

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(THANKS TO JARED ANDERSON FOR THE LACROSSE AND TENNIS PHOTOS USED TODAY)


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Happy April Fools Day and, if you want to prank someone, buy them a package of Oreos but replace the filling with toothpaste...an oldie but goodie pulled on Paulie many moons ago. 


paulie
xxxxx  









12 comments:

  1. Well said, Paulie.

    If a few more shots drop, Cards win. Pretty simple. Got a lot of good looks that didn't go. Amazing it was that close when we were outscored by 30 points from the 3-point line.


    Gotta give it to Samuelson - she hit some huge shots, after looking much less than 100% on Friday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Threes proven to be a big difference and our slow start didn't help...but i remain very proud of this squad and have to wonder what might have happened if the Cards had ended up in Greensboro for the Regional.

      Fully "all-in" for next year and thanks, Mike, for reading us and commenting this basketball season. Stick around, we have more hoops coverage planned in the off-season, as well as continued coverage of all UofL women's sports.

      Paulie

      Delete
  2. I'm still down and will be for awhile because I did not want this season to end. I want to thank you, Cardinal Couple writers and Paulie, for providing the best coverage around on this team's incredible journey and season.

    I think we all feel about the same about the seniors. God love each and every one of them. I, too, look forward to next year.


    Curtis "Middle finger fully extended toward the NCAA for hating on us" Franklin

    ReplyDelete
  3. Every thing I am thinking and feeling summed up very nicely, Paulie.
    It's been one helluva ride, and the teams I love most are the ones that go down fighting. These ladies fought to the bitter end. You gotta make shots to beat UCONN, and we'll, we just didn't make enough. And STILL had a fighters chance at the end.
    Will definitely remember these seniors, these years, they are a "legacy" squad, most wins, they DID beat UCONN (and Notre Dame!), a final four, yes, many many thanks to them ALL😁

    ReplyDelete
  4. A tough loss to bear.

    Does anyone know why Kylee never got on the court in the second half? Injury" Coaching decision or strategy?

    Nick O.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think strategy. Bionca matches up better on switches against UConn, same strategy coach used the first time against them. Kylee can be beaten off the dribble against quicker players also.
      Something I hope she focuses on this off-season. She is going to be huge for us next season.

      Delete
    2. That is correct. Walz said that because UConns bigs are so mobile and active, Bionca was a better defensive fit. And, actually, she did a good job. Interior defense didn't beat us. It was their three point shooting and transition offense.

      Delete
  5. Tough loss. The final loss of the year (unless you win the championship) hurts the most. These three seniors have had incredible careers and they’ve helped UofL continue to become one of the best women’s basketball programs out there right now.

    Overall, it was a bad day for women’s sports, everyone taking a loss.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Next years team should be good also with General Evans & Captain Shook Inc. watch out for Nyah Green & Ramani Parker two silky smooth players that can flat out ball.
    GO CARDS!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So can the other incoming freshman. A to die for euro-step.
      And Bionca has improved vastly, she and Jaz will be major contributors.
      Lose a lot but retain a lot, also, imo.

      Delete
    2. Need to find a shooter. Konna could be the one.

      Delete
  7. Bionca Dunham has to work on her ball handling skills and be more consistent with her jump shot.
    Go Cards

    ReplyDelete

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