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Friday, January 29, 2021

#1 Cardinals dominate TarHeels 79-68 (16-0, 9-0 ACC) -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Happy Friday, folks!

 I am very happy to finally be able to report a matchup with North Carolina is in the books after so many postponements. I was almost SURE the Cards were well on their way to meeting my 2-week, Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast running score prediction for the squad (91-66) against the TarHeels when they put up 55 first half points on the visitors. But, it looks like I can blame Walz for losing that again this week..  good thing i didn't have rent money riding on that prediction.


Around the NCAA/ACC

By now you probably have heard that two of the nation's top three ranked squads went down last night.  Neighboring #2 NC State lost to Virginia Tech 71-83 after barely beating them Sunday afternoon.  The Wolfpack was without leader Elissa Cunane in this one, she's no doubt eyeing that Monday matchup with the Cards for her return, if she can get the COVID clear.

 #3 UCONN lost to #19 Arkansas 87-90, the Razorbacks lead by senior guard Chelsea Dungee with 37 points, 13 in a 31 point 3Q for Arkansas.  Wake Forest beat FSU 73-59 and the Cards remain undefeated with a 79-68 win Thursday night, their third win of the week. 

Louisville freshmen Olivia Cochran and Hailey Van Lith combined for 28 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists, zero turnovers each on the floor for 31 minutes. UNC's grad transfer guard Petra Holesinska came off the bench and lead all scorers with 26 on 10-17 FG% 5-10 beyond 3.

Don't let the score fool ya, the Tarheels never really had any control in this matchup... Louisville dominated offensively and defensively until Coach Walz made several substitutions for some playing time opportunities for bench players. 

RECAP: Louisville WBB vs UNC TarHeels 

Jeff Walz tinkered with the starting lineup again, putting Liz Dixon and Olivia Cochran out there together with Dana, Hailey and Balogun. It worked quite well.  

Four different players started the scoring for to put the Cards up 12-2 early.  After the Cards' first missed shot... Elizabeth Balogun was there for the offensive rebound and then put it back up and in.  In the next offensive possession, Dana Evans missed, Olivia was there to get rebound and she was able to score. By then it was a 16-7 Cards lead. 

With five min off the clock, Balogun led all scorers with 7 pts, 1 rebound & 2 assists.  After the first quarter ended, HVL had gotten off to a 3-4 start beyond 3 -- for 9 points and 2 assists. The Cards were 12-16 shooting from FG range (75%) before a couple of unsuccessful chucks up at the basket in the final minute of the quarter. 

End of 1Q 30-16 Cards 
FG %
12-18 67% Cards
6-13 46% UNC
Reb. 9-4 Cards 
3-pt %
4-7 57% Cards
2-3 67% UNC

Janelle Bailey managed to pick up 3 fouls in first half; by then she had only secured 4 pts (2-5 FG%) 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 turnovers.  The Cards finished the half with three 3-pointers by Evans, Balogun & Cochran in about a minutes time.  Dana fed Cochran the rock with about 6 seconds on the clock and said 'knock it down' and Olivia did just that.  There were four Louisville players scoring in double figures in the first half.. Olivia leading all scorers with 14 points (10 in the 2Q) on 6-6 shooting with 5 rebounds. The team was 5-5 at the FT line, had 2 blocks, 2 steals, and were winning the rebounding battle 20-13. 

End of 2Q 25-14 Cards 
FG % 
9-19 47.4% Cards
5-15 33.3% UNC
Reb. 11-9 Cards
3-pt %
4-7 57.1% Cards
1-6 16.7% UNC

HALFTIME  Cards 55-30

Evans started the half with a 3-pointer and the team tied up a couple jump balls and with about 5 min off clock. Elizabeth Dixon joined the others as double digit scorer. Janelle Bailey picked up her 4th foul with 1:36 left in the quarter recording just 8 points, 5 rebounds in 24 min on floor.  This was just about all of the highlights as Walz experimented with the lineup -- getting bench players quality playing minutes.  Louisville largest lead of the contest was 32 points with 2:52 left in the quarter. 

End of 3Q 16-16 
FG %
6-14 42.9% Cards
6-13 46.2% UNC
Reb. 7-9 UNC 
3-pt %
3-9 33.3% Cards
1-2 50% UNC

Ok...this is where things got a little scary for Louisville as they watched the lead start to diminish.

UNC jumped out to an 8-0 run to start the 4Q , UofL was 0-4 on their first attempts and had 3 turnovers, In fact, going back to the third quarter, the TarHeels were on a 17-0 run with 4:28 left in the game.  That's when Dixon got a nice feed from Olivia for a layup and one. The score was 22-5 UNC in the quarter with 1:18 left and the Cards shooting a measly 2-12 for 16.7%.

UNC's Petra Holesínská had 12 points on 5-7 FG% 2-3 from the deep in the final quarter. The Cards were led by Kianna Smith in the 4Q with 5 points which made her the sixth Cardinal in double digit scoring on the night.

End of 4Q 22-8 UNC  
FG % 
3-13 23% Cards
9-17 52.9% UNC
Reb. 7-13 UNC
3-pt %
1-3 33% Cards
2-3 66.7% UNC

FINAL  79-68 CARDS WIN !! 

Coach Walz post game: 

Coach Walz took responsibility for making the substitutions that lead to UNC to cut the lead more than half to get it within single digits with a little more than a minute left in the game. He said he was trying to get some bench players some minutes and it just wasn't the right combo at the right time. It seems like it was more of a teaching moment for Coach Walz than for what he was going for by putting the subs in those moments. 


F- Free Throws Only three Cardinals went to the line for the night.. where they were sharply 7-8 which is good for 88%, more than our 70% requirement for a CAPITAL F performance
R- Rebounding After winning the rebounding battle 20-13 in the first half, the Cards ended up on the losing side 35-34 on the evening.  They did win the battle for second chance points 11-7, however.  It was a strong performance overall warranting a Capital R in my eyes. 

E- Effort/Efficiency First half: Olivia was 6-6 from the field, Balogun was 3-4, Dana was 4-7 and HVL was 3-5 beyond 3.  The team had 11 assists on 21 made shots.  The second half was a different story... Second half: Dana was 1-6, HVL was 0-4, Balogun was 0-2, Olivia was 1-4.  Five of the Cards six turnovers were in the second half. 

It was a strong enough first half decimation to put the Cards ahead by 25 and UofL was never really in jeopardy of losing.  The first half was a whole lot of fun to watch, and, since Coach Walz took the blame for the second half stall,  I give the squad a CAPITAL E on the evening. 

D- Defense Cards finished with four blocks and four steals and able to hold UNC to 11-28 (39.3%) shooting and 3-9 from beyond three-point range (33.3%) in the first half. The second half was a diffeerent story, the Cards allowing 15-30 (50%) from the floor, and 3-5 beyond the arc (60%) in the second half.  They were able to keep Janelle Bailey off the floor after she racked up 3 fouls in the first half -- Bailey eventually fouling out of the game with 11 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 turnovers.  The Cards held the UNC starting lineup to just 35 total points.   The second half defensive effort knocks this total effort down just a bit, I still give Louisville a  Capital D




"See if you can find out where she got those shoes for me" 

"You like these shoes, Jeff?" 

"Excuse me, but it's clear that I have the best shoes on the court, y'all" 


Spring Field Hockey Schedule released 

On Louisville Field Hockey:

The Cardinals finished the fall portion of the 2020-21 season with an 8-2 overall record with a program-best 5-1 mark in ACC play, securing the regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament for the first time in program history. Louisville posted a runner-up in the tournament after falling 4-2 to defending champion North Carolina in the finals.

"The fall 2020 season certainly presented many challenges," said Sowry. "Our team adapted, adjusted and we made the most of an incredibly difficult situation. We will continue to remain positive, flexible, and to make the most of the opportunities we are presented." 

I'm sure Paul and Jared will have a couple thoughts on this for us on Saturday's show... 

Spring Softball Predicted finish announced:

2021 ACC Softball Preseason Coaches Poll

Florida State (141 points, nine first-place votes)
Virginia Tech (136 points, four first-place votes)
Notre Dame (114 points)
Duke (99 points)
North Carolina (96 points)
Clemson (88 points)
Louisville (81 points)
NC State (78 points)
Georgia Tech (61 points)
Syracuse (39 points)
Pitt (31 points)
Virginia (28 points)
Boston College (22 points)

The Cardinals finished the COVID-shortened 2020 season with a 10-13 overall record on the eve of their ACC-opening series against Boston College. Louisville's early season slate featured 10 games against teams in the top 25 and the Cardinals were on a three-game winning streak at the end of the season.

Middle of the pack seems like a reasonable prediction for this Louisville squad.  That'll make it that much sweeter when the Cards give us a couple upsets.

I imagine this squad will be offense heavy with Cassady Greenwood leading the team with a .386 batting average, followed by her sister, Carmyn at .373. Jordyn Wolfe rounds out the Cardinals' top three hitters with a .324 batting average. Taylor Roby led the team with seven home runs and 16 RBIs, while Celene Funke was 13-for-13 in stolen bases with 12 runs.


Its been great having wins to report on...and a "shoutout" to Jared and Paul for making it to the Yum again late Thursday evening to cover this squad.  (Jared's been getting such quality photos they had to hose him down to keep the wolves at bay.)

Coach Walz says the team has the day off Friday, to relax before they get back to work to prepare for a battle with conference foe, NC State, on Monday night.  The matchup is likely not going to be a #1 vs #2 now that the WolfPack went down Thursday evening.  We will find out their new ranking Monday afternoon.  We will talk about this and more on Saturday's show! 

Have a great start to your weekend, Louisville fans! 

~ Daryl 


  1. Cards played a great first-half, 2nd half lost Focus it's something about the third quarter.Good to see Merissah & Ahlena get PT.
    I think CJW is mixing in the second half trying to put the pieces together for the second unit Yo CJW would be nice to see number 0 get some PT Go Cards, PS the ACC is a tuff conference.

  2. Hello Friends!
    Arthur Here!

    Man, that second half turned into the Petra show and I'm sure Walz would do the final 12 differently but the Cards looked very much the best team in the women's game. Im glad we don't have to play you all again. Rest up and beat NC State.

    Your friend
    #1 Clemson Fan
    Greer, SC

    1. I think the big UNC run that finished last night's game was pretty inconsequential based on the first 2-1/2 quarters that Louisville put against "the Banghart" sisters (sorry for the pun -loosely based on a movie from about ?30? years ago).

      I think the Cards learned a valuable lesson. Don't give up the fight until the spotlight goes down.


  3. #1 team showed up for the first half, showed what they are capable of when the passes are sharp and everyone is shooting well, basically unstoppable on offense.
    Second half, kinda let up on the gas, it happens sometimes when you are beating the brakes off a team.
    Highly possible we get to that point where we're UConn like in keeping the pedal to the metal ALL game. UConn of the not to distant past, even UConn ain't UConn anymore 😂.


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