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Showing posts with label Villanova women's basketball. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Villanova women's basketball. Show all posts

Sunday, February 24, 2013

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SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- Preview of Lady Cards WBB vs. Villanova

( Quentin Voigt sets us up for Sunday 2 p.m. game against the Wildcats -- no, not those Wildcats -- in Philly. For cheese-steaks, Rocky references and more...read below.)

Harry Perretta, head coach of the Villanova Wildcats women's basketball team for the past 35 years, achieved two milestones in 2011-12. He got his 600th. career victory and coached in his 1000th. career game. He's one of seven D1 coaches to win 600 games at one school and the seventh coach in D1 history to coach 1000 games at one school. Coach Perretta appears to be a very fundamentalist teacher of the game. His teams have led the nation on numerous occasions (including three of the past six years) in fewest turnovers committed per game. 

This year, they are once again demonstrating how they value possessions. They cough it up only 11 times a session. Harry will regularly play 9 individuals for 15+ minutes an outing. VU is sixth in the nation in scoring defense. They average 7.4 made three-pointers per game, while attempting 24.7.

Leading scorers consist of 6'2" senior Laura Sweeney at 13.2 ppg and 5'9" senior Rachel Roberts with 10.5 ppg. It seems like they've been at Nova since the turn of the century. 5'10" freshman Caroline Coyer gets 7.2 ppg --along with Laura Burford. Sweeney leads in boards grabbed at 6.8 a contest. Roberts hits 40% from three-point land and Burford 39%.

The Wildcats play their home games in the Pavilion with a capacity of 6500. The student section is right on top of the playing floor -- which you must experience to believe.

An awesome advantage if you use it. Sadly, the largest attendance this season has been 2939 for the Notre Dame visit. They average 991 a home game.

Excellently coached Villanova is 18-7, 7-5. A tough trip awaits the Cards. A lot at stake in conference positioning.

-Quentin Voigt

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Nova was pre-season ranked to finish 10th. in the Big East. The fact that they are jumbled up with DePaul, USF and Rutgers battling for sixth is impressive. Their pre-season schedule not so impressive as far as opponents went...a win over Temple and lost to Delaware the only games of consequence. In the BIG EAST, losses to Marquette and Providence are eyebrow-raising...but they have knocked off DePaul and USF....teams that have gone 1-1 with the Cards this year.

Sweeney will punish you inside if allowed to do so. Burford and Roberts bring the trey ball.

The Cards knocked them off last year in the YUM! Center 62-58, getting four players in double figures in a game that was knotted up 21-21 at half time. Louisville defeated them again in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament 63-47 after a 29-29 first half tie....Shoni getting 20 in the win.

Jeff Walz is 7-0 lifetime against Harry.

Which Cardinal team will make the trip to Philly? The fired-up bunch who pounded DePaul or the group that slept-walked through the USF contest? Only three games left in the regular season. Fourth place, a double bye in the BIG EAST Tournament...things obtainable for the Lady Cards if they take care of business.

TCB, ladies...

Paulie

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Sunday, January 20, 2013



SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

-Softball Bullpen Dinner features Olympian Danielle Lawrie

-Villanova for real? Wildcats 4-0 in BIG EAST

The Louisville Softball Bullpen Club Dinner is being held
January 26th. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and the keynote speaker is Danielle Lawrie. The Cards will celebrate the success of the record-setting season 2012 BIG EAST Championship season and introduce the 2013 team in their sixth pre-season annual fundraiser.

Lawrie was a pitcher and clean-up hitter for University of Washington and was named the Women's College World Series Most Outstanding Player...pitching every inning during the Huskies' 2009 national championship run.

Tickets are still available for the event.

Call 502.852.0706 to be a part of a most outstanding evening that kickoffs a potentially incredible season for Sandy Pearsall's squad.

This 2013 team has hitting, fielding, pitching and talent that just may well be the best in Louisville Softball history.
All American Taner Fowler is just one of seven returning starters and twelve letterwinners that promise to rattle the fences at Ulmer Stadium and send opponents home with "L"s.

We'll see you there!

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One of the surprises of the BIG EAST womens' basketball season, at least for us, has been the Villanova Wildcats. With a win Saturday over a very good USF team, VU is now sporting a 15-2 overall record and 4-0 record in BIG EAST play. Sonja and I have different viewpoints on just how powerful these Cats are and we discuss them below..

Sonya:

They have an unblemished BIG EAST record. That's more than UConn, UofL and Rutgers can say -- three of the top four teams in my pre-season rankings. They're getting it done with team play, too. Laura Sweeney, Rachel Roberts, Devon Kane, Lauren Burford and Taylor Holeman are all capable of putting up double figures anytime the Wildcats take the court. Their win over USF legitimizes that they've "arrived" . They're second in scoring defense in BIG EAST games and have a +13.0 scoring advantage over all opponents. Sweeney leads the BIG EAST in steals. Only Minnesota and Delaware have defeated them this season -- two teams that could make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.

Paul:

15-2 looks great and you have to take your hat off to Harry Perreta for the job he's done with this veteran bunch. They may well go 5-0 in the BIG EAST with Providence up next.

Then, here comes the boom. Syracuse, at Connecticut, at Rutgers and Notre Dame. Hello, 5-4.

There are several tiers of talent this year in the BIG EAST. UConn and Notre Dame are in the penthouse suite. Living in the condos below them are Syracuse, Louisville, St. John's DePaul, USF and Rutgers. I put Villanova in affordable housing with Georgetown. Underneath the 2nd St. Bridge in cardboard boxes are Cincinnati, Providence, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall and Marquette.

Sweeney, Burford, Roberts and the rest of the Brady Bunch threw a scare into Louisville last year in the KFC YUM!...losing 62-58. The Cards did a little better against them in the first round of the BIG EAST Tourney, getting a 63-48 win. Sweeney had 31 points total in both games. They get Louisville this year in the Pavillion in Philly on Sunday, Feb 24th....a place that holds 6500 but only 500 or so bother to attend. The Cards will get a tough road win there...one of those games where the popular Cardinals will draw 1500-2000 to attend.

Villanova is impressive, so far. Let's see where they are when they face the Cards. My guess is 7-5 in the BIG EAST.
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Saturday, March 3, 2012

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SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


-Louisville muscles past Villanova 63-47


-Connell's no-hitter leads Louisville past Memphis


-St. John's preview


-Seven remain "perfect" in Pick 'Em contest


The University of Louisville women's basketball team used a strong second half to break open a 29-29 halftime contest against Villanova and win 63-47 tonight in the second round of the BIG EAST Tournament. Shoni Schimmel led the Cards with 20 points and Asia Taylor and Shawnta Dyer combined for 22 second half points to advance the Lady Cards to a Sunday match-up against #2 seed St. John's in the quarterfinals. 


STARTERS: Shoni, Smith, Taylor,Burke and Vails


Louisville took the early lead in this first-half three fest on a Schimmel jumper at the 18:34 mark. Villanova countered with the first of their seven first half threes when Lindsey Kimmel connected from beyond the arc.  The Cards and Wildcats went back and forth on the lead early...Villanova's first 15 points all coming on 3-pointers. Becky Burke joined in the 3-party by knocking down two trifectas...the second one giving the Cards at 16-15 lead at the 10:22 mark. 


Louisville couldn't contain the outside bombs from 'Nova...but was having some success on their offensive sets from Burke and Shoni. Burke nailed a two-pointer to give Louisville a 21-17 lead with 7:00 to go and two Shoni free throws made it a 24-20 Cardinal advantage with 4:34 on the clock. Becky and Shoni had 20 of the Lady Cards 24 points and 18 of the Villanova points had come from beyond the arc from five different players. 


The Wildcats responded with a 9-2 run over the next three minutes...Laura Sweeney going to work against the Cardinal defense...and her three made it 29-26 Villanova with 1:14 to go in the half. Louisville tied it on a off-balance, heavily guarded 25 footer from Shoni at the buzzer to tie it up after 20 minutes. 


The Cards were led by Shoni's 15 first half points and Burke had 10. Bria Smith and Nita Slaughter had two each for the Cards. Nine Lady Cards saw the court in the first half...Jude Schimmel the only Card not to hit the court. Louisville went with a four-guard line-up much of the half...garnering Shelby Harper extensive first half minutes...to try and combat the catch-and-release tactics of the Wildcats. Devin Kane led Harry Peretta's crew with seven points. 


The Cards needed to find an inside presence on offense and curtail the 'Nova long range bombing in the second half. 


Louisville begin the second half the same way they ended the first...Shoni hitting an improbable, deep three under heavy pressure at the shot-clock buzzer during the Cards first possession. After Lauren Roberts countered with a jumper, the game endured several stoppages because of the game clock malfunctioning. Bria Smith hit one of two free throws to put Louisville up 33-31 after three minutes of action.


Then, it became the Asia Taylor show. Her jumper and free throw made it 36-31. Seconds later she followed her own missed shot and scored again. She and Laura Sweeney traded two baskets each over the next two minutes and Louisville held a 42-35 edge with 15 minutes to go. The Lady Cards were getting some distance from the tiring Wildcats and the inside game was percolating. 


After two Shoni free throws put the Cards up 44-37, Shawnta Dyer took over the offense production. Dyer scored the next nine UofL points to push the Cards to a 53-41 lead with 7:16 on the clock. Taylor took over again after that and two free throws...followed by a basket had Louisville on a 15-4 run and leading 57-41 as the clock read 5:32. 


Nita Slaughter made it 11 straight Louisville points in a row by drilling a three with 3:53 remaining. It was Louisville 60 -Villanova 41 and it was basically over. 
The Wildcats got six of the final nine points of the game...Bria Smith scoring the only Louisville points in the last three minutes with a three at the 2:08 mark. 
Cards win....63-47. Louisville had outscored Villanova 34-18 in the second half and the Wildcats had no threes in the final twenty minutes.


Shoni led all scorers with 20 points. Taylor finished with 13, Burke 10, Dyer 9, Smith 6 and Slaughter 5 for the Lady Cards. All ten Lady Cards played in the final half. For Nova...Devin Kane and Laura Sweeney finished with 13 each and Rachel Roberts added 10. 


The Cards out-rebounded the Wildcats 38-29...Shoni leading the team with eight..all on the defensive end. 
Louisville forced 15 'Nova turnovers while committing 13 miscues. Louisville was 22-52 from the field for 42.3% and held the opponent to 19-52 (36.5%). Villanova attempted 22 threes, hitting seven. The Cards were 7-20 from beyond the arc.


An impressive second half for the Cards. They pushed the ball well in transition and dominated the paint in the final twenty. Defense and rebounding were solid and...out of Louisville's 34 second half points...22 came from Dyer and Taylor after getting 0 in the first twenty. 


And Harry kept his shirt-tail tucked in all evening. 


WE tried listening to the radio feed while watching the game for awhile...but the 13 second delay was torture. Radio much faster than the video feed. Frankly, it got confusing and distracting...so we turned off Matt and A.J. and listened to Bob and LaChina. They weren't bad, but Paul donned the headsets midway through the second half and gave up the video. You'd think in this age of technology, where phones talk to you and will call you "Rock-God" if you request it, that this could be remedied. 


Dennis DeMayo's crew didn't actually call a bad game from an officiating stand-point. He used to be one of the best in college basketball. I guess every dog has his day now and then. 


St John's tomorrow. Won't be easy, could go to the wire. Game time scheduled for 6 p.m. Same TV deal...432 or 11.2. Big East TV as well. We'll have a full report on this one and summaries on all the day's action. Check out the CARDINAL COUPLE preview after the softball article.


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Connell tossed a no-hit
against the Tigers
Cards softball pitcher Caralisa Connell pitched six innings of no-hit ball yesterday in the Tennessee Classic against Memphis and Louisville gave her 11 runs in the Saturday afternoon win. She walked three and struck out three in the performance. Connell goes to 4-0 on the season and the Cards remain perfect at 14-0.


It was the first Cardinal no-hitter since Catherine Bishop tossed one against Syracuse back on April 22, 2006. 


Louisville started the scoring in the third inning when Katie Keller blasted a "goodbye Mr. Spalding" over the left-center field fence, scoring Kristin Austin.


The Cards added four more runs in the fifth. Whitney Arion singled and scored on Jennifer Esteban's triple. 
Fowler had a two-rum homer
against Memphis.
Austin's triple score Esteban to make it 4-0 and Taner Fowler powered a pitch past the center-field wall to give the Lady Cards a 6-0 advantage.


Louisville completed the scoring frenzy in the sixth inning. Jordan Trimble doubled and scored when Hannah Kiyohara's routine fly ball was mis-played. Esteban followed with a double...scoring Kiyohara and then Keller reached on a single. A blast from Whitney Arion out of the park cleared the bases and it was 11-0 Cards. 


Louisville plays Boston University today to conclude their stay in Knoxville. 


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The University of Louisville women's basketball team plays St John's University tonight at 6 p.m. in quarter-final BIG EAST Tournament action. The two faced each other in the regular season on January 8th. in Queens, NY...the Red Storm taking a 72-64 win. McPherson and McKenith led the Red Storm to the win...McPherson tallying 16 points in the win. Louisville was led by Becky Burke's game high 19 points. 


Louisville leads the series 6-3 and Walz is 4-2 against   Kim Barnes Arico. Louisville won last year 84-73 in the KFC YUM! Center. 


St John's has four players who can be counted on to have big performances each night. Besides the "Mac" attack, Shenneika Smith and Da'shena Stevens can fill up the net. St. John's is on a eight-game win streak...last losing to Notre Dame 71-56 back on Feb. 4th. in Queens. They've conquered the pre-season injuries that played a factor in their 8-6 record in non-conference regular season play and have a win over UConn to attach to their resume. 


Louisville must do a better job of communicating on the court tonight if they want the win. The Cards will face a different kind of opponent than the sedentary Wildcats they defeated last night. St. John's can and will run on you, they go to the boards as good as any team in the BIG EAST and McKenith is second in the conference in steals...so the young Cardinal guard compliment will need to be wary and focused. 


McKenith is the key that starts the St. John's offense...the point guard has over 130 assists on the season and is second on the team in scoring. Unlike Villanova, they don't base the offense on 3-pointers...they were last in the BIG EAST in made threes but 4th. in 3-point defense. The Red Storm was 4th in blocked shots. 


Multiple weapons, a crafty point guard and solid, veteran lineup. It seems like Smith and Stevens have been there 5-6 years. 


Louisville can win this game. They'll need another big performance from Shoni tonight, a large 3-point performance again from Burke and will need to get the twosome of paint prowlers Taylor and Dyer involved earlier tonight than last night. Slaughter must be accurate early and Smith a factor for 30 minutes or more. Tough...but not impossible. 


Fatigue shouldn't be a factor for Jeff Walz's squad. Despite three players logging 30+ minutes in the Villanova win (Shoni, Becky and Bria)...none of the front line players logged more than 21 minutes. And, this is where this one will be won or loss tonight...in the paint. If the Cards can duplicate the second half inside effort from last night for a full forty minutes tonight, they'll walk of the XL floor with a win. 


Survive and advance. It's what its about this time of year. 


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Second round "Pick'em" results are reviewed over on the left side of the site at the top. Seven of you have gone 8-0 so far and there's a log jam at 7-1. Good luck in the final seven. 


Have you forgotten your picks? Send us an e-mail and we'll share the good (or) bad news with you .


Undefeated so far are:  Sandy W. ( from Louisville), Andy (Cincinnati), Nat G. (Chicago), William B. (Morgantown), Jessica L. (Louisville) Mark S. (Louisville) and Smitty (South Bend)


Your writers performance so far:


Sandy W.   8-0    (Has Notre Dame winning it all)
Paul           7-1    (Ditto on the Irish)
Sonja         6-2    (Picked UConn to take the crown) 
Jenny         6-2    (Another Irish picker)
David         6-2    (Joins Sonja with a UConn winner)


The Cardinal Chimps are 1-7. Co-co blames La-La, La-La blames Cletus, Cletus doesn't care and Mondo Vendo blames our society. They thought Pittsburgh would cut down the nets. They like the zoo up there. Those darn chimps! 


Neither Bill the Goat or Felton John submitted picks. Bill probably ate his and Felton is more interested
in the Conference USA tournament. (He likes the pretty logo!) 
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SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


-BIG EAST Second Round Updates


-Lady Cards face Villanova tonight in BIG EAST Tournament


-Softball defeats MTSU in Tennessee Classic


-Lacrosse cancelled because of weather


(First of all, we hope our readers made out OK with all the tornadoes and high winds that swept through Louisville and surrounding areas yesterday. The pictures of the twisters that hit Henryville, Pekin and Chelsney, IN. were just downright terrifying. To our readership base up there...hope you are safe.)




SECOND ROUND UPDATES


GAME FOUR:


2nd half
The ugliest game of the tournament so far... by far. Rutgers managed to tie it at 28 with 11:37 to go. They struggled to the lead 33-32 at the eight minute mark. It was 47-43 Rutgers with 58 seconds to go...but Rutgers hit 5 out of 6 free throws to win 52-43. They get the Huskies tomorrow. Monique Oliver is a beast in the paint. Katherine
Plouffe about the only bright spot for the Golden Eagles.


1st half
Marquette pulling off the upset so far 22-16. Rutgers shooting like my grandma. I missed most of it, writing up the Louisville article. I didn't miss much. 


GAME THREE:


LOUISVILLE 63 - VILLANOVA 47


2nd half
Louisville needed to establish an inside game and stop the three. They did. Starting with a Shoni off-balance three to begin the half, the Lady Cards went on a 9-2 run to lead 38-31 with 16:37 left. It was over. With Asia Taylor getting 13 second half points and Shawnta Dyer 9...Louisville held Villanova to 18 second half points, no threes and won going away 63-47. Shoni led Louisville with 20 points. The Cards get St.John's tomorrow. 


We have a full report on this one in our Game Report article. 


BIG BLUE BOO HOO...The Kentucky Wildcats WBB fall out of the SEC Tournament to LSU 72-61.


1st half
It's a three fest in this one. Despite the low score at half (29-29) 11 threes through the hoop so far...seven for Villanova and four for the Cards. A back and forth affair...Louisville led from the 10:00 minute mark until 1:14 when a Laura Sweeney three gave the Wildcats a 29-26 lead. Shoni countered with a buzzer-beating three to tie it at the half. Louisville being led by Shoni with 15 and Becky Burke with 10. Shelby Harper seeing significant time in the first half as the Cards went with four guards to counter the Villanova three-barrage.


It's a barn-burner in the XL. Stay tuned. Dennis DeMayo..Louisville fans favorite ref has this one. Rut row.


GAME TWO:


DEPAUL vs. USF


2nd half
DePaul pushed the lead out to 11 early in the second half and was never seriously challenged by the Bulls. Two things to know about this one...


1) Anna Martin had 33 points. She's feeling it. She had 36 in the final regular season game. 


2) DePaul advances to play Notre Dame. 


Final 76-62. Could have been worse but the Blue Demons played at at pedestrian pace in the second. Probably wise, they'll be running for their lives tomorrow.


Observations:  Doug Bruno (DePaul head coach) bears a faint resemblance to a young Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo). If you're under 50, never mind. 


Jose Fernandez (USF head coach) could pass for Andy Kaufman's brother. Google Andy if you don't know who he is and enjoy the videos. A great comedian gone way too soon.   


1st half
Runs dominated the first 10 minutes of the first half. 


DePaul started out gangbusters with a 11-0 run to start the game over the first 3 1/2 minutes. South Florida responded with a 17-4 run to take a 17-15 lead after an Inga Orekhova  jumper. It's was DePaul's turn...their 10-2 run had it 25-19 Blue Demons with 9:47 left. The two played fairly even after that...DePaul maintaining a 40-34 lead at the break. Anna Martin with 17 already and Katherine Harry eight points and seven grabs. Jasmine Wynne and "The Russian rocket" Orekhova (12 points) trying to keep the Bulls in it. They're without starter Sasha Bernard, who suffered an ACL injury near the end of last night's game against Pitt. 


DePaul ruling the boards, it's a Bonita Spence refereeing crew...so it's being called tight. South Florida has a lot of work to do if they want to advance. 


GAME ONE: 

WEST VIRGINIA 63 - SYRACUSE 48


2nd half
Syracuse was getting better play out of Alexander and Hemingway to start the half but West Virginia continued to rule inside. It was 41-25 after three minutes. Iasha Hemingway left the game for the locker room with 15:50 to go and returned to bench with her left thigh wrapped in ice. The 'Cuse tried to chip away at the WVU lead and did get within eight at 45-37 and 8:57 left...but would get no closer the rest of the way. Hemingway did return to the game with 3:54 left...but the Mountaineers held a 10 point lead at the time and led by 17 late before settling for the 15 point win. Too much Dunning and Bussie for "Q" to deal with...he reached a melancholy state late and just stared  at the court in dismay and disappointment. The "Eers" get Georgetown tomorrow. 


1st half
Syracuse struck first and went up 4-0 but the Mountaineers responded with a 13-2 run. Fouls plaguing the Orange...Alexander and Leary with three and Hemingway with two in the first twenty. The Orange got it back to within four with 3:27 to go at 25-21...but the Mountaineers went on a 7-0 run to end the half. Score: West Virginia 32-Syracuse 21. 


-"Q" is back, working the refs (Bob Enterline and Kathy Lynch) with his old fervor. Best facial expressions in the BIG EAST....and a classic head-down-on-the-scorer's-table- move. Well played, sir! 
- Good TV crew today...Beth Mowins, Brooke Weisbrod and Allison Williams. Thank goodness! IF I would have had to hear yesterday's guy quip "No" after a missed shot one more time...I would have had to smash the lap-top over my Denny Crum bobble-head
-Kayla Alexander scoreless after twenty
-West Virginia pounding the 'Cuse zone inside. Bussie and Dunning gettin' busy.


 High seed looks safe, so far...but twenty more to go. 


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(For a full update of yesterday's first round BIG EAST action...check out Friday's column. It's long...so be prepared.)


BIG EAST DAY 1 RESULTS:


#12 Syracuse 57 - #13 Providence 47
#9 USF 60 - #16 Pittsburgh 59
#10 Villanova 61 - #15 Seton Hall 60
#14 Marquette 54 - #11 Cincinnati 51


(The Day 1 Pick 'Em results are over on the left hand side of the site...at the very top.)




Cards need to step up the defense pressure tonight.
Here comes Nova. Darn lucky to advance to Day 2 of BIG EAST tournament action...but sometimes luck is an essential part of the game. They overcame a Seton Hall 13-point first half leaf and eight-point lead late in the second half to win by one over an inspired Jasmine Crew and the Pirates.


Tonight's game will be shown locally on WHAS - Channel 432 and 11.2.   They're saying the broadcast will start at 7 p.m. The game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. according to the Big East official site. Typical mis-communication between the BIG EAST and the media. Stanley...meet Ollie.


Sara Nagger, BIG EAST Director of Communication, stepped in a pile of it yesterday when she introduced superb Syracuse star and All BIG EAST selection Kayla Alexander as Kayla Anderson yesterday in the post-game presser. The look between Alexander and Iasha Hemingway after the flub was...priceless. Alexander is a All-BIG EAST 1st team selection. Might want to get to know her, "Snagger"...


Can't wait to see what she does with Shoni, Becky and Jeff tonight after the game. We're going with Shoni Stewart, Becky Brewer and Jeff Walden....


LOUISVILLE v VILLANOVA  


You know what the Wildcats try to do. Take the air out of the ball with the patient, 3-point oriented half-court offensive sets.


As I heard commented about them yesterday...


"they're a bunch of disciplined, white, Catholic girls who value each possession and take the speed and fast break elements of basketball and throw them in the garbage can."


Someone else's words...not ours. Villanova does play with more discipline than most teams in the BIG EAST though. They also finished tenth in the BIG EAST. Results may vary.


They do like the 3-pointer and they have a roster full of players who can shoot it. Sweeney, Burford, Kane, Pearson, Roberts can all hurt you. Sweeney is the cog that makes the wheel turn. Seton Hall did a good job of pressuring her last night and she spent a lot of time sitting. 


Paint production will
be essential tonight.
Eerily similar to last year's BIG EAST tournament. Villanova,  a #14 seed, defeats Providence in overtime 52-50. They face #6 seed Louisville in the second round. The Cards prevailed 69-47. We hope for similar results. Missing from that Louisville team from last year are Hines, Reid and Gibbs. The Cards will need the all-around exemplar play of Shoni, the 3-ball frenzy of Burke and Slaughter, the slash and dash mechanics of Smith and the group-hug effort of Dyer, Taylor, Vails and Hammond in the paint...if they wish to take on St. John's on Sunday, Sunday, Sunday. Whatever Shelby and Jude can toss in will be appreciated and accepted.


Louisville defeated the Wildcats 62-58 earlier this season in the KFC YUM! Center. Sophomore Schimmel had 18 in the win, Sweeney 18 for the Wildcats. It was...a slow-down, half-court, plodding type of game. We dread, but expect to see the same tonight at 6 p.m. 


Villanova will be tired after the epic battle against Seton Hall yesterday. We'd love to see the Lady Cards use a fast-break, pressing, transition approach to tonight's game and establish an early lead and build on it. 


It's the BIG EAST tournament, though. Anything is possible.


Villanova's head coach Harry Peretta on tonight's match-up against the Cards.


"Well, I think we have to play smarter. We have to be able to block out and release a little sooner. Use our mental capacity against really good athletes. Sometimes, your physical ability is not enough. You need to have a mental ability to know..like..'Hey, where is this kid going? Maybe I can box you a little sooner' Things like that. Little things that no one really understands."


(Wow. Thanks for that Harry...is it a basketball game or a round-table discussion on economic trends in the 21st. century? Good 'ol Harry. Always thought provoking and cerebral... It's always those little things that get you...right?)
  
TV we know of tonight is on WHAS 11.2 and 432 locally. It's also on the BIG EAST Channel. You can access it on your computer. 


WE'LL also have halftime and second half summations of all four games tonight, just like yesterday. Plus, a full report on the UofL game. Keep checking back with CARDINAL COUPLE throughout the day to get the knowledge...


Link below for BIG EAST TV.
BIG EAST TV

(We have a summation of the results of DAY ONE in the Pick 'Em contest over on the left side of the site for you. The staff chimps went over the entries, laughing hysterically at times and covering each submission in banana pudding and feeding them to Bill the Goat.)




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Louisville Softball improved to 13-0 yesterday in the Tennessee Classic with a 10-1 romp over Middle Tennessee State University. Tori Collins went the distance, allowing just four hits and fanning five. 


Tori Collins goes to 7-0 with the
four-hit shutout.

The Blue Raiders got on the board first in the top of the second inning on a solo homer blast by Kelsey Woodruff. That just woke up the sleeping Red and Black giant.  

The Cards got home runs from Taner Fowler, Alicja Wolny and Whitney Arion in the bottom of the second to go up 4-1. Louisville added three more runs next inning. Katie Keller reached on a fielder's choice. She scored on a Wolny double. Katelyn Mann singled home Wolny. Fowler singled and scored to make it 7-1 Lady Cards.


Fowler went 3-3 yesterday
with a homer.
The Lady Cards added their final three runs in the fourth. Jennifer Esteban singled and Kristin Austin beat out a infield hit. Keller drove both home with a double and scored on a Fowler infield single. 


The Cards were originally scheduled to play the Dutch National Team also yesterday. Don't know what happened there...but the MTSU game's start was delayed two hours because of weather. We're guessing it got scratched because of weather. The Tennessee official softball site shows five games today and five Sunday. Louisville is scheduled for Memphis today, no game against Tennessee as previously scheduled and Boston University on Sunday.


The Cards face Memphis today at 5:30 p.m. 


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The Louisville lacrosse match against Denver was cancelled yesterday because of impending weather concerns. And, it got nasty out there later in the day, so...a good call based on player and spectator safety concerns. 
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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lady Cards hold on to defeat 'Nova 62-58

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GAME REPORT

-Free throws down the stretch, Asia Taylor lead LADY CARDS

Louisville used 8-8 free throw shooting in the final 36 seconds and a strong half from junior Asia Taylor (12 points and nine rebounds) to defeat Villanova 62-58 in front of 10680 Saturday afternoon  in the KFC YUM! Center.

The Cards rallied from a 42-36 deficit with 9:52 left in the game to take a 46-44 lead on a Shoni Schimmel three with 7:37 remaining and trailed only once the rest of the way. A Taylor jumper with 3:50 left gave the Cards the lead for good at 49-48.

STARTERS: Vails, Shoni, Burke, Taylor and Smith.

Louisville led early 2-0 after Bria Smith hit the opening shot with a minute and a half gone but soon found themselves on the short end of a 7-4 score at the first media timeout. The Lady Cards trailed 11-4 before Bria Smith's two free throws stopped the Nova run.

If the first half resembled a funeral dirge...credit it to the aggressive defense employed by each team. 21-21 after 20. Neither team over 30% shooting and 13 turnovers between the two squads.

This early version of the Cardinal Bird is probably what
kept me away from Freedom Hall as a child. Scary bird !
Something was needed to wake the crowd and the game up and maybe it was the en masse serenade of "Happy Birthday" to Louie the Cardinal Bird at halftime.

(The picture of Louie here is in no way representative of today's version.)

The Cards ran off five straight points to start the second half...thanks to a Becky Burke 3 and Taylor jumper....but the Wildcats cut it back to one. After a Sara Hammond free-throw made it 33-32 Villanova...the Wildcats ran off with seven of the next nine points to lead 40-34 when Laura Sweeney hit a layup.

The Cards were ten minutes away from the buzzer but far from looking like a team determined to win. 

It got better, though. Schimmel, Smith and a Taylor "plus one" put it to 42-41 'Nova. Smith's jumper with 8:19 to go gave Louisville a 43-42 lead. The teams went back and forth until the 3:50 mark...when Asia put the Lady Cards ahead to stay with a jumper at 49-48. A nifty pass from Taylor to Dyer for a basket had Louisville breathing a little easier at 53-48 with 1:49 left.

That set up the strong finish from Taylor and Shoni...who accounted for all but nine of the Cards final 28 points. Two Burke free throws made it 62-58 with two seconds left and a desperation three by Megan Pearson rimmed out as time expired.

Louisville was led by Shoni's 18. Also in double figures were Taylor (14), Burke (11) and Smith (10). High for the Wildcats was Sweeney with 18...the only double figure scorer. 

Louisville goes to 17-4 on the season and 6-2 in the BIG EAST with the win. At times, it was painful to watch when the Cards were on defense...since Villanova runs some very disciplined sets to free open shooter. Sweeney and Lindsay Kimmel used these to perfection at times. If Sweeney had fared better than 9 of 19 shooting, we may have had to change the title on today's blog.

Nevertheless, it's a "W" and each one of those the Lady Cards can gain is so important the rest of the way out. One that was far from decided in the final minutes.

WHAT WE LIKED

- Taylor tenacity. We loved the energy level and athleticism the junior displayed tonight on both ends of the court. She drove with confidence through the clogged Villanova paint and got hoops or free throw attempts. She was one rebound away from a double-double. Like we mentioned earlier today, you never really know which "big" for Louisville will step up. Today it was Asia...who had 14 of the "bigs" 23 points.

-Bria on board. A double-double for the freshman tonight with 10 points and ten rebounds. Add three steals to the stat-line and an impressive outing for the freshman. 4 of 15 shooting isn't the best effort and two blown, wide open layups weren't "Sportscenter" moments but...she's just a freshman, folks. An impact one at that.

Dyer drives for two (photo by Charlie Springer-Card game)
-Burke bombs away. Three for eight from the perimeter tonight and none of them came easily. A team that shoots the three frequently, like Villanova...gets a lot of practice guarding it and Becky nailed some tough ones tonight.

THINGS TO IMPROVE ON:

-Consistency. Louisville appeared to be on the verge of making sizable runs on Nova several times tonight...but a few missed shots here, a turnover there, lax defense or careless passes allowed the Wildcats to creep back into it. Consistency...it's what makes Notre Dame and UConn what they are. It comes with experience. The Lady Cards are getting there...

-Free throw shooting. Although Louisville did sink their final eight
attempts...several one and the bonus attempts went unfulfilled earlier in the second half that could have put the Cards in a bit more comfortable lead as the game got down to crunch time. Louisville 17-24 for a respectable 70.8%. Villanova a white hot 12-13 and 92.3%

The Lady Cards head to DePaul next for a Tuesday night matchup. A game that has interesting implications with DePaul's strong front line play. A team with a true center. One that will start the second half of the BIG EAST season. A big test in the BIG EAST.

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Lady Cards WBB today at 2 p.m. to be shown locally

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SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

-Louisville and Villanova...by the numbers.

-Spencer sets new UofL record in 600m

-Watson is headed this way...

Lachlan will not do
today's broadcast and
probably not mention
the game on his
Monday show...
The Lady Cards and Villanova meet for the eighth time in history today in the KFC YUM! Center. Louisville is 7-0 in the series. The two met twice last year...Louisville winning in Philly 64-59 and in Hartford in the second round of the BIG EAST Tournament 69-47. 
Deener has the TV call of today's
game on WHAS.


The match-up tips off at 2 p.m. and will be shown locally on WHAS TV. Drew Deener will handle the play-by-play and fight Lachlan McClain bare-chested and bare-knuckled at halftime on the Denny Crum Court. (Just kidding...a little local feud going on between those two sports talk hosts.).

Louisville is 8-0 at home this year. 21-2 lifetime in the KFC YUM! Center. Tennessee beat them and who else? First person to e-mail us at cardinalcouple@insightbb.com with the correct answer gets a Panera Card. We'll see who our 'early birds' are out there (no pun intended, Drew...).  OK...we have a winner. Cardinal Ed e-mailed the correct response (Georgetown)...narrowly beating out K.Starks and a couple other of you. Thanks for participating!

OTHER STATSTICS YOU'LL FORGET BY TIP-OFF:

LOUISVILLE                                                 VILLANOVA

16-4                             Record                       13-7
.439                              FG%                          .398
.324                            3-pt. FG%                    .337
.712                              FT%                          .740
.353                            Opp. FG%                   .372
.285                        Opp. 3-pt. FG%              .287
.625                            Opp. FT%                   .714
42.7                             Reb. Avg                    33.5
+5.4                          Reb. Margin                -2.9
13.5                          Assists/game                 14.8
19.4                        Turnovers/game             12.1
10.5                          Steals/game                  6.6
4.8                           Blocks/game                  3.4
72.2                         Points/game                  58.8
59.7                     Points allowed/game         53.3

The folks in the KFC YUM! will celebrate Louie the Cardinal Bird's birthday today...so we'll probably get to see the annual mascot game at half-time. Always a highlight of the season.

During the actual game...look for Louisville to try and accelerate the pace and score off the press and transition against the Wildcats. If 'Nova has their way...they'll take the air out of the ball and try to turn it into a half-court contest...keeping the score in the 50's.

See you out there. Don't forget Louie's present. Bird seed is always a good choice.

We'll have a full report of the action later today.

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Congrats to UofL women's track team dynamo Ahlivia Spencer for setting a new Cardinal record in the 600 meters at the Indiana Relays. She covered the distance in 1:21.65. That's flying! Some good runners up there...she finished eighth in the race.

Charachesica Lockhart won the triple jump and Margret Harris finished 3rd in the 200m trials and won the 60m trials.

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(David Watson is headed to Louisville for today's women's basketball game. We've assigned him a cartoon caricature...since his regular picture kept causing the laptop to freeze up.)

By the time you read this - we'll already be on the road to the "Ville" to watch the Lady Cards play Villanova. Taking the wife and youngest daughter today. We'll hit our favorite pizza place for lunch and then waddle over to the KFC YUM! Center for hoops. Then, to my cousin's for dinner with the family. I'll probably end up buying.

So, how will Louisville do today in their eighth BIG EAST game of the season? I expect nothing but a blowout of epic proportions. Expect to see 12,000 plus in the KFC YUM! Center. Expect to see Shoni drive 'em crazy with the shake, shuffle, slide, shot and sensational passing. Will beg Becky Burke to bombard the basket with beautiful ball tosses from beyond the barrier. Will watch Bria Smith daringly dart down the court dismantling defenses and driving down the baseline dropping deuces, dishing and delivering. 

A weekend game at home. How long has it been? December 10th.? About time. Note to Lady Cards scheduler. More weekend games in the KFC YUM! for 2012-13 please. 

I also hope to see Shelby Harper and Sara Hammond get quality minutes today. Did you realize they have the same initials? I will refer to them as SH-2 from now on. I hope I get to refer to them a lot. 

OK. See you at the YUM. 

( David Watson has been going over the alphabet recently, as witnessed by his alliteration efforts today. Someone stop him before he gets to "X".)
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Friday, January 27, 2012

Nova next for Lady Cards

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FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

-Villanova visits the KFC YUM Saturday

The University of Louisville's women's basketball team closes out the first half of their BIG EAST schedule when the Villanova Wildcats visit Saturday at 2 p.m. The Wildcats are 3-4 in BIG EAST Conference play and 13-7 overall. Last time out, they defeated Cincy 62-53 in the Pavillion in Philadelphia. Lauren Burford had 16 against the Bearcats and Laura Sweeney added 14. It was a "Pack the House" promotion. About 600 showed up to see the Wildcats win.

In BIG EAST play, the Wildcats have also defeated Providence and Pittsburgh. Losses have come against WVU (61-56), Marquette (51-50), UConn (72-49) and Notre Dame (76-43).  

'Nova is led by 6'2" junior forward Laura Sweeney, who averages 15 points a game. Rachel Roberts, a 5'9" junior guard, adds 9.6 points per contest. Burford is a 6'0" red-shirt freshman forward who totals 8.2 each time out. Other starters are Lindsey Kimmel, a 6'0" senior guard and Jesse Carey, a 5'10" junior guard.

Nova plays five off the bench pretty regularly. Devon Kane, Megan Pearson, Emily Lear, Emily Suhey and Taylor Holeman all see double digit playing time as a rule.

Three point threats are Burford and Roberts. The Wildcats don't seem to put the trifecta up as much as in past years...but they did launch 24 against the Bearcats and 15 versus the Irish in their last two games out.

So...another mid-pack BIG EAST team comes into the KFC YUM! looking for a top 25 upset. Louisville will probably run into the "stop Shoni syndrome" again...which didn't work for Georgetown.

KEYS TO THE GAME

--Louisville will look for continued production and prolific performance from Nita Slaughter again. Consistency has been a problem for her this year, but when she's on..she's brilliant.

--BIG Shot Becky will test the Wildcats from the deep. She's been pretty accurate from beyond the stripe this season...good for 3-4 treys a game. Let's hope the home court is where the heart (and the shot) is.

--Battling Bigs. Never know just which one of the centers and forwards will step up and provide the big game inside for this year's edition of Lady Cards. Wouldn't it be great to see Sara, Cierra, Shawnta, Sherrone and Asia all have big efforts?

--Driving Miss Bria. She should have plenty of opportunities to drive the baseline and create the inside scoring or passing opportunities against the Wildcats. Let's hope they're successful trips.

Can't see V.U. coming into the YUM and pulling the upset. Most likely, they'll get back on the plane bearers of a double digit loss to the Cards. We see Louisville getting the win...call it 71-54.
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Monday, February 7, 2011

Commentary on win over Villanova



MONDAY @ CARDINAL COUPLE
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-How important is beating an zero win BIG EAST team?
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-Women's tennis falls to DePaul.
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-No super 'bore' this year.
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The University of Louisville accomplished a goal yesterday that was essential and expected. They knocked off cellar dweller Villanova on the road. The win was expected, why it was essential is because it kept Louisville on pace for at least nine wins in the BIG EAST. Nine wins seems to be the magic number in the mind's of most to gain the NCAA Tournament.
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Asia Taylor (pictured) drew the start, despite the game being played in Becky Burke's home state. And, the sophomore from Columbus, Ohio gave a good account of herself in the minutes she played. You want Asia to do well every time she steps on the court...she's probably the most athletic and physical player in this current flock of Lady Birds and is the only true power forward on the team that isn't injured. Walz has gone with Monique Reid in the spot for most of the season and although she's a great scorer in close and battles on both boards...Taylor in the spot gives Louisville a little more height and rebounding ability. It also frees up Reid to go to a wing...where she can create a little more and also draw a little smaller defensive assignment. No offense to Becky...but if they can get performances the remainder of the games like they got out of Asia Sunday...we wouldn't mind seeing her stay out there for 20+ minutes a game.
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Taylor was key in the 12-0 Louisville run in the first half that broke yesterday's game open. Up by one with 7:32 to go in the first half after a 'Nova 3...Schimmel responded with a three in front of the Wildcats bench. The Cards held on the defensive end and Taylor got her first bucket of the game on a nice driving move to the hoop. Louisville got the ball back and Becky Burke drained a wide open three to give the Cards a nine point advantage. Louisville grabbed a missed Wildcat shot after that and Keisha Hines went strong to the hoops, missing the shot but drawing the foul. She sank both and on the ensuing possession, Taylor stole a pass and drove the length of the court to put in a challenged layup. All of a sudden, Louisville is up by 13 in just a two minute span. It's the only time this year that the Cards have put together a run of 10+ points on the road.
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Sherrone Vails has a nice outside shot...just ask her...but it's seldom seen. A bit of surprise yesterday when she calmly released a jumper from the top of the key and it rang up as a three pointer for her. It gave the Cards their largest lead of the game at 57-34 halfway thru the final half.
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We hoped that we'd get to see the Cardinal bench get a little playing time at the end of the game yesterday and it looked possible when Monique Reid hit a jumper to put the Cards up by 20 with under six minutes to go. The Wildcats ran off six points in a row after that, though, and Walz kept the main players out there for the remainder of the game. Louisville managed only four points in the final 7:25 of the game...Taylor ending the game's scoring with a jumper with a minute and a half to go.
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Got a chance to watch the game on NOVA VISION and we were impressed with the picture quality and camera angles. Listened to the broadcast as well on CARDS RADIO...but the Internet feed encountered some sync problems and Kelch and Sanderford sounded clairvoyant...calling plays and scores seven seconds before the screen showed them. They did get it straightened out for the second half. You really don't realize what an accurate job Kelch does with his play by play call until you listen to it while watching the game. The 'Iron Man' award has to go to Paul Sanderford..who was on the air for the WKU game Saturday and then flew to Philly and did the Louisville game Sunday. We love Sanderford's in-game analysis...and sometimes wonder if Walz is wearing an earpiece and listening to the commentary while coaching. Paul suggests something and the Cards end up doing it quite often in a game.
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Louisville gets a week off now before hosting WVU on Sunday in the KFC YUM. A week off from actual game competition...we're sure the Cards will be hard at work in Cardinal Arena and the practice court inside the downtown arena preparing for the Mountaineers. WVU is 6-4 in the BIG EAST and 20-4 overall. The Mountaineers have slipped a bit from their early season excellence..but they're still an opponent that must be respected and prepared for.
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Louisville women's tennis lost a narrow match to DePaul in Chicago Sunday...falling to the Blue Demons 4-3. Louisville got one win in doubles play...Amelia Harris and Stefanie Villajean winning.
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In singles, Gabi Duncan, Becca Shine and Sonia Bokhari picked up wins. We've never quite understood the scoring in tennis...the Cards actually played three doubles and six singles matches but only seven counted. Kind of like playing nine innings in softball but only counting seven... in our opinion... although there have probably been times when Sandy Pearsall would have accepted the option...
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Pretty exciting end to the pro football season with Green Bay holding off the Steelers late to bring the title back to 'title' town. We're happy for Packer and ex-Cardinal Jason Spitz who picked up his first Super Bowl ring as part of the Green Bay offensive line. Tough luck for Pittsburgh's William Gay, the only other Cardinal participating. And, fortunate luck for Sonja, who correctly picked the halftime point total of 31 and won a nice jackpot at the Super Bowl party we attended. Paul was way off with 16. Neither did well with the final score totals...Sonja guessing 63 points and Paul 30.
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Does anyone else out there think Steeler head coach Mike Tomlin looks like Omar Epps...of television's HOUSE and movie fame? And...isn't it time for Terry Bradshaw to retire from broadcasting? Please?
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