SATURDAY @ CARDINAL COUPLE:
LADY CARDS 50 TENNESSEE 63
Anytime you get out-rebounded by 24..it's usually doesn't go so well for you. Despite the Tennessee advantage on the boards, it looked like a game with 7:28 to go. The University of Louisville women's basketball team had rallied from a seven point deficit and after a Becky Burke 3...the score was 45-44 Tennessee.
Then someone woke up freshman Meighan Simmons again. She had blistered the Cards for 12 first half points and in a dizzying turn of events...she buried a couple of threes. In slightly over 90 seconds...UT led 55-44. The Vols used the final seven minutes to go on an 18-6 run and Simmons led all scorers with 22 points.
Louisville hung with the Vols a very long time. The Cards led 10-7 after eight minutes. Tennessee went on a 14-4 run over the next four minutes to lead 21-14...but Louisville roared back and cut it to two at 23-21. The Vols took a 31-26 lead into the locker room at the half but the 22,124 fans in attendance (a UofL and Big East women's basketball record) weren't about to give up on Walz's bunch.
Monique Reid led the Cards with 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a heroic effort to keep the Cards close. In the end, though...Louisville had no answers for the play of Simmons and the gigantic interior of Tennessee.
Some post game comments:
(Pat Summitt on the game)
"Obviously, the was a very good learning experience for us. There is no doubt about this Louisville team. they are tough minded and very well coached. We had our hands full the entire game."
(Summitt on Louisville getting within one point in the second half)
"We knew we had to defend and get the ball inside. I thought our post game stepped up and our defense did too."
(Jeff Walz on opening the new arena)
"It just a fanstastic thing and it's wonderful to be a part of it. A sellout crowd of 22,oo0 plus. The retiring of Angel McCoughtry's jersey. There were a lot of great things that went on tonight. Unfortunately, the score wasn't very great."
(Walz on the Cards rallying several times)
"We've got a very talented group. There's no doubt we have some players that are very good. We have more offensive weapons than we had last year. It makes a difference when you have a variety of players that can score. "
Angel McCoughtry's jersey hangs over section 306 in the KFC YUM Arena now....after a pregame ceremony that paid tribute to the greatest Lady Card basketball in the history of the University of Louisville. In attendance with her were her parents and family... Angel talked after the game about wishing she could have had the opportunity to play in the new arena and feels that this current Cardinal team is going to be very successful. Angel spoke to the team before the game and was up leading cheers behind the south endzone basket during most of the game. Wouldn't expect anything else out of #35...Cardinal true and through.