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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Manual wins LIT, Cardinal Win Dissected


-Manual wins Girls LIT.

-Louisville win was "by the numbers"

-David Watson weighs in on the win.

Becky Burke and Shoni Schimmel get the last laugh in the 11 point Cardinal win over Rutgers Saturday night in the KFC YUM Center. They're probably not chuckling about the Lady Cards 6-26 effort from 3 point range, though. Schimmel and Tia Gibbs were 5-20...but hit when it mattered for the Cards...who are now 5-3 lifetime against the Scarlet Knights.


Led by a balanced team effort, Stacy Pendleton's Louisville Manual girls basketball squad captured the Republic Bank LIT at Bellarmine Saturday night. The Crimsons held off a late Mercy Academy run to emerge victorious 48-46. Manual's Mechael Guess was named MVP of the tournament and April Wilson took the defensive player of the tournament for Manual. They led by double digits early in the second half before Mercy made a game of it late.

To reach the finals, Manual had to withstand a tough battle from Sacred Heart in the semis. Guess's 20 points were the deciding factor in a 53-51 win over SHA. Monica McCreal had 18 for the Valkyries...Morgan Clemons added 13 points and 13 boards in the narrow defeat.

In the other semifinal game, Mercy upended Boone County 75-68...Whitney Hartlage getting 16 for the Jags and Julianne Miller adding 12. Boone County's Sydney Moss showed why she is the best junior in the state with 21 points. Mercy outscored Boone County 25-12 in the 4th.


( Jeff Walz pictured here in his Tony
from 'Saturday Night Fever' gear
prepares to talk to the BIG EAST
announcers after the Louisville win.
He didn't dance, as far as we know.)
Some interesting numbers from the Louisville v. Rutgers matchup. WE figured here at CARDINAL COUPLE that Louisville would get destroyed on the boards...but Rutgers and Louisville finished with 27 rebounds each. WE also thought that Rutgers would punish Louisville from inside the paint. Not so...Chelsey Lee and Monique Oliver combined for only 12 points...Louisville front line starters Monique Reid and Keisha Hines were good for 21 points.

WE'RE not sure why Rutgers abandoned the inside game late and went to the 3 point attack...but it didn't work for them...they went scoreless for nearly ten minutes and missed six threes in that period of time. They were 5-11 from the deep before the slump.

Louisville forced Rutgers into 23 turnovers, while committing only 11. The Scarlet Knights committed 15 fouls while Louisville was whistled for only eight. WE'RE proud of Keisha Hines...only two fouls in 29 minutes. WE are distressed by this particular officiating crew's obsession with calling 'travelling' though...I know Rutgers got whistled for it a least 10 times and Louisville close to that. Not a familiar crew either, in terms of working Louisville games in the YUM Center. Maybe the crowd of 15,000 + got to them....

We saw a Cincinnati team play only seven against Louisville last week and C. Viv. Stringer followed suit...putting only seven Scarlet Knights on the court against the Cards. It is obvious that Rutgers misses guard Nikki Speed, out with an injury, but Rutgers looked tired and worn out at the end of the game last night. Jeff Walz trotted out nine Lady Cards in the win.

Rutgers shot a respectable 51.4% for the game (18-35) but cooled off from a blistering first half where they went 11-17..finishing 7-18 in the final twenty minutes. Louisville ended up 20-53 (37.7%)...picking up the pace in the final stanza with a 13-27 effort (48.1%) after starting with an ice cold 7-26 (26.9%) in the first twenty minutes.

Louisville's four freshmen that played accounted for 22 points, seven rebounds, five turnovers and no steals. Walz used the bench for only 34 of the 200 possible player minutes in the game.

(David Watson, special correspondent to CARDINAL COUPLE, offers his always frank and sometimes entertaining views on LADY CARDS Hoops. He discusses the Rutgers win.)
First of all, let me get this out of the way. I no longer consider C.Vivian Stringer the enemy. And , I offer a hearty apology if I upset any Rutgers (or Louisville) fans with my assessment of her in a previous column here at CARDINAL COUPLE. Instead, I feel bad for the esteemed Coach this Sunday morning. For 30 minutes yesterday, her Scarlet Knights took the fight to a Louisville squad that couldn't seem to climb the final hill and see the view from the top of the scoring mountain. Then, the wheels fell off the bus. The Cards rolled over the hill, jumped on the bobsled and enjoyed a merry ten minute downhill ride through the Scarlet Knight snowbank. 17-0 hurts. Especially when you see shot after shot from downtown Louisville clang off the rim and the ball fall into the opponent's hands. Not even Bill Murray in 'Groundhog Day' had it this bad.
And it is the shot selection that baffles me here. Rutgers wasn't doing a bad job getting inside and pummelling Louisville's front line. They scored their first three baskets of the second half in the paint and Louisville appeared to have no answer to Chesley Lee or Monique Oliver down low.
Maybe it was three straight threes made by April Sykes and Erica Wheeler after that, pushing the Scarlet Knights into a 3 point lead, that effected the change in offensive philosophy. A Hindenburg decision...I've seen toddlers toss their stuffed animals into the toy bin with more accuracy than the futile effort that occurred after the 11:00 minute mark.
Rutgers will recover. They'll take the fight to St John's Tuesday night and win. Speaking of fights...what in the world was April Sykes trying to prove near the end of last night's contest?
Frustration over the loss, sure...I get that...but to risk injuring Louisville's leading scorer with a
uncalled for, cowardly shove is strictly ghetto, no class b.s. She deserves suspension, disciplinary action at the very least, but it'll probably go unpunished. Hey April, just scream out an obscenity next time or stand there sullenly. Then again, she's from Starksville, Mississippi. That explains a lot. Good game, poor game ending response. I'll wait for the public apology that won't come.
So, call it a Louisville win that wasn't a high scoring, up and down the court track meet but still a convincing display that the Cards do know the definition of 'defense' and the term 'get the ball to Monique Reid...Shoni !!'. A win I fully expected, being in the KFC YUM! Center and all. Put this one in the 'RAC' on Rutgers campus and the Scarlet Knights probably double digit the Cards. Nevertheless, CARDS WIN, CARDS WIN and it's one more notch on the pistol handle and one more payback delivered by Reid and company. 15,000 plus for women's college hoops. Possibility City, indeed.


  1. Congradulations to Dupont Manual girls basketball team for winning the LIT! I figured that Mercy would win by SIX, but I was wrong. Also, congrats to Manual players Guess & Wilson.
    Too bad the 7th Region can only send one team to the State Tournament and not THREE!@*#!

    The Cards R Back N Town...and The KFC YUM!Center! Now if we can beat Georgetown and get some road wins, we could possibly get a seeding opposite UConn in the BigEast Tourney.

    I'm still hoping to see a jumpshot developed soon for Monique, it would really make her awesome against the BIG GIRLS! And for Burke and Gibbs to develope a shot with the ball, and not just waiting to shoot a three. YES! CONGRATS TO KESHIA know what for!
    Go Cards!

  2. The month of February will roar in like a Lion and end like a lamb...pardon the March reference. Georgetown will be a test...but Rutgers did beat them earlier and things get easier for once on a road trip after that against 0 for BIG EAST Villanova. West Virginia visits Louisville after that, difficult but not impossible. Then it's a trip to Syracuse...if Louisville can go 2-2 in this sequence, WE'LL take it. A trip to USF follows, then DePaul and Seton Hall come to the YUM. The regular season ends for Louisville at Providence. We think Louisville can go 3-1 in this four game stretch and finish the BIG EAST regular season as high as 10-6. A tough month anyway you look at it...but after going 4-3 in January...the Cards should be used to battling each night.

  3. Hi Cardinal Couple,
    I'm visting your website from Oregon and will be on the Lady Cards bandwagon during the Schimmel era (been following her since early high school).
    First, great web site you have here - both informative (stuff I haven't been able to find anywhere else) and entertaining -keep it up! Good analysis by Dr. Watson. I finally got to watch a game (streaming ESPN3), and Walz totally out-coached Stringer; I don't know what she was thinking in the 2nd half. Hope I can make it to a regular season game at the Bucket and pick up a "You Got Schimmel'd" sign. Best, PDX Phil (I don't know how to change my name from anonymous.)

  4. Thanks for checking in, Phil. We're awfully proud and lucky to have Shoni here in Louisville and hope her sister Jude decides to folow in her big sister's footsteps.

    Anonymous is fine...or you can sign up for Google and follow with Google Friend Connect and get your own avatar and screen name. Either way, thanks for the words. We hope you make it to the KFC YUM! Center...its a blast!


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