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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

DePaul vs. Lady Cards tonight in YUM Center


-Blue Demons come to the YUM

-Softball this weekend

-Pitino's Hoopsters throttle the Scarlet Knights.
-Marion County begins Sweet Sixteen quest.

Big time matchup tonight at 7 p.m. in the KFC YUM Center between Doug Bruno's DePaul Blue Demons and the Lady Cards. DePaul (25-3, 12-1) is currently ranked 7th in this week's Associated Press poll and has already secured a two game bye in the upcoming BIG EAST Tournament in Hartford. Louisville (17-10, 8-5) is 11-2 in the KFC YUM Center on the season and will be looking for their fourth win in the last five games. Sheronne Vails (pictured above) is one of many Cardinals who will need to pick up their game if Louisville is to succeed against the Blue Demons.

DePaul can attack an opponent from many angles. They're led by Keisha Hampton's 15.5 points per game...but have Sam Quigley, Deidre Naughton, Anna Martin, Felicia Chester registering double figure scoring as well. They have won 12 of their last 13 and are 4-1 on the road during the streak. So far, only Connecticut has managed to put an "L" on them in BIG EAST play.

Louisville will try to counter with the scoring punch of Monique Reid and Shoni Schimmel. Both average over 15 points a game and are augmented by the strong outside shooting of Becky Burke and overall hustle of Tia Gibbs. The Cardinals also get extensive play from freshmen Sherrone Vails, Antonita Slaughter and sophomore Asia Taylor. Louisville's rebounding is led by Keisha Hines, the lone senior in the regular rotation.

The Cards expect an up-tempo, "who needs a shot clock?" type of game against DePaul. The Blue Demons average 76.8 points a game...the "Ville" checks in at 72.1 per performance. WAZOO Sports will cover the televised contest locally and the game will also be available on WKRD 790 AM/101.7 FM Cards Radio. Sometimes you can also get the feed at but we've heard that it is hit or miss over there.

Sonja sees it:

Defense. On two levels. The Cards will need their best defense effort of the season to stop the freight train that is DePaul. Louisville must go to the boards with aggression, block out and get back after missed shots on their end if they are to stay competitive in tonight's game. Also, defense in the aspect of being able to be productive against the stifling defense that the Blue Demons throw at opponents. No 1-17's by Schimmel and Reid has to take an active part in the half court set. Burke will need to be more than a spot up 3 point shooter and the combination of Hines, Vails and Taylor have to contest every missed shot on both ends of the court. It must be a 40 minute effort of intensity, pressure and smart play making by Coach Walz's players tonight and...if he has to go deep into his bench...Slaughter, Tay, Harper and Vails will need to show they can contribute. Louisville has risen to the task against several higher ranked opponents this season. This game is winnable for the Cards if they listen and perform the game plan and instructions that the Louisville coaching staff lays out for them. If not, it could turn into an embarrassing mismatch. I see it as a close, hard fought battle that Louisville will have a chance to win late...if the Schimmel and Reid show can stay focused, centered and effective.

We'll have post-game coverage here at CARDINAL COUPLE tonight after the contest.


Softball returns to Ulmer Stadium this weekend with the Red and Black Tournament beginning Friday. Three days of ball versus bat, starting off with a double-header for the Cards...SIU-Edwardsville at 1 p.m. and Boston University at 3 p.m. CARDINAL COUPLE will have full reports on each contest and we're trying to get down on campus today for a look at practice and possibly some player quotes. Louisville (5-5) has faced a brutal weekend tournament schedule so far this season...going against the likes of #5 Texas and #3 Alabama...and the Cards are no doubt quite happy to be back in the friendly confines of Ulmer.
This weekend should give fans a great look and insight into how the young Cardinal pitching staff will fare the rest of the season and also showcase the potent Cardinal slugging crew of Bemis, Trimble, Wolny, Ruckenbrod and Wherry. Admission is free to Cardinal softball games...make plans to spend a few hours with the girls this weekend...

A nice start to the Louisville vs. Rutgers hoops game last night in Piscataway, NJ with Louisville sprinting out to a 17-2 start in the 55-37 win. Three 3-pointers each for Preston Knowles, Kyle Kuric and Mike Marra. Louisville kept the Scarlet Knights to their lowest point total in four years. A great way to spend a birthday evening for the 'big guy' and thanks to the buddies and pals who made sure that the 'cup runneth over' and the wings were plentiful...Also, thanks to all that sent birthday messages via Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and such.
Remember, Sonja's birthday is Thursday. Show her the same love.
Marion County began district Girls high school play by demolishing Campbellsville 95-19. Isn't there some kind of 'mercy' rule available in cases like this? You don't want your players (at least on the winning squad) to change their style of play...but couldn't the game be speeded up by letting the clock run continuously or stopping a game if the lead gets over 60 or 70? Look out, Kentucky High School girls' comes M.C.H.S.
Other examples from last night that lead to our conclusion that a "mercy" rule needs to be implemented:
Butler 86- Evangel 5
Sacred Heart 72 - Waggener 21
Central 88 - St. Francis 37
Bowling Green 78 - Warren Central 16
St. Henry 72 - Lloyd Memorial 22
Newport Central Catholic 67 - Bellevue 21
Jackson County 71 - Onedia Baptist 16
Have you ever played in a contest where you were just simply outclassed, outmanned and had no way to prevent the opponent from pretty much scoring whenever they wanted to? It's no fun, it's tough to keep your mind in the game and after just get pretty discouraged and wish it would end. C'mon KHSAA...come up with a "mercy rule". Once an opponent goes up by 50...keep the clock running continuously. 60+ and blow the whistle and end it.

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