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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cards play first of three on the road against UC tonight


-UC, Louisville open BIG EAST play tonight

-Tennessee outlasts Rutgers

#13 Lady Cards open the 2011-12 BIG EAST Conference campaign with a trip to Cincinnati tonight. The Cards are coming off a 92-27 romp over Gardner - Webb...UC a loss on the road to Marshall.

Cierra Warren, the
Cards leading
Louisville (8-2) is led in scoring by senior Monique Reid, who is averaging 14.6 points a game. The Lady Cards have three others in double figures...Shoni Schimmel (13.5), Becky Burke (11.7) and freshman Bria Smith (10.9). Schimmel leads the Cards in assists (5.1 a game) and Cierra Warren is the leader in rebounding through 10 games.

Shoni needs to perform her wizardry
tonight in Cincinnati
With the probability of the Bearcats starting four guards most of the season, will Jeff Walz tinker with the starting lineup from the Gardner Webb game? Walz started Shoni, Smith, Warren, Burke and Asia Taylor last time out. Although we doubt Walz will bring senior forward Reid into the starting five mix, he could possibly call on one of his reserve guard tonight to begin the contest to replace Taylor and give the Cards quickness to match that of the Bearcats. Maybe a Schimmel/Schimmel beginning?

Louisville has produced both of their losses on the road this Texas A&M and Kentucky. In both contests, the opponents used huge first half runs to put the Cards at a deficit that they could not overcome. A fast start would be beneficial to the Louisville squad tonight...UC likes a little slower pace and works the half court set when they can.

This is a real bearcat

Rebounding and blocking out have been the prime objectives of the coaching staff and players since the Kentucky loss. Although improvements were noticeable in the win of Gardner Webb, where the Cards enjoyed a 15 rebound advantage over the smaller Bulldogs, the substandard quality of the opponent was a benefit for Louisville. A huge game from center Cierra Warren tonight would be a good step in the objective to get UofL more active in the paint.

This is the mascot version
Although we think Louisville will win tonight's contest, it may not be by the numbers that the Lady Cards handled the Gardner Webb crew. Even though the Bearcats have been a cellar dweller the last few years in BIG EAST conference play, the addition of transfer Daveesha Hollins and guard play from Bjonee Reaves and Kayla Cook have bolstered the UC backcourt and UC probably should have won at Marshall...leading by as many as eleven in the second half before falling to a hot-shooting three point effort by the Thundering Herd...when they sank (6) treys en route to a 55-47 win.

UC holds opponents to 49.5 points per game. We think the Cards will surpass this number...but we're not looking for an 80 or 90 point Cardinal effort. If the Cards can get significant production out of the fearsome foursome of Shoni, Mo, Bria and Becky and Nita Slaughter can continue her re-born outside shooting touch...we can see Louisville winning tonight's contest by 20+...We'll call it 76-56 Lady Cards.

WE'LL HAVE A FULL RECAP FOR THE ACTION LATER TONIGHT HERE AT C.C. and a report from Cincy by contributing writer Sandra Walker...who will be in attendance. Be sure to check out CARDINAL COUPLE shortly after the game for our report, thoughts and analysis.  

April Sykes has evolved from a dirty tactics punk
to a leader of C Viv's squad this year
Exciting action last night in Piscataway, NJ as the Tennessee Vols and Rutgers Scarlet Knights engaged in a back and forth battle in the RAC. UT looked like they were going to blow Rutgers out of the water early...leading by 13 a couple of times in the first half...before a furious Rutgers comeback led by senior April Sykes cut it to five at intermission.

Rutgers gained the lead in the second half, looked like they were poised to spring the upset...but the air went out of the ball for C.Viv Springer's ballers during a eight minute stretch points...Tennessee racing to a 10 point lead and then surviving one last try by the Scarlet Knights to win 67-61.

Rutgers deserves their #10 ranking. Their ferocious "55" defense creates havoc when an opponent tries to advance the ball up the court. They have legit scoring threats in Sykes, Rushdan and Oliver...and a very talented group of freshmen....led by Laney. Still, we wonder why Tennessee kept trying to pound the ball in the middle time and time again when it was closed. Turnover after turnover and deflections. UT has very good outside shooting when Simmons and Spani are "on"...but the Vols seemed content to keep going to the "bigs" with less than desirable results.

Louisville will have their hands full with the Scarlet Knights down the road. They swarm to the boards and rebound well. Sykes can beat you inside and deep. She resorted to cheap shot tactics last year against the Lady Cards in the Rutgers loss in the KFC YUM! Center. This year, her shooting and hustle are doing the talking. Looks like a bit of maturity and senior leadership have been acquired.

And...that should worry Lady Cards fans.

Tonight's game will be on 790 WKRD, or Also, CatsVision will show it live, over at the UC website. You can purchase a monthly subscription for $9.99 to view it.

We're sticking with the radio. Once you purchase one of those subscriptions for another school, they're darn hard to get rid of. We did it once last year to
watch Louisville play Villanova. Three months later, we were finally able to get it cancelled (they automatically renew it and charge your credit card) and eventually saw a refund.

We'll just spend the $9.99 on pizza and listen to the excellent call from the Cards Matt Andrews on play-by-play and A.J. with her impeccable analysis and commentary. Listening to Matt call a game on the radio is almost as good as having front row seats for the contest and he and A.J. are worlds better than some of the radio crews we've heard at other college campuses.

1 comment:

  1. Louisville in for a surprise tonight when UC beats them.

    Carl the Destoyer


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