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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Second half rally leads Lady Cards past WSU 75-71


-Shawnta Dyer with 16 in "cardiac" Cardinal comeback

-Stats and analysis of the game

What a night...

Andrews switched
to cell phone after the
feed died.
Gametracker was freezing up, WKRD lost the radio feed and Matt Andrews ended up calling the final minute of the game on his cell phone back to the station in Louisville...but the Cards created even more excitement (and frustration) than that by rallying over the last six minutes to beat the Cougars by five.

A bizarre ending to this one tonight. WSU's Sage Romberg nailed a three with 12.9 seconds left to cut the Louisville lead to 73-71...but a WSU foul on Shawnta Dyer and subsequent technical foul on WSU's coach June Daughtery for calling a timeout with none left gave Louisville a chance for four free throws with 3.3 seconds remaining.

Shoni Schimmel cashed in on the technical shots to make it 75-71 but Dyer missed hers and then a foul was called on Jude Schimmel with 0.3 on the clock...putting WSU at the line. Fortunately, they missed and the Cards had survived a nail-biter. Here's the rest of the wild night in Pullman...

CARDINAL STARTERS: Asia Taylor, Shoni Schimmel, Bria Smith, Sherrone Vails and Becky Burke. The same starting line for the last three games now.
Burke saddled up and nailed a few threes when the
Cards needed them...
Louisville took the early lead on a Becky Burke putback and after a Schimmel jumper, the Cards led 4-0 at the 18:26 mark. Following a Cougar three...Louisville ran off eight straight points to lead 11-3 when Cierra Warren connected inside with 15:53 left in the first half.

It was the largest Cardinal lead until late in the second half.

The Cougars rallied with a 7-0 run to cut it to 11-10. Louisville countered with a 8-4 run and a Shoni layup had the Cards enjoying a 19-14 lead with 11:03 left in the first twenty. 
Romberg hit a big three late

Then, the wheels fell off. WSU ran off seven straight to take their first lead at 8:57 when Ireti Amojo sank a three to make it 21-19. After the two teams traded baskets, WSU took off again with seven straight and held a 30-23 advantage with 4:07 left. That increased to 35-25 with 1:28 remaining...Antonita Slaughter sank a free throw with 54 seconds to create a halftime score of 35-26 Cougars.

Louisville had managed just three points in the final 6:38 of play.

Play that had been delayed for five minutes while officials checked a TV monitor to figure out a foul sequence that occurred with 7 minutes to go and ended up assigning a technical foul on WSU's Hannah Potter for elbow swinging. Sure shot Becky Burke went to the line for two...and missed them both.

Dyer a game high 16,
eight each half.
Poor shooting plagued Louisville in the first twenty. They were 11-34 for 32% and a sad 1-10 from three point range. Shawnta Dyer's eight points led the Lady Cards...Burke had five, Shoni and Warren four each, Smith and Vails contributed two each and Slaughter had one.

The Cougars were 14-35 for 40% and an impressive 5-10 from deep. Jazmine Perkins has 12 to lead the WSU assault.

The Cards were lacking energy, passion and needed a spark.

They found it early in the second half from Bria Smith. She scored the first seven points for Louisville but the Lady Cards still trailed 39-33 with 16:47 left in the game. Taylor and Dyer went to work inside over the next couple of minutes...still, it was WSU 46-38 at the 13:05 mark. Louisville was
needing a spurt...and they found it in Jude Schimmel.

After two Bria Smith free throws, Jude got free on fast breaks and hit two consecutive layups. The Cards were within two. Cierra Warren tied it at 46-46 but WSU forged back ahead to lead 50-46 with 10 to go. Who would step up next for Louisville?

It was Becky Burke. Back to back threes by "Bigshot" gave the Lady Cards a 52-50 advantage. Then, up 54-51...Louisville head coach Jeff Walz gets a technical for protesting a foul. Three free throws tied it at 54-54. WSU snuck back ahead 57-55 but Warren hits a jumper...starting a 10-0 Louisville run, aided by threes from Shelby Harper and Burke, to lead 65-57 after Dyer connected on two free throws. She had 14 points, the Lady Cards were up by eight and 4:41 remained.

This one was far from over, though. WSU cut it to 65-60. Then, radio communication died and Sonja went scrambling to the laptop to access GAMETRACKER while I listened to the Cardinal Fight Song about a dozen times on WKRD. (They REALLY need to get a better version of that to play when their fixing glitches and gremilns...). We were able to piece things together slowly. The Cards were up 69-65, thanks to four points from Shoni. Then 69-66. Then GAME TRACKER froze up.

An anxious moment later, it started again and the voice of Matt Andrews crackled back over the radio. 71-68 Cards. Dyer gets loose on a fast break (I think he said...) 73-68. Romberg bombs a three. 73-71. He's calling the game on his cell phone and it sounds like the game is being played in a bar...

And, then the wild chain of events that we described in the opening paragraphs ended it. 75-71. Cards win, Cards win!

Dyer led the Lady Cards with 16, followed by Shoni and Burke with 14 points. Smith hit double figures also with 11. Warren finished with eight, Jude and Shelby four each, Vails two and Slaughter and Taylor one each. Sara Hammond played but did not score. Monique Reid's left knee will be evaluated again when the Lady Cards return to Louisville. She sat out this one.

For WSU, 22 from Ireti Amojo and 19 out of Perkins led the way.


Let's not underestimate this Cougar team and the hard effort they gave last night. They beat BIG EAST member Marquette earlier in the season. They fell just short against Gonzaga, who knocked off Georgia last night. Their match-up zone was effective on bottling up Shoni for most of the game and they did have nine steals. Perkins and Amojo are quality players that will have some big games against PAC 12 opponents this season.

-Louisville narrowly won the rebounding battle 39-36 last night. A team Lady Card had more than five (Shoni and Warren).

-The Cards cut back on turnovers with only 14. They forced the Cougars into 17. Bria Smith guilty of four - no other UofL player had more than two.

-Louisville's three point efforts improved dramatically in the final twenty minutes...going 4-7. For the game, the Cards were 5-17.

-Missed free throws were a factor...Louisville obtaining only 57% accuracy from the line (16-28). The Cougars slightly better with 16-24 shooting (66.7%)

-Only one player fouled out, and that was WSU guard Tia Presley. Warren picked up four for Louisville.

-Walz played all eleven available for duty...Shoni seeing 38 minutes and Burke 35. Dyer and Smith logged 25 each, Jude 19 and Taylor and Warren with 16 each. Vails saw 10 minutes, Harper seven, Hammond five and Slaughter four.

-2019 watched this one, pretty much evenly divided between Coogs fans and Schimmel/Lady Cards backers. I'm convinced Louisville could draw record numbers to Ice Station Zebra in the South Pole, if Shoni and Jude were playing. 77 penguins, 11 polar bears and a few whales...


-It's not over till we say it's over...Louisville battled back from an early eight point second half deficit to take the lead for good with six minutes left in the game. The eight point advantage with 4:41 left - capping a 10-0 Lady Cards run - was fool's gold, though...the Cougars came back and cut it to three several times and two with 12.9 seconds left. Louisville never relinqushed the lead, though...and took WSU's best efforts and shots.

-Hiya, Harper! Shelby gave Louisville seven key minutes, all in the second half. Her free throw gave Louisville a 55-54 lead after WSU had tied it after
cashing in on free throws after Walz's technical. A Harper three with six minutes left gave the Cards the lead for good. 

-Big shot Becky. Burke's three second half threes all came at critical points in the game. Two in a row erased a four point Cougar lead. Her final of the half put Louisville up by six with 4:56 left. Senior stability and leadership at work.

-Dyer circumstances. WE like the way Shawnta Dyer has stepped up her game on the west coast swing. Louisville needs a dependable "big" to go to and take some of the pressure off Shoni and Becky. With Monique Reid hobbled, looks like Dyer is applying for the job. Hired.


-It's a forty minute game. Louisville appeared very out-of-sync and dis-jointed near the end of the first half. Three points in the final 6:21 of that half very seldom puts a team in a winning position. The Cards need to improve on the continuity and finding someone to step up and prevent lapses like this.

-Again, it's a forty minute game. Louisville had a seemingly sufficient 73-68 lead when Shoni found Dyer with a fast break pass with 21 seconds left. Then, a defensive lapse allows the Cougars' Romberg to nail a three. Louisville has it won when Jude inexplicably fouls Rosetta Adzasu as time expires and the Cards have a 75-71 lead. Two shots from the line. One make and a desperation three on a miss ties this thing. Fortunately, Adzasu misses the first.

The foul was not needed. Freshman error...hopefully, she'll learn from it.

With the win, Louisville improves to 11-2. They'll take a few days off to spend the holidays with family and re-assemble for two-a-days before facing Tenn-Martin next Wednesday. Rest up, ladies. After the break, it gets a whole lot tougher.



  1. WSU barely lost to the Zags who beat Georgia tonite by a buzzer beater. I paid $9.95 for WSU allaccess online streaming for 1 month just for this 1 game lol. WSU moved the ball well, had UL chasn practically that whole 1st half, lota poor passing by UL but adjusted in 2nd half on D. UL missed some easy layups, I mean pt blank. Walz kept rotating, but WSU really depends on their 5 got in foul trouble, maybe tired. Easy shots and missed Ft's UL would won by at least 15, dumb fouls. Idk... UL is tall, get rebounds but missin that INSIDE TOUGHNESS, MUSCLE! POWER! WSU played man, waaaaaaaaaaay out, Shoni I wished would drive and dish or let a floater-less shooting. Vandersloot was great at this, shots aren't fallin' drive drive drive slash slash slash dish or let it float, i said same thing in H.S., idk, what do i know lol. WSU is legit. Thats how it goes sometimes vs good teams.--U23

  2. Shawnta had an excellent game, I am very excited for her. Bria has been the emotional spark this team has been lacking. Without her, this game would not have been won, the energy was just not there. Big time threes from Becky down the stretch, solid minutes by Harper, Shoni distributing the ball. The second half was respectable. They dug deep and got the win on what has to have been the end of an exhausting semester with all the travel. I know our girls are bound to be road weary. A well deserved Holiday break is in order. I wish them all safe travels home, and look forward to a less demanding road schedule, but stiffer competition after the first of the year.

    Happy Birthday to Becky Burke today, who also made the B East honor roll. Way to show that senior leadership Becky, athletics AND academics.

  3. A nice birthday present for Burke with the road win. There for the Cards again with three second half threes.

  4. This win may be larger than it first appears. WSU will be a top four team in the PAC 12 if they play their conference schedule as tough as they played Louisville last night

  5. First, let me say the lost connection sucked big time. Right at crunch time!
    Second, let me commend the girls for pulling this one out. Sounded like a tough game. Shawnta' seems to be gaining much needed confidence, she may have to make up for Mo's production, somebody has to as it appears she may miss some more games. Loved that Shelby hit a big crunch time 3. She has always been a calm, cool, collected player, plays mostly withing herself and doesn't turn the ball over. Also, inch for inch, the best rebounder on the team! And props to Becky and Shoni for coming through also in crunch time, and Cierra for getting some crunch time rebounds. Still want to see this team after the new year, after some of the upcoming two a days. Gotta keep in mind still that we are down two starters from last year who were a main part of the success. Gotta believe that Coach Walz was counting on bringing some of the freshmen along a little slower. Bria playing behind Tia and Dyer and Hammond behind Mo. Think that would have made a huge difference, but, it is what it is, and now is the time for somebody to step up.
    GO CARDS!!!

  6. Have to agree with Jenny - without Smith, the Cards lose this one. It's not just energy, though; it's a different dimension - she can get to the basket better than anyone else on the team. I'm not on the Harper bandwagon, though - nothing personal; it's just that she doesn't have anywhere near the athleticism that Smith has. Walz pulls Smith with 10:30 to go in the second half and doesn't put her back in until 1:57 to go. Makes no sense to me. I will separately send some stats to CC to back up my contention that Walz isn't playing the right players.
    --PDX Phil

  7. We wondered about that long absence of Smith on the court..figured it was just fatigue or sommething.

    Smith, as we mentioned, was the spark and energy when Louisville needed it to start the second half. A lot of LADY CARDS players stood up and were counted last night.

    We'll agree with our esteemed colleague DAVID WATSON...this win is bigger than it looks. Even pre-game comments from Coach Walz indicated that he thought they'd be in tough contest tonight...and it didn't just sound like "coach-speak" either.


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