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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Rutgers next for Lady Cards


-Louisville faces tough road test against the Scarlet Knights.

-Saturday action and predictions...WBB

Jeff Walz's University of Louisville women's basketball team returns to the east coast for hoops action today...visiting the 14-2, 3-0 #8 Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Game time is 2 p.m. Programming note...the radio feed locally will be on 1080 AM. WHAS and WKRD are slotted for Cats and the UofL men's team. Hey, 1080 is better than hard to pick up 101.7 FM. Thanks, UofL!

Ok, girls...back to practice. We know you're cute and witty...
The Scarlet Knights handled Pittsburgh last time out pretty easily 63-39. Senior Khadijah Rushdan scored a game-high 14 points against the Panthers and junior Monique Oliver added a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. In the game, Rushdan scored 12 of her points in the first twenty minutes, leading RU to a 37-24 advantage. Senior April Sykes had nine first half points and finished with 11. She is getting close to the career 1000 point-mark with 980 currently on the books. It also seems she's picked up a bit of maturity in her senior season. Lady Cards fans might remember her cheap, flagrant foul last year as the game ended in the KFC YUM! Center. Louisville won 56-45. Sykes had 20 points in the contest, launching nine 3-pointers against UofL and hitting three.

The Scarlet Knights dominated Pitt offensively, outscoring them 40-12 in the paint. They also dominated the second chance points 20-6. The defense was there for C.Vivian Stringer's squad as well...Pitt did not score inside until 3:34 remained in the first half. Rutgers scored 29 points off 21 Pitt turnovers. 

Only Miami and Tennessee have hung losses on RU this season. Rutgers is seventh in the BIG EAST is scoring offense (65.7) and third in scoring defense (51.7). 

Sykes (no relation) can take over
Rutgers gets it done with the team concept. Sykes (14.4) and Rushdan (12.4) are the leading scorers, Oliver leads in rebounds (8.2) and also shoots 55% from the floor. Erica Wheeler is the theft leader, with 34 in 16 games. She also leads in blocked shots with 30 this season...fourth best in the BIG EAST. Wheeler and Sykes are the three point threats.

Impact players for the Scarlet Knights also include Betnijah Laney and Briyona Canty. Rutgers will try and use their incredible strength in the paints and Stringer's dreaded "55" defense to keep the Lady Cards off balance and away from the boards today. WE don't expect a high scoring affair in the RAC. We hope that the "stripes" don't get whistle-happy either, but with the physical play of C. Vivian's could happen.

Louisville simply MUST get some sort of positive production out of the combination of "bigs" Warren, Vails, Dyer, Taylor, Hammond and Slaughter. Rutgers will try to contain and shut down Burke and Shoni Schimmel's outside shooting and Smith's penchant for driving the baseline and scoring. Whether or not Jude Schimmel and Shelby Harper can have much of an effect on the talented RU guards remains to be seen.

We'll have a full recap of the action for you here at CARDINAL COUPLE later today.


Besides the Lady Cards and Rutgers...five other BIG EAST contests are taking place today. Here's who is playing and who we pick...

West Virginia at Providence. A good matchup. WVU is 3-1 in conference, Providence 1-3. The home court advantage for the Friars won't be enough...WVU goes to 4-1.

UCONN at Villanova. Another Husky blowout. Yawn. Next?

Notre Dame at Cincinnati. The Irish may get a tough test from the under-rated UC guards but the Irish prevail here by 20 or so.

USF at Seton Hall. We think the USF guards will have another field day. They should handle Seton Hall by double digits.

Pittsburgh at DePaul. Even without Keisha Hampton, DePaul is still a top five BIG EAST team. They'll handle the 0-4 in BIG EAST Panthers with little problem.

WE are split on the Louisville v. Rutgers game...Sonja picking the LADY CARDS and Paul choosing we're not making this one part of the prediction thread. GO GET THE UPSET, LADY CARDS...

How are we doing? Quite well, thank you. 7-0 on the week. We expect to be 12-0 after today.


  1. You nailed it when you mentioned that RU has a strong team. They may be the most physical group out of any of the BIG EAST teams. Hopefully, Louisville's speed and quickness can overcome this but I see a potentially rough outing for the Lady Cards if they can't go "toe to toe" in the paint with the Scarlet Knights. No TV for this one? Sad, sad, sad. THe BIG EAST TV game is USF at Seton Hall today. Who's in charge of programming up there in Providence. Maybe your beloved Co-Co?


  2. If Sheronne has the next best game of her career( her last game was the best of her career on my estimation) and cierra has another strong game then I give us the edge 68-61.

    If our inside game is lacking then this could be brutal. But, ever the fan of this program, I am going with my team to perform as they did in their last outing. Always getting better, right?

    1. Hope Sheronne and Cierra can keep it going as well. Maybe the last game will give them the confidence needed to keep improving and become the impact players they have the potential to be.

      I would really like to see Sara have a breakout game. It seems she is having trouble adjusting to the college game. She has all the tools to be an impact player. I think it just may be a confidence thing with her. Once she learns to stay out of foul trouble she might be able to stay on the floor longer and get in the flow of the game. Just waiting for that spark to ignite and the light to go on. Maybe if her shot would start falling that could start things in motion. Try not to do too many things at once. Let the game come to her and maybe concentrate on one thing such as rebounding.

      I feel for Sara. I know other fans do as well. The effort is there. She just needs something good to happen for her while in the game. She will defiantly be an impact player before she leaves U of L.


    2. I could not agree with you more, Mark. There is no doubt that she has a load of talent. I, too, so want to see her succeed. I am not sure when the switch is going o flip for her, but when it does, watch out. I believe both she and Bria will break records over their career, Sarah just needs get started.

    3. All Sarah needs is minutes on the floor to play through her mistakes.It will start with defense.If Sarah can play aggressive,box out,yank down rebounds without picking up fouls,she will get more time.Sarah was pulled yesterday because she didn't go up strong enough and missed a shot she should have made.


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