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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Senior Day big for Becky in 75-62 win over DePaul


-Burke's 20, Shoni's 18 key win over Blue Demons

-Softball sweeps two over Creighton

The University of Louisville women's basketball team outscored DePaul 17-8 in the last 6:11 of the second half to pull away from a four point game and down the Blue Demons in the KFC YUM! Center Saturday afternoon in front of 10454 fans. A gutsy effort that saw the Lady Cards turn away several DePaul challenges to get back into the game.

It was also a fitting final home tribute to Becky Burke. She did what Cardinal fans have watched her do for four years...hit clutch threes when Louisville absolutely needed them

The pregame ceremony honoring seniors Burke and managers Nicole and Jared were a fitting tribute to three individuals who have dedicated themselves to the betterment of the UofL women's basketball program. 

Becky Burke scored 20 and Shoni Schimmel added 18 for the Lady Cards, who found themselves up only 58-54 after DePaul's Anna Martin hit a jumper and then three straight free throws after a questionable technical on Jeff Walz with 6:11 left. Louisville responded with six straight points...starting with Becky Burke's third 3- pointer in the go up 64-54 and DePaul would get no closer than eight points the rest of the way.

STARTERS: Vails, Taylor, Smith, Shoni and Burke

Asia Taylor opened the game's scoring with a putback of a missed Sheronne Vails shot at the 19:43 mark. The Cards fell behind after four straight points by DePaul's Jasmine Penny on layups and a Deanna Ortiz
3-pointer had it 9-6 Blue Demons with 16:52 to go. Was DePaul ready to sprint away from the Cards and sweep the regular season series? 

No way.

Louisville went to work after that. Shoni nailed a jumper, Nita Slaughter drained a three and Shawnta Dyer hit a jumper in the paint to give the Cards a 7-0 run and a 13-9 lead with 14 minutes left. 

DePaul would never regain the lead in the game.  

They drew within one twice...after a Anna Martin three and 12:15 showing on the scoreboard and again after Katherine Harry connected on a layup at the 10:30 mark made it 15-14. Louisville countered with a jumper from Jude Schimmel, two free throws from sister Shoni and a inside score from Sara Hammond to lead 21-14 and 8:12 to go in the first twenty. The Louisville fans were screaming support at the media timeout with 7:56 left in the first half.

DePaul rallied to make it 21-19 after Harry hit in the paint and Brittany Hrynko hit one of two from the line at 6:39 showing. It was still close when Harry scored again with 4:18 left and closed the Cardinal lead to 25-24. At the 3:57 media timeout, you could sense the concern in the Cardinal faithful. The crowd once again got to their feet and to rally the Lady Cards as action resumed. 

Louisville did rally back and successive scores from two Bria Smith free throws and two Shoni jumpers gave Louisville the 31-24 edge with 2:28 to go. DePaul had one last spurt in them -- Martin's three and Penny inside cut the margin to 31-29 inside a minute and a half left. Louisville would close out the half with a 4-0 Bria Smith run...the freshman hitting a jumper and layup to give Louisville a 35-29 halftime advantage. 

The Cards were shooting an acceptable 15-32 from the floor (46.9%) and had hit all four free throw attempts. 3-point shooting was another story...Louisville just 1-5...Nita Slaughter the only one to drain one. Shoni led the first half scorers with 10 points, followed by six each from Bria and Shawnta. Becky had four, Nita 3 and Jude, Sara and Asia with two each. Vails failed to score and Harper didn't get in the game in the first twenty. 

Louisville had the lead but needed to curtail any DePaul spurts. The Cards were doing a good job defensively on Harry (six points) but she had racked up seven rebounds in the first half. Someone needed to come out and spark Louisville to begin the second half. 

Say hello to Asia Taylor. 

Just 35 seconds into the second stanza, she forced a tie-up possesion that gave the Cards the ball and sent Harry to the hardwood like a limp rag doll. The look in Taylor's eyes and the response from her teammates indicated that there would be no second half letdown and that this was the Cardinals' house and they were here to defend it. 

Taylor got the first two points of the half with two free throws following a Harry foul. Thirty seconds later, Shoni stole a pass and went full court...putting in a layup. Taylor knocked down a soft jumper off a Shoni pass and it was suddenly 41-31 Cards. The fans sensed the kill and vocally expressed their pleasure over the Cards strong start to the half. 17:01 remained and this was a Cardinal team that was showing no indication of sputtering

The game went into a brief scoring lull after that, with each team only producing two points over the next three minutes. Dyer ended the drought with a layup off a Shoni feed and got fouled by Harry - her third- the made free throw from Dyer had the Cards up 46-33 with 13:21 on the clock and the KFC YUM! Center crowd was a sea of noise and motion.

Becky accompanied by her family at
senior day presentation.
Kelsey Reynolds got the Blue Demons within nine after a jumper at the 11:45 mark. The teams played evenly over the next five minutes. Smith's two free throws made it 58-46 with seven minutes left. 

DePaul gave it one last try. A Megan Rogowski trifecta got DePaul within nine. Martin grabbed a rebound and went full court to score, running over Burke in the process. The refs saw it differently, though...counting the basket and awarding Martin a free throw. Enraged Cardinal fans protested the very questionable call. 

Coach Walz expressed disappointment. He was assessed a technical foul for his difference of opinion. Martin went to the line accompanied by a chorus of Cardinal fan boos and calmly sank three straight free throws. What was a 58-49 Louisville lead had shrunk to 58-54. Was it to be a DePaul run that would continue? Could Louisville muster a rally once again?

These guys were pretty unpopular today
Burke had the response. A picture perfect three made it 61-54. Smith dropped through two free throws seconds later and after Dyer went one for two from the line after being fouled by was 64-54 Lady Cards. 5:26 to go and once again, the cheers from the Louisville fans rocked the arena. 

DePaul crept back within nine at 66-57 after a layup by Hrynko at 3:01. Thirty seconds later...Burke pretty much sealed the deal for the Cards, though with a three off an assist by Smith. 69-57 Louisville. 2:39 remained in the game and Harry went to the DePaul bench with four fouls. 

The Cards would not score another field goal the rest of the way but went six for eight from the free throw line over the final 1:47 and Burke ended the game's scoring with two charity tosses with 44 seconds on the clock. CARDS WIN! CARDS WIN! 75-62.

Burke led all scorers with 20 points. 4-6 from the deep and 7-11 overall from the floor. She sank both free throw attempts. 16 of her points came in the second half.

Shoni's 18 came from 6-15 floor shooting and 6-8 free throw tosses. She was 0-7 from three point range. Dyer recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 grabs. Smith completed the Cards double figure performers with 10 points. Asia ended up with eight points and seven rebounds. Slaughter with three, and Sara and Jude two each to complete the Cardinal scoring. Vails and Harper played...Shelby seeing a few seconds at the end to replace Burke for a standing ovation. 

The Blue Demons got 18 from Martin, 12 from Penny, 11 from Rogowski and 10 from Hrynko. Harry finished with just six -- shut out in the second half -- but did have 15 rebounds. 

Louisville (20-8, 9-6) out-rebounded DePaul 36-33. The Cards shot 25-55 from the field (45.5%). DePaul finished 24-63 for 38.1%. 5-14 from three point range for Louisville. Take out Shoni's 0-7 and that isn't bad. 

Louisville won the points in the paint battle 30-28, narrowly lost the points off turnovers 22-19 and got 19 bench points compared to DePaul's 13. The Blue Demons (20-9, 8-7) had 23 turnovers...Louisville 20.

A much needed payback win today for the Cards. On an afternoon where Louisville fans said "Goodbye" to Becky Burke's home game career...she said "Hello" to the hoop and gave Cardinal fans another great performance. 

This was one Louisville definitely had to have and with the win avoided sliding to 8-7 in conference play...sending DePaul to that mark instead. It was also a testimony to the Cards desire and motivation to get a little revenge for the beating DePaul put on them earlier in the month in Chicago. Jeff Walz had mentioned that if the girls' couldn't get fired up for today's game then he didn't want them around. After the contest, Walz smilingly replied that there was no doubt that they could stay. 

A big win to keep the Cards tied for sixth place in the conference standings with Rutgers. Four of the top five teams ahead of Louisville won today (Notre Dame, St. John's, Georgetown, WVU) and UConn was way up on Marquette last we checked. 

Louisville closes out the regular season with a Monday night game in South Orange, NJ against the Seton Hall Pirates. 


Clip courtesy of Steve Ludden and Howie Lindsey of Cardinal Sports Report. A great job! 

Click and enjoy!

 Cards v DePaul


Softball wins two today at Ulmer...8-0 and 4-0. We'll have a full report on it interviews and photos from earlier this week. 



  1. Great team effort today! It was Louisville women's basketball on display today, rebounding, shooting, defending. We need points from Shoni every game, but we need assists more. This is the mist relaxed I have seen Shoni all season, and I liked it.We keep playing like this, and we can make a deep run.
    Becky came through, "big shots" when the team needed them. She has been a joy to watch these last 4 years, especially this year.
    This team is down to 10 players but they are absolutely 10 strong! Best ball I have seen all season these last few weeks. Peaking at the right time, ladies. Keep it up.

    1. Shoni was calm. cool and collected today. Asia's spark to start the second half was something we'll remember for a long time. She just went in, tied up Harry for the ball, then hurled her to the floor and looked at her while holding the ball like..."Girl? Please!!"


  2. Paul and Sonja,

    Harry did not score the entire second half. Think Asia taught her who the boss was? Yes, I think so.

    Blue Lou

  3. I honestly think an E8 is possible for this young, depleted squad if we don't get stuck playing on a home site in the first two rounds (Like Spokane!!) we could probably compete with any 1 seed besides Baylor. I would love a shot at Stanford. They would zone us all game and I am sure Jeff would have us prepared to attack it like Syracuse. We would have a problem with the sisters but Stanford doesn't have very good guard play.

    This team can compete at home and on neutral sites (we did very good on neutral floors last season) but on the road we just don't play very well at all. A scary thought if we have to play a team on their home floor. So relieved we are hosting next season!!! and hopefully for a couple more years after NCAA craps their pants at how much money we make them.


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