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Saturday, March 17, 2012

FINAL Louisville 67 - 55 over Michigan State



-Dyer leads Lady Cards with 13 points

The Louisville Lady Cards are in the second round of the NCAA Women's Tournament. They'll face Maryland on Monday in College Park, MD. Louisville got it done by scoring from all over the court, especially in the paint...where the four Louisville bigs combined for 34 points. 

The Cards shot 40% for the game (24-59) and went 4-15 from three point range...Becky Burke and Shoni hitting two each. Louisville held the Spartans to 3-16 from beyond the arc. MSU did shoot 41% from the field. 

Louisville held a 40-34 advantage in rebounding and had 12 turnovers...forcing MSU into 14. Below is a half-by-half replay.

2nd half

Louisville led this one by 22 points at one time...but a determined Spartan late second half run cut this one to 12 on a couple of occasions before the Cards closed it out 67-55.

The second half saw the return of Lykenda Johnson for MSU and brief flashes of the Spartan offense. They  scored the first two basket of the half and were within 12 points of the Cards. Louisville responded with a 11-2 run, however and led 49-29 at the sixteen minute mark. The Cards maintained that advantage and held their biggest lead at 59-37 with 9:40 left in the contest following a Nita Slaughter score inside. 

From that point on, though, the Cardinal offense went through stutters and sputters...managing just eight points over the final 9 1/2 minutes and scoring just one basket. 

MSU would trim the Cardinal advantage to twelve a couple of times late in the contest but Louisville held the rally at bay. Free throws from Hammond, Burke and Jude Schimmel late cinched the UofL win.

They get Maryland Monday...a 59-44 winner over Navy earlier today. 

According to President Obama, Louisville will win this one and also defeat Arkansas to get to the Great Eight before bowing out to Notre Dame. It's not a good idea to disobey a Presidential pay attention to Barack and get there! Once you reach the can petition for a Presidential pardon and defeat the Irish... 

Louisville held MSU to 3 for 16 shooting from beyond the arc and Lykenda Johnson to just five points before she fouled out late. Four in double figures for Louisville...Dyer getting 13 points, Bria Smith and Becky Burke 12 each. Asia Taylor added 10 for Louisville. Shoni falling just short of double figures with eight points but getting six assists and six rebounds. 

Survive and advance. Anyway you can. Louisville did it with Schimmel magic and scoring early and tenacious defense late today. CARDS WIN! CARDS WIN!

1st half

Louisville leads MSU 39-23 after the first twenty. This one should be 49-23, the Cards have missed at least a half-dozen inside scoring opportunities at point-blank range. Started slowly, but an early 11-2 run put them ahead 13-7 and an additional 16-2 run gave them the lead at 33-16 with about five left. Cards keeping the turnovers low and Shoni creating some great opportunities with her passing and ball movement for the rest of the team.

Balanced scoring so far for the Lady Cards...Shoni had eight to lead Louisville and Walz is doing a lot of lineup rotation...Hammond, Dyer and Taylor getting some easy looks inside. The defense is solid and MSU's Lykenda Johnson sat a long time for the Spartans because of foul trouble. Unless the Lady Cards head to a Turkish bathhouse and meet Charlie Sheen...they should be advancing to Round 2. 

-Louisville WBB NCAA quest begins in College Park

-Softball cancelled because of rain.

-Last chance to enter CARDINAL COUPLE Women's NCAA Tournament Bracket Challenge

-NCAA men tournament. Ugh.

The University of Louisville women's basketball team starts their visit to the NCAA Tournament today with a 1:30 p.m. tip-off against the Michigan State Spartans on the University of Maryland campus in College Park, MD. It's a ESPN 2 game. 

Jeff Walz was an associate coach at Maryland under Brenda Frese. Sherrone Vails played high school ball at Arundel High School in MD.

Fitting that the Lady Cards return to familiar ground for a coach and player. The squad needed some familiarity after losing two very familiar and popular players early in the season in Monique Reid and Tia Gibbs and had to re-familiarize themselves on how to play, win and advance without them. 

Of course...WE would love to see this battle against Michigan State in the KFC YUM! Center. Wait till next year, readers. 

Maybe WE would have liked to see Louisville ranked a little better than a #7 seed. Definitely next year.

WE could have handled a weaker opponent than Michigan State to start out. But 31 other teams are probably saying that, too. Same scenario last year, a #10 seed and then a #2 seed. The Lady Cards are familiar with that.

It's no leak of a tightly guarded secret...but the Louisville offense runs through Shoni Schimmel. Let's not forget, though that there are nine other players on this Louisville team who will be there also to help reach the team goal to get to the Pepsi Center in Denver for the Final Four.

What it tournament time. You have to go on a six game win streak to take the title. You must beat the weak, the strong, the favored, the challenging underdog and the mighty #1 seed. Only one team will do this six times in the 2012 Women's NCAA Tournament. We is Louisville.

The Lady Cards do have a six-game win streak this season. It was early in the non-conference part of the schedule. None of the six teams Louisville beat back then made the NCAA Tournament. Although the impending foes are a tad bit tougher than the ones Louisville swept back then...we know that the Walz ballers have it in them to do it again.

We'll have full post-game coverage for you here at CARDINAL COUPLE. WE hope we can write some pretty and glowing-in-praise words about step one of six. We'll know around 3:30 today.

Time to start it up.   

Here's a link to an article about double B. Her last dance in the March Madness and a great time for her to blister the nets. Thanks to Kenny S. for passing the link on.

Burke plays in her 3rd NCAA Tournament

"I don't know about being a miscreant or scurrilous
but it sounds like fill 'em full of lead words
to me, dag nabbit!" 
Here's a link to a mention of CARDINAL COUPLE in Swish Appeal's Dance Card report. We think it's a compliment. Maybe. 

The words "miscreants" and "scurrilous" sent us scurrying to the ol' Websters to get definitions. WE don't think we're criminals or verbally abusive...but we do associate with Bill the Goat and Bread Boy. Not to mention the ubiquitous David Watson 
Thanks to Jenny O for the find. 



(Gotta admit, it's kinda cute...even if it is a Wildcat.) 
Softball team is out in California but the weather got them and games were cancelled Friday. I thought never rains in California..but girl, don't they warn ya. It pours. Man, it pours. (from an old Albert Hammond song). They'll try again Saturday. They'll do fine. They're Cardinals.


Get your CARDINAL COUPLE BRACKET CHALLENGE entries in by noon. Link at the top of the site, left hand side. Or enter here at the link below. Best of luck! Our group is 814 and our password is ladycards. Our thanks to Mark S. 'the commish' for his hard work and diligence on the contest.  

Bracket Challenge


Big time surprises in the men's NCAA Friday action. Duke? (Rhymes with puke). Missouri? (The "show-me state got shown). Temple? (Say hello to our little South Florida friends). Michigan? (How about Mich-i-can't?)

It is the NCAA Tournament. Upsets happen, the underdogs rise up and forget to read the favorable press clippings and columns about lower seeds. They just go out and play basketball. 

How many years will they talk about "The Game" on the Lehigh and Norfolk State campuses? Will they use one of these finishes to replace that over-worked Duke vs. Kentucky Christian Laettner commercial that UPS pays for? 

How many Tiger and Blue Devils fans are waking up this morning and moodily brooding over their first cup of coffee...wondering if a made shot here or a block out and rebound there might have them still "dancing"? 

As the joyous Andy Williams song proclaimed so many years ago...even though it referred to Christmas...."It's the most wonderful time...of the year" 

For some.

Good luck tonight to the Louisville men's team in Portland against New Mexico. May the leprechaun dance over the rainbow and deliver a pot of gold and a chance to play in the third round to the O'CARDS. Faith and begora, lads!



  1. Really nice game today. Glad to see the big effort from Sara Hammond. Tough game against Maryland on Monday but no pressure on the Lady Cards...remember Xavier last year!

  2. Great game for our Cards! Our inside game was a beast today, Dyer playing what has to be the biggest game of her career! Bria had a very nice game and Hammond played some great minutes, nice passing and no fouls.
    I wanna see some of those plays that were run for sherronne, to be run for Sara, she will knock them down.

    Great team effort. Kind of lost their punch the last 6 minutes or so. Play Monday like they did today, for a full 40 minutes, and we could be headed to Raleigh!
    Proud of everyone of them!!



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