MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-Big East WBB Semi-finals reports
-Louisville forces overtime, loses to Red Storm by seven.
-Softball goes to 15-0 with 2-0 win over Boston U.
-Pick 'em results after three days
- A good Shoni read.
(In BIG EAST WBB Monday Night Semifinal action)
CONNECTICUT vs ST. JOHN'S
Grudge match II of the evening, the Huskies looking for a little payback for the loss the Red Storm hung on them earlier in the season. They're getting paid.
7-0 start for UConn and St. John's missed their first six shots. Why couldn't they have played like this against Louisville last night? No Storm brewing in the XL Center tonight...just the Huskies romping up and down the court. 38-18 at the half and Stefanie Dolson has 13 on 6-8 shooting. Dee Kanter crew tonight and Bob's brother Bryan Enterline calling this one...Dee calls them tight, but accurately. Red Storm just a tropical depression so far.
This one got out of reach for the Red Storm early and my mind started to wander. I wrote down these eight questions and observations...the final scribblings of the evening for a real tired guy...
1) Why is Geno still mad and scowling when he's up 31 points late in the second half? I think I may know. Boxers, my man. Get rid of the briefs.
2) Poor Kim Barnes Arico and the sideline shots they kept showing of her. With the over the shoulder hair, she looks like a bummed out, sixties folk singer who just broke a guitar string. Feel better soon, KBA! Peace and love is the answer.
3) Referee Dee Kanter has some serious wheels! Did she play point guard somewhere a few years back? Note to self..."Google Dee Kanter".
4) "Wise broad" and Beth Mowins were chatting up the resurgence of St John's women's basketball popularity in New York. OK. So explain to me why they draw an average of 1200 a home game in the Carnesecca Arena, which holds 6000? Must be admiration from afar. Those bashful New Yorkers...
5) It suddenly hit me. Stefanie Dolson looks like she could be the younger sister of 1990's Western Kentucky University standout post Jen Berryman. No wonder I like her so much!
6) They're bringing in Rebecca Lobo for the final tomorrow night to work it with Mowins on ESPN. You know Lobo...no silly numbered or lettered ESPN station gigs for her. And, she'll want to be there to fawn praise on Geno if the Huskies (yeah, they won tonight) win Tuesday night. I'd rather they bring in Quentin Hillsman, the Syracuse WBB head coach. That's entertainment, right there...friends. Can we start getting Angel McCoughtry to do color commentary on UofL ESPN games? That would be "must see" TV! This whole Geno=Rebecca thing got old several years ago.
7) Why isn't UConn's Chris Dailey a head coach yet? Fear of leaving the nest syndrome? Failure to launch issues? Or...is she Geno's secret...never mind. She must be the calming port in his sea of frustration.
8) If I ever see a Gillette Fusion Pro-glide Styler commercial with Adrian Brody and those two other guys again, I'm going to kill the laptop. Or stop shaving. Whatever.
Oh, yeah. UConn won 74-43.
They played real good. How about these numbers? UConn wins tonight 74-43. Notre Dame wins earlier 73-45. It's a foreboding sign. UConn wins the BIG EAST Championship 74-73. And I'm playing a
7-4-4-3-7-3-4-5 "Pick Eight" and a 7-4-7-3 "Pick Four" at Santa Anita Thursday. It's a sign...
NOTRE DAME vs WEST VIRGINIA
The good news is that WVU scored four more points in the first half tonight than they did in the first half last night. The bad news? Notre Dame almost doubled that effort. 37-19 Irish and
The Irish proved their point. The WVU win over them earlier in the regular season was a fluke. 73-45 Irish tonight. Natalie Novosel applied the Novocaine to Bussey and Dunning tonight with 18 points. Kayla McBride with 15. Highlight reel stuff of the second half...Novosel sprinting to the sidelines and clocking Coach McGraw. Someone get her a helmet and pads...she could shore up the football Irish linebackers. They wait now to see if it's going to be Huskies or the Red Storm in the final.
LADY CARDS FALL SHORT IN OVERTIME TO ST. JOHN'S
The University of Louisville women's basketball team overcame a seven point deficit to take St. John's to overtime...but the magic ran out in the final five minutes...losing to the Red storm 68-61. Shoni and Nita Slaughter had 16 points each in the valiant effort and Asia Taylor recorded a double-double with 11 points and 13 boards.
STARTERS: Smith, Shoni, Burke, Taylor and Vails
The Cards took an early 3-0 lead on a Becky Burke 3 a minute and half into the game and were competitive with the Red Storm. Baskets by Asia Taylor, a Shoni 3 and another Taylor jumper had Louisville up 10-7 with 14:52 to go. Another Shoni 3 made it Louisville 13-10 and the Cards continued to lead...hoops by Taylor and Shoni had the Cards on top 17-14 at the halfway mark of the first twenty. Louisville was dominating the boards...but St John's defense was causing the Lady Cards to miss simple shots inside and the free throw shooting was horrid for UofL.
St. John's grabbed a 18-17 lead with a goal by Nadirah McKenith, part of a 6-0 Red Storm run, but Louisville wrestled the lead back when Nita Slaughter drilled a 3 with 4:09 remaining. Shenneika Smith and Shoni traded threes to make it 24-23 Louisville with 3:32 left. The teams didn't score again until Keylantra Langley knocked in a jumper with 10 second left to give St. John's a 25-24 halftime lead.
Louisville made only 1 of 7 free throws in the first half. Shoni had 11 points, Taylor seven, Burke three and Slaughter three for the Cardinal scoring. Walz played all but Harper. The officiating was awful from Bonita Spence, Bob Enterline and Barbara Jo Smith and Louisville was missing a lot of in-close attempts but only down by one.
The Cards came out flat to start the second half and watched the Red Storm go on a 9-1 run in the first five minutes to take a 34-25 lead.
|A fan's request to have her banned from Lady|
Cards hoops forever.
Shoni finally hit a layup off a steal to give Louisville their first basket in over nine minutes...combining the end of the first and the start of the second halves...but the Cards were still down 38-31 when Slaughter got Louisville's second basket of the half with 12:52 to go.
Louisville got a steal but on the ensuing possession Becky Burke fired a corner pass...to the Cardinal Bird sitting by the UofL bench. Either someone blew the called play, Becky panicked or "Louie" is on the roster now. Nadirah McKenith converted on the next possession to make it 40-31 St. John's. Would the Lady Cards crumble and fold to the #2 seed?
Not just yet.
Louisville rallied with a 9-2 run over the next four minutes. Shawnta Dyer hit one of two free throws, Slaughter banged a 3 ball in, Bria Smith connected on a layup and a Burke 3 made it 42-40 St. John's at the 8:43 mark.
On the verge of being blown out, the Lady Cards had battled back.
St. John's responded with a 5-0 run and went up 47-40. Louisville slowly chipped away at it and a three by Burke, a Slaughter free throw, a Slaugher basket plus a free throw and Bria Smith layup got Louisville back within two at 50-48 with 5:25 left. Louisville was 3-12 from the free throw line, preventing them from an even bigger lead.
The Red Storm pushed it back up to a four point lead...but Louisville got a Dyer inside basket, a Dyer free throw on the next possession and Slaughter's three gave Louisville the lead again at 54-52 and 3:39 left in regulation. St. John's Smith tied it and Eugenia McPherson put them ahead 56-54 with 1:30 on the clock. Slaughter responded for UofL with a basket in the paint to tie it at 56 all with 65 seconds left.
|"Could I get three REAL refs?"|
|Oh, yes you did walk!!|
Louisville couldn't buy a bucket in the extra session.
Smith hit two free throws and then a jumper and it was 60-56 Red Storm with 3:27 showing. A Langley free throw pushed it to a five point advantage. Taylor countered for Louisville with two free throws and 2:46 on the clock...but McKenith scored, Louisville missed a shot and McPherson made one of two free throws with 44 seconds left to give St. John's a 64-58 lead.
The Red Storm went 4-4 from the line over the next twenty seconds to build the lead 68-58...a Shoni 3 cut it to 68-61 with twenty seconds left to complete the game's scoring. The Cards hit just one of 11 attempted shots in the extra five minutes.
Louisville was led by Shoni and Nita's 16 points. Taylor finished with 11 points and 13 grabs. Burke ended up with nine points, Bria five and Dyer four. All ten Cardinals played. Shenneika Smith led all scorers with 24...McKenith 15 and McPherson 10 for St. John's
One that got away. Tired legs for Louisville? Maybe...but it was another cold shooting streak for the Cards at the end that proved to be the final nail in the coffin.
Credit Shenneika Smith's great defense job on Shoni in the second half as well. She held the sophomore to five points in the final twenty five minutes...a steal and layup early in the second half an a meaningless three late in the overtime.
Still, a great effort to get it to overtime and if the 7-17 free throw shooting from a team that normally hits over 70% could have been better...this one never gets to overtime. Definitely the most exciting game of the tournament so far, though.
Now, the Cards practice and wait for selection Monday. Projections are anywhere from a 6 to 8 seed.
Let's hope it's a spot where Cardinal fans can make the drive. Nashville, Bowling Green, West Lafayette are all fairly easy to drive.
OTHER RESULTS FROM SUNDAY
West Virginia 39 - Georgetown 32 (lowest combined score in BIG EAST Tournament History).
Notre Dame 69 - DePaul 54 (Irish pull away late in this one).
Connecticut 49 - Rutgers 34 (defense struggle that saw Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis step up big).
Semifinals tonight...WVU gets the Irish and St. John's vs. UConn. Revenge factor in both of these...WVU gave the Irish their only conference loss and St. John's knocked off the Huskies in regular season conference play.
|Keller's clout provided all the|
offense the Cards needed Sunday
Chelsea Leonard and Tori Collins combined for the shutout...Leonard getting the start and going to 4-0 with 4 1/3 innings of four hit pitching. She struck out six Terrier batters. Collins finished it up to get her first save of the year after Leonard gave up two singles with one out in the top of the fifth. Collins struck out the next two B.U. batters to get the Cards out of the inning.
With the win, Louisville is now 15-0 on the season
Louisville returns to action March 10th....when they host the Red and Black Classic at Ulmer Stadium. The three day affair brings in Michigan, St. Louis, and Illinois State.
After three days and 12 games to choose the winner in, the Pick 'Em contest has just two perfect, 12-0 selections remaining. Hats off to Willie and Andy who haven't had to scratch through a selection yet.
Willie we have no idea about. I did e-mail him and ask for a little background but no reply as of yet. Andy is from the "greater Cincinnati" area and sent me this response to my e-mail:
'Hey, can't believe my luck so far in your contest! I'm just an average guy, not a big women's basketball fan but I have seen NKU ( Northern Kentucky University) and the women's team there play a couple of times. I like the (Cincinnati) Reds, Bengals and Bearcats sports but seldom get to the games because I'm working all the time with two jobs.
I found CARDINAL COUPLE through a "Google" search when I was looking for stories about Jeff Walz. He's from the Ft. Thomas area, close to where I live. Like the site and I try to check it out 2-3 times a week."
( Good luck Andy!)
At 11-1 are the following contestants:
Sandy W. (one of OUR writers)
PDX Phil (one of our favorite readers/commenter's)
Smitty ( a plumber Paul met on a football road trip)
Those contestants we have at 10-2 are:
BLT no mayo
Staff writer results so far are:
Sandy (UofL loss her only blemish)
Sonja (looks like she won't repeat as champ)
Paul (Rutgers, Cincy and Georgetown did him wrong)
Jenny (Cincy, USF and Louisville let her down)
David (Road the Georgetown horse too heavily)
The Cardinal Chimps are 3-9. Co-Co tried to present a late bracket she "found" last night that didn't get entered by noon Friday and was 12-0...but it was written on the back of our church's Sunday bulletin from yesterday.
That darn chimp!
Great read on Shoni from Hoopfeed. Great site for WBB. Click it and enjoy. Condolences go out to Angel McCoughtry...who lost two aunts on the same evening a few day ago. CARDINAL COUPLE and Cardinal Nation prayers with you #35.