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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lady Cards fall to St. John's 68-61 in overtime


-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)


1st half
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. 

2nd half
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 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? 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... 


1st half
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 Digger oops Muffet has been busy with the "el mucho substitution" pattern. Bussey playing OK but Novosel, Diggins, Peters, blah, blah, blah having a typical Irish fest. Looks like it's bye-bye to the Mountaineers. Have fun in the BIG 12 with all your new midwestern buddies. It's Dennis DeMayo's crew tonight...and they're calling it pretty good. 

2nd half
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. 



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. 
This was almost as bad as three referees being unable to remember which team got the opening possession to start the half. Hopefully, "Moe, Larry and Spence" will donate their paychecks for tonight's "work" to charity...because the effort was pitiful and poor. Paul was screaming " Wrong team, wrong team!" at the start of the second half. Such blatant screw-ups are inexcusable and just one example of the comedy show that Barbara Jo, Bob and Bonita put on last night

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 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!!
The Cards had the ball after a missed St. John's shot with 20 seconds remaining when Schimmel was trapped and clearly fouled...the ball rolling out of bounds. The officials called it a turnover. Walz protested vehemently but St. John regained the possession and missed twice from close in as time expired and this one was headed to overtime. It was the worse "no call" of the game and a foul that even a 4th grade Catholic league official could have spotted and reacted properly to. 

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.


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
Katie Keller's first inning home run took care of the scoring in this one Sunday in Knoxville. Her blast over the left field wall scored her an Kristin Austin...who had reached on a single.

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:

Matt B.
Mark S.
Jessica L.
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. 




  1. We don't want to be an 8. Having to play a tough 9 then have to play a 1 would suck! Hopefully we get a 6 or 7 with UCONN or Stanford as our 1

    It is a shame the Lady Cards missed so many point blank lay-ups and FT'S. I think we would have a shot at beating UCONN. That team looks really bad right now. St. John's will beat them by 10 if they come out like they played against Rutgers tonight.

  2. Agreed. #6 or #7 would be much better. Cross your fingers and knock on wood. Free throws sank the Cards tonight and (I know it's a loser's lament) the officiating was absolutely horrible. Walz was in the director of official's ear most of the game. Phantom fouls, blown calls and no calls. A travesty.


  3. Any idea how the Big East chooses its refs for the tournament? Is it the ones who have been rated the highest over the course of regular season?
    --PDX Phil

    1. The crew tonight...Spence, Enterline and Barbara Jo (who was worthless) have been regular BIG EAST refs all throughout conference play. When it comes to the tournament...with fifteen games and four games a night for three was explained to me that they needed four crews. Enterline is normally better than that but Spence is horrible consistantly and gets an attitude when she's questioned on a call. As far as Barbara Jo...I'll say it again...worthless. Walz was in the ear of the refs' supervisor all night. There is a ranking system in are reviewed, refs graded and those who get the best ratings get the tournament.

  4. The officiating was terrible. The short, fat ref was giving Walz and our bench dirty looks all night. When we went up 2 late she was steaming.

  5. Let's just hope we don't end up on a home court. This team plays so much better at home and on neutral sites. I think we have a shot at S16 or E8 depending on our draw and seed. It really depends on what type of Shoni shows up. She can't shoot 20+ shots in the NCAA or we will lose.

    I think this team can be competitive with any team in the country at home or on a neutral floor. Baylor or Stanford would be tough because of the front court match-ups but Walz is such a brilliant game planner. I was bummed when the Zags beat us in Spokane last year with no reid and horrible officiating because I bet we would have played the Cardinal a hell of a lot closer than they did. I wonder if we could have slowed down down the Ogwumike sisters like we did with Xavier's pair of 6'5 posts.

  6. Looks like unanimous agreement about the refs. Just a bad, bad job from the officials. Hate to see calls not being made both ways, hate to see calls not being made that were obvious, and hate phantom foul calls, but especially hate when there is an obvious bias against UL, which I thought there was.
    That being said, the refs didn't make UL blow free throws and all those second chance points. Hit just 10% better, and overtime would not have been needed. Think UL beat themselves more than St. John's did.
    The ladies make it totally easy to root for them, love the all out effort they give, no matter who comes in, they give max effort.
    Here's to hoping that UL gets a favorable seed in a favorable region. I think anything above a 6 seed is a travesty, making us travel out west again to play on another team's home court would be a travesty, also, but think the Cards can handle the first two rounds against just about anybody, maybe even the third round as long as it isn't Baylor or Notre Dame (champion will come from one of those two!).

    Has anyone but me already peeked ahead at next season? The way these girls are coming along, I think Mo and Tia are gonna have a tremendous fight on their hands to regain their starter status and minutes back. We could be one of THE premier teams in America if the team remains intact, no transfers or injuries.
    GO CARDS!!!

  7. Good comments, K! An #8 seed would be tragic. Next year should be interesting as far as a starting lineup goes. We discussed it a few days ago. Don't see how you keep Shoni out of it. Walz likes to bring in Monique off the bench at times. Tia is one we'd insert in the starting five if the shoulder is OK. Need a point guard beside Shoni -- she's better at a "2". Monny Niamke, maybe? We'd go with Taylor and Vails to complete the starting five. It's easy to see him giving 12-13 player a game significant minutes and who knows how the incoming freshmen will pan out? Cortnee Walton having a great senior season in Arizona on a top-ranked St. Mary's team. Lots of options, all good ones.


  8. I'd start both Schimmel's, Gibbs, Reid and Taylor. Slaughter and Dyer first off the bench.

    Blue Lou

  9. I am never a fan of complaining about the refs. Good teams overcome bad refs. As Starks mentioned, we lost re game at the FT line and some gummed under the bucket. Make those, and overtime doesn't happen. Props to St. Johns though...thy are a tough team, and will be next year as well with only one starter graduating.
    Rooting for the Storm tonight! Actually, wouldn't mind seeing them when the whole tourney, though I think it is ND's to lose. Go Red Storm.

    Latest bracketology has us a 5 seed in chapel hill. Wouldn't mind those match ups at all, though wish it were closer to home. A 5 seed in w. Lafayette or bowling green would be my ideal, though, I would rather not be in UCONN or ND division. Would love to see us against Stanford. Just a week away, selection Monday!!

    1. As a former coach, I will tell you Jenny that good teams are capable of overcoming bad refs but often it's a hard thing to do and doesn't always play out that way. I taught my players over the years to accept a referee's call and get themselves back into the next play. Baiting, questioning, making a point or expressing displeasure with a referee's call was my job and my assistant's job. Not the players. Players, though, can get certain mindsets when things - including officiating - create controversy, negative fan reaction and coach disapproval. It's hard sometimes to get the athlete's back to a positive mindset right away.

      I watch a lot of college women's basketball - both live and on television - now that I've retired. I watched the Louisville game with anticipated interest last night. I like Jeff Walz as a coach and met him a few times when he was at Maryland as an assistant. I had a couple of players that Maryland had a - what I will call- tepid interest in. None ended up there, but I always found Walz to be a competant, informed and persistent recruiter. He demands a lot out of those who end up playing for him, but they learn valuable life lessons - and not just in basketball - if they can make it through four years under his instructions, teachings and direction. He is hard, but he is fair and teaches his players that life, like basketball, isn't always fair, pretty or easy.

      I wil tell you flat out that the referees last night had a rough 45 minutes on the hardwood. Their calls weren't biased toward either team specifically, just missed, poor and error in jugdement calls. I've seen these three many times before calling games. Usually they are pretty consistant and accurate. They were off their game, and the game, last night. Bonita Spence gets a little too involved in expressing her confidence that she made the right decision on a jugemental call, but she calls a tight and 'by the rules' contest.

      Louisville can't point at the referees as the cause for their defeat last night. Poor free throw shooting and periods where they could not score, especially in the overtime, were the causes for their loss. It is pretty sad to see, though, in a tournament game some of the blunders they made. I'm sure that the grading out that is done on them after a contest is played won't get superior marks.

      Good luck to your Cardinals. They are an exciting team to watch, especially with the unpredictability of Schimmel. And, good luck with this website, Paul and Sonja. I'm glad I found it, access it regularly and have shared it with several other people. To be able to read articles that are not influenced by university, corporate or income pressure are a nice change. A fan view can vary and differ as much as the very nature of fans. Yours is a good, optimistic and well-written take on a program that you both obviously love and support very much.

      Coach Boots

  10. UNC in the 1st and Georgia (probably) in the 2nd not bad draws at all for us in the latest bracketology. I think a 6 would be a better draw for us just because you don't have to play the 1 in the S16. Stanford is our 1 in the latest, btw

  11. ^^^^^ I agree! I have been thinking all along that a 6 seed would likely be best, matching up with a 2 seed in the S16, should we win. I like the idea of either a TN or KY match up in the S 16 as opposed to a Stanford/Baylor match ups. Looking forward to Selection Monday, less than a week away at this point!

    1. You mean you actually want to play a first round game against North Carolina in
      Chapel Hill? You Cards fans are sillier than I originally thought.

      ** Southbound train **


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