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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Saturday Cardinal Couple - Colo 70 - UofL 66


-Lady Cards fall in wild finish 70-66

A crazy final two minutes in this one tonight, Louisville down 64-51 and roaring back to cut it to two with 11 seconds left before falling on the road to Colorado tonight 70-66 in Boulder. A missed free throw by Chuckie Wilson gave the Cards a chance to get possession and possibly tie or take the lead...but Colorado's Jennie Reese grabbed the loose ball and stuck it in to secure the win.

Louisville started Sherrone Vails, Shawnta Dyer, Nita Slaughter, Shoni Schimmel and Megan Deines tonight against CU and had their way early against the Buffs. A Slaughter three put Louisville up 3-2 and two Monique Reid free throw gave the Cards a 11-6 lead with 14:58 left in the first half.

Two Shelby Harper free throws had UofL leading 16-12 with 12:03 to go...but the wheels fell off the cart for the Cards after that. A 6-0 Buffs run gave them a two-point advantage with 10:20 on the clock. They would push that lead to 21-16 after a three and led 23-16 before a Deines score stopped a four-minute scoreless streak for Louisville. The Cards fell behind 30-22 after a Chucky Jeffrey three...but a Slaughter jumper, two Dyer inside scores and two Slaughter free throws made it 34-30 with 23 seconds left in the half. CU's Hargis hit a jumper with five seconds left for a halftime score 36-30 Colorado. 

Slaughter led the Cards with nine first half points, Dyer added eight and Deines and Reid contributed four each. Smith and Harper finished with two each and Jude Schimmel and Cortnee Walton produced one point. Shoni did not score, nor did Vails. The Cards were out-rebounded 19-12.

Louisville started strong in the second half and Shawnta Dyer was the catalyst, scoring three baskets in the first six minutes of the second half to cut the lead to 41-40. Louisville got a three from Slaughter to make it 48-46 Colorado with 9:40 remaining...but the Buffs put together a 14-3 run over the next six minutes to lead to lead 60-49 after a Wilson basket for Colorado at the 3:30 mark. It looked like it was over for the Cards...falling behind 64-51 before Reid scored with 1:53 left.

Louisville went ballistic over the next 41 seconds. Deines hit two free throws, Shoni scored on a steal, Deines added two more free throws and then hit a jumper to make it 64-61...a 10-0 run for the Cards. Deines' foul sent Wilson to the line and she converted two with 1:10 left. Two more Buff free throws made it 68-61 with 1:04 to go and it looked like, once again, it was over for UofL.

Not quite.

Slaughter's three cut it to 68-64. A Slaughter layup got it to 68-66 with 12.5 left and when Wilson missed two free throws at 11.1 on the looked like Louisville had another ghost of a chance..but an improbable bounce off the rim fell in Reece's hands and her putback ended it. Louisville didn't get a shot off in the final possession.

Slaughter finished with 19, Dyer 14, Reid 12 and Deines 11 for the double figure scorers for Louisville. Shoni had 4, Harper and Smith 2 and Jude and Walton finished with 1 each. 

Chuckie Jeffrey led all scorers with 22 for Colorado

-Colorado out-rebounded the Cards 44-32.

-The Cardinal guard contingent of Jude, Shoni, Bria and Shelby totaled nine points tonight.

Tough loss in front of about 3700 fans in the Coors Arena. A valiant comeback....twice, in fact...but the Cards never led in the second half.

Missing Sara Hammond? Probably, but you have to play with who is there and Dyer, Reid and Slaughter fought hard...but it's tough to win when the opponent beats you by 12 on the boards.

Shawnta Dyer nailed it on the head when she mentioned after the game that the Cards missed out too many chances to block out.

Walz called rebounding the key before the game and he was right.

Louisville comes home to face Washington State Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

Things We Liked

1) Shawnta Dyer. Stepped it up with 14 points and a great start to the second half.
2) Down the stretch they come! Down by 13 with two minutes to go, the Cards fought back and had a chance to win. Showed some heart.
3) 'Slaughtered' them. Nita with a season-high 19. Had the team's only threes. Improving every game.
4) Go Mo Below. Eight second-half points for the senior. Using her highly sucessful post up on the block and score.
5) Denies delivery. She was responsible for six of the Cards points in the late, last gasp run by Louisville.

Things to Improve On

1) Schimmeled. Going back to the second half of the UK game...Shoni's been a no-show offensively. That has to change.
2) Bored? Rebounding (or lack of it) a major contributor to the loss Friday night. Sure, Sara wasn't there...but there are five other Lady Cards who see time at the "4" and "5". They need to step it up on the boards.
3) Intensity for 40. The Cards seemed lackadaisial in the 10-1 Colorado run from the 7:03 mark to 3:30 mark. You have to play 40 minutes. Those 3 1/2 were hard to watch.
4) Mental errors. Cards had two late on Deines' foul and failure to block out on the final Buffs free-throw. The full hearts were there. The clear minds took a siesta.
5) Internet feed. This was rough to watch, with the freeze-ups and 15 second delay from the Louisville radio call to screen picture. Ended up bailing out on Matt and AJ and listening to the Buffs guy. Sorry guys. Technology needs to step it up.


We mentioned in the Friday article that this game had the feel of the game in 2009 when Louisville travelled to a fired-up Nevada gym to play a team eager to pounce on a top-Ten opponent. The Buffs wanted this win more than Louisville did. To reach the rare air of teams like UConn, Stanford and Baylor...Louisville has to learn how to go into away situations and not get caught up in the fan's fervor. Play like champions.

The Shoni situation is also disturbing. Maybe opponents have figured her out, now that's she's a junior. She's had some athletic guards putting the defense on her lately, too...but the most heralded player on your squad must do better than six points in five halves of basketball.

The loss a tough one to take, but Coach Walz will tell you that you have to let it go after a final look at it and get ready for the next one. Puzzling that Louisville, seemingly in command for the first eight minues of this one, suddenly became lifeless and apathetic for a couple of stretches. Bria needs consistancy, Sherrone looks lost at times on the court, and if Megan Deines hits any of her first four free throws...this one could have turned out differently.

Starting line up change needed? Hard to say, but we'd like to see an opening tip-off, five or six minute run with Shoni, Jude, Sara, Shawnta and Mo against Washington State.

There's our thoughts on it. Go ahead and let us have yours in the comments section.


Finally, in closing...remember NCAA Volleyball final game tonight in the KFC YUM! Center featuring Texas and Oregon. Head on over and see some great volleyball and two highly different methods of style and play. First volley around 7:00 p.m.

We'd obviously like to see this event return here down the road. A large local attendance will help convince the NCAA we are worthy, so head downtown after MBB beats Memphis, grab a bite to eat and go have some fun. We're hopeful columnist Jeff McAdams will have some additional on this today or tomorrow.

Also, a great read on the demise of the BIG EAST. Link below:



  1. When does Tia Gibbs get to play? Cant wait to get a point guard in the game for better flow. So sorry to heard about Sara Hammond. Hopefully she can recover from her lost and dedicate this season to her Grandmother. Come on Cards....get your head up and play like we know you can!

  2. Just seemed like Colorado was hungrier than Louisville. Hate it when that happens, but realize it sometimes does.
    I'll also be glad to see Tia and Asia back on the court (at full speed), could have definitely used both last night, especially since we were without Sara. But even without those three, it was still a very winnable game.

    1. Winnable, indeed. A healthy Gibbs and Taylor would no doubt help this team immensely but it could be a while before we see them. If at all. Hip injuries are tricky to rehab on. It's been suggested in reader e-mails that it might be in the two's best interests to just go ahead and "red-shirt" it out this year so they can completely recover and be at 100% for 2013-13.

      We're not sure if we like that idea...but the health and safety of a player is the utmost factor here. Would hate to see either come back before they're completely ready and suffer another injury.


  3. Our bigs, with the exception of Hammond, play soft. They don't body their opponent and they don't challenge much of anything inside. Look at all the almost-uncontested offensive rebounds the Buffs pulled down last night.


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