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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday Cardinal Couple




Basketball Beats Quinnipiac

Coach Walz didn't like the defensive effort from his basketball team tonight.  If you don't believe that, just ask him...he'll tell you...multiple times, as Matt Andrews found out in the post-game interview.  Walz also took a bit of a shot at the free throw shooting, at least the free throw shooting in the second half, which did fall short of our 70% benchmark that we use here at the Cardinal Couple.

In fact, Walz was so emphatic about the UofL team not playing well, that you could be forgiven for thinking that we had lost the game, or that it was at least close.  It wasn't, really.  The Cards get the win with another century mark, 100-82.

The free throw shooting was not as good as it should be, and the defense was a bit sluggish, but we did win the game solidly, and there were bright spots in the play.  Sara Hammond looked great with 20 points and 11 rebounds, but I believe the player of the game should be Jude Schimmel.  Excellently fulfilling her role as the primary attack yorkie of the team, she was one of the only players that showed a spark on defense.  Add in a career high 16 points, and only 3 turnovers, season with some of the most heady play on the court for either team, and you have a player that showed how it should be done.

Big sister Shoni had a bit of a rough night shooting, only hitting one of her 13 attempts.  On the plus
side of that equation, though, she did dish out 11 assists.  Nita Slaughter had a hot hand early, ending up making five of her eight 3-point attempts.

With the win, the Cards will host LSU on Thursday night in the Semifinals of the WNIT.  Come early, if you're one of the first 2,500 people (21 years of age or older) through the door, your first beer is on Jeff Walz.



(Wait for it...near the end, Coach Walz informs me that my beer on $2 night Thursday will be slightly higher...)  LINK BELOW:

MY BEER IS $20 on Thursday says Coach WALZ

UConn injury report

UConn's Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis went out of their game against Stanford in an ugly fall where nearly all of her weight landed on her arm, and particularly her elbow.  Early reports are that her elbow is very swollen and she is in considerable pain.  Mosqueda-Lewis is one of many weapons that UConn has at their disposal, but her loss is a blow to the team.

Top ranked UConn did go on to solidly beat the 3rd ranked Stanford Cardinal 76-57.

As much as we here at Cardinal Couple want to see UConn get knocked off their perch, we never want to see it at the expense of the health of a player.  Best wishes to KML.

Soccer to Host in NCAA

The women's soccer tournament draw was yesterday and Louisville will be hosting Illinois State Saturday afternoon at 1pm.  The Cards got an at-large bid after finishing second in the AAC and being eliminated from the conference tournament by Memphis is a double-overtime game.

Illinois State gained their berth in the tournament by winning, for the third straight year, the MVC conference championship.  Illinois State and Louisville have never met in women's soccer play.

Beating Illinois State will earn Louisville the right to play either Milwaukee, or more likely, the three seed in the tournament, Michigan State.

Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for students (with student id) and kids under 18.

Weekly Volleyball Honors

OK, all together now...

Maya McClendon picked up another Freshman of the Week honor from the AAC.  This is the 5th
time she has picked up this award.

Emily Juhl was named to the honor roll for the week on the strength of her 29 kills in the weekend, as well as 6 aces against SMU.  She also became only the 16th Cardinal to reach 1,000 career kills.

Getting no love from the AAC, is Caitlin Welch, who got 46 digs on the weekend, reaching the 2,000 career dig mark that we've been watching for during the Houston game on Friday.



  1. Coach sounded so stressed and intense on the radio presser. I don't blame him. Quinni got way too many open 3 pointers and their PG broke our press by herself the entire 2nd half. Quinni is a good team. I have my money on them winning their conference

    1. Coach is concerned about defense...which he should be...LSU is going to be a tough task.


  2. Great offense and spotty defense. I was impressed by the unselfishness and the ball movement. All things considered, if I were Walz I'd rather be faced with fixing the defense than figuring out how to score.

    I responded immediately to the NCAA pre-sale email yesterday afternoon and got four mid-court seats (Section 106 Row L). I was pleasantly surprised to get seats that good.

  3. Lots of positives...Shoni sharing the ball and not losing her mind because her shot wasn't falling, Nita taking and hitting open threes, Jude taking a more active leadership role, Sara continuing as a Force on the block. I've also been really impressed with Megan. She isn't scoring a lot but she finishes at the rim really strong, doesn't miss layups often and has great length on defense. She's a baller. I hope she gets some serious playing time this year.

    I agree with the prior comment that Quinnipiac has a strong squad. They shoot the three well and push the ball up the court. They could crack the top 25 this year if they continue to play like they did against us. I see they got a vote or two this week. Scoring 82 points in a loss to last year's national runner up is nothing to be ashamed of.

    Walz is all over the defensive effort which is appropriate. They've just got to get back on D, stop the ball on the break and learn to move their feet. I like our chances against LSU. Defensive gut check time.

    I also like the "primary attack yorkie" callout on Jude. I've got a neighbor with a yorkie and that damn dog weighs maybe two pounds and isn't afraid of anything no matter what. Kinda like little sister Schimmel.

    1. The "Attack Yorkies" is a phrase that we've been using on the radio show in reference to Jude and Shelby Harper in the past season. With Shelby having graduated, we're thinking Monny Niamke will take her position in the Attack Yorkies pack.

      I think its Sonja that gets the credit for the term. Its one of those evocative phrases that immediately and clearly calls to mind the characteristics being communicated.

  4. Jeff is correct. Sonja coined the term when she saw shelby and Jude on the court together. They reminded her of the two Yorkies we had for fear, fast, aggressive and adorable. It applies to Jude and Monny and STARR,

  5. Walz is certainly right to be concerned about the defense, and it will be interesting to see whether Walz continues to go with a small front line of Hammond and Taylor, given that LSU goes 6'5" Plaisance ( Shoni's WUG teammate) and 6'2" Boykin up front with 6'4" McKinney getting significant minutes off the bench. To those who have asked whether I watched the Baylor and Tennessee games from last year, the answer is, yes, many times. An unlikely-to-be-repeated shooting percentage and some unlikely to be repeated shots won that game, though substituting in Walton for Vails helped the rebounding in that game. Cards got killed on the boards in the second half against Tennessee when small line up was in. Size does matter. You heard it hear first.
    --PDX Phil

    1. As always, well stated and presented, Phil. It would not surprise me to see Walz use a combination of Hammond, Taylor, Dyer, Walton and Henderson to combat the awesome Tiger front line. Slaughter has shown she can also be effective against "bigs" .

      A four guard attack against LSU could prove to be Louisville's un-doing Thursday night.


    2. It's true. Like a lot of things in life, size does matter. All things being equal taller is better. Fortunately for us all things are never equal in roundball.

      Maybe it's just me but Hammond has always played more like 6'4" than 6'2". She's our low anchor. If we can get 25 to 30 quality minutes per game out of Sara I think we'll be OK.

      Given the general lack of elevation in the women's game in my opinion it's more about boxing out and having fouls to give against taller teams. We've got three other high potential "semi-bigs" any one of whom could break out this year. Even if Henderson doesn't figure out the college game till next year she still has five firm fouls to give and all kinds of Louisville attitude to share in doing so. I also think Bria, Tia and Megan play and can crash bigger than they are.

      It's kinda funny. After watching all of the ESPN Shoni promo pieces this week I watched her circus shot against Griner a couple times again. The shortest baller on the floor got the rebound and made the outlet pass that put Shoni on her path to national fame. Little Sister Jude. Proof positive that rebounding will always be about footwork and wanting the ball more than your opponent.


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