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Sunday, December 22, 2013

SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE -- The Buffs got Schimmeled


- Shoni goes for 30 in Louisville's 69-62 win

- Jenny wins prediction and quiz events

Photo courtesy of Charlie Springer -
On an afternoon when the Cardinals had a terrible day shooting, a first half of play with terrible calls from the refs, and a technical on Coach Jeff Walz, the Cards found a way to get the win.  The final score was 69-62 , Shoni Schimmel with 30 of those points. 

The question going into this game was if Brittany Wilson of Colorado could shut Shoni Schimmel down again this year.   Last year, in Colorado, Shoni was held scoreless in the first half and held to 4 for the day.  We talked about it on the radio on Saturday morning, and we all agreed, Shoni would not be shut down again.  Shoni responded loud and clear with 30 points, only one trey on the day, and going 13-16 from the free throw line, all with only one turnover.   The Cardinals needed every one of her points today to secure the win. It was more free throws attempted and made than Shoni had on the books for the season. She, Tia and Asia were 19-23 from the line. The others? 5-17. Ugh... 

The game was much closer than I anticipated.  The greatest lead for either team was 6 points, in what would be a back and forth game that was very intense during the first half. 

While I believe refs do not win or lose games for a team, they certainly can affect a game.  The first half was terribly officiated with the bigger Buffs all over the backs of the rebounding Cards.  Coach Walz was hot and in the ear of the female ref constantly.  That Coach did not get T’d up until late in the first half is the real surprise here.  I believe the technical on Walz was certainly warranted, but the refs left him no choice with the lack of calls.  The technical worked. The crowd went wild and was the loudest I can remember it in a long time, and the Cardinals closed the half on a 9-0 run after the technical. 

Bria Smith had a very good first half of play having huge success with her mid range jumper.  Heading in to the second half, we saw the Bria we are used to,  slashing towards the basket, and ending up on the free throw line.  Her first half was much more successful.   Bria shot an abysmal 5-12 from the line. 

Tia Gibbs found a way to contribute mightily for her team, even though she could not get her offense going.   Tia had great effort on the boards pulling down 8 rebounds.   She contributed on the defensive end when she could not get her shots to fall, getting 1 blocked shot and 2 steals. Her performance is an excellent example of finding ways to contribute other than with points.  She, however, was also a bright spot at the free throw line hitting all 3 attempts. 

Louie's mascot pals showed up to celebrate his birthday
While the Cardinals continued to outwork their opponent on the boards, two very recent successful areas for the Cards were not present today.  Ball movement and passing has been talked about a lot recently here at Cardinal Couple.  We have been lauding the team for their excellent passing, especially from the post players.  That was not as evident today.  Which brings me to my next point, which is assists, only 5 on the day.  Of course, it is hard to get an assist when shots aren’t falling.   The Cardinals shot a season low 33.8% for the day. 

I am proud of the Cardinals for getting the win today.  However, I think they are lucky this one ended up in the win column.  Anytime you leave 16 points on the floor (free throw shooting), you are going to be lucky to get the win.  It was a terrible day at the line for many of the Cardinals today.  Absolutely terrible.  I know Coach Walz talks about it all the time.  I am not sure when it will change for this team.  It is embarrassingly bad. 

The Cardinals close the out of conference slate of the schedule 12-1.  They are 4-1 against ranked opponents.  While there have been a couple of nail biters and overtime games, the Cardinals have found ways to win in tough situations.  It is a great start to a season of Unfinished Business, but there is much work to do. 

The team has time off until Dec. 26.  Many were catching flights home by days end on Saturday.   We here at Cardinal Couple wish the players and coaches safe travels and a very happy holiday season.

The Cardinals will open AAC play next week against SMU.   They will be back at it again on Sunday, Dec. 29 at 3:00 pm at The YUM Center.   We hope to see you there. 
In the meantime, Happy Holidays!


In a preseason write up, I predicted a lone loss going in to conference play.  Looks like I did a fine job in those picks, the only loss coming to Kentucky (as predicted).  How did you do?  Let us know in the comment section. 

Jenny O'Bryan

editor's notes...

- I predicted the cards would fall three times, so i was out of the running. i don't recall what Worldwide came up with...but jenny is on a streak lately...defeating Worldwide in the radio show quiz yesterday also. 

- 1-10 from three-point range was distressing... but Colorado didn't fare much better, going 3-12 from the deep. Stellar defense? Nah...just poor shooting.

- Party foul!  The mascots DID NOT play their annual mascot game at halftime. Zumba instead. Really? On Louie's Birthday? Sticks and coal in Louisville Marketing's stocking for this Homer Simpson move. 

- I did ask coach Walz what he said to draw the "T". He responded with..."What? Paul, you didn't hear me? I thought I was plenty loud." Based on how the team responded, I think Walz should continue to get "teed" up in all close games. Just a thought...

- The other highlight of the presser came from the incomparable Bob Domine, who point blank asked Walz about the lack of any top 25 schools left on the Cards schedule. Walz got a puzzled look on his face and then mentioned to Bob that he thought UConn was a fairly good team. The room erupted in laughter. Yep...

- Paulie


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  1. Nice piece. A win is great but I agree that we were fortunate in this one. That said finding a way to beat a top 15 team while shooting only 33% says something good about their ability to tough a bad shooting night out. We probably would have lost this game last year.

    Nice to see Shoni pushing the ball to the rim. With the way she has sometimes forced her shots in the past a person sometimes forgets how great of a shooting stroke she has. Her free throw performance was stellar. She has the smooth mechanics that make a great shooter. Her teammates should pay attention.

    If Shoni can keep pushing her offense to the hole, Bria can continue to improve her midrange game, Hammond can stay out of foul trouble and if the law of shooting averages finally catches up with Jude & Tia we'll have a great conference run this year.

  2. I agree that was a good effort from Shoni. The assist level dropped because Shoni was going to the hoop instead of passing but the shooting percentage was horrible. Wins are wins.

    Curtis Franklin

  3. Really? A win over a ranked team? Spoiled still I say lol GOOD WIN CARDS!!! YOU DID AWESOME!!!! ---U23


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