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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Monday Cardinal Couple -- Cards bombard Bulls 79-59


- Four in double figures in 20-point WBB win

Louisville used a 13-0 close to the first half to gain control and led by as many as 26 before defeating USF Sunday afternoon in the KFC YUM! Center.

Tia Gibbs sank (4) second half threes and finished with 19 points to lead all scorers. Shoni Schimmel added 14 and Sara Hammond and Nita Slaughter finished with 12 points each for Louisville. Asia Taylor's eight points and 10 rebounds helped Louisville improve to 22-1.

It took the Cards awhile to pull away from USF. A slow start, where Louisville was 1-10 to begin the game, had the scoreboard showing 10-7 Louisville after Taylor sank two free throws with 13:31 left in the first half. USF wasn't going away quietly...Sara Hammond's free throw with 9:34 in the game gave the Cards a 18-14 edge.

Shoni gathered her first score of the game after a jumper put Louisville up 22-16 and Tia Gibbs first trifecta of the contest had Louisville leading 28-18 with 6:24 on the clock.
A technical on the Louisville bench seemed to spur USF with 5:10 to go and the Bulls down 32-22. They scored six points in the next minute and Inga Orekhova's "3" made it 32-28 with four minutes to play.

USF would get no closer the rest of the way. Threes from Shoni and Nita pushed the lead back to ten. Three Shoni free throws increased the Cardinal lead to 41-28 and two free throws each from Nita and Tia gave the Cards a 45-28 margin with 10 seconds left in the half.

The Cards had capitalized on 12 USF turnovers to score 21 points and Nita was leading the way with 12 points on 4-7 shooting.

Shoni's third three got the second half off to a great start and then it was Tia time. Her second three of the game set the tally at 51-35 with 17:20 remaining. She connected from beyond the arc again with 15:40 showing to push UofL ahead 54-37. She connected again from the deep to give Louisville a 59-39 cushion with 13:16 to play and her fourth three of the half gave the Cards a 62-39 margin.

Emmonnie Henderson inside provided Louisville a 66-43 gap with 9:46 showing. The Bulls would outscore the Cards 16-13 the rest of the way...narrowing the gap to 18 before a Megan Denies long-ball set the score to 79-58 with 33 seconds left in the game.


Louisville drained 11 threes in the contest and shot 72% from the charity stripe. The slow start is almost something we've come to expect out of UofL as of late...but 20 assists on 25 made baskets is something to point to with a little pride.

The Cards (22-1) forced USF into 20 turnovers while committing only 11. No Card saw more than 32 minutes in the game (Shoni) and the UofL bench outscored the Bulls 23-9. USF did outrebound the Cards 42-39.

It was a usable win, if a bit uneven at times...against a squad that has much more potential than their 11-10 record would indicate. Orekhova nailed four threes against the Cards and Akila McDonald grabbed 11 rebounds against the Louisville front line.

Jose Fernandez, USF head coach, did not make the trip to Louisville...hospitalized with intestinal trouble after the Houston game earlier this week.

The Cards return to action Tuesday night in Orlando against UCF.



  1. Good Win. Scoring balance, turnovers controlled, free throw pct above 70% and everyone got minutes. Just need to take care of UCF in a few days and prepare for War with UConn. Should be a fun week.

  2. Jude doesn't play against them in Fla and Louisville wins by six. Jude does play yesterday and the Cards win by 20. I get it, do you?

    the real Joe Hill

  3. Nice to see Jude in the mix again. She may or may not have been the main factor in the point spread between the two games. I'm guessing it's probably more about having multiple scoring threats on the floor than Jude getting her floor game going but it's probably a combination of both. That said she did a good job and didn't have any turnovers along with three steals.

    Jude's big test will be at UConn. No room for tears on the bench and getting shut down. Personally I think she's matured and is ready for the challenge, but it's totally on her. Jefferson will be the toughest match up she has faced as a college baller. Since UConn has already proven they can shut down Shoni if that's all we have we're going to need to have Tia and Nita hitting their set shots to make it a game and the only way that happens is if Jude can control and move the ball. Also going to need all five of Henderson's fouls before it's all over.

    We may or may not not win but there had better be blood and not tears on the floor when it's done.

  4. Three things that I really liked -

    They got the consistent outside shooting from Gibbs and Slaughter that they will need if they hope to beat a team like UConn.

    Combined 14 assists versus only two turnovers from the three primary ballhandlers - Smith and Schimmels.

    One play late in the second half - Hammond ripped down an offensive rebound and went right back up strong for a score. Walz jumped up and pumped his fist when she did that - that's what he (and I) have been waiting to see from her.

    By the way, rebounding margin was not as bad as you said - it was 42-39.

  5. We made it to # 4 for today's AP Top 25

    1. UConn
    2. Notre Dame
    3. Stanford
    4. Louisville
    5. Duke drops from 3rd

  6. FYI: Tuesday's game against UCF is on ESPN3 at 7 PM. Louisville's website does not reflect this yet.

  7. I thought the Cardinal effort against Rutgers was their finest hour this season. It was not their best game. Their best game this season was against Ball State, but they gutted out a tough win against a tough opponent in a tough place to play at Rutgers. Effort, determination and composure were the names of that game.

    That game was followed by probably their best defensive game of the season against USF. I have never seen Shoni play harder and better on the defensive end than she did against USF. That defensive intensity may have affected her shooting and some others, but eventuially the offense comes once playing tough defense becomes a habit. Of late their slow starts are not due to a lack of effort or focus, but may be partly due to being too psyched up at the start of the game. As a former coach, I know that can affect one's offense, particularly shooting until playing intense defense becomes a habit.

    This team is definitely playing with intensity and a sense of urgency, but they are keeping thier composure and playing together as a team, and that makes them fun to watch. I hope they do not lose sight of UCF because they are building themselves up to play UConn. So far they have been remarkable in keeping their focus on one game at a time.

    I would be happy to use my name with this comment but cannot figure out how to do it, so I just use Anonymous. Gary Witherspoon

    1. Hi Gary.

      Thanks for commenting. Names magically appear in the comments section if you sign up for Google to follow us.


  8. Not surprisingly (and hopefully not temporarily), ESPN bracketologist Charlie Creme has moved the Cardinals up to a #1 seed, replacing Duke.

    I first saw this on the C-J website. The C-J reporter, Jonathan Lintner, also cites "notable women’s NCAA tournament projections assembled by College Sports Madness" in which the Cardinals remain a #2 seed. One problem with that "notable" projection is that their bracket has Stanford and Louisville in the same region. That can't happen since both are hosting. I had not previously heard of College Sports Madness but this makes me immediately question their credibility.

  9. Absolutely going to be tough to hold that 4 spot which could be very important to our tournament seeding. Our women are capable, just must remain focused on the task at hand.

  10. Probably the best Lady Card roundball video this year...

  11. OT: Watching Baylor game. Simms regularly uses an arm guard movement when dribbling which new rules consider a foul. Referees refuse to call the 4th foul on her.


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