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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Monday CARDINAL COUPLE -- Hoops, Lacrosse take wins on Sunday


- Career high for Henderson key in WBB 82-66 win

- Lacrosse shows mercy on Detroit Mercy 18-1

- Softball gets slammed by Irish 11-4

Louisville's WBB head coach Jeff Walz will take Sunday's win in Memphis. He's pleased over 'E' getting a career high 19 points in the 16 point win. Happy about the 14-2 start to begin the second half that pushed the Cards from a 41-30 halftime lead to a 53-32 advantage four minutes into the final period.

But there is room for improvement.

"In the second half, we get a stop and we go down and score. That's what we have to do, but we need to become more consistent."

Pleased as he was with Henderson's best game as a Card, Walz also indicated there was still more work to do in the post:

"Offensively, she (Henderson) is talented...but she got to be able to learn to do more than just shoot. And, you can't turn it over five times."

The trio of "E", A-Tayy and the Hammer had 12 of the Cards 20 turnovers...a number too high for Walz who added:

"They don't touch the ball enough to turn it over that much."

Henderson was joined in double figures by Shoni (18 pts.) and Taylor (13 points).

Memphis made a point of bottling up Shoni early in the game...still mindful of her nine three-pointers against them the last time the teams played. They also got strong play in the paint from Pa'Sonna Hope (18 points). The guard combo of Ariel Hearn and Mooriah Rowser added 35 points for the Tigers (11-15, 4-10)...who drew a season high of 2585 for the game. A strong contingent of Louisville fans and native Americans were present to cheer on the Cards and the Schimmel sisters 

The game also featured the first season appearance of Starr Breedlove...who has been out the entire season with concussion-related symptoms. The sophomore guard saw three minutes, hit a couple of free throws, dished an assist and committed a couple of fouls in end-of-the-game play.

The Cards shot 54.2% for the game and went 8-18 from the distance. The 32 made goals were set up by 21 assists.

Sara Hammond played just nine minutes...plagued by foul trouble and watched Henderson's assimilation of the post. Bria Smith did return to action after sitting the last two contests....scoring five points and grabbing three boards.

Louisville returns to the KFC YUM! Center for a Wednesday, 7 p.m. tilt with cellar dweller Houston.

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Louisville Lacrosse got a career-high six goals from Kaylin Morissette and rolled out to a 12-1 first half advantage in downing University of Detroit 18-1 Sunday afternoon before an appreciative, if bit chilly, crowd at the UofL Lacrosse Stadium.

The Cards netted five goals in the first five minutes of action, evoking my remark to CARDINAL COUPLE columnist Jeff McAdams that we were on a goal-per-minute production and the final score could turn out 60-0.

The Cards were a bit more lenient on the offensive attack the rest of the way, working on positioning, passing and stifling defense...holding the Titans to just two shots per half while amassing a total of 42 shots on the harried UD goalie.

Nikki Boltja and Cortnee Daley scored three goals each for the Cards...eight Cardinals scored in the rout.

Coach Young was pleased with the effort:

"We got better today than we did in the game against Duke and I was proud of the transition game and the way we played. The offense was more controlled and we made some huge adjustments. It's just awesome when you can get that many attackers involved in the game and to put the ball in the back of the net."  

The LAX crew hits the road next...making a Virginia tour with a Friday game against Old Dominion and Sunday against William & Mary.

I had a nice post-game chat with the Detroit Lacrosse SID who filled me in on the history of the name Detroit Mercy. Seems the University of Detroit and a small women's college named Mercy merged 25 years ago to create Detroit Mercy.

He indicated that most people just referred to them as Detroit. The Titans play in the American Sun conference and will have eight teams on board for conference play in 2015. Dick Vitale is probably the most famous figure associated with the school...he was a head coach of the basketball team there before terrorizing the airwaves.


Louisville softball ended a dismal stay (except for the weather) in Jacksonville...losing to Notre Dame 11-4 Sunday morning.

The Irish pounded Louisville and Rachel LeCoq for seven first inning runs and the game was pretty much over from then on. The Cards did spark a little flame with three runs in the bottom of the second...but drop to 4-5 on the season after going 1-3 in Jacksonville.

Louisville returns home for the Cardinal Classic (Feb 21-23) at Ulmer Stadium with NKU, EKU, IUPUI and Central Michigan visiting.



  1. E is coming into her own at exactly the right time. She should be a force in the tourney. Now if Sara can just control her fouls and stay in the game a while. Nice to see Bria and Megan getting some good minutes and doing some efficient scoring. This depth is going help a ton in the tourney.

    Oh yeah...Jude hit a Three!! Woo Hoo! Maybe she's coming out of her slump. If so that timing will be good too. Only one turnover too.

    With Mosqueda-Lewis out March 3 is setting up to be a total Throwdown.

  2. I can't believe Walz is too disappointed in Henderson's matador defense when you look at the overall picture of work. When's the last time a Louisville WBB freshman center had this kind of impact on the Cards offense? Jazz maybe? Jazz was a 6'1" center also.

    I was rather surprised Walz put Star Breedlove in the game. I thought that was a redshirt. With the Cards deep in guards, I have to wonder just what meaningful role she'll have in this teams' fortunes?

    Blue Lou

    1. The coaches were very impressed with Starr's quickness and ball handling abilities in the preseason. Nothing wrong with having six guards who can rotate between the "1" and "2".

      I just wish one of them was 6'4"

      Curtis Franklin

  3. I was disappointed with how critical of the team Louisville's radio announcers were during the game Sunday, particularly Ms. Johnson. She talked like the players are not trying and are just being stupid, especially during the first half. I say have a little empathy and a little appreciation for what the Cards have done this season.

    They have not been upset once this season, losing only to two teams ranked in the top 10 at the time. That is remarkable. Appreciate it and respect and appreciate players playing their hearts out, even when they make some mistakes.

    They want players to play great one on one defense against a team that has a bunch of very quick drivers, quicker than Bria Smith. And the officials will not let them even breathe on or get near the offensive player, and most of the time it is the offensive player than is creating the contact by going into the offensive player. I felt sorry for Sara. She got her third foul on an absolutely ridiculous call. But if you get to the basket, you get clobbered in the act of shooting and no foul is called.

    Under trying circumstances the Cards won again going away. Give them credit. Baylor only won by 17 against TT that has 0 wins this season in the Big 12. Last week Stanford lost to UW and barely beat WSU. ASU ranked near the top 10 beat AZ by 20+ on Tuesday, and then lost to AZ four days later by 17 or something like that. Its tough to be consistent and not get upset. Radio announcers give credit where credit is due. Gary W.

    1. Didn't hear the radio feed but can advise that AJ is with the team each day as a rule during practice sessions and has a pretty good grip on the players' abilities.

      After a successful career at Butler and Ohio State, AJ went on to a long WNBA career. Once again, didn't hear what she said but I would offer that AJ's vast experience with the game would make her a fairly sound judge on how the players might be performing...


    2. ya maybe aj can b hard on the players at times tho she is just a radio announcer she would b a great coach and probably will b someday she stays in the ville to look after sick mom and dedicates herself to that

    3. We all love Sara but she's been getting into foul trouble pretty much all season and having to sit out for important stretches of many games. We need her in the game when the chips are down. She needs to figure it out and adjust her game accordingly. It's one thing to get into foul trouble against an average club but in the tourney we need her to be available. The fact that she keeps getting into foul trouble even against average competition is a concern. Everyone has to adjust to how the calls are being made.

      AJ comes by it pretty honestly in my opinion. The reason UConn is dominant is due to the high standards that Geno holds them to. He doesn't make excuses for his ballers. Walz shouldn't either if we want to eventually get to where the UConn program is now.

    4. AJ is correct and not saying anything about players continuing to commit silly fouls will not change the facts.

      The rules regarding contact and the offensive players right to move have changed. We either change with it or we sit on the bench after 3 minutes of play and watch others work to fill in the hole our player has left. We are well past the time of year where we should have learned that riding on a ball handlers hip who is moving across court and swatting a hand at the ball handler/ shooter while our players body is hitting the player will result in fouls and no matter the amount of innocent protest or whining will change it.

      If I can see the fouls on replay, the player and the referee also knows what was done. Looks silly and embarrassing to act innocent. Better to not keep committing the same silly useless fouls.

      Currently watching Notre Dame/ Ga Tech and Maryland/Duke game. None if the 4 team players are attempting to play defense in this manner. In fact at 1/2 time only 1 of the teams moved into the bonus and that was with 3 minutes left.

    5. I was not commenting on AJ the person, or on her career, her expertise or her intent. I was not even questioning the validity of the criticisms, and I meant my comments for the play by play guy as well. I am asking that people who criticize keep in mind the context and the larger picture. By context I mean the officiating, and how a player can be expected to play defense against the dribble drive when the officials call a foul when the defensive player just gets close to the offensive player, and when the offensive player instigates the contact. It was a really tough context in which to try to play one on one defense against the dribble drive, and this not just about Sara but about virtually all the players. Generally the players either got in foul trouble or they were criticized for not playing effective defense, It was a tough context for getting down on multiple players for bad fouls or for playing poor defense.

      By the larger perspective, I refer to the fact that Louisville has had a remarkable season without an upset. The Cards are not the biggest, or the fastest or the quickest or the most talented team in the country, but they are now ranked third in the AP Poll, the highest in history. They have played as consistently well as any team in the nation, and I think they have a 50/50 chance of beating UConn March 3 at the Yum Center. I am just asking that the radio people and all of the rest of us keep this in mind, and appreciate what they have done. They are not perfect; they make numerous mistakes every game. No team is at its best every game, but the Cards have been good enough when it counts to be 25-2 against a tough schedule. I am just saying that sometimes our growing expectations and demands for perfection get the best of us, and we lose a balanced perspective.

  4. Charlie Creme is out with his latest bracketology on ESPNW. Duke drops from a #1 to a #2 and is replaced on the top line by....South Carolina.

    Louisville remains a #2 and gets UConn as the #1 (South Carolina is the #1 in Lincoln).

    If the goal is to win the national championship, you have to beat UConn eventually so why not in a regional final on your home floor?

    Glad to see Jude finally pull the trigger on a shot. It is becoming increasingly painful to watch her pass up open looks.

    "Point-a-Minute" Henderson continues to impress with her low post presence. Sure, she gives some back on the defensive end, but I'm in the "let her play" camp.

    1. Glad to see Charlie C eat a little crow come tournament selection time. No matter the scenario he apparently cannot see past UConn @ Louisville. Apparently not in his consideration is that both teams travel well and i think the selection committee will be reluctant to knock out a high attendance team earlier than is needed just so UConn can travel a direct line yo Louisville.

      Time will tell.

    2. Gee, that's shocking....Charlie Creme dissing the Cards.

  5. In spite of what we did in the tourney last year and our record this year it seems we're still destined to go into the tourney lacking respect from many. Hopefully that will be a motivator for our club. It might be in our favor.

    Mike might be right...if you've got to take on UConn in the tourney just do it in the Regional. Since Geno is 8 and 0 in NC games maybe the regional is the place to beat them.

    I'm really looking forward to E against UConn going forward. I don't think she'll have the shooting jitters the second time around.

  6. I am in the camp of meeting Uconn, if we must, in the FF. It does more for us programmatically, regardless of the outcome, to make it to another FF.
    Whether we win or lose to Uconn if such a meeting were to occur, the effects on recruiting with a back to back FF appearance advances the program lightyears faster than whatever outcome may happen in the Regional. In my humble opinion.

    That being said, I can not see Uconn in the Louisville regional. I think when hosting regionals changed for this season, so too does the emphasis on geography. When creating brackets, in theory, the overall #1 seed gets the easiest road to the FF. Placing Uconn anywhere but Lincoln (the only "neutral site" for a high seed) is a slap in the face to the overall #1 seed. I've got Connecticut in Nebraska and the 4th number 1 seed, whoever that is, in Louisville. I'll eat crow if I must, but for now, I am sticking to it.


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