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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Monday Cardinal Couple - Louisville 73 - LSU 47




For the first 7 1/2 minutes of Sunday afternoon's game between LSU and Louisville, it looked like the 'eye of the Tiger' was going to hang close with the Louisville Cardinals in the KFC YUM! Center. Up 12-9 after a Danielle Ballard jumper..her 10th point of the game, LSU was getting a All-American performance out of the sophomore guard.

Then, two things happened. A media timeout and the insertion of Tia Gibbs into the game. Shoni started the Louisville run with two free throws to put the Cards up 13-12. 16 seconds later...Tia buries a three. 35 seconds later... she nails another one.

Make it 19-14 Louisville. Make it ballgame over. A Shoni jumper and Jude three (off a nifty A-Tayy assist) and with eight minutes left...score it Louisville 24-LSU 14.

The Cards would push that advantage to 17 a couple of times in the final eight minutes of the first half and take a 41-23 halftime lead into the locker room.

Holly Rowe tries to explain to Sonja and I why she is
dressed in blue. Excuse denied!  
It was 32-11 over the final 12 minutes of the first half and the crowd of 11097 was going crazy or going to the exits...depending on whether they were wearing red or orange.

- The Cards made seven first half threes...LSU none.

- Louisville was shooting 43% from the floor...LSU 30%

- The Cards had a 12-0 bench advantage in scoring. 

- Louisville held a 9-2 points off turnovers edge.

The LSU fans seated behind us were an obnoxious bunch
Shoni had 14 points and Tia 9. Seven Cards scored in the first twenty minutes. For LSU, it was the Ballard show...she had 14 of the 23 LSU points. Forward Thersea Plaisance had been held to 5 points on 1-5 shooting by Taylor, Hammond and Walton.

LSU would make a last-gap attempt to rally, cutting the Louisville lead to 42-29 with 17:23 to go in the game when Ballard hit a jumper. It just served to get Louisville fired up and the Cards went on a 16-6 spurt which featured two Gibbs threes...the second one making it 58-35 with ten minutes left to play.

At that point, Louisville was 10-26 from trifecta range. LSU was 0-4.

Coach Walz started to rest the starters at that point. He had a lineup of Walton, Henderson, Breedlove, Deines and Smith in the game after Slaughter drained a three to make it 66-40 Cards with 5:35 remaining.

Louie and Mike the Tiger in a dance off. Mike narrowly won.
Shoni led Louisville with 19 points on 6-13 shooting. She also had a team high six assists. Gibbs finished with 15 points...sinking five threes on nine attempts. Nita rounded out the Cardinal double figure scorers with 10. A-Tayy finished with seven points and 10 rebounds. Sara, Jude and "E" tallied five points each. Bria added four and Megan nailed a three for her only score of the game.

Ballard had 24 points for LSU. She also had 24 in the LSU win over WVU.

Tia sinking another three (just out of camera range).
It's Maryland Tuesday night for victorious Louisville. The Terrapins a surprise winner over Tennessee 73-61 in Sunday's opening contest...the Turtles stand in the road of the Cards heading to Nashville for the Final Four. The Terps jumped out to a 6-5 lead four minutes into the first game and built that to a 26-15 advantage halfway through the first twenty minutes. Enjoying a 41-27 halftime advantage...UM had a large group of UT backers in the YUM! left with little to cheer about.

You could sense it was not the Vols afternoon...Thomas seemed to be able to score whenever she wanted against the pourous Tennessee defense and when she was stopped Lexie Brown and Laurin Mincy were there to pick up points. The trio will make Louisville's attempt to gain Final Four status difficult.

The party was over when Maryland was still double-digiting the Vols 67-53 and 4:00 showing on the KFC YUM! Center scoreboard.

The Vols cheerleaders were pretty good...the WBB squad...not so much 
This one was the Alyssa Thomas vs. Meighan Simmons showdown. Thomas had 33 points for Maryland and Simmons ends her college career with 31.

As for Mercedes Russell and Jordan Reynolds...two Vols players that Jeff Walz went after very strongly for the 2013 class...a combined four points in 31 minutes of play. Russell did have a couple of impressive blocked shots. Based on yesterday's performance...which is probably unfair given that Reynolds played huge down the stretch in conference play for UT...Louisville isn't missing a whole lot in not getting the two to sign as Cardinals.

Tennessee is going home. So is LSU. It was a rough day for the SEC Sunday...South Carolina lost North Carolina. Only Texas A&M remains for the SEC.

On a day where fans attending Regional womens' basketball action in Louisville saw three incredible individual was the team that got solid performances from multiple players that looked the most impressive.

Walz vs. Frese. Former head coach and assistant go to battle to take I-65 South and dance. It should be a great one Tuesday night.

BE there if you can...

Another successful sale on the Unfinished Business trip. The Party-Crashers 2 get a step closer to a return trip to Final Four frenzy.


The CARDINAL COUPLE Pick 'Em contest standings:

Paulie             45-11
Curtis F           43-13
Joe Hill
Charlyse          42-14
Blue Lou
Kenny S           41-15
Gary W
Willie Cat Fan  40-16
David Watson
Worldwide       39-17
Card Chimp      35-21
Jennifer B        34-22
Matt M             27-29
The Other One 26-30




  1. Going to be a great game Tuesday! BTW, did anyone see Brenda Frese's pre game speech vs Tennessee? Classless and disrespectful. No doubt she is going to disrespect our fans, players, and coaches. Would love to send her home with a L

    1. Didn't see it. Anyone got a link to it? I DO know that the UT fans near us were grumbling about whether Holly Warlick should be the UT coach of the future. Yelling at Meighan Simmons to pass instead of shoot. Things aren't so rosy in Big Orange these days...


    2. The Tennessee fans behind us were pretty critical also. They told us that Russell right now is primarily a shot-blocker and a traffic cop. She looked slow and ponderous to me. I think "E" gets up and down he court better than Russell does. But I suspect Russell will improve. I know that "E" will.

    3. I didn't see Frese's speech that way at all. She was just motivating her team.

  2. Lots to like yesterday. How about 21 assists on 25 made field goals? How about only 10 turnovers? And how about 6 rebounds in 16 minutes from Walton?

    The crowd was great - hope we fill the lower bowl again on Tuesday.

    Tennessee looked slow the whole game, and Maryland made them pay time after time. Tuesday could be a track meet - both teams like to get out in transition. Thomas is quite a player.

  3. Our Girls showed the Selection Committee they were wrong with their ranking. I love playing with a chip on our shoulders. Shoni has showed so much restraint and maturity on the court. I think Russ should take a lesson. Whats the deal for him to come into the Arena and walked down the long way, when he could have easily come in the back. What a showboat taking the girls thunder! He comes in late and leaves early...HMMMM who was that for? BTW...UOFL is on fire and will Send ms Frese back to turtleville. Be at YUM on Tuesday, if you have never been to a game grab a friend, sister or co will not be disappointed.

  4. We are still not getting any respect. Saw where #4 seed Maryland is picked over #3 seed Louisville.

    Thanks for posting the contest rankings. At least I am still ahead of Worldwide. :-)

    By the way, the shirts are nice and glad that I "bought" one.


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