WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
- Shoni's 26 leads five double figure scorers in rout of Iowa
The Iowa Hawkeyes were trying to stand in the way of Louisville's return to play in the regionals of the NCAA Womens' basketball tournament in the KFC YUM! Center.
The Cards dot another "I" (the first one Idaho on Sunday) and return to Louisville after a 83-53 defeat of Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena Tuesday night.
Iowa did keep it close for the first six minutes and the Cards faced a 11-11 tie from an inspired Hawkeye squad.
It did not last.
Louisville went on a 12-1 run and led 23-13 after a Shoni Schimmel jumper with 8:41 left in the first half. It only got worse for Iowa after that.
The Cards took a 28-17 lead after a Tia Gibbs putback with 5:42 on the clock and extended that to 33-19 at the four minute TV timeout. A 7-4 closing run had Louisville up 40-23 at halftime.
Shoni had 12 of her game high 26 points at that point and Nita Slaughter had 8 points...with two threes to her stat line. Three Cards (Tia, Asia Taylor and Jude Schimmel) had six points each and the rout was on.
The Cards were shooting 64% in the first half. Iowa 31%.
Louisville went on a 21-8 spree over the first eight minutes of the second half to take a 30 point lead...61-31...with twelve minutes to go in the game. The Cards were shooting, rebounding and playing defense well. And without their starting posts in the game.
With Sara and Asia on the bench watching...saddled with fouls...the Hawkeyes had a height advantage.
It did not matter. Louisville went up 79-44 with four minutes left. One almost felt sorry for Iowa...hoping they would empty the bench like Louisville did several minutes earlier...realize that it was over and let the clock run.
Much like the loud and rowdy Iowa fan base in the stands...the Hawkeye team wouldn't let it die. Hard fouls and wild threes that didn't hit the mark plagued the final minutes. The Hawkeye coach finally emptied the bench. It was time.
You play to the final buzzer...sure...and it hurts to lose at home...but Iowa was a beaten team when A-Tayy nailed a jumper to complete a 9-2 Louisville blitz in the first three minutes of the final half to go up 49-25.
Sam Logic and Distel-whatever may be local legends in Iowa City. The truth is...they are mediocre basketball players on a run-of-the-mill, middle-of-the-pack Big 10 team. They could not stop the beatdown that Louisville administered.
Louisville wins 83-53. Another "I" dotted. Another hopeful pretender sent to the sidelines. Survive and advance.
Shoni led all scorers with 26. Nita Slaughter added 17...five threes in the mix against the ponderously slow Iowa perimeter. Tia Gibbs finished with 12 points. Jude and Asia with 10 points each. Starr Breedlove scored in mop-up minutes to extend her games scored-in streak to two. She's quick and has a nice free-throw motion. Watch out for this girl next season.
How many times has Louisville won by 30 and Sara Hammond not scored?
Another successful stop on the Unfinished Business trip. Louisville gets a LSU squad on Sunday that they beat earlier in the season.
C'mon home, ladies. Another appearance in the Sweet Sixteen ahead. In the KFC YUM! Center. Sunday hoops with great weather ahead. Go buy tickets, Card fans.
And Iowa...for what it's worth...went one game further in the NCAA Tournament than their cross-state rivals Iowa State.
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Louisville's Shoni Schimmel and Sara Hammond were named to the WBCA All-Region I team, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced Tuesday. The selection committee will select the 10-member WBCA Division I Coaches' All-America Team from 52 candidates
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Sixteen teams remain. Breaking them down by conference gives us five from the SEC (Tennessee, LSU, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Kentucky). Louisville's future conference...the ACC...has three schools representing (Notre Dame, North Carolina and Maryland). The AAC still has the two that were selected for the Big Dance alive in UConn and Louisville. The Big 12? Baylor and Oklahoma State. DePaul represents the Big East (way to go Doug Bruno!) The WAC has surprising #12 seed BYU still dancing. Penn State is the lone Big 10 survivor. Stanford is the sole PAC school .
By seeding? All four #1 seeds are alive. Only two of the #2 seeds advanced (take that NCAA...WVU and Duke are gone).
All four #3 seeds will play this weekend. Two of the #4 seeds (Maryland and North Carolina) fight on. #5 seed Oklahoma St. heads to the South Bend regional. Two #7 seeds...DePaul and LSU...join the party and #12 BYU completes the team-by-seed breakdown.
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How's the CARDINAL COUPLE Pick 'Em contest going? I'm glad you asked! Here's the standings thru the first two rounds:
Joe H 39-9
Blue Lou 38-10
Willie Cat Fan 37-11
Gary W 36-12
Kenny S 35-13
David Watson 34-14
Jennifer B 31-17
Cardinal Chimp 30-18
Matt M for Gov 25-23
The Other One 24-24