VANDY BRINGS NINE-GAME WIN STREAK INTO LOUISVILLE GAME
The University of Louisville women's basketball team takes its 11-2 record to Music City for a Wednesday night battle against the 10-1 Vanderbilt Commodores in Memorial Gym. The 8 p.m. (EST) tip-off will be shown online on ESPN3 and also on the SECN+ network on cable. You can listen to Nick and A.J call in on 1080 AM WKJK...Cards Radio 790 WKRD will be broadcasting the Uk v UofL men's game.
Although the 'Dores aren't in the top 25 yet (but receiving votes) first year head coach Stephanie White has accomplished some very good things with her squad...including a win over ACC member Duke 77-73 and a hard-fought 79-77 victory at Tennessee-Martin. The lone Commodore loss came in their second game of the season...a 94-61 drubbing by IU in Bloomington. A bunch of mid-majors make up the rest of the Commodore schedule so far...Louisville will be the highest-ranked team they've faced so far. Last time out...they blitzed Tenn. Tech 89-57 in Memorial....getting big efforts out of two reserves in Erin Whalen (23) and Lea Lea Carter (18.)
Leading the way for Vandy are a trio of juniors that are double-digit performers. Christa Reed puts in 12.7 ppg, Rachel Bell averages 12.1 a game and Rebekah Dahlman is good for 11.1 a contest. Vandy leads the SEC in 3-pointers made per game (8.0). They also cash in well from the free throw line...they are 12th in the country in free throws made and Dahlman is hitting them at a 91.7% clip.
They are a smallish team...with no one over 6'1" but they are managing to out-rebound opponents 40.8 to 35.4 on the season. Marqu'es Webb, a 6'1" senior averages 9.6 grabs a game.
Louisville last faced Vanderbilt in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament at Xavier. The Cards took a 81-62 win that day...Shoni Schimmel getting 19 points to lead all scorers. The game was close with 12 minutes to play and Louisville holding a 49-42 lead...the Cards went on a 13-0 run to go up by 20 and cruise to the win. The Cards would go on to knock off the home-standing Muskies next to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
In the series history, this will be the 13th. time the two have met. Vandy holds a 8-4 lead in the series. Louisville has lost five straight to the 'Dores in Nashville...the most recent back in 2006 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament 76-64. That was the game where Louisville First host Howie Lindsey suffered an appendicitis attack during the second half....passing out in the hallway and taken by ambulance to Vanderbilt hospital. Sonja and I were at that contest, as fans, and had spoken briefly with him at halftime...minutes before he was stricken. Walz and White have never met on the hardwood.
White isn't the only new addition to Vandy. ESPN analyst and former college head coach Carolyn Peck is an associate coach for the 'Dores. I always enjoyed listening to her color commentary on WBB games and we have no doubt that her wisdom and knowledge has a big role as well in Vandy's hot start. Peck coached Stephanie White at Purdue...where they won a National Championship in the 1999 season.
So...how do the Cards sink the ship of the streaking Commodores? We see several keys to a Louisville victory:
- Be the beast of the boards. Louisville needs a big effort from Hines-Allen, Walton, Moore and whoever else Walz employs to patrol the paint. The 'Dores are a good shooting squad and grabbing their misses...plus getting second chance opportunities will be very important tonight.
- Adjusting to the surroundings. Memorial Gym is a weird configuration...with an up-raised floor and the player and coaches benches in the end-zone. It's not the best lit facility in college basketball and gives Vandy a distinct average.
- Providing the pressure. Louisville is at their finest when they can force their foes into turnovers and out of a offensive familiarity with tough defense pressure. If Briahanna Jackson and the crew can get a lot of steals, deflections and force Vandy out of a comfort zone...the Cards should do well.
What does head coach Stephanie White thing of the upcoming battle? We have
her talking about the contest at the link below:
her talking about the contest at the link below:
I was able to preview the game, plus a few other subjects with Howie on his Louisville First morning show on Cards Radio 790 AM WKRD on Tuesday morning. We appreciate Howie bringing us on weekly to discuss the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports and other subjects that cross his mind. People have asked if there is a podcast or rebroadcast for these...I'm usually on at 7:40 in the morning and I know that's a bit early for some...so there is a link below of Tuesday show. I join Howie around the 31 minute mark.
PAULIE ON LOUISVILLE FIRST WITH HOWIE LINDSEY
ANOTHER BATTLE OF THE BLUEGRASS
While the women's basketball squad is battling Vandy, the KFC YUM! Center will be filled with fans of the men's squad...as they do battle with Kentucky at 7 p.m.
This is good stuff...the height of Pitino's Cards against Calipari's quickness. DeAaron Fox and Malik Monk vs. Ray Spalding and Donovan Mitchell. Red and Blue.
We're not real tickled that this one is on a Wednesday and being played on the same day as the women's game...but the Four Letter Network dictates terms and they are promising a lot of coverage all day leading up to the tip on ESPN.
Defend the home court, Cards. Get the "W".