We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Louisville Spring Sports Media Day -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


On a crisp, cool Monday morning representatives from Lacrosse, Softball, Men's Golf, Men's Tennis, Women's Tennis, Men's Swimming and Women's Swimming gathered on the second floor of the YUM! Practice Facility to discuss the hopes, dreams, progress, expectations and goals of their respective programs. 

We concentrated on softball, lacrosse and women's tennis...the three we'll be covering most and got some nice interviews with the players and coaches. 

LACROSSE is going through a rebuilding phase of sorts...with just four seniors and a highly decorated and influential class just departed. There is still plenty of talent left, though...good enough to get Kellie Young's squad a #18 preseason ranking...and optimism and excitement about what lies ahead in the 2017 season. I sat down with Young, junior defender Emily Howell and senior midfielder Heidi Smith to ask a few questions. They being their season in a mere five days and seem to be ready to get after it. Here's the audio from the fun and informative 10 minutes...


WOMEN'S TENNIS is already in full swing...excuse the pun...and I got a chance to talk to head coach Mark Beckham and seniors Elle Stokes and Olivia Boesing. The squad is 4-0 so far in the spring schedule with wins over Tennessee-Martin, Murray State, Detroit Mercy and Western Kentucky. Stokes is out for several weeks with an arm injury but excited for her teammates and promises to be back to participate in most of the ACC slate if things go well.

Louisville Cardinal sports editor Dalton Ray and I teamed up for the chat with the "serve and swing" Cards and their coach: 


SOFTBALL heads to Vegas to begin their season on Feb. 10th. We've chatted a lot in the past couple weeks with head coach Sandy Pearsall and senior left-fielder Jordan McNary and both were present again Monday to "field" questions from Paulie. I did coax Coach Pearsall to share her fun story about "The Christmas Bull" and reviewed campaign strategy and the future with Jordan. 



A great time getting together with the faces and futures of Cardinal athletics this spring. We even got a brief glimpse of women's basketball head coach Jeff Walz, Christine Herring and a important-looking man carrying blueprints...not there on an interview or comments capacity, mind you...but possibly there to see what changes and designs will be made to the second floor of the YUM! Practice facility office space and reception area after women's basketball season. 

Or maybe where the "mad scientist" will be putting the secret entrance to his laboratory where he comes up with the Walzian Theorems.  

An impressive showing by the media as well...a couple of TV stations, our pal Howie Lindsey, daring and debonair Dalton Ray and others. We hope that they'll continue the coverage on a consistent basis as these seasons unfold.  

I'm not sure if I'm totally in favor of the different format used from the Fall Sports Media Day, where each coach got to field questions before the reporters were turned loose to talk to the players. This was a "eat your lunch and go talk to people" concept. Time constraints may have been in play...with Football having a press conference later in the afternoon and having six instead of three coaches at the table might have taken awhile...but it was a great couple of hours with the players and coaches, nevertheless. 

We look forward to the upcoming seasons for these sports and we'll be here to give you our unfiltered and unique coverage on them.

tuesday's gone with the wind...

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Louisville women's basketball -- Third quarter blitz leads Cards past the Pitts -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Louisville women's basketball used a 14-0 run to start the third quarter in their 15-point 63-48 win over Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon at the Petersen Center. The Cards (20-4, 7-2) trailed the Panthers 28-26 after the first half but the fast-out-of-the-gate beginning of the second half put the Cards up 40-28 and Louisville never trailed again. 

Mariya Moore had the highlight moments by nailing five 3's in the Cardinal win...but it was bench play and strong second-half defense that were equally impressive in the contest. 

The Cards took an early 3-0 lead to start the game on a Moore three...but found themselves trailing Pitt 11-5 after 4-1/2 minutes of action. Pitt was shooting at a 83.3% rate (5-6) to open the game and the 2-3 zone the Panthers were employing to start the game seemed to have the Cards at less than optimum offensive accuracy. Briahanna Jackson brought UofL back to a two-point, 11-9 deficit with a free throw and a three over the next two minutes and a Moore three made it 13-12 Pitt with 1:05 left in the first. Pitt's Kalistsa Walters hit a jumper as time expired in the first, though...and the Cards were trailing 17-14 after ten minutes. 

Pitt was having success inside, so the Cards switched to a 2-3 zone to start the second period. That move didn't deter the Panthers...they built the lead to 23-16 after Brandi Harvey-Carr found the rim on a putback with 6:07 until the half. Myisha Hines-Allen and Sam Fuehring started a Cardinal rally with baskets and Cardinal head coach Jeff Walz went deep into the bench and brought Brianna Jones into the contest at the 5:11 mark and the sophomore guard had an immediate impact with two threes in a 30 second period. Suddenly, the Cards were up 26-24 with 4:13 until the half. Louisville, inexplicably...stopped looking for "Jonesie" and didn't score the rest of the half. Pitt got two buckets and it was 28-26 Panthers after two quarters. 

The contest was stopped for over four minutes after Pitt took the 28-26 on a referee review of what was most certainly a flagrant foul committed by Pitt's Walters on Briahanna Jackson...a forearm shot that dropped the 5'6" redshirt to the hardwood. The official crew, led by Kathleen Lynch, eventually ruled it was "inadvertent" and no foul was issued. It was about "inadvertent" as a Mike Tyson round-house right...Walz protested vehemently but to no avail. 

Louisville had some work to do. They were shooting 30% (10-33) and the Panthers were at 60% (12-20). Harvey-Carr had eight points and Brenna Wise had seven for the upset-minded Panthers. MHA was M.I.A. for Louisville and Asia Durr was scoreless.

Whatever was said or transpired in the Cards locker-room at half-time got the Cards attention. Louisville raced out to a 14-0 start in the first 4-1/2 minutes. Moore started the party with a three, Jazmine Jones added two free throws, Bionca Dunham connected in the paint, Moore knocked down another three and a coast-to-coast layup and the Cards were up 38-28 after four minutes. J.J. added two free throws 30 second later to complete the run. Wise finally ended the Cardinal run...but Hines-Allen's two free throws and a Durr jumper had the Cards up 44-30. Durr would add a jumper and free throw to give UofL a 47-35 advantage after three sessions. It was a 21-7 scoring edge for Louisville and they had held the Panthers to 25% over the ten minutes on 2-8 shooting. 

The Cards stayed hot at the start of the final period. A B.J. jumper and another Moore trifecta in the first minute gave the Cards their largest lead at 52-35. 

Just when I was feeling pretty confident that the Cards might be on their way to a blowout win...Pitt made the contest interesting. A 11-1 Panther run over the next six minutes cut the Cards advantage to 53-46. With three minutes remaining in the contest, Louisville needed someone to step up and put out the fire. That someone turned out to be Durr...knocking down two consecutive threes over the next minute to put Louisville back up by 13. Moore and Durr would add two free throws each over the final two minutes and the Cards had met the challenge and defeated the Panthers 63-48. 

A crowd of 3152 showed up for the contest.


Fictitious Fred
Free Throws -- a 13-17 outing for the Cards Sunday. Jazz Jones cashed in on all four of hers and Asia and Mariya went 3-4. A 76.5%. Impressive that the Cards went 7-8 in the third quarter and 5-6 in the fourth. We happily hand out a capital "F" on the effort. 

Rebounding -- The Cards ruled the boards 39-26. A very impressive 19-5 edge on the offensive boards. Moore had eight to lead all players and Kylee Shook grabbed six in 14 minutes. No problem in awarding a capital "R" here. 

Effort/Execution -- Louisville looked a bit timid and unable to locate the "hot hands in the first half. The 18-2 run in the third and rally in the fourth when Pitt had cut the lead to seven were nice to see as well. Overall, though...the consistency wasn't there and we can only warranty a small case "e" here...because the Cards did win and did it by double-digits. It was a  large group on the floor for the Cards...13 played and 11 saw five minutes or more. 

Defense -- After Pitt's hot start, the defense began to shut down Harvey-Carr and Wise in the final half. Pitt got 21 of their 48 points in the paint. The Cards did get 11 steals and force 21 turnovers. Louisville's late falter on defense in the fourth allowed the Panthers to get back to within seven. Yes, the Cards held Pitt to under 50 points, 20 in the second half and 33% shooting in the second half but we'll only give a small case "d" for the defense after watching Pitt shoot for 60% in the first twenty minutes



Mariya Moore all over the floor. The 20 points was were the five threes...but Moore also had eight boards, five assists, two steals and just one foul and two turnovers in a team-high 36 minutes. A great, all-over performance from her. 

Reserve Power. Louisville got valuable contributing minutes from non-starters Jazz Jones, Bionca Dunham, Kylee Shook and Brianna Jones. The bench may have only scored 18 points...but it seemed like they came at crucial times in the game...none of them came in the fourth period...a space in time where you usually see most of the back-ups point totals. 

Assistance provided. 17 assists on 20 baskets. The recognition was a bit out-of-focus at times but creating for your teammates is essential and Moore and Jackson got it done tonight.


Putting the cake in the container. Louisville had Pitt on the ropes early in the fourth period and couldn't deliver the knock-out blow until late. Credit Pitt for getting an inspired effort from reserve Cassidy Walsh in the fourth...but we would have liked to see that 17 point advantage turn into 20...then 25. 

Myisha Hines-Absent. A less that stellar performance from the ACC P.O.Y. Just five rebound and four points in 21 minutes and Walz mentioned that she looked tired even before the game started. The "on-again, off-again" saga continues. Let's hope she's Myisha Hines-Active against NC State Thursday. The Wolf Pack held her to nine points last year in Raleigh. 


Louisville did enough to win Sunday but the first half performance wasn't a fun thing to watch. It was a performance that, if duplicated Thursday against N.C. State, will get them beat. Moore is our MVP for this one and Durr waking up in the second half was good to see and we still hold out hope that her, Moore and Hines-Allen will all three put it together in the same game. 

Interesting and ultimately effective that Walz chose to go with Brianna Jones in the second and Bionca Dunham early and late. A confidence builder, for sure, for those two and we hope that continues as the season progresses. The more weapons you have, the better. You can't help but love "Jonesy"...and seeing her shine is fantastic. 

As we have said here so many times before...road wins in the ACC are worth their weight in gold. The Cards reach 20 wins in a season for the seventh season in a row and the ninth in Walz's ten year tenure. No need to stop there...let's hope they'll push that out to 30 or more...a number that would signify they've made a good post-season and conference tournament run. 

The Cards end January with a 6-2 mark for the month. Seven more regular season games to go before the ACC Tournament. 


I couldn't find any post-game press conference audio for Walz or any of the Cards players but I did for head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio and she HAD THESE WORDS TO SAY about the game.

Also available for listening...Brenna Wise and Brandi Harvey-Carr discuss the game



I got roughed up a little Sunday...going 5-2 in the games I predicted. 

Losses were: 

Clemson downing Ga. Tech 62-61
North Carolina beating NC State 83-70

My winners were: 

Notre Dame 82 - Virginia 74
Duke 71 - Wake Forest 43
Louisville 63 - Pitt 48
Syracuse 82 - Virginia Tech 72
Miami 58 - Boston College 51

Overall, I'm now 51-12...80.9% I am glad to see Clemson finally get an ACC win and surprised UNC downed the Wolfpack. ACC = Always Constantly Changing. 

stormy Monday...and Tuesday's just as bad

Louisville women's basketball -- Cards and Panthers rematch today -- SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


#9 Louisville women's basketball faces the Pitt Panthers today in an ACC Matchup. Louisville (19-4, 6-2) is on the third game of a road trip that had seen the Cardinal win at Tampa against USF and at Clemson. Pitt returns home after losing to NC State Thursday night 55-42. 

The Cards will try duplicate their success they had against the Panthers three weeks ago in the KFC YUM! Center. Louisville won 73-52. The Cards forced Pitt into 24 turnovers and Mariya Moore had 18 points in the win. UofL got a strong bench performance from Jazmine Jones in the game with 13 points and Ciera Johnson gave Louisville 11 points in the win. Defensive prowess in the second and fourth quarters by the Cards was a key in the win...holding Pitt to seven points in the second and nine in the fourth. 

Brandi Harvey-Carr had her career game in the January 8th matchup for Pitt with 25 points. Louisville held Pitt's leading scorer Brenna Wise to just four points in 26 minutes. You might remember the take-down Myisha Hines-Allen performed on Wise in the meeting. Wise leads the Panthers with 13.9 points and 6.8 rebounds. She's one that you don't want to foul...she shoots 88% from the charity stripe. 

Although the Cards romped Pitt 84-61 the last time they visited the Petersen Center...they have had some tough struggles there in the past. The Cards escaped with a 63-57 victory up there in the 2014-15 season and had to go to overtime in 2011-12 to win 71-66. The 2009-10 Cards lost 72-69 to the Panthers in "The Pete". Overall, the Cards lead the lifetime series 13-2. 

Shutting down Wise again and trying to contain Harvey-Carr are most likely two of the Cards prime objectives as they go into this contest. Rebounding is probably also on the "essentials to victory" list. Louisville did hold a 38-33 advantage on the boards earlier this month against Susie McConnell Serio's squad. 

Pitt (12-8, 3-4) looks to climb back to.500 in ACC play. They've defeated Virginia, UNC and BC in conference and fell to Notre Dame, Miami, NC State and the Cards. 

This one is another ACC Network Extra broadcast with Jeff Hathhorn and Amanda Silay handing the audio. Neither have won an ESPY for excellence in broadcasting and should give me plenty of motivation to deal with the time lapse between radio and internet and listen to Nick Curran and AJ on Cards Radio 790.

Paulie will break it down and review it tomorrow here at CARDINAL COUPLE. The Louisville men's squad is also playing today at 2 p.m. at the YUM! against NC State...we'll see if we can get Case to write that one up as well. 



We stumbled into the basement on a hill and made our way through another broadcast of THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR yesterday despite the fellas trouble with WIFI and other assorted Internet brouhaha. 

It was a good show! We reviewed all kinds of stuff...even some UofL sports. 

You get a unique listen into our pre-show babble today...with nearly four minutes of technical discourse, Paulie's off-key singing and other chatter before the intro music...fortunately, we kept the language clean. 




Seven contests to consider today: 

-- Virginia at Notre Dame. The Wahoos travel to South Bend looking for an upset. They'll get nothing and like it. A noon game and the Irish win.

-- Wake Forest at Duke.  Wake Forest may well be the surprise team of the ACC WBB this year but Duke will be looking for a win after the Notre Dame loss. Blue Devils win over the Demons. 

-- Boston College goes to warm up in the Miami sun. They'll get warm but they'll also get beat by Sebastian the Ibus. Make mine Miami ...Sammy!

-- Georgia Tech crosses state lines to visit Clemson. The Ramblin' Wreck held their own against FSU and should find the Tigers easier travelling. Gimme GT.

-- Louisville at Pitt. The Cards finish up the road swing against a Panther squad they handled in Louisville. They should get the sweep of the series today. UofL.

-- "Q" and the Orange hit Blacksburg for a little Gobbler Cobbler and should feast well against a Va Tech squad that got decimated against UVA. Syracuse!

-- A Carolina battle at Chapel Hill with NC State visiting the TarHeels. Ms. Wuf should be happily dancing as the Wolfpack hangs a loss on UNC.

Season Stats : 46-10  82.7%
Thursday results : 6-1 

should be a fun day Sunday! 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Battle of Future Cards -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Robins scores 23, Duvall 20 in Future WBB Cards showdown 

Bellarmine University's Knights Gym was the scene Friday night as #2 Mercer County and #11 Bullitt East squared off in the quarterfinals of the Republic Bank Girls L.I.T.  Each squad hoped to advance to today's semifinals at Assumption High School to face Louisville Male but Mercer County used a dominating fourth quarter to down the Mt. Washington school 73-59. 

2018 Louisville verbal Seygan Robins led all scorers with 23 points and proved clutch in the game late...scoring 11 of her points in the decisive fourth quarter....where the Titans outscored the Chargers 24-15. Winning coach Chris Souder was pleased with her effort and the win: 

" She took over the game in the second half and that's what UofL signees do... Coach Walz has to be ecstatic knowing he's getting Seygan and Lindsey Duvall." 

After a close first quarter where Mercer County led 11-10, Bullitt East senior guard and 2017 Louisville commit Lindsey Duvall had four points. Twins Faith and Lexy Lake were handling the scoring for Mercer County...hitting three 3's in the quarter. Robins hadn't scored yet. Souder wasn't pleased.  

" I wasn't real happy. I felt like they were the aggressors and getting every loose ball and second and third shot. They just took it at us." 

Bullitt East started the second quarter on a 11-1 run...which was part of a 16-1 run going back to the first quarter...and led 21-12 after Alyssa Peak scored, got fouled and converted the free throw at the 6:14 mark. Mercer County responded with a 15-6 run and tied the contest at 27-27 on two Robins free throws after a Duvall foul with 3:01 until half. The teams went to the locker room for the halftime break tied at 31-31...Robins scoring with two seconds on the clock. Coach Stallings on the Mercer County run: 

"They just shot the ball a little better from the arc. They were a few loose balls they got and kicked out for open threes. We just didn't shoot the ball as well as we normally do." 

Mercer County was 6 for 17 from the deep in the first half and Robins had five points. Duvall was on the board with six points and an exciting second half seemed to be in the offing. 

A Lexy Lake three gave Mercer the early third quarter lead and they never trailed again. They started with a 10-2 run. When Robins nailed a jumper... the Titans had pushed out to a 41-33 advantage with 5:10 left in third quarter action. Bullitt East made a run to get within four at 43-39 after a Peak jumper but Robins responded with a three thirty seconds later and the quarter ended with the Titans holding a five-point 49-44 edge. 

Duvall was driving the lane and having success or getting fouled for the Chargers but the fourth quarter belonged to Robins and Mercer County. 

A 16-4 run over the first five minutes of the final quarter...they play eight minute quarters in high school hoops, which took this observer a bit to get used to...was keyed by seven Robins points. It put the Titans up 63-48. Mercer County held their biggest lead at 67-49 after Robins two final points and two free throws with 2:25 left to play. Duvall would score Bullitt East's final seven points but the late efforts weren't enough to overcome the Titans lead and Duvall's three with 10 seconds left in the game set the final total at 73-59. 

Faith and Lexy Lake, who have been offered by Southeast Missouri State University, joined Robins in double figures with 12 each and Lyric Houston added 11 for Mercer County...including 7 for 8 free-throw shooting. The Titans went 10 for 25 from three-point range. SEMO is getting a great 2 for 1 special in these twins...aggressive on defense, they shoot well from the distance and they pass the ball well for assists also. 

Duvall was gallant in defeat with 20 points. Peak joined her in double figures with 11 points. Bullitt East held a 42-28 rebounding advantage but ended with just 35% accuracy from the floor (21-60) while Mercer shot 46.9% (23-49).

Both Duvall and Robins showed why Coach Walz and Louisville is eager to have them on campus and they are two of the best girls high school players in the state this year...if not the best two. A great evening of hoops! A nice sea of red and black dotted the Bellarmine bleacher to see the contest and Louisville's future stars. 

As an aside, Tony Montano was one of the referees in the contest. I didn't get a chance to "say hello to my little friend". (Sorry, Al Pacino...for the pun and yes, I was Montana in the movie "Scarface").  




In earlier action, Sacred Heart Academy got 21 points from junior Grace Berger and 18 from junior Kiki Samsel and defeated Simon Kenton 56-45. They'll face Louisville Butler in the first Saturday semifinal. 

Simon Kenton went down shooting...firing 25 threes but hitting just six. Allyson Niece had 18 for the Pioneers. Berger is a verbal to Indiana University for 2018 and the Hoosiers and getting a good one in the 5'11" guard. A good defensive job by the Valkyries in holding Simon Kenton to about 20 points under their season average.  

I arrived at Knights Hall in time to catch the start of the Sacred Heart/Simon Kenton contest and stayed through the Mercer County/Bullitt East game. I was impressed with the friendly L.I.T staff and their eagerness to help me get where I needed to be. Plus, they had Chic-Fil-A in the media/break room....always a plus with this guy's appetite. 



We'll be in full force at the Crescent Hill studios this morning for THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR. Join Case, Worldwide and me as we review this game, Louisville basketball and whatever else crosses our agenda.

11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM and streaming live on the Internet at  Download the WCHQ app and join in the fun! 

Live radio, three generations and no messy clean-up or hard-to-remove stains afterward. if Attila the Hun had been able to do radio, it probably would have been...hmmm...where I am going with this? 

Never mind...

Have brunch with us today. We won't mind one bit if you pick up the tab. 


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Louisville women's basketball -- Cards get 800th. program win...defeat Clemson 60-46...FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


It wasn't the prettiest win in UofL women's basketball history, but the Cards used two runs to pull away from a determined Clemson and get their 19th win of the season -- and 800th in program history -- at the Littlejohn Coliseum Thursday night in front of 346 people. 

Louisville (19-4, 6-2) came out sloppy and "unfocused" to start this one...Jeff Walz and the coaches noticed it in pre-game warmups...but managed to take a 7-3 lead after a Myisha Hines-Allen jumper at the 7:03 mark. Hines-Allen would have 16 points in the contest to lead all scorers...but Clemson would go on a 8-3 run over the next six minutes to take a 11-10 lead after Aliyah Collier sank two straight jumpers. The Cards were able to get the final four points in the 1:39 minutes closing out the layups from Sam Fuehring and Briahanna Jackson to secure a 14-11 lead. 

It wasn't pretty basketball by either team in those first ten minutes...and things would get worse for Louisville before it got better.

Asia Durr would start things off well for UofL to start the second with a three...but Clemson scored seven of the next eight points to tie it up 18-18 after a Victoria Cardaci three with 5:23 until halftime. Two minutes of scoreless hoops ensued until Mariya Moore banged home a three. Ciera Johnson would add a free throw and basket in the final 2:06 and the 6-0 run gave the Cards a 24-18 halftime lead. 

The Cards needed that late half wake up call to continue into the second half did. 

Cortnee Walton got her only two points of the game to start the third quarter on a putback and Hines-Allen followed with a jumper a couple of minutes later. A Durr three and two straight Hines-Allen jumpers pushed the Louisville lead to 35-20 over the next minute. The Cards were on a 11-2 run to start the second half and a 17-2 run...going back to the second period. Hines-Allen would hit again and Durr added a layup to end the period...but Clemson would get two buckets to end the time frame and trailed 39-30 with ten minutes to play. Hines-Allen and Durr had 13 of the Cards 15 points in the quarter. 

The third frame also featured the old school-yard play of throwing the inbound pass underneath your basket off a defender with her back turned and then retrieving the "ball-in-play" for a basket. Nelly Perry pulled the prank on was the only two points Clemson's season-leading scorer would get on the night. 

Clemson made one last charge at the Cards to start the final quarter.

Danielle Edwards would cash in two free throws and a three-ball...sandwiched around a Hines-Allen layup and Clemson was within six at 41-35 with 8:19 to go. Louisville turned off the snooze alarm, got out of bed and responded to the threat, though...going on a 15-2 run over the next four minutes -- aided by a Shook three, BJ basket and two Moore free throws and a three. Louisville found themselves with their largest lead of the game at 56-37 with 4:16 remaining in the contest. It was 58-39 Cards after two Moore free throws at 2:12.

Clemson outscored Louisville 7-2 the rest of the way...Bionca Dunham getting the final points of the game on a nice feed from Brianna Jones with 10 seconds left in the contest. Final: Cards 60 - Clemson 46. 

Louisville put three in double-figure scoring. Beside Hines-Allen's 16...Moore and Durr finished with 13 each. Durr and Moore had three 3's each and Louisville ended up shooting 39.7% (23-58) for the night...holding Clemson to 29.4% 15-51). 

Color Jeff Walz unsatisfied on the Cardinal effort: 

" I don't care what somebody's record is, you're playing an ACC program. It's my fault. It amazes me you can't come prepared to play every might. You only get so many opportunities." 

Add Hines-Allen to that list: 

"We have to get better because once we go further into the season and the ACC Tournament starts, we can't have those slow starts...when you get to the tournament, it's one and done." 

ACC wins on the road. You take them, say "thank you", exchange final good-byes with the foe, wave to the probably 50 Cardinal fans out of the 100 or so left in the arena, hit the bus, get on the plane and come home to work on what didn't go so well and prepare for the next one. Based on Louisville's "on again-off again" performance, we suspect the next two days of practice should be interesting. 

(Game photos courtesy of Ned Taylor - Clemson Athletics) 


Actor Fred Willard...of Anchorman fame. 
Free Throws --  7 for 9 for Louisville! Mariya Moore a perfect 4-4. Clemson fared well also from the line going 13-14. The Cards 77.8% warrants we hand out a capital "F".

Rebounding -- Clemson won the boards battle 39-34. They are not a particularly tall team but out-hustled and out-positioned Louisville on missed shots. Hines-Allen ended with seven and Shook had three in just seven minutes. Collier had 11 for Clemson. She's a 5'9" guard. We can't award a letter for this stat.

Effort/Execution -- It was a pretty dull and un-inspiring effort from Walz's bunch tonight...except for the runs. True, Louisville only had 11 turnovers...but the Cards seemed to just settle for three-point attempts at times instead of working the ball. BJ was hustling and so was Mariya at the end but Louisville lost the points-in-the-paint battle and had a mere two points off fast-breaks. The Cards won, so we'll award a lower case "e". Barely.

Defense -- Holding the Tigers to 46 points and 29% shooting are both good numbers. Creating 16 opponent turnovers is good also. Winning works. We'll give out a small case "d" because the Cards did just enough put away a win-less in 39-straight games ACC opponent by a much lower victory margin than most of us expected. Maybe the huge win over Georgia Tech spoiled us.



-- Winning the fourth quarter. Louisville stumbled at the beginning of the quarter but was able to regroup and put the opponent away. Moore, BJ and Myisha responded like veteran starters should and had showed a bit of killer instinct with the 15-2 run. 

-- BJ's hustle. It isn't always the leading scorer who has the best game. We liked Briahanna Jackson's hustle tonight and her six points, five rebounds and four assists. Her 3-10 shooting wasn't a joy to watch...but she hit a couple of absolutely needed baskets and the shot selection was good, not forced, for the most part. They're gonna fall, BJ...they're gonna fall eventually. 


-- Cherish the moment and come to play. The lack of focus, hustle and awareness was painfully hard to watch at times tonight. You just don't show up and get guaranteed a win in this league. You go out and earn it. The Cards did win...but, at times, they seemed to just be going through the motions and not the #9 team in the nation. A 5'9" sophomore guard had a double-double on you (10 points and 11 rebounds). Nothing to be proud of there...unless you are Aliyah Collier.

-- Rebounding. Normally this isn't an area to worry about when discussing Louisville women's basketball. It was tonight, though. Maybe it was because Cortnee had limited playing time? Clemson was 13th. in the league in rebounding margin coming in to this game and Louisville was I have to ask...what happened? 


I'll take the win but I do have lingering questions about the effort. It's not like Clemson is an ACC power-house. Louisville is striving to become one. I saw enough to realize that when this team is locked-in, on the same page and focused...they can compete with anyone in the country. When they stink, though...they smell pretty bad. It wasn't an intimidating home crowd. It wasn't the referees (although Luis Gonzales does look like that creepy guy from THE  MUMMY...Arnold Vosloo (High Priest Imhotep). Maybe he scared a few players.

We promote the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here at CARDINAL COUPLE. Some days...there are more occasions to celebrate this joy and excitement than others. 

Just about any player you ask will tell you they would rather play games instead of practice. So why not take advantage of those 40 potential minutes you have 30-some times a season? After all, you could be at Clemson...and not have 10,000 adoring fans in the stands or a shot at NCAA Tournament play. 

Maybe this win will look better if Clemson gets it together and gets a few upset-ACC victories. The way it stands now, was just an unremarkable victory against the win-less cellar-dweller in ACC women's basketball. A win on the road...valuable in conference play always and earned against a Clemson team that knew the odds stacked against them and came out and gave it their best shot. 


The Friday 7 p.m. matchup in the Republic Bank LIT Tournament at Bellarmine features two future Louisville WBB players going against each other. Senior guard Lindsey Duvall from Bullitt East High School (Mt. Washington, KY) faces junior guard Seygan Robins (Mercer Country) in quarter-final action. 

The survivor heads to Assumption High School as one of the four semifinalist for Saturday action. The two stars are good friends, as are the coaches of each program....Bullitt East's Chris Stallings and Mercer County's Chris Souder. 

Duvall averages 24.7 ppg for #11 Bullitt East (20-4). Robins is good for 15.5 a night for #2 Mercer County (16-5). 

Other quarterfinal action involves:

 #1 Louisville Butler (20-1) vs. South Warren (13-5) at 4 p.m.

 #5 Louisville Sacred Heart vs #4 Simon Kenton at 5:30 p.m.

 #3 Louisville Male (18-1) vs. #17 Henderson County (17-2) at 8:30 p.m.

Cardinal Couple will hit the Newburg Rd. Knights Gym facility for the Chargers vs. Titans action, hopefully get a few interviews and report on contest in tomorrow's column and on the THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR Saturday morning. 

It's one of those games where I can't take a side and cheer for one team. Just sitting back, enjoying the game and hoping I can score a media pass. The popcorn is pretty good at Knights Gym. I wonder if they'll have fish sandwiches as well...also very good there. Maybe Nick Curran brought some extra boiled peanuts back from Clemson and will show up with them in hand. 

Or not. I tried them several years ago and they aren't exactly on the Paulie Gastronomical Delight Top Ten list. 


-- Notre Dame downed Duke 62-58

-- Florida State wins at Georgia Tech 69--63

-- NC State takes Pittsburgh 55-42

-- Virginia whomps Virginia Tech 76-27 (Wow!) Didn't see that coming...

-- Wake Forest over Boston College 71-55

-- Miami outscores North Carolina 100-88 

Paulie's Picks  went 6-1 on Thursday...the Virginia win my defeat. 
Overall, I stand at 46-10 on the season....good for 82.7%. 

grumpy old man? Maybe...

Louisville women's basketball -- #9 Cards face Clemson tonight...THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


No Nelly tonight, it appears, for the Tigers.
On paper and after a review of the stats, this ACC women's basketball contest between Louisville and Clemson tonight appears to be one where Louisville should win easily and improve their conference record to 6-2 while upping the season slate to 19-4. 

They don't play games on paper or by statistical tendencies, however, and all ACC contests are challenging...especially when you are the visiting squad. 

Louisville takes on the conference-winless Tigers tonight in the Littlejohn Coliseum tonight at 7 p.m. I've always loved that arena name and wonder if Robin Hood, Friar Tuck and Maid Marion will be in attendance...with some mutton, mead and a sling of arrows to help the Tigers try and take down the Jeff Walz led high-flying Birds. 

It started out to be a pretty good season for head coach Audra Smith's felines. They leapt to an 8-0 start and people were wondering aloud if there was a chance that they might pull the upset on two very worthy foes that lay in wait next...visiting PAC 12 powerhouse Oregon and at in-state rival South Carolina. 

The bubble burst, though...Oregon leaving Sherwood Forest with a convincing 87-57 win and the Gamecocks putting the Tigers back on I-26 with a 83-61 beating.  Clemson would win their final three non-conference tilts to enter ACC play at 11-2...but success against the Atlantic Coast slate has been non-existent for Jaia Alexander and Aliyah Collier...losing their seven games by an average of 24 points and six of them by 12 or more points. 

At NC State, Clemson was only down by two going into the fourth quarter but were outscored 18-8 in the final ten minutes. Clemson did have 42 points in the paint and held the Wolfpack to just 34% from the hardwood...but 17 Clemson turnovers led to 19 NC State points. The Tigers suffered a crucial blow when junior point-guard Nelly Perry separated her shoulder against Syracuse in early January and has sat out the last five games. The Tigers definitely miss those team high 14.5 ppg per game and her court-leadership. 

It's not as if there isn't any other additional talent on the scenic South Carolina campus, though. Danielle Edwards, Alexander, Collier and Kobi Thornton are all capable of double-figure performances any night they take the court. The problem seems to be the accuracy in their shooting...Clemson is last in the ACC with 38%...and turnovers...where Clemson is second-worst in cough-up' to Boston College. 

Keeping the ball when you get it so you can shoot it and then making it when you get a chance. Two very important concepts for winning basketball. Clemson's best chance may be moving the contest to Greenville's Bon Secours Wellness ice hockey facility that one site reporting on Clemson basketball lists as the Tiger's home court. I'm just not sure how well Myisha and Jazmine would do on ice skates or on a frozen surface....

For Louisville, it would be best served if the Cards took the southeastern sojourn as a business trip. Go in, be efficient, don't get anyone hurt, play fundamental basketball for 40 minutes and get out with the "W". The 'numbers' indicate Louisville should be a 15-point favorite. I'd be surprised if it's that anywhere near being that close...but you never know what a wounded tiger backed in a corner might do. Dabo Sweeney and a pep talk might be in order...

Clemson actually leads the overall series between these two 3-2...but the three Clemson wins came before 1994. Last year, the Cards won 75-33 on January 28th. Myisha Hines-Allen missed the contest because of the death of her grandfather...but Sam Fuehring filled in with 12 points. The Cards held the Tigers to 12 first half points.  Louisville's last trip to the Cards first ACC season...resulted in a 81-49 win. 

The ACC Network Extra will have the contest live. I'll probably switch back and forth between that and the call of Nick Curran and A.J. on Cards Radio 790.

Your musical selection for the day would be the classic Buck Owens ditty "Tiger by the Tail"....LINK: BUCK and DEAN MARTIN? YES, THEY DID DO A DUET



Thursday Action: 

-- Louisville claws the Clemson Tigers in Littlejohn Arena tonight. All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't prevent this upcoming Cardinal win...

-- Florida State goes to Georgia Tech to trade oranges for peaches or pecans and the Seminoles should come out on top of the wampum session. FSU will do.

-- Miami hosts the UNC Tarheels needing a win. They've lost the last two and were embarrassed at Syracuse. They get back on track tonight with a win. 

-- NC State has the Pitt Panthers in Reynolds Coliseum tonight and Ms and Mr. Wuf should have plenty to dance about. If it were the Steelers...but it isn't and State should improve to 6-2 in conference. 

-- Virginia Tech travels to Charlottesville for an in-state match up against the UVA Wahoos. Tech will welcome this one after facing and losing to Duke and FSU and should get the "W" 

-- Wake Forest provides the Boston College Eagles with a landing zone tonight and should go to 4-3 in conference with a win over Baldwin's bunch. Wake is my "surprise" school so far in the ACC WBB conference. They're demonic. 

-- Notre Dame and Duke is the premier ACC WBB tussle of the evening and it should be a good one in South Bend. Which Duke squad will show up? I'm going with the Irish to win a close one...unless Grayson Allen shows up. Road trip! 


I'm 40-9 in predictions and that's good for 81.6%. I'm waiting for my steak knives. I'm still saying that, at this juncture of the season, nine ACC teams should receive NCAA Tournament bids. Plenty of hoops left, yes...I know that...but if the pairings were today...I see FSU, Notre Dame, Louisville, Duke, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, NC State, Miami and Wake Forest as dance candidates. 

I'm leaving out Georgia Tech and Virginia here...but if they catch fire in their final 10 ACC games, the committee would have to look at them. 

What say you? 

farewell Mary Tyler Moore. Mr. Grant (Ed Asner) out-lived her.