Tuesday, February 28, 2017
WBB READY FOR ACC TOURNAMENT
Jeff Walz and Myisha Hines-Allen met with the media Tuesday morning to discuss...what else? The upcoming ACC Tournament. They did delve into a few other subjects as well...Walz reminding me that they no longer use chain nets anymore...which, is a shame...they used to make such a neat noise if you were lucky enough to swish one from the deep.
We have their full comments below for you to listen to...let's review the highights.
WALZ: THEY'RE AS HEALTHY AS THEY'RE GOING TO GET
Walz answered questions about many different subjects in his nearly 20 minutes interaction with the media. Appearing chipper, in good spirits and not going off on any rants or tangents...he is looking forward to the trip to Conway, SC
On playing the early games...He's in favor of the 11 a.m. tip-off on Thursday...as well as a 11 a.m. match-up against NC State if they get by the winner of the Clemson vs. Virginia Tech contest.
On his confidence level as a #5 seed. Walz is very confident. The squad is as healthy as it has been, taking out Briahanna Jackson...who will not play in the ACC Tournament. He has a good feeling about the freshmen and his depth...which has been getting a lot of experience lately .
A first game preference? Walz really doesn't have one. He pointed out that both Virginia Tech and Clemson played them close until the fourth quarter. Virginia Tech is very quick, crafty with the basketball. Clemson has a group of young kids playing with a lot of confidence right now.
A secondary goal for the tournament. There is and it's being a top four seed in one of the NCAA Regions and being able to host the first and second round games. A second round win over either VT or Clemson is very much need and the further they go, the better their chances of securing home court advantage for the NCAA Tournament.
Syd's recent play? Coach was very complimentary of several freshmen and mentioned that team had to guard her or she would make them play. He attributes her work ethic, pointing out that she is getting down the court much faster now and creating her shot instead of just watching and waiting.
LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW:
COACH WALZ TALKS ACC TOURNAMENT AND CHAIN NETS!
MYISHA TAKES THE MICROPHONE
Hines-Allen spoke with the media shortly after Walz and had the following observations.
On being Player of the Week in the ACC? She was happy to be recognized for that but pointed out that it was her teammates that made it possible. Without Asia and Mariya's assists, the team's rebounding and recognition it wouldn't happen. It's basically a case of everyone doing their job.
On playing at Coastal Carolina instead of Greensboro. Hines-Allen has been to the Myrtle Beach area before and it's not any big deal with the change of venue. A smaller arena that's packed full of fan can make a lot of noise, which motivates the players.
On moving to the "3". The question got a big grin from her and she "loves talking about her move to the guard spot". It is a big adjustment and the hardest part is learning the plays from that position on the floor. It's also a little practice for her hopes at an WNBA career..where she may not be solely a "4".
On a healthy Asia Durr this year at tournament time. Myisha recognized Asia as the best player on the team but looks at it as everyone giving what they can for the team effort. You give yourself up for the team for the betterment of the team and hope to advance far. As she said..."Mariya had a great freshman year, I had a great sophomore year and now it's Asia turn."
The sense of urgency this time of year. You have to have it and make sure that the freshmen realize it as well. One loss and you're done. even in the ACC Tournament, where one bad half can knock you out of it...based on the quality of the opposition.
LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW:
MYISHA HINES-ALLEN TALKS ACC AND MORE!
Fun stuff with both Tuesday. As you read this, they are in Conway...safe and snuggled into their rooms...awaiting today and the next four days of the tournament.
DON'T FORGET TO GET YOUR ACC TOURNAMENT PICKS IN BY 1 p.m today (e.s.t.)
LACROSSE TODAY AGAINST CINCINNATI
6 P.M. is the start time for this one....at the "Ellis" (Louisville Lacrosse Stadium). The Cards were successful in their Florida jaunt and look to extend the win streak to two.
Head over to give a look....even if it's only to see just how fast Hannah Koloski is. We're guessing there might even be a food truck on site...they get some good ones in the lot for Lacrosse...so go celebrate "Hump Day" the Lacrosse way!
15 TEAMS CONVERGE ON CONWAY
( I'm back from the anniversary/birthday extended weekend with Sonja...fully reinvigorated and ready for the hoops barrage.)
The University of Louisville women's basketball team leaves for Conway, SC today to take part in the 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Basketball Tournament in the HTC Center on the Coastal Carolina campus.
Jeff Walz has called a 11:30 a.m. press conference today. He'll discuss the upcoming five day event. The Cards will start their quest to make it to the finals for the first time on Thursday...when they face the winner of Wednesday match-up between #12 seed Virginia Tech and #13 seed Clemson. Louisville gets the first game of the day on Thursday...playing at 11 a.m. The first game of the tournament is Virginia Tech vs. Clemson and it starts at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
-- Interesting factoid #1 . The practice schedules have been released for the 15 teams. Louisville will practice Wednesday at 9:15 in the Kimbel Gym...not in the HTC Center. So will Florida State on Thursday. I'm guessing it's something like Cardinal Arena.
-- Interesting factoid #2. Duke will practice at home, in the Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Looking at the bracket (and I will put one up here at the end of the article)...the Cards get 11 a.m. games two days in a row. If they advance to the semifinals, they'd play at noon Saturday and the finals are at 1 p.m. Sunday.
If anyone is interested in a ACC Bracket Challenge, either leave your picks in the comments section or e-mail them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org I'll hit a couple of folks up for $25 gift cards for this and the NCAA Tournament Bracket Challenge. No entry fee, of course...for entertainment purposes only. 14 games, one point for picking correctly. Tie-breaker goes to the earliest entry.
Sonja offers her picks. She usually does pretty well in this one.
1st round: Clemson over Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech over Boston College, UNC over Pitt.
2nd round: Louisville over Clemson, Virginia over Wake Forest, Miami over Georgia Tech, Syracuse over UNC.
Quarters: Louisville over NC State, Notre Dame over Virginia, Florida State over Miami, Syracuse over Duke
Semis: Notre Dame over Louisville, Syracuse over Florida State
Finals: Syracuse over Notre Dame.
It'll be interesting to see what Coastal Carolina and the HTC Center is all about.
3370 is the listed capacity...so it should be easier to get around than the Greensboro Coliseum. Getting to Conway should be interesting as well. I expect I'll just follow the signs to either Myrtle Beach or CCU. I'll be using my Google map on my smartphone. Yep...recipe for disaster.
The HTC is officially known as The Horry Telephone Cooperative Student Recreation and Convocation Center. That's a bunch to put on a letterhead...I get the abbreviation. I'm also trying to remember the last time I went to a convocation...
I've been told it's about a nine hour drive from Louisville to Myrtle Beach. To catch the opener, I expect I'll need to leave around 2-3 a.m. We'll see how that works out. Maybe someone will give me round-trip airline passage. I'm not holding my breath on that one.
I'm going to try and do a podcast each night and put it on Soundcloud...with a link to it on the daily articles as well. First one would be Wednesday night. What'll be on them...I have no idea. If the weather's good, they may be from the beach. Also, I'll try and get Walz's presser today up for listening in Wednesday's article.
* * * * * * * *
HINES-ALLEN ACC PLAYER OF WEEK
Myisha Hines-Allen received the final regular season ACC Player of the Week Award. It's the second time this season she's been bestowed the honor. She had a great week...with 21 points and nine rebounds against Virginia and 22 points and 12 rebounds against Wake Forest.
She'll be a key component if the Cards are going to dance for awhile in March.
ALL ACC-TEAMS ANNOUNCED
2016-17 All-ACC Team as selected by the Blue Ribbon Panel
Lexie Brown, Jr., G, Duke
Rebecca Greenwell, R-Jr., G, Duke
Leticia Romero, Sr., G, Florida State
Shakayla Thomas, Jr., F, Florida State
Asia Durr, So., G, Louisville
Myisha Hines-Allen, Jr., F, Louisville
Lindsay Allen, Sr., G, Notre Dame
Brianna Turner, Jr., F, Notre Dame
Alexis Peterson, Sr., G, Syracuse
Brittney Sykes, R-Sr., G, Syracuse
Mariya Moore, Jr., F, Louisville
Adrienne Motley, Sr., G, Miami
Jessica Thomas, Sr., G, Miami
Miah Spencer, Sr., G, NC State
Dominique Wilson, Sr., G, NC State
All-ACC Freshman Team
Kobi Thornton, Fr., P, Clemson
Leaonna Odom, Fr., F, Duke
Francesca Pan, Fr., G, Georgia Tech
Jackie Young, Fr., G, Notre Dame
Gabby Cooper, Fr., G, Syracuse
Dominique Toussaint Fr., G, Virginia
Jocelyn Willoughby, Fr., G, Virginia
Alex Sharp, Fr., G, Wake Forest
ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament | Conway, S.C.
Wednesday, March 1 | First Round #13 seed vs. #12 seed .......................1:00 PM (RSN | ACCN Extra) #15 seed vs. #10 seed ......................3:30 PM. (RSN | ACCN Extra) #14 seed vs. #11 seed .......................6:30 PM (RSN | ACCN Extra)
Thursday, March 2 | Second Round Game 1 Winner vs. #5 seed .............11:00 PM (RSN | ACCN Extra) #9 seed vs. #8 seed ...........................2:00 PM (RSN | ACCN Extra) Game 2 Winner vs. #7 seed ...............6:00 PM (RSN | ACCN Extra) Game 3 Winner vs. #6 seed ...............8:00 PM (RSN | ACCN Extra)
Friday, March 3 | Quarterfi nals Game 4 Winner vs. #4 seed .............11:00 PM (RSN | ACCN Extra) Game 5 Winner vs. #1 seed ...............2:00 PM (RSN | ACCN Extra) Game 6 Winner vs. #2 seed ...............6:00 PM (RSN | ACCN Extra) Game 7 Winner vs. #3 seed ...............8:00 PM (RSN | ACCN Extra)
Saturday, March 4 - Semifi nals Game 8 Winner vs. Game 9 Winner ..........................Noon (ESPN2) Game 10 Winner vs. Game 11 Winner ................ 2:30 PM (ESPNU)
Sunday, March 5 - Championship Game 12 Winner vs. Game 13 Winner ......................1 PM (ESPN2)
Monday, February 27, 2017
We've closed the books on another Women's Basketball regular season, and the conclusion was about what we expected. The Cards got the win over Wake Forest 75-46.
As we discussed on The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour yesterday, Walz and crew needed to take care of their own business against Wake Forest to ensure the 5 seed in the ACC tournament. With a little help from Virginia they could've jumped up to the 4 seed, but alas, the Demon Deacons couldn't get the deed done vs NC State, so UofL was still playing to stay in 5th.
Some of the story lines of the game are pretty familiar at this point, as they should be wrapping up the season. Myisha Hines-Allen picks up a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Asia Durr has her 33rd consecutive game with a 3pt shot, though she did score "only" 15 points.
Beyond those two, we mostly had a bunch of players scoring in mid-single digits, though there were a lot of them that scored that much. Sydney Zambrotta made it out of single digits with 10, but otherwise we're looking at a bunch of 4pt scorers, a 6 from Ciera Johnson, and a few 2pt scorers.
For CC readers, the most exciting story may come from the free throw line. After a first half with no free throws even being attempted by the Cards (sideeye look at officiating, there, WF had 14 attempts). In the 2nd half, however, the Cards get to the line 9 times, and sink all 9 of them. That's the sort of free throw prowess we've been looking for. The breakdown on those are 5 to Durr, 2 to Hines-Allen, and 2 to Taylor Johnson.
The game started out with a pair of points from foul shots for Wake, but then UofL went on their first run, out to 14-2 getting it back to 17-11 before closing out the first quarter 21-13. While UofL opened the 2nd quarter with 4 points, the Deacs would win the 2nd quarter overall 14-10 to go into halftime only down 4, 31-27, having gotten it as close as 2.
UofL exploded in the 3rd quarter, stretching the lead out to 20 in the 10 minutes. They would continue to stretch that lead out in the 4th quarter reaching the final margin of 29 with the 75-46 win.
The Cards mostly got it done in the middle with a 44-14 advantage in the paint, as well as getting points off turnovers, taking the 31-12 advantage there.
With 100% free throw shooting, there is no doubt of the capital F, never have we been more enthusiastic to award an F.
Rebounding is a swing and a miss, however. Wake outrebounded UofL 46-38, but the most painful part was the 22 offensive rebounds for Wake. Fortunately, they were incredibly undersized to handle going back up for shots in the paint with the Louisville bigs, only scoring 13 second chance points. While the results of this one could've been a lot worse, they certainly don't get the R.
Execution/Effort looked good for the Cards. I don't think there was ever any real doubt about getting this win. The Cards didn't look like the sharp team we know they can be in the 2nd quarter, but in the 3rd and 4th, it was clear they were ready to play. We'll give the full capital E, here.
Defense definitely gets the letter awarded. Wake was held to 19.4% from the field, and 16.7% from beyond the arc. Special commendation to Kylee Shook here, with 5 blocks in the game.
So, in the final tally, that's F-ED.
So, with the 5th seed, UofL will play at 11am on Thursday against the winner of the first round game between Virginia Tech and Clemson. Advancing from that game will see us playing #4 NCState.
In Other Action
Baseball finished their sweep of Omaha to run their season record out to a still-perfect 7-0. The Mc's - McKay, McClure, and McAvene - are getting it done on the mound for The Cards during the weekend.
The Women's Tennis Squad got a solid conference opening win over Pitt, 6-1. The Cards got the doubles point with two courts getting 6-2 wins and leaving the 3rd court unfinished at 5-3. Louisville won 5 courts of singles in 2 sets, with the only loss coming in a 3 set tangle.
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Lacrosse Notches 100th Program Win
After a pair of close games in the last week, the lacrosse team escaped another "Cardiac Cards" style game when they defeated Brown 13-9 yesterday afternoon in Orlando, Florida. Brown started the game fast, going up 2-1 in the first five minutes of the game. Not to be outdone, Louisville responded with a 3-0 run to go up 4-2. From there, the Cards never looked back. Brown scored just before halftime to cut the Louisville lead to one at 5-4, and brought it within one again with 20 minutes remaining at 6-5. As the men's basketball team is wont to do, though, the lacrosse team "boomed" them. The Cards scored 4 straight goals to make it 10-5 and kept the Bears at arms length from then on. Senior Hannah Koloski was the big girl on campus again yesterday as she put up 6 of Louisville's 13 goals. That brings Hannah up to 23 goals on the season in only six games, and she's scoring at a crisp 41% shot percentage.
The Cards will return to the field when they host old rivals, Cincinnati, on Wednesday. It's a home game, but can be found on the ACC Network Extra as well. The Bearcats are a fairly new program, but they're by no means a game which can be overlooked. Tune in to see how the Cards handle the challenge.
Softball Escapes Hotel California
In what seemed like a never ending carousel of ranked matchups, Louisville softball took gut punch after gut punch before finally grabbing a win late last night to avoid the weekend 0-fer. In their first game of the day, against Cal, the Cards and Bears were scoreless in all but one inning. As the home team, Louisville was frustrated as Cal broke the game open with a 5 run top of the third inning. The Cards responded with two runs in the bottom half but left runners on second and third after a ground ball ended the inning. As it turned out, Louisville wouldn't put another runner on base until the bottom of the seventh inning. With the game on the line, a single and an error put two on for the Cards with two outs, but a foul ball flyout ended the threat and the game. I talked yesterday about bad losses, and, although you'd eventually like to win some games against ranked teams, a three run loss to a top 25 team because of one bad inning is nothing to hang your head about.
Louisville played in the nightcap to end their weekend when they took on Cal State Fullerton starting at 10:30 Eastern. As I worked through a school project, I kept up with this one on Twitter and was happy to see things going the Cards' way. The late game pitted two 7-6 teams (Louisville started 7-1 before the rough 5 game skid) against one another, both hoping to stay above .500. Fullerton struck first with a run in the top of second, which was immediately answered by the Cards in the bottom half. The Titans got the run back in the top of the third and held onto it for a couple of innings before a Louisville got three runs, all unearned, in the bottom of the fifth inning. Unearned runs are cheap ones, but they can win or lose you games, so we'll take what we can get. Maryssa Becker was called on to finish the game from there and she earned her first save of the season.
Getting out of the weekend with even one win and avoiding a six game losing streak cannot be overstated. Louisville opens at home next weekend and will remain in the friendly confines of Ulmer Stadium for the next 14 games. They'll host two tournaments, a single game with Wisconsin, then their first series of conference play against Pittsburgh before leaving town. There's plenty of time to catch some softball on the corner of Floyd and Brandeis so head on down if the weather is nice, or even if it's not if you're into that sort of thing.
WBB Closes Regular Season at Wake Forest
The Louisville women's basketball team will play for a chance at a double bye in the ACC tournament today when they take on Wake Forest. They'll need some help with an NC State loss, but the fourth seed is in reach, nonetheless. Before they can look ahead to the tournament looming this weekend, though, they'll need to take care of business in Winston-Salem. Wake Forest is barely above .500 on the season and only sit at 6-9 in conference, but their only win in the last five games came against the Wolfpack. Road games are always a challenge and shouldn't be taken lightly. Today will be only Louisville's third ever meeting with Wake and they'll look to continue owning the series with a win today. The game tips at 2PM and can be found on ACC Network Extra
MBB Looks to Bounce Back Against Syracuse
The men have a game of their own at 2PM today in the friendly confines of the KFC Yum! Center. After staving off multiple comebacks by the Orange during an overtime win in the Carrier Dome just two weeks ago, Louisville will have the benefit of their home crowd in this one and will hope to put the Orange away early. While more Ryan McMahon heroics would be welcomed, hopefully they're unnecessary. While the women's team needs some help to get the double bye, the men's team can clinch a double bye by winning two of their final three games.
More talk than sports...
took place yesterday on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour without the guiding hand of our fearless leader. Worldwide and I were joined on the mics by Paige Sherrard and we spent most of the show going off on tangents about any and everything. Have a listen at this link if you care to. We'll be on our own without Paulie again next week as he travels to the ACC tournament, so be prepared for more shenanigans.
Until next time, Go Cards.
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Softball Falls to BYU
After a rough first day in California, the woes continued for the softball Cards yesterday. Up against BYU's ace, with Maryssa Becker on the mound for Louisville, it was a pitchers' battle for much of the game. The two teams were locked scoreless for the first four and a half innings, before the Cougars broke through for two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Louisville threatened to get one back after a Becker single and a Funke (who was running for Becker) steal, but Funke was left stranded. BYU wasn't finished scoring, though, as they pushed two more unearned runs across in the bottom of the sixth. Louisville had no answer in the top of the seventh and the game ended with a final tally of 4-0.
Becker fell to 6-3 on the season and the Cards to 7-5. It was a tough weekend for Louisville, but all three losses were to ranked teams. We all have mixed views on "moral victories," but it is valuable in any sport to reduce bad losses. The Cards hung tough in all three games, and the perseverance shown will likely pay dividends later in the season. Louisville will finish out their weekend today with games against Cal and CS Fullerton before they return home next weekend. The first game is scheduled to begin at 3:30PM Eastern.
Cardinal IX off to Hot Start
After a perfect opening weekend, including a win over then #22 Maryland, and a 19-3 thrashing of EKU on Wednesday, the Louisville baseball team opened their weekend series against Omaha with a 7-2 win. Cardinals' ace, Brendan McKay improved his record to 2-0 with another solid game, despite an uncharacteristic 4 walks. McKay also continued to support himself at the plate with two hits and an RBI. Louisville continues the series with Omaha today at 1PM.
In addition to the games already listed, Louisville teams will see action in nearly every sport. The lacrosse team takes on Brown in Florida at 1:00. Women's and men's tennis both take the court, and track, swimming, and men's golf will all be in action as well.
In addition to Louisville sports, the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour will be live as well. Worldwide and I will be without our fearless leader, so tune into 100.9 WCHQ at 11 AM to see how well we can handle the pressure alone.
Until next time, Go Cards.
Friday, February 24, 2017
WITHOUT MOORE, B.J....CARDS CONTROL CAVS
Starting lineups with the University of Louisville women's basketball squad lately have been like a box of chocolates (sorry...Mama Gump). You never know what you might get.
On Senior Night...it was Mariya Moore and Briahanna Jackson's turn to serve one game suspensions Thursday night in the KFC YUM! Center (Coaches Decision -- Unspecified Team Violation) the reason again. Jackson probably couldn't have gone regardless...still day-to-day with the back and no rushing it is the plan with that...but without Moore...the Cards put Myisha Hines-Allen, Asia Durr, Jazmine Jones, Cortnee Walton and Kylee Shook out there to go after the opening tip against Virginia and the combo had a bit of trouble clicking at first.
Walz was straight-forward about the suspensions in the post game:
“We’re continuing to teach all of our kids that the choices they make affect everyone. It’s not just them or their teammates, it affects the fans, too."
Tied at 5-5 halfway through the first and trailing 8-7 with 1:20 left in the quarter...the shots weren't falling for the Cards against the Virginia zone and "the bakery" was definitely open with six first quarter turnovers (for each team) in a 11-8 first quarter that was pretty hard to watch. Euphemistically, you could call it a defensive battle...but besides Durr's seven points...there weren't a lot of bright spots.
Louisville responded a little better in the second quarter. J.J. got things popping with two scores to start action, Durr nailed a three and Hines-Allen ran off six straight points to give the Cards a 24-15 lead with 2:15 until half. Another Durr three pushed that advantage to 27-15 and a Sam Fuehring put-back gave the Cards a 29-18 lead at the midway break. This was looking a little more like the Cardinal team we've come to know.
The Cards were beginning to do some good things. They held a 23-13 edge on the boards, 13-1 advantage on second chance points and Durr had nailed three threes and had 13 points. Ciera Johnson gave the Cards 10 strong minutes in the half and Shook and Hines-Allen had five grabs each. JJ's hustle, over-all play and six points were encouraging.
Then, things got a little dicey.
Virginia came out to start the third quarter on a 10-2 run...showing the Cards they weren't going to be an easy out. At 31-28 with 5:44 until half-time...the crowd of 7981 was starting to get a little nervous. The Cards needed a couple of players to step up and Durr and Hines-Allen answered the call. Hines-Allen rolled in two charity tosses and got a put-back score in the next minute, Durr drilled another three and after another Hines-Allen inside score...the Cards had gone on a 9-2 run in three minutes for a 40-30 lead. UVA got another clutch three out of Breyana Mason (she went 5 for 6 from the deep in 38 minutes) but the Cards held a 42-35 margin as the quarter ended.
Walz needed one more factor to bust up the Wahoo zone starting the final period and found it early in Sydney Zambrotta. After Durr started the quarter with a jumper, "Z" drained two threes...sandwiched around a Hines-Allen score and the Cards were up 52-38 with 5:29 to play. Louisville had a 39-20 rebounding edge at that point and it appeared the Cards were safely on their way to their 24th. victory of the season. A Durr jumper at 2:38 gave UofL a 56-42 lead.
The final 1:30 was a free throw fest...where Louisville made nine out of 12 attempts. Virginia would cut the Cardinal lead to nine on a couple of occasions...but MHA's final two charity tosses with 25 seconds left set the final margin at 66-55.
Durr led all scorers with 24 points and also grabbed seven boards. Hines-Allen narrowly missed a double-double with 21 points and nine rebounds. Mason ended with 19 for the Cavs on 7-11 shooting.
HOW DID FRED DO?
|Just when you think you've seen it all...Fred's have their own|
water now. Paul's can't be far behind, right?
-- REBOUNDS. A massive edge for UofL here...43-24. A nice balanced effort, too...All 10 Cards who played grabbed at least two except Bionca Dunham...who only played a minute. We have no problem with handing out a capital "R" for the grab domination.
-- EFFORT/EXECUTION. Louisville worked hard against the tough Virginia zone with some successes. 41.8% shooting was buoyed by 11-22 50% second half numbers. The Cards did have 16 turnovers...too high for us...and were the victims of 11 steals. All in all, an effort good enough for a 11-point win. The Durr and Hines-Allen show is enough to award a small case "e" here.
-- DEFENSE. The Cards did keep the Wahoos to under 40% shooting and did force 17 turnovers. 55 points is 26 less than UVA put on the Cards in Charlottesville and the two teams basically tied in the second half with 37 points each. We'll forget about the two Wahoo runs and give out the small case "d".
FINAL FRED COUNT: _-R-e-d
THINGS WE LIKED
Two out of three ain't bad...The old Meat Loaf song holds court here...the top three in the Cardinal hierarchy was diminished by one but the remaining two came through gangbusters. Thanks Asia and Myisha for making sure the seniors got a win on Senior Night.
Senior night...It's always hard to say goodbye to the graduates...but it was good to celebrate their time here. Cortnee didn't totally break down...maybe because she had half the state of Arizona at half-court with her. Briahanna chose to get her framed photo with her wearing #23...her jersey from her junior year here. She said she gave up #23 to Jazmine Jones this year because she was the new and upcoming and she was graduating. Once again, the un-selfish and assisting Briahanna...Taylor grinning broadly with parents...thrilled to have been a part of the Cards for a year. We'll miss all three of these dedicated Cards.
Shoot 'em Syd! She's becoming a crowd favorite with those three-bombs...is Ms. Zambrotta...and she knocked down two rainbows out of four tonight to the delight of the crowd. As our former mayor of Louisville kept yelling when she was in..."You're a shooter, Syd! Not a passer or driver!" The gunslinger on Main Street at high noon. Pull that trigger, Z.
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
What is up with these Coaches Decisions/team rule violations? We're a bit peeved that good players are having to sit because they are breaking rules. You only get maybe 130 games in a career. Why screw it up for you and the team by not being able to follow the rules? Let's hope the lessons are finally learned and everyone has the deviation from policy out of their system.
Struggling starts. We had hoped these were a thing of the past. Granted...with two starters sitting...it wasn't full-strength Cardinal WBB out there to open. Still...non-performance early against a Notre Dame or a strong first or second round NCAA foe might send the Cards to the sidelines earlier than we all want in the upcoming tournaments
Wins are the prime directive this time of year and the Cards did just that. Not the prettiest or easiest...but give UVA some credit for giving Louisville a battle until the end. The Cavs probably won't get a NCAA invite but could have gotten on that fence if they had beaten Louisville tonight...so they had a lot on the line as well tonight. We're getting a bit antsy with these ever-changing lineups...everyone get healthy, on the same discipline and rules page and go do work.
THEY SAID IT.
TAYLOR, CORTNEE and BRIAHANNA POST-GAME
JEFF WALZ POST-GAME VIRGINIA ON SENIOR NIGHT
SOFTBALL DROPS TWO IN CALIFORNIA
Tough start for the Louisville Softball team in Cathedral City, CA on Thursday...losing two close games. #9 Arizona downed the Cards 5-2 and #4 Oklahoma was a 2-1 winner over Louisville.
The Cards grabbed a 3-1 lead in the first game on a three-run Lillie Goetz shot in the third inning but were unable to maintain it and missed out on a great opportunity in sixth with the bases loaded and no outs. Megan Hensley took the loss for UofL against the Wildcats....just five hits but a few key errors by the Cards spelled "L". The Cards also had five hits against Arizona.
In the nightcap, Louisville and the Sooners were tied up at 1-1 in the fifth inning but an Oklahoma double and Cardinal throwing error allowed the home team to take a 2-1 lead they never relinquished. Maryssa Becker allowing just two hits but Louisville only able to get two hits as well in the contest.
The Cards will face #24 BYU at 2 p.m. today.
I went a perfect 7 for 7 on Paulie's Picks for Thursday.
Georgia Tech knocking off Clemson 72-58
Louisville beating Virginia 66-55
NC State handling North Carolina 80-60
Notre Dame romping Boston College 82-48
Syracuse defeating Wake Forest 85-64
Miami downing Virginia Tech 79 69
Florida State taking care of Pittsburgh 79-48
Thursday, February 23, 2017
CARDS HONOR WALTON, JACKSON AND JOHNSON TONIGHT
The University of Louisville women's basketball team faces Virginia tonight in the KFC YUM! Center and will honor three seniors.
Three seniors with very different stories. If it were a soap opera...we might call it "The New, The Brave and The Mom."
The New would be Taylor Johnson. Coming to the Cards as a red-shirt senior, the former Loyola-Chicago point guard from Frankfort, IL. had a successful career leading the Ramblers before coming to UofL. At Louisville, she's given the Cards a season of stability at the point and shown solid defensive skills. A career high of 33 points back in 2013 against Milwaukee...her high at Louisville was eight against Georgia Tech. She earned her bachelor's degree in the spring of 2016 in film and digital media and is pursuing a master's degree in sports administration.
The Brave goes to Briahanna Jackson. The fiery point-guard embodies the drive and determination of this Cardinal squad. From Tampa, FL via Central Florida...Jackson took on a new role this season as a point-guard and has delivered the goods in an exemplary manner and with flash. The 2012-13 Conference USA Freshman of the Year, she's had 66 career games in double-figure scoring and put up 34 against Georgia State and Missouri State at UCF for career highs. She leads Louisville in steals this season and is a member of the 1,000 point club. Majoring in criminal justice. We hope the back spasms aren't bad enough to keep her out of the starting lineup tonight.
The Mom is Cortnee Walton. The lone member of the squad who has played in a NCAA Championship game...the fierce rebounder has been a stability and consistent factor since arriving on campus. Equally important is her leadership and guidance of the younger players...Cortnee is always there for advice, consultation and encouragement. With 589 career rebounds and 130 games as a Cardinal, she has overcome foot and elbow injuries. She was named to the 2015 Allstate WBCA Good Works Team for outstanding contributions in the areas of volunteerism and civic involvement. Cortnee earned her bachelor's degree in the spring of 2015 in communications and is pursuing a master's degree in sports administration. She has a bright career ahead of her in sports media...interning at WAVE TV and working with Cards Radio WKRD as a frequent guest on Howie Lindsey's LOUISVILLE FIRST morning radio show. The Surprise, AZ native is one of the best-loved Cards in history and it's going to be tough to see her go.
Please try to be in your seats tonight by 6:40 p.m. to celebrate these three young women's accomplishments. They have earned your respect and acknowledgement.
As for the game...Louisville (23-6, 10-4) faces the Cavaliers for the second time this season. The Cards took an exciting 86-81 win in overtime when they visited Charlottesville back on January 5th. Myisha Hines-Allen exploded for 31 points and 17 rebounds in the contest. Mariya Moore added 23 points and Asia Durr contributed 16. Both Hines-Allen and Moore fouled out of the contest...along with two Cavalier players...a total of 50 free throws were attempted. After a sloppy first half...Trailing by six at halftime, the Cards fell behind by 15 in the third period before rallying. Dominique Toussaint sank a three at the buzzer to force the extra sessions...but the Cards sank their final seven free throws to take the win.
Louisville will need to find a way to contain the VA four guard attack of Toussaint, Mason, Willoughby and Huland-El and have an answer for center Lauren Moses tonight. Tip is at 7 p.m. Once again, be there early!
LACROSSE WINS AT THE WIRE 11-10 OVER VANDY
Hannah Koloski had six goals for the Cards in the 11-10 win over the visiting Commodores...and it was her score with four seconds left in the match that was the huge one as Louisville goes to 4-1 on the season.
The Cards trailing 3-0 early in this affair, causing head coach Kellie Young to get a time out and rearrange some things. Koloski responded with two goals in 18 seconds and the Cards went into halftime down 5-4.
The second half started well for Louisville with five straight scores. Koloski had two of them in the opening minutes and Louisville had a 9-5 lead with 20 minutes to play. The 'Dores battled back with a 3-0 run and tied the match with 2:30 to play. With 41 seconds left in regulation, Young got another time-out and the Cards set the play that allowed them to take a little time off the clock and give Koloski the chance to fire the game winner.
POST GAME KELLIE YOUNG
POST GAME HANNAH KOLOSKI
Seven games on the ACC slate tonight! Let's take a look:
-- Clemson at GEORGIA TECH. The first one between these two was a nail-biter...Clemson winning 62-61 I expect nothing less in this one...and I'll flip a coin and go with GT
-- Virginia at LOUISVILLE. The Cards went to overtime at the Wahoos home. They should fare a little better on Senor Night in the "Ville" and stay in the hunt for a top four ACC finish. LOUISVILLE.
-- North Carolina at NC State. Yes, the Tar Heels won in Chapel Hill earlier this year. NC State probably hasn't forgot that and will be looking for a bit of payback. I'd love to see UNC get the sweep...but NC State is the pick here.
-- Boston College at NOTRE DAME. The Eagles have been grounded most of this season and the air- traffic patterns don't look any better over South Bend. The Irish in a romp in the Purcell Pavilion. ND.
-- Wake Forest at SYRACUSE. Buoyed by the win over NC State in Raleigh, the Trees may give the Orange all they want in the un-airconditioned Carrier Dome. It probably won't be enough, though, on 'Cuse Senior Night. SYRACUSE.
-- MIAMI at Virginia Tech. Tech played the Canes to a seven point loss in Miami. Tech has lost 10 straight in a row, though, and probably won't contain the "big winds" tonight....even on senior Night. MIAMI.
-- Pittsburgh at FLORIDA ST. The Panthers need a win to stay alive for a first round ACC Tournament bye. They won't find it tonight, though, against a FSU squad that may be looking ahead to a season-ender against Notre Dame. FSU.
thanks for the birthday wishes, y'all!
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
DUVALL, BULLITT EAST ADVANCE IN DISTRICT
Bullitt East senior and future Louisville Cardinal women's basketball player Lindsey Duvall had ten first half points and a couple of threes in the Chargers 72-23 win over Jeffersontown in 24th. District action Tuesday night in Mt. Washington.
The Chargers vs. Chargers match-up belonged to the Mt. Washington version from the start...Bullitt East pulling out to a 26-11 first period advantage and holding a 45-18 lead at the half. Duvall was impressive in the limited minutes she had in the romp...Coach Chris Stallings went to the reserves with 4:23 left in the second period and for most of the second half and the game had a continuous clock for most of the final 16 minutes.
Bullitt East led 56-21 after three and kept the defensive pressure rolling in the final period. J-Town was limited to just five second half points and Stallings "played them all" in the 49-point win.
Bullitt East will face Mercy Academy Thursday night for the district title and advance to the Sixth Region Tournament. The Jaguars disposed of Fern Creek in the second game at Bullitt East 98-74. With their first post-regular season test successfully completed, the Chargers now look ahead to a game against an opponent that they must successfully rebound against and play aggressive defense for 32 minutes. The Chargers won the regular season contest 70-66.
I had the chance to attend the game and had a great time! The fun and down-home feel of high school hoops is one that makes you realize that it's all about the school, the kids and the game. From the booster club grilling burgers and rib-eye steaks in the parking lot, the 50//50 raffle in the stands...the pep band in the southeast corner of the wooden bleachers and friendly people greeting you like your some sort of celebrity or something...my two hours in Mt. Washington made me remember why I got into this website to begin with. The joy and excitement of athletics. Hometown fans cheering for kids they watched grow up, go to church with and see at the local grocery or department store.
The "wise-guys" sitting on the edge of the stage. The referees thanking the little girls and fans who retrieve the out-of-bounds balls. Doing post-game interviews in the locker-room hallway to escape the frenetic back-ground noise of the fans in the bleachers getting pumped up for the next contest. Walking over to the scorer's table at halftime to get stats out of the official score-book. Thinking back to memories of many years ago when I ran the hardwood and battled those boards.
I do love it so.
I was able to get a fan's perspective on the game, Lindsey Duvall and Louisville sports from Karen Walsh....who was there to watch the Mercy Academy game as well (her daughter plays for Mercy) and she graciously shared a couple of stories with me. Hear the audio below:
PAULIE CHATS UP BASKETBALL FAN KAREN WALSH
I also caught up with Coach Stallings and Lindsey after the game and conducted a post-game interview with both. That link is below:
CHRIS STALLINGS AND LINDSEY DUVALL INTERVIEW
Heartfelt and extended thanks to the fine folks at Bullitt East who made my visit very enjoyable. Best of luck to Lindsey and her squad as they look to advance to the Sweet Sixteen and beyond.
And, the rib-eye sandwich I bought as leaving was delicious and gone by the time I reached Fern Creek.
Should have got two...
DANA EVANS ONE OF FIVE NAISMITH FINALIST
One of the questions I meant to ask (but forgot) of Lindsey Duvall was her impressions on fellow 2017 Louisville commit Dana Evans being selected one of the five finalists for the Naismith High School Girls Trophy. The winner will be announced in early March.
The 5'9" point guard from West Side High School, Gary, IN has some very impressive company on that list with her. The other four:
Rellah Boothe F (Texas commit)
Anastasia Hayes PG (Tennessee commit)
Megan Walker W (Connecticut commit)
Evina Westbrook G (Tennessee commit)
Best of luck to Dana as that decision day draws near...
WOMEN'S GOLF TAKES THIRD IN CENTRAL DISTRICT INVITATIONAL
In their first spring meet of 2017, Louisville women's golf finished third in the Central District Invitational in Port St. Lucie, FL.
Freshman Lauren Hartlage ended up fourth in the scoring for Louisville. The Cards finished behind Furman and Memphis in the tournament. Molly Skapik tied for 12th and Louise Oxner tied for 14th.
The Cards head to the Hurricane Invitational next at the Biltmore Golf Course in Coral Gables. Let's hope the name of the event doesn't mirror the weather they have to play in...
LACROSSE HOSTS VANDY TODAY
3 p.m. is the start time for Louisville Lacrosse's match against Vanderbilt today at the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium. The Cards (3-1) enter the event after a 11-10 triple overtime loss to Denver over the weekend.
Vandy (1-0) took their season opener over Kennesaw State 17-5.
Louisville leads the series 5-2...the Cards won last year in Nashville 15-5. Meghan Siverson leads Louisville with 16 goals and McKayla Conti has found the net 12 times this season. Hannah Koloski, the speed merchant from Lakeville, MN has 11 goals for the Cards.
It's a beautiful day to be outside and excellent chance to watch a little Lacrosse. These two have built up a bit of a rivalry over the last couple years...so come on out and catch the contest.
We talked about it on Paulie on Howie Lindsey's LOUISVILLE FIRST 2-21-17
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
LAUREN HARTLAGE TIED FOR FIRST GOING INTO FINAL DAY
Thoughts of golf near the end of February aren't traditionally on our minds here at Cardinal Couple. But, with the unseasonably warm weather we've being having in Louisville over the past several days...and the success of the Louisville women's golf team in Port St. Lucie, FL....let's talk a little chip and putt.
Lauren Hartlage has had a wonderful two days in the Central District Invitational and is tied for first place with a 36 hole total of 4-under-par 140. The freshman out of Elizabethtown, KY put up an opening round of 68 on Sunday and followed that up yesterday with a 72.
The team is hitting the fairway and sinking the putts as well. Louisville is in second place at nine-over-par 585 and trails only Furman in the 14 team field. Furman has a 14 stroke lead over the Cards going into the final day.
The Cards have six golfers on the fairways in Florida...four on the team and two participating as individuals (That term always makes me smile in golf...aren't we all individuals...with our own needs and desire and thoughts...?) Molly Skapic is having a fine couple of days for UofL with a two-day score of 147...which has her tied for seventh...and Olivia Cason a stroke back of her at 148. A full individual and team listing at the end of this article. Skapic is a junior out of Miamisburg, OH and Cason a sophomore from Owensboro, KY.
The Cards are a rather young bunch for head coach Courtney Trimble this season. Only two seniors are on the roster, one junior, three sophomores and three freshmen. Besides Hartlage and Cason, Ellen Kehoe is also from Kentucky...the sophomore played her golf in high school in Campbellsville, KY at Taylor County High School .
Central District Invitational
Feb. 20, 2017
St. Lucie Trail Golf Club (par 72/6,265 yards)
Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Feb. 20, 2017
St. Lucie Trail Golf Club (par 72/6,265 yards)
Port St. Lucie, Fla.
TOP-FIVE TEAM SCORES PLUS LOUISVILLE (36-hole totals): 1. Furman – 282-289; 2. Louisville – 287-298; 3. Augusta – 297-299; 4. North Carolina – 298-301; 5. Memphis – 301-299
LOUISVILLE GOLFERS (of 75): t-1. Lauren Hartlage – 68-72; t-7. Molly Skapik – 71-76; t-16. Olivia Cason – 72-76; t-32. (i) Shannon Gramley – 79-75; t-50. Louise Oxner – 82-76; t-56. Jacqueline Twitty – 74-87
BULLITT EAST WBB STARTS DISTRICT PLAY
Kentucky Girls High School basketball tournament time is here! District play started Monday and continues today as teams strive to reach the Regionals and ultimately the Sweet Sixteen.
Cardinal signee Lindsey Duvall leads the Bullitt East Chargers into District play tonight when they host Jeffersontown tonight at 6 p.m. J'Town goes by the Chargers as well...so this should be a pretty energized game. At least for the Bullitt East squad. They defeated J'Town 79-21 earlier in the season.
Head Bullitt East coach David Stallings has led the Mt. Washington school to a 23-7 record this season. They went 3-0 in District 24 play and 8-1 in the Sixth Region.
Seygan Robins, the junior Cardinal commit from Mercer County, got started with her squad last night and had no trouble in the 46th. District contest against Burgin...winning 64-19.