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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Strong start to final quarter drives Cards past Vols 75-64...TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Mariya prepares to inbounds
The University of Louisville women's basketball team used a 16-4 start to the fourth quarter to erase a one-point deficit and gain a 11 point, 62-51 lead over the first six minutes of the final frame and beat Tennessee in the KFC YUM! Center Monday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Cards earn a berth in the Sweet Sixteen! Still dancing. 

A crowd of 5698 went ballistic over the Cards scoring stretch...that featured eight points from Mariya Moore and seven from Asia Durr. Trailing 47-46 after thirty minutes...the Cards Sydney Zambrotta started the fourth by forcing UT's Jordan Reynolds into a turnover from a steal and getting a driving layup by Moore. 45 seconds later, Moore knocked down a three and "we got a little Moore" when Myisha Hines-Allen found Moore on the wing and the junior drilled another trifecta to make the Cardinal lead 54-47 at the 7:23 mark. 

Durr took the reins next. Her free throw put Louisville put 55-49. She followed with two straight successful jumpers to build the advantage to 59-51. After a Hines-Allen free throw, Durr struck again with a layup in the paint off a nice feed from Moore and head Tennessee coach Holly Warlick called a time-out to talk it over...almost kicking the basketball before a player restrained her...Louisville leading 62-51 and 4:07 on the clock. Are the Vols looking for a place-kicker? 

DeShields being attended to
A scary moment with 2:02 to play when both Moore and DeShields went down on the court after a missed Shook jumper and Nared rebound. Trainers and coaches rushing to each fallen player. A leg cramp for Moore (drink your water and hydrate, girl!) and blow to the head to DeShields that necessitated taking her out of the game for 20 seconds before returning. 

UT would fight back several times over the waning minutes...cutting the lead to 67-62 after a Jamie Nared hoop and free throw at the 1:38...but the Cards went on a game-closing 8-2 run...featuring four Durr free throws, a Briahanna Jackson layup and a triumphant, breakaway Hines-Allen layup after a block and mad dash down the court while grinning broadly with 10 seconds left. 

To be sure...before the fourth, this was anyone's ball game. 

The Cards began well, racing out to a 15-9 lead after Moore's first of five threes at the 4:37 mark in the first. UT would battle back to tie it at 19-19 and lead 21-20 after a Diamond DeShields jumper before Jackson's layup with four seconds gave the Cards the one-point margin after one. 

The Cards would rally from a 27-26 Tennessee lead in the second and grab a 33-27 edge after a Sam Fuehring jumper with 3:26 until half. UT had been held scoreless for 4:52 before Nared nailed a couple of free throws...twice in a row to climb back within two before Fuehring closed out the first half scoring with a bucket 17 seconds before halftime. The Cards took a 35-31 lead to the locker-room...but few in the crowd were comfortable with it after a very competitive and exciting first half. 

Free throws were a matter of debate. The Cards took two in the first half and made one. The Vols were 7-14 from the charity stripe

Points in the paint were going Louisville's way...18-12 but Nared was waging a one-women war on Louisville with 15 points. The Cards had held Mercedes Russell to just seven points and DeShields had been limited to six...but one wondered if those two would explode in the final twenty minutes. 

Mariya awaits the pass
Nared's three a minute into the third frame put UT back into the lead 36-35. Louisville would eventually push back out to a six-point edge after Moore's third three made it 42-36 ...but UT finished the final five minutes on a 11-4 run. Jordan Reynolds' jumper sent the Vols to a 47-44 advantage but Hines-Allen countered with 22 ticks left to create the 47-46 Tennessee margin. 

The Cards 29-17 scoring edge in the fourth was augmented by 64.3% shooting for the ten minutes and a defensive effort that limited the SEC foe to 3-18 final period marksmanship for a abysmal 16.7%. Defense (and scoring more points than the opponent) wins games and the Cards fourth quarter containment of Russell (0-2) and the rest of the UT players was a big key in getting the win. 

Russell, a 6'6" red-shirt junior, was the focus of an intense recruiting effort during her senior year in high school between UofL and Tennessee. The Vols won the commitment battle but Louisville won the war Monday evening. Jordan Reynolds, Kortney Dunbar and Alexa Middleton...all Vol contributors...were subjects of various levels of Cardinal recruiting as well. Instead, Louisville ended up with Moore, Hines-Allen, Carter and eventually Jackson. Another obvious win for the red and black. 

A great game and another exciting moment right after it ended when I got to visit briefly with daily reader and comments maestro Mike D. and old college fraternity buddy and site regular Tom Roma. Good to see both of them and it's absolutely wonderful and I'm very happy that they came out to support their Cards! 


Cards still dancin' like Fred Astaire.
Free Throws -- The Cards were 10-16 for 62%. Louisville was 1 for 2 after three periods. They made enough in the final ten minutes to clinch the win...but not enough to get a letter here. Our standard is 70%. It wasn't met. 

Rebounding -- UT edged Louisville out with a 43-41 effort. In the fourth quarter the Cards did have a 13-10 we can't be too critical here. Hines -Allen grabbed give her a double-double with her 14 points...and Moore controlled nine (just missing a double-double with 19 points). I'll deem a small case "r" here...tracking down those missed UT shots in the fourth a very big part of the reason.

Effort/Execution -- We talked about the "big three" needing to do productive work in Monday's column and they did...with 56 points, 28 rebounds and just three turnovers. Shook was essential and a contributor in her 26 minutes and Fuehring and Jackson gave a lot of heart and hustle to the cause. This multi-faceted effort led to a Louisville win and the execution was crisp and precise when it needed to be.  A capital "E" was earned. 

Defense -- It may be the thing I'm most proud of from the Cards tonight. taking on a very talented UT squad, holding them to 33.3% shooting, creating 13 turnovers and not letting DeShields or Nunn take over. Yes, Nared was outstanding in defeat and caused a lot of headaches...but when it counted, Louisville slammed the door on the Vols offense at the end and that most absolutely and definitely earns them the capital "D". 



Cheerleaders prepare to...well...cheer! 
Survive and advance this time of year. It is the prime objective. Louisville did that in an exciting contest that turned into a Card party in the final ten minutes. I veered away from my usual analytical and subjective game watching routine tonight and viewed this one as a passionate (but restrained and mostly silent) fan. Can't get too crazy on press row, you know...

Give a lot of credit to the Vols for making this a tight affair for thirty minutes. They found their strengths early on and utilized them to effective measures. The portion of the game that usually decides who will get the "W" and "L", though...the final period...belonged to Louisville.

Durr, who has been good-as-advertised the vast majority of the season hit only one three all night but found other ways to score and contribute and her 23 points kind of snuck up on me. Hines-Allen, the warrior...wearing her heart on her sleeve...was "MyZilla" again Monday night. She wanted to keep dancing in March and got that accomplished. Oh, Mariya! What a great time to execute three-point perfection. I'd have to give her player-of-the-game for that and the overall execution, her 19 points and lighting the fuse that blew up the Volunteer firecracker. 

We think she chose correctly. Go Dana! 
Briahanna, Kylee, Sam, Jazz, Syd, Cortnee and Johnson & Johnson all did their part to assure the Cards will be travelling westbound for a Friday shoot-out at the OK Corral against #1 seed in the region Baylor...who obliterated California by 40...86-46.  

Two down, four to the March Madness show. 

The decision I take this old
body to Oklahoma...11 hours away or not? 

Best exchange of the post-game presser. Mariya Moore explaining her leg cramps: 

Mariya: "Our nutritionist, our trainer are always on me to drink more often." 

Walz: "That's water. She means water. Just want to make sure we clarify that. " 






We have a Sweet Sixteen sighting! Congrats to UConn, UCLA, Maryland, Oregon, Baylor, LOUISVILLE, Washington, Mississippi St., Notre Dame, Ohio St., Texas, Stanford, South Carolina, Quinnipiac,  Florida St., and Oregon St. on their advancement. 

(4) #1 seeds, (3) #2 seeds, (4) #3 seeds, (2) #4 seeds, (1) #5 seed (1) #10 seed and (1) #12 seed move along. Survive and advance. 

Four Pac 12 still alive. Three from the ACC and the SEC. Two from the Big 10 and Big 12, one AAC and one MAAC school as well. 


43-5  Kenny S., Cliff
42-6  The Deb Factor, Paulie
41-7  Curtis Franklin, Charlie Mc
40-8  Joe Hill, K. Starks, Perry S. 
39-9  Doug A, Jenny, Beth 

15 games to go! Out of the top 12, seven have UConn as the champ. Two have Notre Dame and Baylor, Louisville and Stanford are the champ picks from one entry each. 

Good luck all! If you don't see your name above and what to see how you're doing...feel free to ask in the comments section or e-mail Sonja at:



  1. Two thoughts:

    I think Ciera had a good game especially dealing with Russell.

    Kudos to the band and the way they support this team by leading cheers and playing a variety of upbeat music. I believe, according to Jeff, that we only had to listen to "Rocky Top" 9 times during the evening.

    1. Nine was the media row count. I think I dreamed I was "up on old Rocky Top" last night. Ciera provided valuable minutes and was part of a great three-person effort that held Russell to five points under her average.


  2. MAM was present last night.
    Good defensive effort by the Senior class.Also good effort from Kylee and Ciera going against there post Players.A Big shout out to Sam (look out I'm starting next season) Fuehring.


  3. Paulie, glad I got to say hi to you and Sonja.

    Was it really only nine times for Rocky Top? Seemed like 20.

    I was disappointed by the small crowd but in the fourth quarter it sounded like the place was packed.

    I can't add to what you said about Moore, Hines-Allen and Durr. I was really impressed by Shook. She did not appear the least bit intimidated by the moment or by Russell.

    We are talking about driving to OKC. Not sure if we can make the trip happen.

    1. It was excellent to chat with you after the game. Always got time for readers, fans and friends after a game. Yeah, the crowd was less than hoped for...but they were REALLY loud.

      I, too, am debating a OKC trip. Right now, with finances and other stuff going probably isn't going to happen...but I requested credentials...just in case the fairy god-chimp drops a post St. Patrick's Day pot-o-gold in my lap.


  4. Good to get the W. Moore needed to show up like she used to and she finally got over the hump. Hines-Allen has some epic efforts in her still for this tourney. Durr will get more efficient.

    I thought the underclassmen came of age in this game. I counted at least four that made important contributions. Shook is gonna be on of the best we've had. Her clean stuff of Russel was epic even though they called a foul.

    Walz downplayed our '13 win over Baylor in his presser but seriously...same location, same Baylor higher seed and few giving us a chance to win. Nobody remains on Baylor's team that was there for the '13 contest. We've got Walton whose role has diminished late this season as the underclassmen have come of age...but she is uniquely positioned to motivate her teammates with her first person experience of that win.

    Also remember that given the time frame every kid on our club watched that game and it likely impacted their decision to come to Louisville.

    Huge opportunity. There is nobody that's more fun beat than Mulkey. Just like last time few give us a chance. We'll see.

    1. Walz vs. Wild Woman II

      Shook was super last night. And, she's always smiling and encouraging her teammates on the court. I like her a lot!

      I thought Jazz was going to pass out from the excitement level she was displaying when on the sidelines. And, Myisha? Big time props to the floor-thumping, double fist pump, big-step striding and howling at the moon "My-zilla" !!


  5. Paulie, I have a question for you and our other knowledgeable readers. Of all the players on both sides that played last night, the two situations that puzzle me are Nunn for Tennessee and Zambrotta for Louisville.

    Nunn destroyed Dayton inside and played a lot in tandem with Russell. Last night she just got a few minutes and was a total non-factor. I wonder what changed?

    I assumed that Zambrotta was put to take advantage of the fact the Tennessee was focusing all of their efforts on Durr on the perimeter. But she never looked for a shot and it didn't look like Walz ran any plays for her. You would think that she would be a defensive liability against athletic guards/wings that Tennessee has, but she actually played good defense and of course was on the court during the early fourth quarter run. What did Walz see that prompted him to give her those minutes?

    1. Warlick addressed that briefly in her presser...just saying it wasn't her night. I think it's hard to determine that in three minutes of playing time...but they were gettin good play out of DeShields, Nared and Reynolds...who all saw 40 minutes each.

      As for "Z" he distributes playing time by good practice efforts and situational scenarios. He may (but I can't confirm this) put her in as a decoy to maybe open it up for Moore and Durr. She was in for the adding of a guard and subtracting a big theory did work.


    2. Cortnee hasn't played much in the first two rounds. You think it's a matchup situation that Walz sees where he feels others match up better or what?

    3. that seems to be the general consensus from who I've talked to.


  6. This up coming game againt Baylor will be a good Experience for Kylee and Ciera down low in the post.


  7. I see 538 is giving us a 7% chance of beating Baylor. If that doesn't motivate our kids nothing will.

    1. I wouldn't show them the Cal game against them...if it was me. Not much to zero in on for opportunities to use against them. Those girls are good....but so are Louisville's.


  8. What an exciting game to watch! I was delirious when Moore was bombing those threes and when Durr took over after that? Buddy, oh, buddy! (like MHA says).

    Walz was at his fiery best last night. I thought he was going to stuff "Silly Joe" the ref into a trash can at the half. But the feu situation was deplorable. The ref situation in women's hoops is deplorable.

    A great win and let's load up the wagon train and Boomer Scooner! Baylor beware, Cardinals comin'!

    Curtis "One of the 5698" Franklin

  9. Nice win, Cardinals. Baylor Bobby here. I was surfing around trying to read about our 'next' and ran across your site. There is some great material here.I'll most def be back.

    The 'big three' for Louisville you refer to are very impressive. I expect a very good game. It will be interesting to see if you can contain Kalani, Alexis, Nina, Alex and Lauren. Shook I thought would be a very good college player and it looks kike she is turning into one. Fuehring looks like your enforcer. We'll see you in Oklahoma City.

    Baylor Bobby the Basketball snobby

    1. Sam Fuehing plays like Kirk rambus.


  10. When Sid Z entered the game everything changed. Although sh ed d u d not get a shot off i think it required Tenn to spread defense even further as every player on floor was a true threat from the 3.

  11. Wonder if any of the ladies who toyed with us but instead went to UK, TN, and Duke now have regrets? UL still dancing while they will be at home watching on ESPN.

    1. If you were to ask them public, I'd say they would all categorically deny regrets. I have a feeling, just from what I've head "thru the grapevine" that...yes...several express regret that they made the choices they did.



    Thursday, March 23 (Central Times listed)
    3:45-4 p.m. CT – Louisville News Conference – Coach Walz
    4:05-4:20 p.m. CT – Louisville News Conference – Student-Athletes
    4:30-6 p.m. CT – Louisville Practice (first 15 minutes are open to media members)

    Friday, March 24 (Central Times listed)
    6 p.m. CT - Washington vs. Mississippi State (ESPN2)
    9:30 p.m. CT (or 30 minutes after Game 1) – Baylor vs. Louisville (ESPN2)

  13. I saw that South Carolina had a pep rally or something like that before the team goes off to Stockton, CA for the Sweet 16. Wish there was going to be something like that for our women considering a lot of fans won't be able to make it to OKC


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