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Friday, November 17, 2017

Louisville women's basketball -- Cards use second half to maul Michigan -- Volleyball tonight! -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


(Paulie here...filling in for a stuck-in-meetings-Worldwide, who would normally have the Friday write-up. We do what we do.) 

The Ladybirds sometimes stand in front of me.
I don't complain.  (Photo by Paulie)
After 20 minutes in the KFC YUM! Center last night, many Cardinal fans were shaking their heads in puzzlement. The #5 Cards trailed Michigan 37-32 at the half and Louisville was a less-than-stellar 1-10 from the three-point arc. After the next twenty minutes, Cardinal fans were shaking their heads in amazement after a half where the Cards outscored the Wolverines 43-12. A total domination and "owning" of a team that should be in the thick of the fight for the Big 10 title. 

Defense. It was something that was a tale of two halves, as well. Louisville allowed 65.2% shooting in the first twenty. Katelynn Flaherty was doing her best Asia Durr impression with five-for-five three point shooting and Walz tried everyone but Jared Anderson in trying to stop her. Fast forward to the end of the final half. The Boots shot 19% from the floor and limited Flaherty to a scant six points. No threes in one attempt. Face guarding a hot player has its perks. Michigan scored six points in 33 minutes before Walz unloaded the bench.

I also get cheerleaders performing in front of my.
No complaints, here. (Photo by Paulie)
Jeff Walz may complain about the inconsistency. He told the girls they might as well go home in the half-time locker room chat....because no one wanted to watch this performance. He probably said a few other things that we probably couldn't print here. Whatever oratorical masterpiece he delivered sunk in. The Cards played like a squad that would like to return to Columbus in March. 

The Cards earned their right to stay home Sunday and bring Oregon into the Arena by the River for the preseason WNIT finals. The Ducks waddled past Texas A&M in the other semifinal game last night 83-68. A pre-season "Holiday Road" for them...from Eugene to College Station to Louisville. Hopefully, they'll bring Randy Quaid and leave Ruthie Hebard home. The sophomore forward went 10-10 for 24 points last night against the Aggies. 

It was a good night for Jeff Walz. Not only did his team rise to the challenge, but his Pittsburgh Steelers dismembered the Titans...Tennessee version. Maybe he should play Powerball...

I often set out cookies for the refs at halftime. They never take
them. Maybe I should add milk. (Photo by Paulie) 
Most impressive for the Cards also was their forcing 23 turnovers and creating 24 points off them. 16 in the second half, when the Wolverines looked like a Saturday Night Live parody of a basketball team. Head coach Kim Barnes Arico said it best when she commented post-game: 

"They were able to turn up their defense and create havoc for us...we started getting tighter and tighter...making one pass and taking a shot." 

The Cards were undaunted by the 6'6" Michigan center Hallie Thome. UofL won the points-in-the-paint battle 40-16 and held Thome to six points and one rebound in her 24 minutes. She fouled out with 6:16 to play and the Cards up 60-43. 

Our buddy Daryl Foust appears consternated. Maybe
by Charlie? (Photo by Jared Anderson)
Many contributions from the Louisville bench last night as well. Syd "Z" nailed to trifectas, Bionca Dunham with six rebounds and four points in 13 minutes and Kylee Shook added four points and four grabs in 12 minutes. Dana Evans, that precocious freshman with the poise of a senior, had four assists and played lock-down defense in her 24 minutes...also sinking a three. 

It may be the best start of a season for this Walz squad since the 2014-15 season, when the Cards opened 8-0 before falling to UK in the YUM! He certainly has many pieces to put on this year's chess-board and can go fast, tall or small...depending on the circumstances. Maybe it's too early to tell just how this team will fare...but they've overcome adversity twice so far in four games. 

Myisha Hines-Allen, DOOO-BLAY, with a solid effort. No double/double but proclaiming, once again, that "this is my paint, my turf and you should just leave". She'll get a test against the Ducks. Hebard is 6'4" worth of just plain nasty forward skills and Oregon has seven players 6'3" or taller. 

Rarer than a Yeti sighting...a Jeff Walz smile during
a UofL basketball game (Photo by Jared Anderson) 
Asia? Well, she can't have 47 every night...but she came up a solid 13 points after a sluggish start. She does get a little fired up when she sees her teammates succeed, as well. Call her "Nite-nite". Call her "50-Piece"...just make sure and call her number when they do the starting lineups. She logged the most minutes for the Red and Black last night with 30. 

Not quite 5800 entered the KFC YUM! Center and that's a massive downer. This team deserves your patronage and support. Forget whatever petty reasons you're coming up with and be there Sunday. 


NFL wide receiver Fred Bilitnekoff  is
today's FRED pic. Fred could grab 'em.
FREE THROWS -- No complaints here. 14-16 works. On the two misses (one by Fuehring, one by MHA) the Cards did not counter with a rebound, putback or the Walz "3 is better than 2" theorem did not come into play. WE AWARD A CAPITAL "F" FOR THAT FOUL LINE EXCELLENCE. 

REBOUNDS -- Louisville won the battle of the boards 35-27 after getting out-rebounded 15-13 in the first half. I liked Dunham and Myisha's effort and Asia's, holding Thome at bay. Impressive but I can only issue a small case "r" here. 

EFFORT/EXECUTION -- A tale of two halves here. For as ponderous and slow-to-react the Cards were in the first twenty, they looked like lionesses ready to pounce on crippled Caribou to end the game. We'll go with the small-case "e" here. 

DEFENSE -- Once again, good cop, bad cop. Allowing 65.2% shooting won't win you many games and that's what Michigan produced inn the first two quarters. They slipped to 43.2% for the game and Louisville did win the turnovers created battle. A tough call but, we'll stay lower case "d". 

FRED FINAL:  F-r-e-d

Michigan's Kim Barnes Arico during
a happier moment Thursday night
(Photo by Jared Anderson)
All in all, all's well that ends well. The Cards knock off a top 25 foe and do it with a huge second half. Just win, baby. 

Games can take strange twists and turns. What sometimes appears to be a struggle can magically turn into a reversal-of-fortunes and rout for the previously trouble team. We're not sure what magic dust Walz and the coaches sprinkled on the Cards at halftime, but, it worked. We're not sure what Walz said in entirety to the squad during the break, but I hope someone recorded it and keeps it on file to play back if similar circumstances develop.  

Louisville has greatness in Myisha and Asia. They have stability in Sam and Arica. They have explosiveness in Jazz and Dana. They have height in Kylee and Bionca. Add in the learning Loretta, bombing Syd and a attack Yorkie and you end up with a unit that has impressed, surprised and succeeded so far. Let's hope that mixture is still just as savory in 2018.

Please show up Sunday, fans. 






It's a battle of the top-of-conference standing teams tonight in Cardinal Arena when Louisville and NC State put their 14-2 conference records on the line at 7:30 p.m.

This should be a good one. The VolleyCards are on a seven-game win streak and hold their fate in their hands. NC State enters with five wins in a row. Something's gotta give. 

It's Stadium Cup night for the first 500 through the doors and poster giveaway, too. WE'll recap this one on THE CARDINAL CUP RADIO HOUR Saturday at 11 a.m. on WCHQ and in Case's Saturday write-up.

There could be the entire "A" team attendance tonight at the match. Wild lions couldn't keep WorldWide away, Jared will be there staring through his camera, we may have sufficiently goaded Case into attending and Paulie most likely will meander through the doors. 

Join us, won't you? 7:30 is the designated start time. 



We'l descend into the Basement on the Hill Saturday morning with plenty to talk about on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR.  Jared will be off-air, turning twenties into five's and ten's...but JC (no period) Julie Sullivan will grab the bat and step into the box to pinch hit. We'll have audio clips, World-Wide provided pastries and lots of fun. 

11 a.m. WCHQ 100.9 FM. Download the WCHQ app. 

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  1. The Bird Lady11/17/2017 11:31 AM

    Great write up. Amazingly when we got behind, I didn't freak out. I just didn't believe Michigan could sustain the incredible 3 point percentage they shot in the first quarter. It felt like there was a little fatigue from 3 games in 5 days but I had confidence the Cards would prevail. I certainly didn't expect the 180° defensive effort. This team has heart and a cohesiveness that will take them far. I glad I have my tickets and get to enjoy this ride!

  2. Wow! What a second half! If you can hiccup but regain your ability to eat, that's a good sign. This may become my favorite team since the Shoni and Jude days. So many people able to contribute and their enthusiasm is contagious.

    Curtis "Give the damn ball to Myisha" Franklin

  3. Walz has a powder keg in his trunk and hasn't lit the fuse yet. I think we haven't seen the best this squad has to offer yet and I'm hoping that they will give me a reason to leave Florida and go to Ohio in late March-early April. Already got those FF tickets lined up. Way to rally, Cards!

    -- The Real Joe Hill --

  4. As Walz said, that was probably the best 20 minutes of defense ever played by one of his teams. And that's saying a whole lot.
    And the scary thing is, they're capable of more.

  5. Paulie, I might give a capital "R" for rebounding. Nothing wrong with +8 against a Top 25 team, and it felt to me that Cards were winning the rebounding battle more than the box score indicated.

    Capital "D" with a bullet for the second half - best non-UConn defense I've seen so far this year (and I've watched a bunch of WBB so far).

  6. Nice Piece. Seeing much improved mental toughness and free throw shooting this year. Shut Down D always works.

    Oregon is really really good this year. This game could easily be a final four preview. I you live in Louisville you should be getting to it.

    Good Luck Ladies!

  7. Good game, cards playing good Defense & the bench is looking good.
    Shout out to AC,locking down the wolverines top scorer Katelynn Flaherty in the second half.


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