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Monday, December 18, 2017

Louisville women's basketball -- No contest. Cards clobber Cats 87-63 -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Look, ma! They spelled it right in Lexington !! 
Louisville women's Basketball goes to 13-0 with a domination of Kentucky 87-63 Sunday afternoon in Lexington's Memorial Coliseum. The Cards never trailed in a contest where Louisville used a five minute, 20-5 half-ending run to take a 27-20 lead to 47-25 advantage after 20 minutes. 

#25 was Durrific. What more can you say about the Douglasville, GA junior in the contest? 32 points, 6-11 from trifecta range and just one foul and one turnover in 36 excellent minutes of court time. She's Asia Durr, the best basketball player in D1 women's college hoops. In keeping with the tradition we've come to expect of her, she passed the accolades on to her teammates: 

"My teammates find me on the court, Coach Walz calls great plays and if I don't have the shot there -- I know I have my teammates to count on. They always help me get hyped. They get me going." 

Daryl Foust, Al Greener and a guy I'm pretty sure isn't
Santa Claus with me in end zone media row. 
The teammates did a wonderful job of energizing Durr, no doubt...but with her seven first quarter points and aided by Myisha Hines-Allen's three baskets, the Cards streaked out to a 23-16 advantage and the normally raucous and rafter-rattling Coliseum was more like a funeral parlor setting, except for the Cardinal fans squeezed into the corners of the big box. 

It was evident that UK came out wanting to run every chance they got but after an early success by Alyssa Rice on a jail-break that got her in front of the Cards' transition defense for a bucket...UK would score no more fast break points. The heralded guard combo of Maci Morris and Taylor Murray was also pretty much kept at bay with just 24 of UK's points and a combined 9-21 shooting. 

Jeff Walz commented on them: 

"They are guards that have the ability to take over a game. We knew they loved to drive to the right. Unfortunately, for the first few minutes we allowed them to do that and they scored. We made some adjustments. Forced them to their left. Defensively, we did a lot of good things."

Coaches Walz and Mitchell exchange views pre-game
Things like holding UK to 34.6% shooting in the first half. Creating turnovers. The Cards forced UK into 16 miscues and scored 22 points off them. Eliminating second chance opportunities. Give that stat to Louisville 20-8. Give the Cards credit for keeping the fans out of the game. And, UK, too...for that matter.

It was over at the half.

Yes, they continued the game and Louisville did outscore the Cats 40-38 in the final twenty. Going into the locker room after the first twenty, UK walked off the court like a defeated team. The scoreboard read 47-25. A second quarter where Louisville dominated 24-9 and where starters Myisha Hines-Allen and Jazmine Jones sat the entire 10 minutes because of two fouls each. 

Their court absence wasn't a factor. Durr remained hot, starters Sam Fuehring and Arica Carter picked up the slack. Dana Evans came off the bench to contribute valuable minutes. 

If there are a better "nine" in the nation than these contributing Cardinals, beside possibly UConn, point them out to me. 

Sam drawing a charge early was big for
the Cards
You control the ball, you control the game. Louisville did that. Out-rebounding UK 36-25. The evolution of Sam Fuehring has been a wonderful thing to watch this season. Give the New Jersey junior 10 points and 10 grabs from Sunday. Maybe "give" is the wrong term. She earned each and every one. Drawing charges. Giving UofL 34 minutes of effort and hustle that wore me out just watching from the end-zone. 

Walz had to be happy with only 11 turnovers. No more than two by any player. Once again, control the ball, control the game. One thing he couldn't talk about, but was a discussion of sorts on media row, was the discrepancy in foul-calling.

The Cards were whistled for 24 infractions. UK 17. Four Cardinals played with four each at the end and two others had three. Another rough outing for the sometimes brilliant, sometimes head-scratch causing Bionca Dunham. Four fouls in three minutes. A couple that could have gone either way. The same thing happened to Jazz Jones. Whistled for four and two of them were "phantom" calls. Louisville normally gets a pretty evenly-called game when big, bald Luis Gonzales has a whistle. Didn't happen Sunday. Mark Zentz was his usual below-average in court officiating and Michael McConnell (Mitch's son, maybe?) might as well have grabbed a seat and enjoyed some popcorn instead of running around and making bad calls and missing infractions. I know, we're positive here at Cardinal Couple, but these guys were less-than-mediocre at best.  

The Cards owned the paint Sunday. 
13-0. It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? A determined and delightful effort in the barnyard for the Cards in front of 5871 (funny, it looked like more than that). About 400 left happy. The others walked out into the misty, late afternoon conditions in Lexington and will wait for Thursday...wondering if Matthew Mitchell can get his first win in four games...against a California team that is 8-2, falling only to #1 UConn and #13 Missouri and winners of their last five. It's our ol' buddy Lindsey Gottlieb coming to visit the Cats and she's got Kristine Anigwe, Asha Thomas and Mikayla Cowling guiding her sleigh as she attempts to deliver a few more lumps of coal to "Kan't-tucky."  

When she shoots, good things usually follow
It's a sweet feeling to finally walk out of that cracker-box after a UofL win. I was there for the last one in 1979...making the trip to cheer on a classmate who was on the team.

This UofL team is something special. I stand humbled in their effort and presence.

The usually flamboyant UK head coach Mitchell, after some early antics, spent long stretches of Sunday's game sitting on the bench with a look of askance, bewilderment and resignation on his face. He has a squad that needs to embrace the concepts of defense and continuity. That's his job...and UK might be able to respond to these needs...but, on Sunday, little of that was present. With classes not starting back up until early January, one would figure he'll be searching for that particular rainbow. 


It was a "beautiful day in the
neighborhood" for UofL WBB Sunday.
Fred Rogers. In a red sweater. 
F- Free Throws. If there was one area where Louisville could have improved on Sunday's slaughter, it was at the charity stripe. 11-16. Myisha the main culprit with a 0-4 effort. No letter awarded for 68.8%

R- Rebounds - Louisville controlled the boards 36-25. They got over half of those from Myisha and Sam. They out-rebounded their Wildcat counterparts Makenzie Cann and Alyssa Rice 19-4. That'll get you a capital "R" every time. 

E - Effort/Execution - The Cards won the hustle stats convincingly. They got the ball to their scorers. Save for the the disappointing afternoons for Jones and Dunham, they were a crisp and finely-tuned machine. 20-8 second chance points. Game-changer. No problem in extending a capital "E" here. 

D- Defense - Louisville had been holding foes to 55 points a game. Despite Kentucky managing 63, the Cards forced 18 turnovers, allowed just 44.9% from the floor (which was 39% before the fourth quarter) and dominated the paint on both end of the court. We'll give out a capital "D" here. Only Ohio State has managed over 70 points against UofL. 


Mission accomplished. The Cards move on to explore the wild, blue yonder with a trip to the Air Force Academy on Wednesday. A chance to be the "top guns" once again. Another chance to "fly into the danger zone." and emerge unscathed. 


Somewhere, "Goose" is probably smiling...
Goose and Maverick understand UofLs
"need for speed" 

In Louisville, grins are a' plenty. 

UK made some interesting choices. The Cats decided to see if Arica Carter could beat them. Mission Accomplished with 11 points and three threes. They chose to shut down Durr's three attempts and driving to the basket. That worked out well, right? 

The question I had going in was whether Durr and Hines-Allen continue their All-American performances? Mission Accomplished. Fall out, troops, and re-assemble in Colorado. The Empire still stands unblemished...the record perfect. 

The Battle of the Bluegrass goes to the Cards. Convincingly. And, an old curse...the spell of the "winless Cards in Memorial" is broken and put to rest. 






  1. Kept yelling at the TV that they (the refs) were doing their best to stop the blowout. They couldn't.

    1. Yes I agree that was a ticky-tack foul game.
      The call on jaz was a blocking foul not a charge!
      I think the call went 75% to 25% Kentucky.

  2. Paulie said it all. Amazing win. Great team chemistry. Isn't this the first time we've beaten the kittens at Memorial in decades? A more local historian can confirm or not.

    AC was money, particularly in Q2 with the threes. She's made a believer out of me on both defense and offense. We've never been so strong and deep at the point as long as I've been paying attention.

    Finally I want to personally thank The Guv for the eighty bucks she's going to send to Paulie based on our "fancy ham" prediction on the outcome. I know CC can use the dollars to support the effort. Keep Smilin Guv.

    1. It was 1979. I was in there, cheering for a classmate who was on the team.

      I received a Pay-Pal contribution/transaction report for $80 today. I wonder who that might have been? The Guv will probably slink over here later to offer something. I did see her from media row, having been "tipped off" on where she was sitting. I don't think she had an enjoyable afternoon.


    2. Wow...almost forty years. Thats great!

      Glad to see The Guv stepped up to support CC. It's all good.

  3. Great win all the girls looked awesome! I always here that Walz is giving playing time to supporting cast so they get experience....Why is Sydney and Jess just watching yesterday? We were up by 25 points why not give Asia a rest and give these two young ladies quality playing time? Scratching my head!

    1. Syd got 10 minutes, maybe a few less than I thought...also. As for Jess, you can probably expect her getting just a few in late minutes from here on out, except in blowouts.

      I'm not going to question Walz about it. As Jazz Jones spoke the other night..."If it not fixed, don't break it." Then she laughed and said..."Something like that, you know what I mean."


    2. It probably had something to do with Matthew "Dick" Mitchell leaving in Morris and Murray all 40 minutes. If Mr. Butthead isn't going to concede defeat and empty his larger bench, then why should Walz empty his "short bench" of Laemmle and maybe Zambrotta?

      Mitchell has been, still is and always will be a slick-headed un-intelligent chuckle-head from Morehead. I got more respect for belly-button lint.

    3. Gee. How do you really feel about him? You his ex-wife or something? Chill. You won.

      Matthew Mitchell For Governor

    4. Even though I'm not crazy about his hairstyle and I hate to agree with The Guv on anything I've gotta say that Mitchell is a good guy. I've been impressed with the mutual respect between Walz and Mitchell over the years. Both quality folks that anyone would be proud to send their kids to their respective programs.

      Guv - that ex-wife comment is pretty humorous.

  4. Paulie teases about "herding Cats" on some tricky days. We both got to actually see it performed yesterday. It make the drive back to Louisville quite enjoyable. What a win!

    (This is Sonya)

  5. Great summary, Paulie. Wish I'd been there. We hoped to be there but couldn't make it happen.

    One editorial comment - in your second paragraph, it's #25, not #23. We'll all remember #25 for a long time - it will be up in the Yum! rafters one of these years. Hope I'm still around when it gets up there.

  6. The Bird Lady12/18/2017 5:21 PM

    Always a better ride home after a win.

    Great game. This is what the 4th - 5th game that MHA gets pulled short 1 basket or 1 rebound shy of a double/double. What's up with that?

    Visiting other venues always makes me appreciate Yum.
    I had to deal with 2 different idiot parking staff. What's the deal with keeping an empty lot closed until 2:30 for a 3 pm game? Yeah, I parked on the street rather than go to a lot a half mile away that the attendant was trying to send me to.

    Luckily we sat near true basketball fans that while cheering their team, respected the game. Didn't run into any nastiness and we stayed classy even when we pulled ahead. Lexington UK fans seem way better than UK fans based in Louisville.

    Oh and then there was the lady that brought 6 kids from toddler to teen and never watched a minute of the game. Kids popping out of their seats to run back and forth, begging for money for snacks and taking selfies and playing hide n seek with moms seat as "base" without regard for those of us trying to watch the game. (One of the kids in louisville swag) Oh and the toddler laying on the stairs playing an iPad, with people nearly breaking their necks not to trip on the kid. As a person that worked at Yum, that would have been shut down ASAP. Parent never even acknowledged her kids were creating a problem much less telling them to behave. Glad the kids that sit near us at Yum are fans of the game with parents that teach self discipline and respect.

    1. Why wouldn't you want your senior player to shine and get her double doubles? She works extremely hard in minutes played. And you know someone is checking her stats she should have passed the record over and over again. It's actually getting annoying!

    2. The Bird Lady12/19/2017 3:41 AM

      Agreed. I understand not wanting to keep a player in blowouts, but continual pulling her just shy of it seems like there is something going on.

    3. I hope it wouldn't be...MHA having too much attention over another player! But it seems to me when MHA is on a roll NOW we will put the bench in...Really when I see another certain player on fire she continues to shoot! IMHO I call it as I see it! Let's remember who stayed with the program and has paid her dues! Let's see MHA start and finish her last year of play!

  7. Coach Walz your upsetting a Jersey girl! Lol

  8. OK, I've come over to congratulate you on the win.

    We are out of sorts when it comes to finishing around the basket and I, too, wondered about any type of three-point shot defense being taught.

    Refs were not that bad. They were calling things close, that's all.

    Good luck the rest of the way. We got beat yesterday by a better, more athletic and talented team. Congratulations, Cards.

    Matthew Mitchell For Governor

  9. What? You're saying #23 Jazmine Jones is not terrific? LOL. Thanks for the proof-read correction. It has been changed.



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