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Saturday, August 4, 2018

Cards All Over the World -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

USA Uses Strong 2nd Half to Thump Puerto Rico

If you follow Paulie on Twitter, you may have seen him quip yesterday that the USA was getting more than they bargained for against Puerto Rico when they led 50-33 at the half. Truly, the US team has been dominant so far at the U18 FIBA Americas so to see them struggling to put away a team like Puerto Rico was quite the surprise. After a first quarter that looked like business as usual (US led 33-18), Puerto Rico came out with a fire in the second quarter. PR scored 15 in the second stanza, a step down from their previous effort, but held the US to only 17 points in the quarter. The States led by 17 at the break, but they may have been shown to be mortal after all.

The second half was all US, as the Jeff Walz led squad won the third and fourth quarters by 13 and 14 respectively, finishing the game with a final tally of 103-59. A 44 point margin is usually one that will keep you from having much to say negatively, but you can be sure that the two point second quarter point-scoring advantage was looming in Walz's mind. Don't think for a second that Connecticut has gotten where they are as a perennial power by Geno Auriemma praising 44 point wins and forgetting about the negatives of the game. 

The Cards won this one largely by playing similarly to the other games. They led the rebounding battle by 32 (more than PR's total) and they held their opponents to 32% shooting while forcing 34 turnovers. Defensively, the US was good. They overpowered their opponents, as should be expected, and they did not allow easy baskets. PR only shot 42% on two point baskets, showing that the US was not giving up easy stuff while PR missed threes. On the flip side, the US shot a cumulative 46%. They shot 53% from two point range, knocking in 33 two point baskets. Unfortunately, they had a rough go of it from behind the arc with a 3/16 mark. The free throw shooting was better than before, but the final percentage was still only 66.7% (28/42) which is leaving points on the table. Additionally, the US turned the ball over 24 times. We, as Louisville fans, know how frustrating those turnovers can be and how they can come back to haunt. Jeff Walz has plenty to keep coaching this team on leading up to their next game.

There are no games today, but the US is back in action in the quarterfinals tomorrow against El Salvador. The game tips at 3PM EST in Mexico City and will be available for streaming in ways similar to past games.

Women's Golfers in US Women's Amateur Championship

After a previous summer tournament saw great success for current and former UofL women's golfers, three golfers will take to the course again next week in the US Women's Amateur Championship. Kristin Engle, Lauren Hartlage, and Delaney Shah will head to Kingston Springs, Tennessee to start practice on Monday. The full 156 player field will get 36 holes of stroke play starting on Wednesday before the field is cut to a 64 player match play bracket. Limited coverage of the tournament will be available on Fox Sports 1 Wednesday through Friday and on Sunday. Fox Sports 2 has Saturday's coverage. Good luck to these three as they continue the summer circuit to prepare for their next collegiate season.

World Cuppers

Jared gave a good recap of Ireland's win over India in yesterday's article which advanced the Green Army to the semifinal matchup. Not bad for a team that was the last to qualify for this World Cup. Ayeisha McFerran has been an absolute stonewall for the Irish team so far in this tournament, and, like soccer, good goalkeeper play can result in positive results in major tournaments such as this one. Ireland will be hoping that McFerran's play can stay sharp as they move on to take on a Spanish team that has scored 10 goals but has been up and down in the tournament (7 goals came in one game). Spain placed third in their group behind Germany and Argentina but advanced with shootout win over Belgium in cross-over play (it took me a minute to figure out how this system worked). After advancing to the quarters, Spain got revenge on Germany with a 1-0 victory to advance to the semis. Ireland and Spain get underway at 9 AM Eastern today, and we'll keep you updated as results come in.

The other worldly player, Mollie Rouse, will get underway in the U20 Women's World Cup tomorrow morning at 10:30 AM Eastern when England takes on North Korea in their opening game of group play. The Three Lions will almost surely need a victory over NK as their competition in group is tough (Mexico and Brazil round out the group). Rouse appears to have a strong role on the team, so we will see how much she can glean from this experience and bring back with her when she returns to Louisville's soccer team at the conclusion of England's run. 

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

We're back in the studio this morning, as we try to be every Saturday, and we'll see if Jeff can build on last week's solid performance as the man behind the curtain. The summer slump is winding down and we're just a week away from the first official event (albeit an exhibition) for Louisville women's sports. Tune into WCHQ at 11AM and join us as we discuss the joy and excitement of Louisville women's sports. See if I can bring home my third (?) quiz victory of the summer or if I'll come crashing back down to reality.

Mike Gilpatrick (River City CARDS) joins three of the "A" team knuckleheads as Jared is busy rolling pennies and eating donuts this morning. Let's see how the "guy with three first names" fares against "the Case dynasty". 

Until next time, Go Cards!

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