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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Louisville WBB vs. Notre Dame tonight -- Let's Play -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

#1 vs #2 TONIGHT

It goes down tonight in South Bend. The University of Louisville women's basketball squad faces #1 Notre Dame. ESPN bringing in the big guns....Adam Amin, Rebecca Lobo, Kara Lawson and Holly Rowe. A sold out crowd of 9149 in the Purcell Pavillion ready for the contest. The biggest game of the season, so far, for the Cards.The sixth top 25 opponent of the season for Notre Dame. Asia vs. Arike. Are you ready? 

Notre Dame plays very well in Purcell. In their last 105 games there, they have lost three times. All to UConn. Louisville last visited there on Feburary 6th, 2017 and took a 85-66 loss. 

So, what about these Irish? They are at 14-1 on the 2018-19 season, the lone loss coming to UConn on December 2nd., a 89-71 defeat. In common opponents, both have played Duke and UND down them 82-64. The Cards took a 73-51 win over the Blue Devils. Both have gone up against WKU. The Cards getting a 102-80 win there to start the season. Notre Dame having the Hilltoppers at Purcell and dismissing them on December 19th 94-53.

The Irish squad has plenty of talent. Arike Ogunbowale leads them in field goal attempts (252) field goals made (123) total points (331), free throw attempts (86), free throws made (66) and points per game (22.1). Look for Jackie Young as the set-up student athlete, her assist to turnover ratio is 2.33. Brianna Turner has 33 blocks this year and has had over 80 in the previous three seasons she has played. On the boards, it's Jessica Shepard -- 9.5 rebounds a game. Add "do-everything" Marina Mabrey, back after an early season quadricep injury to that starting lineup and averaging 14.3 points per game and they look very impressive. All but Young were selected to the pre-season ALL-ACC Coaches Panel and Blue Ribbon panel squads. All but Young are seniors or graduate students. 

The Irish average 52.7 points in the paint so far this year and that's where the Cards will have to be able to contain them. They allow a mere 27.2 points in the paint. 

Louisville is undefeated at 14-0. They have played and defeated two top 25 teams. They are one of two teams undefeated on the season, after Ohio fell to Central Michigan last night 88-70 in Athens, OH. The Cards defeated CMU 72-68 before Christmas break. The other undefeated squad besides the Cards is NC State and the Wolfpack goes up against Pitt tonight in Raleigh. 

This is the Cards first ever participation in a #1 vs. #2 match-up. They have Asia Durr

The Cards learned yesterday that "Nite-nite" had been named to the John Wooden mid-season top 25 list. She's one of five ACC players on that list. Ogunbowale, Young and Shepard from Notre Dame are on there. So is Tiana Mangakahia from Syracuse. 

The Cards' talent is deep beside Durr, though. Arica Carter is a dangerous three-point threat. Jazmine Jones is the Cards "do-everything" player.  Sam Fuehring provides the inside muscle, along with Kylee Shook and Bionca Dunham. Dana Evans comes off the bench with speed, quickness, scoring and defensive intensity. Lindsey Duvall is 12-28 from three-point range this season. Hoe big a factor will she and freshman defensive specialist Mykasa Robinson be? Louisville is probably the better team in terms of depth. Louisville is a quicker squad that Notre Dame and they have won the last two contests against pretty much this same Notre Dame lineup. 

Jeff Walz will tell you offensive accuracy and cutting down on turnovers are two keys to this one for the Cards. He expects a game "in the eighties" and he'll probably see that come close to fruition. 

Notre Dame will be fired up, seeking revenge and I fully expect them to come out strong and try to bury the Cards early. Louisville needs to withstand the early attempts at the knockout punch and try to create a big first quarter, like they did against UNC, NKU, Miami and Kentucky. 

We heard from Arica Carter and Jeff Walz yesterday. They previewed the game, the season and other things for the media in about a 1/2 hour press conference. You can see and hear that presser below.

We wonder what our buddy Tom's choice is tonight?

We apologize that you can't hear the questions very well on the feed above. If you want a better quality audio where you can hear the questions but with no video, try the link below: 


I urge you to review the presser. Walz and Carter are loose, engaged and ready to go take care of business. I got the same out of the entire team while watching practice yesterday. A chance to do what every player dreams of, come to school for. A chance to play "in a big-one", under the national spotlight and show what they've got. 

A potentially important factor will be the officiating. No "TV" Dee Kanter for this one. The crew will be Eric Brewton, Kevin Dillard and Karen Preato. They call a lot of ACC contests and the Cards are familiar with their game-management. 

Another sideline is McGraw vs. Walz. The history between those two is well-documented. 

Eric Crawford was at yesterday's presser. He has an interesting take on tonight's match-up. Read it at the link below: 


Here we go. The highlight of the Cards WBB season so far. Louisville has been outscoring opponents by  20.0+ game a year this season. They probably don't get that huge a win tonight (in fact, another website has conducted a poll and 95% of the participants predict a Notre Dame win) but I will go in a different direction. UConn gave Coach Walz another blueprint on how to defeat the Irish earlier this season. UofL and Durr "show up" for the big games and the Cards have won 11 straight ACC road games. 

How do I see it? A win for the Red and Black tonight in South Bend is how I see it. Let's say 80-75. Asia has a huge, Asia Durr-type game and the Cards go to 15-0. Jaz thrills the watchers, Arica buries a few threes and Sam "does work" inside against the taller Irish. 

Regardless, though, of the's a wonderful thing to see the Cards in the national spotlight. This is what they play for. Let's do it. We'll have a full recap tomorrow here at CARDINAL COUPLE. 

Today is "wear red" day to support our squad in Sound Bend. You know you look good in red, it !! 

Your thoughts on the contest? Let us know in the comments section.   


-- Louisville MBB lost a exciting one last night at Pitt. Overtime. Half of Pitt's squad fouled out it seemed. The Cards unable to hit the big buckets in O.T., though.  

-- A player Cardinal fans grew to know over 2018, Maori Davenport, has been ruled ineligible for her senior high school season in Alabama. This seems a bit unfair, if you ask me, decide. It won't affect her eligibility at Rutgers, though, in the 2019-20 season. The article link below: 


-- Yay! For Wilma Rivera ! She's been picked for the Puerto Rican National team. Louisville Volleyball's premier setter is all that...

-- After watching the WBB squad "do work" yesterday, I did wander over to the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium to watch them practice for a few minutes. A lively and spirited session, which was impressive given the cold and windy weather we're experiencing. Go LouLAX !  



  1. Game day! Go Cards! Time to shine. I find myself brimming with anticipation, excitement and hopes for a Cardinal win. I wish I could be there. You got it right, Paulie. Let's go do this !!

    Curtis "My team is on the floor" Franklin

  2. By far the MOST local media coverage I've seen regarding the Cards. Hyping the game several days ahead of it, and not just same day "oh yeah, the ladies play tonight" afterthought.
    One early conference season game doesn't define a season, but a win tonight would go a long way in cementing this program as elite. A win tonight and then another one Sunday, our first ever #1 ranking.
    It can happen.

    1. I did see a few "new faces" at the Wednesday presser, or, at least people who don't normally attend these. All the local TV Channels were there.

      You are right, K.

      It can happen

  3. Hwy, Cards fans! Here's a Seminole fan who hopes you take it to them tonight! I'll be watching, switching back and forth from our game at Virginia and your game.

    I really don't care much for "potty mouth" Ogunbowale or Niss Muffett. Hang an"L" on them and we'll try to do the same up there on Feb. 10th. !!

    Seminole Sue

  4. News from the " What planet does she live on" category:

    “I actually didn’t know until somebody just told me about the 1 versus 2,” ND coach Muffet McGraw said Wednesday, two full days after her team’s re-installation into the No. 1 position that it held almost unanimously until losing to the Huskies. “It really doesn’t matter to me at this time of the year.”

    The Irish are saying that last season — when Louisville obliterated visiting Notre Dame 100-67 in the regular season, then nipped ND 74-72 in the ACC Tournament title game — doesn’t matter, either.

    Nick O.

  5. Good one currently going on in Miami, where the Canes are up 49-46 over Clemson WBB after three quarters. On ACCNE.


    1. Hi all!
      Hello, Cardinal Couple
      Arthur here!

      How about my Tigers! Nat'l champs in football and a big win just completed down in Miami, over the Canes WBB squad 76-67.

      A huge win for Clemson WBB. Serving notice to the rest of the ACC that you can't overlook the Tigers this season. Edwards, Thornton and Westbrook are showing out for Amanda Butler in 2018-19. 2-1 in conference. 12-5 overall. We only won one game in the entire ACC season last year. I'm so very happy and proud of these Tigers!

      I DO hope the Cards can pull off the win tonight in South Bend. It's going to take your best game to get this one but you can do it!

      Your friend
      #1 Clemson Fan
      Greer, SC

    2. Clemson and Va Tech probably the most improved teams in the ACC so far. Great and surprising win. They made Miami look very mediocre. I especially like Clemson's hunger and quickness. They remind me of UCLA this year with Onyenwere, Burke and Dean how UCLA reacts to loose balls like they own the ball. Clemson has a lot of fight and they have more confidence and are showing a little offense. I am not confident my BC Eagles can count on a win verse the Tigers at BC this year. That's a win we need badly.

    3. Have to reconsider Va Tech being most improved. They went into the 4th quarter ahead by 15 and Virginia came back with a 26-9 4th quarter to win it. Va Tech now 0-3 in ACC for their only losses on season. Next games are vs ND, NC State, NC and Fl State. Will probably start 1-6 or 0-7 in ACC.

  6. Strike early and keep the crowd out of it. This showdown is easily one of the best of the season in all of Women’s college hoops

  7. Cards played hard tonite but came up short, jazmine jones a no show!Go Card's !!!!

    1. Foul trouble will do that. Foul trouble played a HUGE part in this game.
      Lots of phantom fouls at that.
      Still came back and had a chance playing not their best.
      Still a lot of fames to play.
      And one good thing came out of this game, Mykasa showed she is ready to run with the big dogs.

  8. Boston College freshman pg Makayla Dickens had 16 rebounds and 2nd double/double in a row in a 65-64 nail biter vs Wake Forest. Eagles had a 14 point lead in the 2nd half dwindle away but held on. They committed 10 turnovers and one player had 7 of them. Holy Cow. Talk about trying to blow a game. That was a close one.

  9. The game was actually horrible to watch in my opinion it's not a one man was as if Asia was a one man show! It takes a TEAM to win 5 players! Is Asia the only one who can shoot? You certainly did not look like a well oiled were missing 4 other links! Certainly missing some MHA attitude. Unfortunately the other team played as a whole they ALL did there job and just kicked our ass! Disappointed in the lack of team play. It reminded me of a Hey Armold cartoon when they just PASS THE BALL TO TUCKER! COME ON COACH LET ALL THE GIRLS SHOOT THE BALL! One girl is not going to do it! So sad to see!

  10. The Cards were pretty stagnant at times in the offensive set. Let's not forget they got this thing back to two, though, with less than two to play. After the time out, though, it was all Notre Dame.

    We lost the "second chance" battle 19-5. We lost the game by 14 points. That pretty well sums it up. Rebounding and hustle, getting into the gym and working. How bad do you want it, WBB?



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