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Monday, March 25, 2019

Carded. Defense, Durr lead Louisville WBB to 71-50 win over Michigan -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Yes, the fantastic foursome of Paulie, Paige, Daryl and Sonya
enjoyed this one immensely. Photo by Jared Anderson
It was a scenario we've seen many times this year with the Louisville women's basketball squad. Crush the life out of an opponent early in the game, keep the pressure on them and run away win a convincing win. 

Michigan had no idea what hit them in the first five minutes of yesterday's second round of the NCAA Tournament in the KFC YUM! Center. Between Asia Durr, a stifling defense and a crowd of 7725 that sounded like 17,000..the Cards raced out to a 19-4 lead in the early going and kept UM at bay the rest of the way in the 71-50 win, 

May we see some ID to verify you can advance to the round of 16? Sorry, Michigan. We can't allow service.

Durr had 12 of her game-high 24 point in those frenetic, fabulous first five and a squad that put up 84 points two days ago in  a 30-point win against Kansas St. looked like a group that might struggle to reach 18 by halftime. Once the nerves settled a bit and the Wolverines returned to playing something that resembled basketball, it was too late. 

Kim Barnes Arico was not sharing in our excitement. 
When Louisville plays like they did yesterday, no one in the nation can beat them. Strong words, I know, right?


When you score effortlessly, deny the opponent the chance to get a shot up -- much less shoot effectively, though -- good things happen. 22 turnovers for the young Kim Barnes Arico guards, 49 shot attempts, compared to UofL's 70. 

Consider that UM's starting five had a total of 22 points. That's right, Asia outscored the Wolverine starters. Consider that UM got off just nine threes and made only three of them. And when the Ann Arbor opponent was getting shots off, they were usually one-and-done offensive sequences. The Wolverines had just nine total offensive rebounds and 11 second chance points. 

Joining Durr in the "Mich...- uh- GONE" win was Jazmine Jones with a flashy 15 points. Other double figure scorers included Steady Sam Fuehring with 10 and Dashing Dana Evans with 10. Asia was the only Card to see over 30 minutes of action, "Won-Durr-full" went 9-23 from the floor, 5-14 from three range and even tossed in a couple of spectacular "SportsCenter moment" blocks. 

I spent time watching UM head coach Kim Barnes Arico in the final half. Gone were the fiery, competitive, referee questioning nature and actions from KBA. A resignation, of sorts. Occasionally yelling out specific points to certain players but also a lot of time questioning her assistants on certain court actions. She was complimentary and gracious in her post-game comments, but, you sensed that this was a coach who knew she was beat early on and who couldn't get back on that bus to the airport fast enough. 

So touching at the end. Raucous applause as Walz sent in subs for Asia, Sam and Arica. The trio kissing the Cardinal Bird logo at center court and making victory laps in the KFC YUM! Center. Smiles and a few moist cheeks among the players and the fans.

Arica, back from the knee scare, with seven rebounds and corralling every loose or 50/50 ball. So much non-stat sheet stuff gets done from the girl who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a jumper when she was a freshman. Transformation complete. You are a shining star, Ms. Carter. 

Sam, going 4-5 from the floor...shutting down the highly regarded Hallie Thome and upcoming Naz Hillmon. You know how Sam rolls...does work, does it well, takes off the hard-hat at the end and it's a job well done. Shrugging off the dings, dents and damage inflicted upon her every night. Sam is the princess warrior and is sovereign over all she surveys.  

This says it all....

Asia. Smiling, shouting and, at the end, celebrating a career here that started four years ago, highly lauded. Living up to that hype 100% and more. Does anyone have a more beautiful, beatific smile that "Nite-nite"? When Asia smiles, the clouds part and brilliant rays of sunshine are created for Cardinal fans to bask in. She is the "alpha" of Louisville WBB. 

We may not ever see such an effective and dynamic senior trio as Asia, Arica and Sam in the downtown arena again. Yesterday, they said their goodbyes to the Cardinal Faithful, showed Michigan the way home and advanced to face either Gonzaga or Oregon State in Albany next week.

Two down. Four to go.

The road ahead will be challenging. It always is when you get down to the best sixteen in the nation. It's about YOU, though, Cards. What will you do? Are you willing  and committed toward taking that next step? And the step after. 

Or, as Sam said in the post-game: 

"We're just trying to play our game. All the time." 

And, that game can be spectacular, as the Cards WBB squad showed yesterday.


Fred says: "We're headed to Albany, Lamont!" 
FREE THROWS  -- Not a lot to report on here with a ref crew that swallowed their whistles pretty effectively (just 24 total fouls) for the 40 minutes. They Cards got a 3-4 performance from the line. That was in the first half, Louisville attempted none in the final 20 minutes. 3-4 = 75% and that's good for a CAPITAL "F" by my numbers. I guess you can't foul what you can't catch...and no need for silly, late-game fouls in a contest that was already over.

REBOUNDS -- Louisville takes a hard-fought 35-34 advantage here. Kylee Shook with 10 for UofL, another Card who comes to do work and is job-proficient. The Cards getting a 15-9 edge on the offensive boards, When you win the rebounding battle, you get a letter. We'll award a small-case "r" for this category. Not exactly board dominance, but quite adequate

EFFORT/EXECUTION --  If you ever want to explain to someone what Louisville women's basketball is all about, just show then the first five minutes of yesterday's game. The Cards had just 11 turnovers, allowed just three steals, shot 42.9%, won the points off turnovers battle 28-12 and second chance points column 19-11. NO QUESTION ABOUT A CAPITAL "E" here.

DEFENSE-- Louisville held a squad that averaged 72 points-a-game to just 50. The Cards capitalized on 22 turnovers and got five blocks and 11 steals. Maybe thr third quarter was the turning point here, where Louisville allowed just three made goals on 13 attempts and out-rebounded UM 13-7, No question here at all, a CAPITAL "D". 



Jeff Walz post-game comments:

Asia Durr, Sam Fuehring and Jazmine Jones post game comments:


Holly Aprile's crew stepping up to the plate against Notre Dame yesterday and slugging out a 5-3 win in South Bend. 

The Cards taking an early lead with a run in the second inning, winning the crucial fourth inning 3-2 and tacking on a run in the sixth to go 1-2 in the weekend series against the Irish and  tacking on an insurance run late to seal the deal. 

20-10 overall and 3-3 in the ACC now for UofL Softball, who returns home for a Tuesday tilt vs. Indiana at Ulmer.  Come out, a 5 p.m. start. 

Have a marvelous Monday1



  1. Great summary as usual, Paulie.

    I was most impressed by the defensive intensity. That's what will get this team to a championship.

    If Shook and Jones continue to play like they did yesterday, watch out.

    1. That "d" was intense. As good as I've ver seen Louisville WBB play it this season. The real question is, how will it do against
      a team that is big in the middle -- like Notre Dame again, or
      Mississippi St.and Baylor. I hope very well and if Kylee can keep on this pace -- look out Tampa

      -- The Real Joe Hill --

  2. Wow! Words just can't describe the aura in the YUM! yesterday. I'm still grinning and I got nothing else to say that you didn't say Paulie. Yep, ol' Curtis is speechless, for once.

    Curtis "Words Fail Me" Franklin

  3. From our bracket chairman Jared, going into the Sunday games, in the Cardinal Couple Pick' Em.:

    Kenny S.


    Kenneth Stark Sr

    Doug Anderson

    Mike D

    Curtis Franklin
    Joe Hill
    David Watson
    Nick O
    Sandy W

    Cardinal Couple Chimps

  4. Hello Cardinal Couple Readers and Friends!

    Arthur Here!

    Well, y'all it was a fun run but my Clemson Tigers just couldn't overcome that height and talent of the MSU big center.

    All in all, an i credible season for us.

    I hope the Cards can keep the magic alive in Albany. It was surely a blast watching them on TV bury Michigan early. If Asia Durr isn't the player of the year, I don't know who is. I'll be cheering for y'all. Michigan didn't know whether to walk to town or wind their watch, to use an old analogy.

    your friend
    #1 Clemson Fan
    Greer, SC

    1. Be proud of your Tigers, Arthur. They did the unthinkable and unexpected this season.


  5. I maintain there were more than 7700+ fans in attendance on Sunday.

    1. It sure seemed like it Vivian


    2. Not sure who released that 7725 count or how they counted.
      That was at least 9000, probably closer to 10000.
      We've ALL been to 7000+ games and know the difference.

  6. Wow. Your women looked pretty impressive yesterday. Tonight, we see what eight join the existing Sweet Sixteen.

    My Noles rebounded well against South Carolina but could not score in the end when we needed to. Good luck Louisville.

    I don't know if Jared ever found my bracket . They were in Friday's comments. I have 27 right out the first 32.

    Seminole Sue

    1. I expect he has. My guess is he's waiting for the Sweet Sixteen to give us an update. There were a couple of other bracket issues as well. That's why we review our work and give readers a chance to ask us questions at two different e-mail addresses.



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