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Saturday, July 20, 2019

USA U 19 over Australia -- Golf on the Mind -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

USA U 19 wins opener against Aussies 79-56

The Jeff Walz coached USA U 19 team used a 16-2 third quarter run to pull away from Australia in Bangkok early this morning and went on to win thei opener in Group C play 79-56.

Walz started Rhyne Howard, Naz Hillmon-Baker, Aliyah Boston, Hailey Van Lith and Paige Bueckers and USA jumped out to an early 5-0 lead. That early lead held through the first 10 minutes and the first quarter ended with USA up 19-14. 

Australia came out strong in the second quarter and cut the lead to 21-20 with 7:40 left in the first half. They tied it at 21-21 and remained close the remainder of the second quarter, although they never took the lead. Reserve Queen Egbo scored four straight points to give USA a 34-32 lead with 1:49 left in the half and a Bueckers three made it 37-32 with a minute left. The Aussies ended the half on a 3-0 run, though, and the USA went to the half with a 39-35 lead.

Walz brought the same starting five out to start the second half, and increased defensive pressure paid dividends. A 6-0 run got USA off to a good start and they got two straight threes from Howard to push the lead to 55-37. It was a 16-2 run for the Americans and they ended the third quarter with a 60-39 lead, outscoring Australia 21-4 over the ten minutes. 

The Aussie would never get closer than 16 points in the final ten minutes, as Walz tried a variety of combinations on the court. 

Five in double figures for USA -- Bueckers led them with 11 points -- and Van Lith, Egbo, Hillmon-Baker and Howard totaled 10 each. USA shot 33% from the floor and held the foe to 27.7% shooting. USA won the rebounding battle 62-52 and forced 22 Australian turnovers. 

USA U 19 continues Group play tonight at 1 a.m. against South Korea.

You Tube has replays available in case you don't want to staay up that late. No commentary or play-by-play -- just straight out basketball...which is different but interesting.

Thibodeau Could Join Hartlage

Last week I wrote about Lauren Hartlage qualifying, yet again, for the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship. Earlier this week, teammates Lauren Thibodeau and Delaney Shah were set to compete in Massachusetts to join her. The event in Brockton took place on Monday and four women qualified to advance to the championship. Neither Cardinal was one of the four. As far as I can tell, Shah never competed in the event, as her name does not appear on the results page, even as having withdrawn. However, Thibodeau does still have a chance to make it to the Championship. Lauren shot a 1-over on the course, tied with two others for fifth place. For reasons unknown, she is listed as the first alternate should one of the four qualifiers drop out. We wish her the best as she waits it out and Lauren Hartlage the best of luck at the Championship event in early August.

The Open Championship

One of golf's biggest weekends is underway, as the major across the pond has been ongoing since early Thursday morning. A couple of connections drew me to this topic this morning. First, Louisville golfer Matthias Schmid qualified for the event. Schmid finished last season at UofL with the best stroke average in school history. He qualified for The Open by winning the European Amateur Championship last month. I'm not sure how competing in professional event in golf jibes with all of the NCAA rules, but the NCAA rules around player compensation are so goofy I don't even feel like exploring it this morning. Schmid played decently Thursday and Friday, shooting +4 and +1, respectively, but failed to make the cut to continue the weekend. It was a tough course, but the cut fell in at +2, putting Schmid out in the cold with the likes of Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. At least he didn't shoot +27 like David Duval. 

The second connection to The Open is Kentuckian (and my cousin) J.B. Holmes leading the dang thing. After a Thursday in which he was one of three people to reach -5 on the day and the only one to stay there, J.B. had a solo lead. He continued to shoot well enough on Friday, notching a -3 on the day to sit tied after two days for the lead with Shane Lowry. Holmes has five tour wins since joining in 2006. He has finished in the top five at a major twice, both in 2016 with his best finish being 3rd at The Open that year. He and Lowry will tee off in the final pairing later this morning.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

As Jared mentioned yesterday, we are back today for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour on WCHQ FM. All four primary fools will take their seats in the studio and we'll see if we are closer to or farther from some sort of UofL athletics topic this week than last. Apparently there will be a quiz and there is a good chance it is about mascots. As all of us performed fairly well on the last mascot quiz, I imagine this one will take a turn to the more difficult side. Catch WCHQ at 100.9 FM, the WCHQ App,, or on Facebook Live. The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour is live at 11AM and available linked in Sunday's article (typically) as a replay.

Until next time, Go Cards!

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