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Saturday, November 9, 2019

Led by WBB's 36-point win, Cards Have Busy Friday -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Field Hockey Falls to UNC

After picking up a much needed victory over Syracuse in the ACC tournament to get the late season back on track and pad the NCAA tournament resume once more, Louisville ran into the buzzsaw that is North Carolina. The Tarheels have been the number one team in the country for most of the year, currently sitting undefeated, and continued to show why yesterday. North Carolina jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. The Heels scored once more in the fourth before Louisville was able to grab a goal to keep the final score a bit kinder at 3-1.

Bethany Russ was the goalscorer in this one, picking up her tenth goal of the year off of corner assist by Mercedes Pastor. It was one of Louisville's seven corner attempts, and the inability to capitalize on those corner opportunities has plagued the Cards all year long. Though the Cards were only 1-7, it should also be said that UNC was only 1-6. While they have struggled in scoring on penalty corners this season, Louisville has at least generally been equally as stingy on the defensive side.

Louisville now sits at 15-5 as they await their fate for the NCAA tournament, but three of their five losses have come in the last five games. Given that the Cards made up for a road loss to William and Mary with a road win over Duke in the next game and immediately followed a loss to Syracuse with a win over the Orange, perhaps things aren't as doom and gloom as they seem. Louisville still sits at 6th in the country based on the last rankings and it would be very hard to see them not getting into the tournament. Selection for the 18 team tournament is tomorrow, and we'll be sure to keep you updated on the future of the Cards.

Volleyball Picks Up Hard Fought Win in Miami

Seemingly unable to play a match that is not a barnburner this season, Louisville Volleyball went on the road to Miami and grabbed a five set win that may have gone forever if you had to win by two sets. Each team alternated set wins, and the fifth set went into extra points. In total, the sets were decided by only 20 points. The minimum number is 10, and the first set score was 25-16. As you might expect based on such a tight score, the two teams were also well matched in most other stats. Louisville had only eleven more kills and two more blocks, while Miami had three more aces and the two teams tied in errors. 

Louisville was once again led offensively by the trio that has stepped up in a big way since the loss of Melanie McHenry. Aiko Jones led all scorers in the match with 20 kills, but Claire Chaussee was only one behind her (and still ahead of every Miami player) at 19. Amber Stivrins again chipped, using the most of her playing time, adding 12 kills. Aiko Jones also added 5 blocks and two aces, beaten in the former category only by the six laid down by Anna Stevenson, who continued to be a rock in the middle. Tori Dilfer was unable to put down any of her attack attempts, finishing with a negative hitting percentage by erring on one of the seven attempts, but she did add 57 of the team's 63 assists while grabbing an ace, three blocks, and nine digs. Shannon Shields did not play, and perhaps Jeff has more information about that. Alexis Hamilton, as always, held down the back row with 17 digs.

The win was much needed by the Cards, who used it to stop a 3-game skid. With the victory, Louisville also guarantees it won't finish the major road trip winless. Louisville has one more game on this trip when they head just up the state from Miami to take on the Seminoles of Florida State in Tallahassee tomorrow at 1PM. After the FSU match, Louisville will get three more matches at home, all rematches, before the last match of the regular season in Pittsburgh. That match against the Panthers may not be for the conference title as many expected, with Louisville now sitting at 9-4 in conference, but it will still be a major matchup in Louisville's NCAA tournament picture. Until then, the Cards have four more matches to work to get back on track as the regular season draws to a close.

Louisville Thumps Murray State in Basketball

After playing strong defense and leading by 25 points at the half, Louisville used a 20 point run in the third quarter to completely squash any thoughts the Racers had about a potential comeback. The Cards went on to win 76-40 in their second game of the season, with no player scoring more than 14 points. Louisville will get a bigger break after this matchup, playing next on November 14th against the Chippewas of Central Michigan in the KFC Yum! Center.

Louisville opened last night's game with what may be the worst possible outcome on offense... a pair of missed free throws. (I couldn't decide if missing free throws or a turnover was worse. Let me know what you think.) Just thirty seconds later, Elizabeth Dixon would again get the opportunity to open the scoring as she stepped to the line and sunk both. Remember that thing I said about turnovers, though? They were just waiting for the Cards to score. Louisville turned the ball over on three straight possessions, gave up two offensive rebounds and fouled on a shot. How Murray State was unable to score in that time is beyond me, but Louisville would finally score again nearly two minutes after their first points. Despite the fact that the Cards would go to the quarter break leading 16-4, they certainly couldn't be happy, having given up 11 turnovers in the first ten minutes of the game, including three by both Norika Konno and Jazmine Jones. Konno would go on to finish the game with only three turnovers. Jaz picked up two more.

In the second quarter, the Cardinal defense fell off just a tad, but it may have only been a product of a faster overall pace of play. Louisville scored 22 in the second quarter, turning more of their turnovers from the previous quarter into points instead. Going into the break up 38-13 would usually lead a coach to a generally positive halftime speech. Going into the break up 38-13 with 14 turnovers and 7-12 from the free throw line is not going to garner priase from Jeff Walz. One positive from the half was Dana Evans showing that she is ready for a major offensive role, scoring 10 points in the half with 7 coming in just over a minute as the clock wound down in the second quarter.

In the first three and a half minutes of the third quarter, the Cards and Racers traded baskets, with a Murray State three pointer cutting the lead to 21. Louisville decided that was quite enough of that. Over the next five minutes, the Cards methodically demolished the will of the Racers, allowing Murray State to score no points and extending their lead to 41. After a couple of more baskets, Louisville carried a 40 point lead into the fourth quarter. The final quarter saw a large contingent of non-starters grab court time as Murray State won the period 17-13. By that time, the damage had long been done, though, and the Cards coasted to 2-0 while the Racers dropped to 0-1 on the year.

Kylee Shook made the most of her time in the second half, putting up all 13 of her points in 12 second half minutes. Shook also grabbed a double-double, scoring 13, rebound 12, and adding in a block and a steal. Three other players--Evans, Jones, and Elizabeth Balogun--finished with double-digit points. No Cardinal player saw more than 22 minutes of court time. Norika Konno did her best to make up for her 3 first quarter turnovers by finishing the game with 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists. She'll have to make more of her shots (just 2-7) for Louisville to get the most out of its offense, but it's good to see a freshman recover after a rough opening stanza. 

The CASE Report

Paulie alluded to The CASE Report earlier this week when he gave the FRED Report after Louisville's opening game. For a brief refresher, here's how the CASE Report works. CASE stands for Care, Assists, Steals, and Efficiency. All of the categories are stat based, with a pair of thresholds for each granting the possibility for letter improvement. We'll get through this one with some explanation.

C-Care: The Care section focuses on Louisville's turnovers. Generally, there will be a point awarded for Louisville turning the ball over 65% of the opponent's season average in turnovers forced (we expect Louisville's offense to be better than the opponent's defense) and another point awarded for turning the ball over less than the opponent. Since this is Murray State's first game, Louisville actually set their season average at 21 forced turnovers. I'm actually going to break from the standard of the scoring here, because even though Louisville forced 24 turnovers from the Racers, I cannot award a letter for 11 first quarter turnovers and 21 in the game. No letter.

A-Assists: This section awards a letter for assists based stats, namely assist percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio. As always, a huge turnover number is going to put this stat in a hole, but the game of basketball is pretty intertwined so it's ok if my stats are too. Louisville finished with 16 assists on 29 made baskets, which is not bad and is over the 50% threshold. However, it yields an assist-to-turnover ratio of less than 1. We're going for 2. Lowercase 'a'.

S-Steals: The most straightforward of the CASE Report. Half a letter for getting more than 7.5 steals, another half for getting more steals than the opponent. The Cards grabbed 12 in this one, just edging the 11 put up by Murray State. Capital 'S'.

E-Efficiency: This is where the CASE and FRED reports overlap a tad. We're looking at shooting efficiencies in this one. Specifically, we're looking for better than 45% from the floor and better than 75% from the line. Louisville finished with 6-26 shooting from beyond the arc, driving their overall shooting percentage all the way down to 40.8%. They also struggled to recover from 5 missed free throws in the first quarter, finishing at just 66.7% from the line. No letter.

In the opening CASE Report of the year, Louisville finishes with just _-a-S-_. The flashy final score and 20-0 run in the third make this game seem like a nice win, but the stats show that Louisville did not have a great night. Everything that Louisville did poorly, Murray State just did worse. It's only the second game of the season, but the Cards definitely have some work to do to get to the dominance they're looking for this year.

They said it: 




Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

I'm out once more, but the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour lives on. We are still exploring our options for the future of the show, so keep an eye out, but for the time being, the show still comes to you live from WCHQ FM. Today, join Paulie and Jeff as they are both back into their wheelhouses with volleyball and basketball fully in swing. They'll bring you those and more at 11AM on WCHQ. Catch the show at 100.9 FM, the WCHQ App,, or on Facebook Live.


Until next time, Go Cards!


  1. Hey, Paulie and gang. I'm seeing a lot of negative stuff out there about a 36-point win. What is up with that? Is our fan base and other writers so delusional they they expect 50-point wins each night and no turnovers or missed shots? Even Walz on radio, slamming the team!

    Just what am I missing here?

    Curtis "Color me confused" Franklin.

    1. I just think it's a case for expecting more of a team that needs to jell a little bit more. No need to run to the panic room yet or hit the alarm button, I wil watch the Central Michigan game with interest though.


    2. New head coach, they gave up 111 points to Green Bay (assuming this wasn't the Packers) and freshman point guard. CMU doesn't scare me very much.

      Nick O.

    3. They may of won by 36 but they looked awful doing it. I wouldn’t pay to see this team play until ACC play starts. It’s ugly basketball and they don’t look well coached yet. Understandable of course but it’s still very ugly.

  2. Good win from a team missing three starters.
    New team II have agree with paulie they have to jell.

  3. After watching the Cards unwatchable basketball I chalked it up to new players not knowing each other. I was impressed with Oregon St vs UC Irvine. Despite 19 Oregon St turnovers the scoring was much crisper with some great team play you don’t see with the Cards yet.
    Even UC Irvine looked well coached. Oregon St has two freshman bigs Kennedy and Jones offensively that look so far ahead of Dixon and they are just freshman. Very surprising how well they played. Cards maybe are a #9 team but Oregon St would kill them right now.


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