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Friday, January 3, 2020

WBB Cards Clobber Clemson 75-50 -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


A fast start last night in Clemson, SC propelled the Louisville women's basketball team to an early lead and Louisville never looked back in the ACC win against the Tigers. Dana Evans led all scorers with 27 points, Elizabeth "E" Balogun totaled 15 in the first 20 minutes and the Cards (13-1, 2-0) romped their way to a 75-50 triumph. 

Early on, it was Balogun 7 - Clemson 2 as the Chattanooga sophomore led a 10-0 Cardinal that put UofL up 12-2 after an Evans three made it 12-2 with 5:17 remaining in the first quarter. It was open season on hunting and bagging threes in the first ten minutes, Louisville sank five of them, and had no trouble in establishing a 25-12 run in the first session. 

The Cards came out hot in the second quarter as well, stretching a 32-16 lead to 44-22 after four straight threes in a two-minute sequence from Balogun and Evans. After buckets by Evans, E and Jazmine Jones, the Cards held their largest lead of the first half at 50-22 with 38 seconds remaining. It was a half to remember, the Cards made 10 threes, Balogun and Evans were responsible for 39 of Louisville's 50 first half points and UofL was shooting 56% (29-52) from the floor and 50% (10-20) from three-point range. Louisville won the second quarter 25-10.

I'll get into this a little later on in today's column, but I'll say it was the Cards finest effort for one half this season. 

It was a large defensive effort for Walz's squad in the first twenty minutes. They held the Tigers to 24% shooting, just one three-pointer and held Clemson scoreless the final 3:43 of the half. 50-22 at the break and the Tigers walked back to the locker room stunned, searching for answers and hardly looked like the team that had defeated Notre Dame by 16 a few nights ago in South Bend.  

The pace slowed a bit in the final two quarters. Although Louisville won the third 15-10 to take a 65-32 lead, Clemson was fighting for pride and starting to make a few stops and plays. Yacine Diop, Norika Konno, Elizabeth Dixon and Kasa Robinson eventually entered the action and the first three mentioned in the sub sequence scored the final six points of the third to extend the lead to 33 at the end of the quarter. Clemson's Kendall Spray, the ACC Player of the Week last week, had just one made three in the game. 

Walz did a lot of experimentation with player combinations in the fourth period. 

Clemson took advantage of the situation and went on a 8-0 lead midway through the final quarter to cut the Cardinal advantage to 24 at 66-42 with 6:11 to play. Walz re-inserted three starters to stem the tide and, aided by Norika Konno's five- fourth quarter points, Louisville sailed to a 75-50 win, despite getting out-scored 18-10 in the fourth and scoring just one point in the first five minutes of final quarter action.

An incredible night for the Gary, IN junior. Dana going 10-20 from the floor, seven of the makes being threes and also adding three rebounds and four assists. Balogun was just as incredible, going 6-10 from the floor in only 20 minutes of action.


Fred "Mr Rogers" would have probably
sung "It's a Beautiful Night in the Tiger Den"
after last night's UofL performance
FREE THROWS -- If there was a lack of something in last night's contest, it was called fouls. Only 27 in the contest and just 10 by Clemson. The Cards went seven for nine (77.8%) from the line, Dana never went to the line and four players took two each. Free throws definitely weren't a factor last night. We'll award a CAPITAL "F" for the Cards effort, albeit a brief one, from the charity stripe. 

REBOUNDS -- Surprising at first glance, Louisville lost the boards battle 47-40 to the Tigers. Upon further review, there were several sequences in the game where Clemson took four or so shots before connecting, so that "puffed" the stats. And, UofL did win the defensive boards battle 26-25. Kylee had 10 grabs, eight on the defensive end and Liz was responsible for five in just 16 minutes. I can't award a letter here, but unique circumstances and the Cards first half shooting excellence skew this stat. 

EFFICIENCY/EXECUTION -- Louisville passed the ball well, found the open player and ran the offense well for most of the contest. Yacine led the "bakery" stat with four turnovers, but, all in all, the Cards fared well in getting done what had to be done. 23 points off turnovers and the Cards ran the transition game quite well. Here's your CAPITAL "E". 

DEFENSE -- A wonderful performance in the first three quarters, no doubt. 20 turnovers for the Tigers and Louisville blocked seven shots, led by "E"'s five. 18-62 shooting for Clemson and just three fast break points. Maybe the most remarkable stat was the 1-8 three-point shooting Clemson managed. 50 points for the Tigers....and just 32 after three quarters. The defense (doesn't) rest, your honor, and we have come to a decision. A CAPITAL "D" for the shut down effort by UofL when the Tigers had the ball. 



Debate it if you will, but I'll call that first half the finest one Louisville has produced all season.

The Cards looked like a team that could go very, very far in the NCAA Tournament for 20 minutes last night.

Maybe. I'm a little disappointed that the "killer" instinct seemed to wane in the final twenty (Clemson won the second half 28-25), but...let's face it, this one was over early and (in my opinion) the sparse crowd of 1196 didn't have much at all to rally around most of the night. In deference, they're Football crazy these days down there, with National Championship dreams permeating the city and campus and, rightfully so. 

A chance to get a little extended playing time for the Cardinal reserves and that's always good, especially when it is an ACC opponent. Those opportunities may not present themselves much in the future. Coach Walz expressed pleasure in his post-game remarks about the win.

Has the jello finally jelled? 

The Tiger (maybe) mirroring the look in Clemson fans eyes
and on their faces after last night's game. 
Last night, the jello was served -- or, more like forced down the throat -- to a Clemson squad coming off a huge win on the road. 

The Cards saw the 5-9 version of Clemson, not the road-warriors who gave Notre Dame their first home loss in ACC history.

 No matter, they kept shoveling the gelatin down the Tigers pie-hole and it was refreshing to see. 

Let's hope second helpings are plentiful out of the Cardinal refrigerator as the Cards continue to explore the menu in the ACC establishment. 

Duke comes up next for the Cards, a visit to the KFC YUM Center on Sunday 2 p.m. Coach Walz wants 12-13,000 in attendance for this one. You got it in you, Cardinal fans? 


The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour will live on. 

Although it won't be on the radio, Jeff McAdams has set up a podcast format for us that will debut Saturday, 1 p.m. on You Tube. 

We kept the name, in tribute to the years of our broadcasting efforts, despite there being an absence of a radio station you can turn on to listen to us. My guys tell me podcasting is the wave of the future. I hope you follow us over to the venue change. 

Please join us at:  for our first broadcast. Case Hoskins will go into more detail about our transformation and continuance in his Saturday column. It should be informative and interesting !! 



  1. I had to do a search on YouTube after using the link above. I have no idea if this one will be any better but I copied and pasted it from the Cardinal Couple YouTube site. Get on there and get subscribed!

    1. *was* the correct link, but now it doesn't seem to be working. Not sure what's up with that.

      Search for "Cardinal Couple" on Youtube and you can find our channel. Subscribe to it to make it easier to find in the future!


  3. Hello Friends !

    Arthur Here !

    Well, that was an old-fashioned, take us to the woodshed and whipping our butts last night. Our zone didn't work, and we could not score. Disappointing, sure, but BOY OH BOY the Cards looked great for three quarters.

    Sorry to disappoint y'all but I sit behind the Clemson bench so any sighting of me and Bea for internet viewers would have been the back of my bald head.

    I was very impressed by the way the Cards came out and dominated us from the start. I knew Balogun had game and she showed it last night. Dana was unstoppable. I'm glad Walz emptied the bench in the fourth and gave us a chance to save a little face, but, there was no doubt who was the best team in our gym last night. As "Jolly Cholly" commented to me at halftime -- "We just saw an exhibition of how to build a program and how to execute."

    Unfortunately, we was the ones wearing the blindfold and up against te wall.

    I was encouraged by the play of our Hannah Hank and Chyna Cotton. Very disappointed that Kendall Spray never showed up and Tylar Bennett was not a factor.

    Keep on keeping on, Cards. I guess it's back to the drawing board for Amanda and the Tigers. We can't seem to piece together two consistent efforts this season and we had no leadership last night.

    We still have football, though. I hope you'll join me in rooting for the Clemson Tigers in the National Championship game.

    we're already back in Greer, getting up early this morning and driving home. Disappointed in my Tigers but proud of my adopted Cardinals. If they can play like that the rest of the year, y'all going dancing to the Final Four and I'll be cheering for you.

    Your friend
    #1 Clemson Fan
    Greer, SC

  4. Nice post.

  5. Man, that was fun ! This is the Cardinal team I want to see the rest of the year.

    Arthur, was that you and Bea behind the team's water coolers? Sorry about your loss but you're a Cardinal fan too so look at it as going 1-1 last night.

    I lost my stream in the fourth quarter and went to radio also. Those Clemson ACC Network Extra announcers were a joke. Where's Deb and eth when u need them? Props to Nick and AJ. They provide a smooth call.

    Curtis " My L is always up, Cat Fans. Deal with it." Franklin

  6. I agree that was a great first half by the cards,but the the best has yet to come.IMHO the cards are still not clicking on all cylinders.If the cards can get Dana,Jaz,Kylee,E & Bionca converting there shots this team can be special.Go Cards

    1. PS glad to see Molly out there getting floor time.

  7. Well, that was a helluva first half, showed what is hopefully the beginning of the gelling of this team and their potential.
    Great offensive cohesiveness.
    Great defense, looked as though everyone was on the same page and made Clemson take a lot of contested shots.
    Had a feeling it was coming, we'll see how much the next couple of games.
    Sorry we put it on your team, Arthur, but, happy you have adopted the Cards as your second favorite women's bball team.
    Will be rooting for Clemson football 😁

  8. That was fun to watch, well, the vast majority of it.

    Balogun was the key spark I think. To go off that much that early just lifted all the Cards. Dana, you usually know what you are going to get with her. If E can continue to do what she did last night, this IS a Final Four team.

    I, too, will be rooting for Clemson Football.

    Blue Lou

  9. Arthur, I'll have no problem rooting for your Tigers against LSU.

    Glad to see such a solid effort last night. Hoping for the same on Sunday.


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