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Saturday, August 8, 2020

Liberty Get First Win as Mystics Drop Third Straight -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

 Cards Quiet in Matchup

It may seem like we are giving outsized attention to the WNBA here at Cardinal Couple, but as our readers generally enjoy Louisville women's college basketball and there isn't much of that or any other fall sport to talk about, it falls to talk about former Cards. I hope you'll humor us as it's a blessing to at least have some topic to talk about with consistency.

Anyway, last night saw a matchup between former Cardinal teammates in Jaz Jones, Kylee Shook, and Myisha Hines-Allen. Paulie gave a preview of this one yesterday, so I'm sure you were already prepared for the update. In an upset, the New York Liberty actually found their first win against a pretty strong Washington squad. The Mystics have struggled recently, though, as last night's loss was their third straight. It was a low scoring affair, only 140 total points, and both teams struggled shooting the ball, finishing with under 40%. The main difference came at from beyond the arc, where the Liberty absolutely destroyed the Mystics, making 12-32 while the Mystics shot just 4-16. NY outscored Washington in 3 out of 4 quarters and only one quarter saw a team score twenty or more points (NY; 2nd; 22). 

As for the Louisville connection, the impact wasn't really there on either team. MHA got the start, as she has in every game so far for Washington, but only played 26 minutes. She picked up five fouls and had the worst +/- on the floor at -11. She did finish with 12 points, 8 rebounds, an assist, and a steal, but it was a fairly forgettable game for Hines-Allen, who has been working on becoming a breakout star. On the winning side, Jones and Shook were even quieter. The two combined for just 19 minutes and Jones had their only three points, with a two pointer and a made free throw. Jones did add four rebounds and an assist to clarify that she is not just a scorer. Shook, unfortunately, struggled to make any impact at all, going 0-3 from the floor and goose-egging the rest of the stat sheet during her time on the floor. The positive for Shook's night is that she was +1 in her time on the floor, so she contributed defensively if nothing else. 

The two New York Cards will hope that this first win can lead to a renaissance for the team. They'll also be looking to maximize their future minutes and ensure their place on next year's roster. Hines-Allen, on the other hand, will be trying to turn things around. After starting out 3-0, the Mystics are now 3-3 and tied for sixth in the league. With plenty of games left to play, there's time for them to get things turned around, but wait too long and the gap to the league leaders will only grow.

As for the other Cardinal in action last night, Angel McCoughtry lit it up for the Aces in a close win over the LA Sparks. Las Vegas has now won three straight and sit at 4-2. McCoughtry finished with 24 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals. At +13, she was far and away the highest rated player in +/- and nearly led the game in scoring (A'ja Wilson finished with 26). Angel set out this season looking to show that she wasn't ready to hang them up yet after injuries threatened to derail her career and games like last night show that she is still one of the best players in the league.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

Another week has come and gone and boooooy has there been some news. Tune in at 11AM as we discuss all that has gone on over the last week in Louisville women's athletics. As is our mission, we'll do our best to keep it focused on the joy and excitement portion. I believe we'll also continue our weekly quiz, as there is still no game action to preview or review, but as the summer draws nearer to a close, we'll have to see how much longer the quizzes go on. The show can be heard live at 11 on the Cardinal Couple YouTube Channel or catch the recorded stream any time after the show ends. 

Until next time, Go Cards!

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