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Friday, January 21, 2022

UofL WBB Epic meltdown vs NC State -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Good morning readers.   I really thought I would have a positive write up following the big to five matchup Thursday night.    In fact, I almost erased everything I had written in the first three quarters after what was an almost unexplainable fourth quarter meltdown.   I do believe, however, that the Cards will meet with the Wolfpack again this season, and then UofL can get their payback.  

Lets get right into it.  

Louisville WBB falls at NC State 68-59

Coming into this one, my hope was that the Cards would not come out slow in the first quarter.  That was not the case for the first quarter, instead, it was reserved for the final and arguably most important quarter. 

Olivia Cochran lead all scorers with 19 points on 8-12 shooting with 7 rebounds. Emily Engstler chipped in 15 and lead the rebounding campaign with 11 while Hailey Van Lith had 14 points.  The Cards shot 36% from the field, only landing 3 attempts from beyond the three point line. 

End of 1Q  18-15 Cards
FG %
9-19 47.4% Cards
6-12 50% NC St.
Reb. 10-7 NC St.
3-pt %
0-1 0% Cards
1-4 25% NC St.

With the Cards winning the opening tip, the offense shifted its gears scoring in the opening seconds when Hailey Van Lith drove to basket and missed but Olivia Cochran was there for the put back.   Nc State would respond when Raina Perez nailed the 3 pointer.  With 2 minutes off the clock, the turnovers would begin for the Wolfpack.  Kianna Smith would take advantage and hit the deep jumper to put the Cards back ahead 4-3.   NC State would turn it over again as the team transitioned back on offense, they fed the rock inside to Olivia, who was on Cunane for much of the first half.   Olivia drilled the 15 foot jumper to put the Cards up 6-5.  The first quarter was a competitive battle of back and forth offense.  NC St led the stat sheet but also had 5 turnovers which lead to six Cards points.  HVL went 2-7 for 4 points and took a lot of shots for cards.   Engstler and Cochran both had an efficient quarter going 3-5 from the field.  

End of 2Q  16-6 Cards

FG %
6-19 31.6% Cards
2-13 15.4% NC St.
Reb. 16-11 Cards
3-pt %
1-5 20% Cards
0-3 0% NC St. 

Louisville opens the quarter with a Kianna Smith layup putting the Cards ahead 20-15.  Up to this point, 16 of Cards 20 points were in the paint.   Payton Verhulst and Liz Dixon were first off the bench for the Cards.  Dixon disrupts the Wolfpack to lead to 7th turnover for NC St.  Olivia Cochran returns to the floor and gets the big block on Cunane.  Cunane was visibily disrupted by the Cards defense as her shot comes up short.  Cochran showed up huge in this match, grabbing the offensive rebound, passing it back out, before getting it back, scoring underneath scoring her 11th points of the game on 5-7 shooting as well as grabbing 4 rebounds. NC St takes a timeout with 6 minutes left in the quarter when cards go up 28-17 after cards go on 8-0 run.  UofL had scored 22-28 points in the paint with an 11-2 advantage in 2nd chance points.  Engstler lands the three to make it 31-17 cards.  NC State had 10 turnovers to the Cards' 3 going 1-11 while the Cards also went on a scoring drought to close the quarter.

HALF  34-21 Cards 

End of 3Q  17-16 Cards 

FG %
7-17 41.2% Cards
4-16 25% NC St. 
Reb. 12- 11 NC St. 
3-pt %
1-2 50% Cards
0-6 0% NC St.

Cunane was held to 2 points in the first half, but opens half to score, HVL responds with a mid range jumper and a 3 pointer to put cards up 39-23.  Cochran gets back to where she left off and hits the jumper for her 6th bucket and 13th points of the game.  Olivia continued her patient dominance under the basket in the next possession when she showed great maturity to let the defense come off its feet before she put it up and in.  The Cards found many ways to keep the pressure on the Wolfpack in the paint, Dixon delivers the back door cut to Kianna to put the Cards up 47-31.  NC St. goes almost six minutes without a fieldgoal to close out the quarter.  By this time, the Cards had made a strong case that they were in control of both the offense and the defense in this game... Emily had a highlight worthy pass to Ahlana Smith but the three pointer didnt fall. A. Smith finished 0-5 in 22 minutes on the floor.  The Cards entered the 4th quarter with a 14 point lead... 

End of 4Q 31-9 NC St. 

FG %
3-14 21.4% Cards
11-14 78.6% NC St. 
Reb. 9-5 NC St. 
3-pt %
1-5 20% Cards
5-6 83.3% NC St. 

And this is where it all fell apart. The lead for the Cards dwindled to single digits when Diamond Johnson lead the charge for the Wolfpack, hitting a 3 pointer to make it 53-44 with 7:53 left, the first single digit lead for the Cards since the 6:39 mark of the second quarter.   NC St would not slow up and the crowd was really urging their Wolkpack on, who went on a 10-2 run to make it 53-47.  Louisville was visibly rattled, struggling to keep possession of the ball or find a basket by this point and NC St. took advantage.  HVL couldn't score and the Cards turned it over on a shot clock violation followed by a few unforced turnovers when the Cards would just throw it out of bounds..  Walz asked the team to calm down during a timeout when they pull it within 53-52 but by this point, the Wolfpack had smelled blood.  I wish there were more UofL stats to report but unfortunately, it was all NC St.  as Jakia Brown Turner and Johnson took over the entire effort.  NC St. started the game 1-13 from 3 point land and went 5-6 in the fourth quarter.  

FINAL NC St. 68, Cards 59



Louisville vs Wake Forest 
Sunday 2 p.m.
@ Yum! Center


Fred Gwynne's expression 
                                         (from The Munsters) mirrors the Cards fourth quarter


FREE THROWS --  The Cards went 7-12 st the line which only 58% efficiency at the line.   The refs called a tighter game in the second half, putting NC State at the line alot.  Olivia lead the squad goiing 3-4 at the line.  lower case f

REBOUNDING --  Louisville was outrebounded 42-39, but the Cards did lead the offensive rebounding category grabbing 18 of them for 19 second chance points.  Englster lead UofL with 11 rebounds. lower case r 

EFFORT/EXECUTION -- I kind of just want to scream on this section of the report... it is amazing how three whole quarters of quality execution can be blown in the final 10 minutes of play.  The Cards managing only 4 buckets in the fourth is a giant question mark for me and will lead me into the final section of the report...  lower case e 

DEFENSE --  There was a reason Coach Walz was ready to leave by half time, I suppose, as the nations second leading offense came out of the break to score 47 points in the second half after scoring only 21 in the first.  The Wolfpack scored 5 of their 6 three pointers in the fourth quarter and shot 42% from the field.  What looked to be a stellar defensive performance for the Cards diminished and sent the Cards home with their second loss of the season.   no letter. 



Cardinal Couple Radio - The original "gang of two" at Cardinal Couple (Paul and Jeff) will lead the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour this weekend as the rest of the gang has some 'life stuff' to deal with Saturday AM.  



As always 

Go Cards! 




  1. That fourth quarter was a real #$%&-storm. How can a team
    Look so good for three quarters and then completely fall in the crapper?

    Someone has some explaining to do...

    Nick O

  2. This one hurts.
    Monumental breakdown.
    But, happens.
    Establish a lead, then STOP doing the things you were doing to get it, start playing not to lose instead.
    Thing is, I as a fan can wallow.
    They can join me or learn from this and get ready for the next game.
    Interesting to see how they respond, not just the next game but the rest of the season 🤔👍

    1. I agree kstarksr I went to bed with a headache.

  3. Good morning cards nation,how can I explain it except for a total meltdown. Reminds me a lot of the Stanford game
    three Quarters of intense Defense than the meltdown. A big shout out to Olivia Cochran, I was really impressed with her performance last night . But all in all it was a good game for WBB .
    Go Cards !Merv

    1. Chelsea Hall and Ahlana Smith Basically was bricklayers in this game they missed a open shots.imho

  4. In what Bizarro Universe do you lose and we beat someone by 22 points on the same night? I almost skipped your fourth quarter, figuring you had it in the bag. That was like watching a train wreck slowly developing.

    Johnson had a career night, why did the Cards stop going inside and what's up with Van Lith passing on so many open threes?

    My sincerest sympanthies to you for one I'm sure the players won't forget for a long time.

    Renew, recover and rally. That's hat good teams do. A good time for you to play WFU. If we can beat them by 22, you should handle them by 40. I think Spear had half their points.

    Maybe we looked so good because Kiara Lewis left out team. I had heard rumors she was an instigator and affecting team harmony.

    Good recap Daryl. I'll be puzzled for awhile -- not that you lost this one, but on how you lost this one.

    Stay strong Cards !!

    Your Friend
    #1 Clemson Fan
    Greer, SC

  5. What a confidence buster, for players and fans alike. And fuel for other teams. Goodbye, top five.

    Blue Lou

  6. David Watson1/21/2022 3:55 PM

    Hey ho! From Dave O

    I'm not going to go with a gloom and doom philosophy here. Remember, this team missed valuable practice time due to COVID and they were full throttle for 32 minutes. Substitution questions come to mind, was Konno unavailable? Why so few minutes for Verhulst? Things to work on and grow from. Cochran needed that ball late in the game and the Cards WILL learn from not getting it to het.

    One loss does not a season make unless it's a win and advance, tournament setting.

    This team will, hopefully, learn from this and you got to feel sorry for (not so) awake Forest To get trounced by Clemson at home and then have to travel to play a bunch of no-dpubt revenge seeking Cardinals women.

    Why did they put Rebecca the Hobo on the call? She3 as bad as the Volleyball commentator who "oooh, ahhs, oh my god and laughs like an idiot through games.

    There are decent play commentary people out there who don't have an anti-Cards bent. I guess they were all busy calling Lower Central Mid-State Tech vs. Bob's Real good University.

    Dave O

    1. I disagree, i like Rebecca calling the game,she's good for women's basketball.
      Now I didn't like the out come of the game Imho. But that's funny.


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