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Monday, November 27, 2023

WBB Defeats Gonzaga -- VB in NCAA Tournament -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cards Beat Zags to Claim Betty Chancellor Classic Title

Sunday was a rather busy day for Louisville Athletics. We saw a rare case where both the women's and men's basketball teams win. It was also the NCAA Selection Show for volleyball.

Louisville women's basketball won their second game in as many days when they defeated Gonzaga 81-70. The 11-point margin of victory was just enough to take the title in the Betty Chancellor classic. The Cards fell to Alabama on the opening day of the round robin tournament before defeating Liberty on Saturday and Gonzaga on Sunday.

The Cards relied on strong second and fourth quarters to earn the win. They were clutch down the stretch, outscoring Gonzaga 20-6 over the final sixth minutes of the final quarter. Kiki Jefferson led the team with 21 points while Nina Rickards went 8-8 from the floor for 16 points.

UofL scored the first four points of the game in the span of 35 seconds. However, Gonzaga wouldn't buckle over the quick deficit and would battle back to even the score at 1... moments before the media timeout. Scoring slowed the back end of the quarter and the Zags would hold a two-point edge at 21-19.

The two foes would trade points to open the second quarter before Louisville's defense woke up. Sitting tied 27-27, the Cards would go on a 12-2 run to build a 10 ;point lead. Gonzaga would score to bring the lead within single-digits but the Cards always had an answer and would go into halftime with a 47-36 edge.

Halftime seemed to be a momentum killer for Louisville, who was outscored 20-12 in the third quarter. Louisville's lead diminished to four points shortly after the media timeout. The Cards pushed the lead back to eight before Gonzaga scored the final five points of the quarter. Still, Louisville led 59-56.

The Cards opened the final quarter on an 18-6 run before Gonzaga called a timeout in hopes of stopping the bleeding. The break seemed to work for the Zags as the went on an 8-0 spurt down the stretch to bring the score within nine. The rally seemed to come too late though and a pair of UofL free throws with 32 seconds left sealed the deal.

The officiating was a bit tighter than we've seen this year with the two teams combining for 43 fouls. The refs seemed to be called a lot on the Cards and ery little on Gonzaga. Jeff Walz was not a fan of it, and got "t'd" up in the first half after expressing displeasure UofL barely saw the charity stripe despite the fouls. The Cards attempted just seven free throws on the game. Jefferson took six of them. gonzaga was 19 for 23.

Jefferson spent most of the game on the floor with 36 minutes. She posted a line of 21 points, five assists, four rebounds, and three steals. Rickards' outing included 16 points, five assists, two rebounds, and two steals. Jayda Curry also scored in double figures with 13 points, highlighted by 3-6 shooting from three-point range. Elyia Love and Oliva Cochran spent much of the game in foul trouble with the former having four fouls and the latter fouling out.

F-R-E-D Report

(Today's "Fred". Braves superstar Fred McGriff)

Free Throws- Louisville shot 6-7 from the charity stripe. Despite the limited opportunities, the Cards capitalized on them and shot 86% from the line. Capital F.

Rebounds- Louisville was outrebounded 23-19. Each team had six offensive boards. No Cardinal player had more than four rebounds and Louisville's post players were almost completely ineffective in the category. No letter here.

Effort/Efficiency- There's no question that the effort was there considering the Cards played their third game in three days. Louisville found ways to halt Gonzaga every time they tried to make a run and rally. The Cards shot close to 59% from the floor and 37% from three. The had more assists (19) than turnovers (16). UofL capitalized on Gonzaga turnovers with 17 points. More impressively, they scored 18 fast break points. Plenty of reason for a Capital E.

Defense- Allowing 70 points is never a good thing. It's the third time this season UofL has done so. Gonzaga shot a little over 50% from the floor but the Cards did force 21 turnovers, which proved to be the difference in the game. The Zags were limited to three fast break points due to Louisville's transition defense. There's enough argument for a lowercase d here.

F-_-E-d is an okay result but there is plenty of room for improvement.

Louisville improves to 6-1 on the season. They remain away from home when they visit Ole Miss on Wednesday.

Volleyball Goes Dancing in the NCAA Tournament

(Cards gather to wait for their name to be called) 

The NCAA Selection Show was yesterday evening. We had no doubt Louisville would make the 64-team field but their overall seeding was a bit up in the air.

The good news is that Louisville will host the opening two rounds of the tournament at the KFC Yum! Center. The bad news is that the Cards were one spot away from hosting the second weekend in town too. UofL was given the 2-seed in their region.

Who is the top seed in the region with Louisville? Well, the Selection Committee seems to have a thing for drama as they paired Louisville and Pittsburgh together in the same region. The Panthers earned the final 1-seed by a slim margin according to the Selection Committee. I guess the Cards winning five of the eight total sets in the two matches between the rivals this year didn't mean much... or UofL sweeping ACC Champion Florida State while Pitt lost to them. Louisville's loss to NC State is most likely the difference maker. 

The NCAA lady who explained it on the broadcast seemed pretty tight-lipped about the reasoning and my guess is she'd already been asked a  few questoned about Pitt over Cards...and he two of them in the same bracket.  . 

Nebraska, Stanford, and Wisconsin earned the other 1-seeds. Louisville is joined by Kentucky, Texas, and Oregon in the 2-seed realm. The ACC also has 5-seed Georgia Tech, 6-seed Florida State, and unseeded Miami in the tournament. The top eight seeds in each region received a seed number.

WKU also got selected and they'll open against Coastal Carolina in Knoxville.

(Rowdy Raider is coming to town again!)

Louisville's sub group in the opening weekend features Wright State (21-10), whom the Cards will face Thursday at 7:00pm ET, as well as 7-seed Auburn (20-9) and Western Michigan (30-2). Louisville defeated Wright State in the third game of the season, 3-1 (20-25, 25-18, 25-20, 26-24).

Tickets for the weekend (Thursday-Friday) session can be purchased on UofL's website at

Go HERE for a printable bracket. 

Happy Monday and Go Cards!


  1. Good afternoon Cards Nation
    That was a great effort the Cardinals played up to their standards the offense started to click the defense is coming on.

    The team played a great game creating chaos and speeding Gonzaga up ,all in all it was a great team effort.

    The Cards key starters got in foul trouble but lucky they have a deep bench. One thing stood out, Kiki Jefferson stepped up big time Curry ,Love also raised her level of play and Merissa Russell was clutch.

    P/S shout out to all the makers that hit big time shots . Go Cards L1C4.

    1. Russell played like I was hoping to see from her this year👍


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