Louisville Women Advance In Big East Tourney

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The University of Louisville women’s basketball team survives against Pitt in the first round of the Big East tournament on Friday afternoon with a late run to defeat Pittsburgh, 79-71.

Monique Reid, a first team All Big East honoree, led the Lady Cards with 32 points, tying her season high point production. Keisha Hines added 13 hard fought points in the paint.

Louisville faces the tourney’s No. 5 seed and the nation’s sixth-ranked Notre Dame Saturday at noon in second round action.

Sonja Sykes
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Another Cakewalk For UConn Women

by Sonja Sykes

For about four minutes, it looked like Louisville might just be able to go toe to toe with top-ranked Connecticut. The Lady Cards moving the ball effectively on offense, denying the Huskies the paint, trailing only 11-9.

Then, the real UConn showed up. Breaking out on a 20-2 run over the next eight minutes and another 23-7 run to end the half, taking a 54-18 lead into the locker room. Game over. Final score would be 84-38.

Fortunately, UConn’s Geno Auriemma showed mercy in the second half, emptying the bench for the final 20. Positives hard to find in this one for Louisville but:

  • Keisha Hines battling toe to toe with All American center Tina Charles in the first half. Hines with six of her team high nine points in the first 20.
  • Asia Taylor getting some quality minutes this. Seven hard earned points against the dominating Husky front line. She gets a little better each game.
  • Becky Burke with two early three-point connections before the UConn guards shut her down.

The road doesn’t get much easier. A trip to New York against surprising St. John Wednesday.

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Shelby Harper Watch: The smallest player on the floor had five rebounds to go with her five points against the burley Huskies.
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Another Bad Day For Lady Cards

NCAA Turns Down Chauntise Wright Appeal;
Nikki Burton Will Be Out Three Weeks

By Sonja Sykes

Just when you were beginning to think not much else could go wrong for the University of Louisville women’s basketball team:

  • Senior center Chauntise Wright has lost her battle to gain eligibility and her career is over. The NCAA can be a heartless and cruel governing body.
  • An MRI on freshman guard Nikki Burton reveals a hip injury that will have her out for the next three weeks. Burton had been receiving therapy but the Charlotte native was not responding well.

Get well soon, Nikki. It was looking like you were beginning to “get it” out there. Your quickness and athleticism will be sorely missed.

As for Tise, no secret that she was Paul’s favorite and one of mine. We’ll miss that “big battleship” majestically cruising down the court en route to an easy basket or rejecting another shot attempt.


Two Louisville Games On WHAS-TV

by Sonja Sykes

Saturday is a special treat for University of Louisville basketball fans, with both the men and women’s games on WHAS-TV.

  • The action starts at noon with Rick Pitino’s guys going to war against Pittsburgh in the Peterson. Pitt has reloaded after losing three key players and will use its usual physical, tough defense and banging tactics.
  • At 2 p.m. the action switches to the Lady Cards, with a conference game at Georgetown University. Georgetown (14-2, 2-0) has not defeated Louisville in four attempts. Ball of fire freshman Sugar Rodgers leads the Lady Hoyas with 19 points per game.

Another great women’s basketball game airs at 9 p.m. on ESPN: No. 1 UConn Huskies host No. 3 Notre Dame.  The downside? Dick Vitale is the color commentator.


NCAA Ruling On Wright Possible By Friday

By Sonja Sykes

Bonus points for you if you noticed that Chauntise Wright was in street clothes during the University of Louisville women’s basketball team’s win over Providence Sunday. The reason, though, is not injury or discipline related. The NCAA is deciding whether Tise has used up her college eligibility.

Chauntise Wright

Wright came to Louisville in the fall semester of 2005 but wasn’t eligible to play until the second semester, seeing action in 16 games as a backup center. Still playing backup center in the 2006-07 season, Tise played in all 33 games, leading the team in field goal percentage while averaging about seven points a game.

Then Jeff Walz came to Louisville, inserting her into the starting lineup. She responded with 11.4 points a game and led the Big East in field goal percentage. It looked she was headed toward a banner senior year. But fate stepped in. She was hit by a car crossing Floyd Street in the summer of 2008. Although she recovered in time for fall practice, she blew out her knee in preseason practice. Out for the year, missing the 2008-09 season.

She returned this season but the NCAA made it clear that, in their eyes, she had only one semester of eligibility.  The Cards petitioned for the entire year and submitted almost 200 pages of documentation and precedents, seeking one more semester for Wright.

Regardless of what happens, Tise will get her degree and will have some great memories. One would hope the NCAA gives her the chance to end her career on the court and not on the bench.