Huge Week For Lady Cards

This is not your grandmother’s women’s basketball team.

Showdown week for the University of Louisville women’s basketball team, currently ranked No. 7 nationally with a 18-1 overall mark and 5-0 in Big East Conference play. The Lady Cards are squarely in the sights of UConn, currently ranked No. 1 in the country with a 17-0 won-lost record.2angel

They will clash next Monday on UConn’s home floor. But first, the Lady Cards must survive a challenge from a strong Cincinnati team (13-4, 3-1 Big East) Tuesday at Freedom Hall, starting at 8 p.m.

No doubt, there are many basketball fans in town yet to see this team. Relent, see them play Tuesday. Send them off to UConn knowing Louisville appreciates their brand of basketball.  See Sonja’s report on some of Angel McCoughtry’s teammates here.

*    *   *

The University of Louisville baseball team is the unanimous choice of Big East coaches as the team to beat in the 2009 season. Junior third baseman Chris Dominguez was honored as Preseason Player of the Year for the second consecutive year, while junior Justin Marks was unanimously selected as Preseason Pitcher of the Year.

The Cardinals finished last season with a 16-11 Big East record and the conference tournament title. UofL completed the ‘08 season with a 41-19 overall record and returned to the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row.

Practice begins two weeks from today, and the Cards open the season a month from tomorrow with a three-game series against the University of Florida in Gainesville. Schedule here.

16,339 A Record For Big East Conference

The Lady Cards set State and Big East Conference records for paid attendance for a women’s basketball game with 16,339 people at Freedom Hall. Should have been at least a couple of thousand more people there. Kentucky fans were few and far between, must have missed the bandwagon on Hal Mumme Drive.

— The only bad thing about packing the house is the danger of a 6-foot-6 guy sitting in the seat in front of you. Oh well, thank goodness for the just-in-time invitation of a fellow fan to move to seats behind the Louisville bench. That’s more like it.

— Lady Cards were either too tight and over enthusiastic at the beginning with Angel McCoughtry missing her first five shots. She would still collect 31 points, nine rebounds and six steals.

— Angel may be the star but Deseree Byrd is the absolute inspiration on this team, not allowing a couple of nights in the hospital a week ago affect her availability the last two games. She gets some difficult points at crucial times. Fun to watch her charging down the court. She may not be in perfect shape, but she takes a backseat to no one on gamesmanship.

— Candyce Bingham seems to be an ultra nice person. Not to the opposition, however, not with 12 rebounds and 14 points.

— Monique Reid is going to be a force on the boards. Just ask McCoughtry who somehow managed to avoid Reid’s elbows when they both went up for the same rebound. The look on Angel’s face: priceless.

Angel’s Muggers Coming To Town

Pack The House — Sunday is Pack The House day and the University of Kentucky is the opponent for the University of Louisville Lady Cards basketball team. Game time is 2 p.m., and tickets are $5 each ($2 each if you buy 10 or more).

The Lady Wildcats were not ladylike last season at Rupp Arena. Coach Matthew Mitchell’s Hell Cats physically abused Angel McCoughtry, sending her to the dressing room for almost 20 minutes. But she returned with stitches on her forehead in the second half to nail down a 80-65 win for UofL.

If you want the University of Kentucky to know which university owns Louisville, you need to be there to send a message to the Lexingtonians. Carly Ormerod, a Wildcat who haughtily snubbed the Cards, played at Sacred Heart Academy in the confused St. Matthews area where there are entirely too many Cat fans.

A few Cat fans is a few too many.