Angel Guides Lady Cards Past Alabama, 73-56

By Sonja Sykes

Sometimes, it’s good to have an Angel looking over your shoulder. So it was for the Lady Cards Friday night, who used the senior wing to defeat Alabama 73-56. Angel also became the leading rebounder in Lady Cards’ history, grabbing nine boards to go with her 28 points.

“It’s a great honor to have both those records,” said McCoughtry, who set the all-time career scoring mark earlier this season. “I guess it shows that hard work pays off. It means a lot to me. I just try to go out and be the best I can be.”

The final score was a little misleading. Alabama kept it close in the first 20 minutes, and the Cards only led by seven, at 35-28.

In his post game interview, Walz related that he preached the need for the Cards to concentrate on proper execution in the second half. But it backfired early and Bama trimmed the lead to 37-33 early in the final 20 minutes.

Just when you thought the Cards were on the ropes, Louisville’s senior All-American took flight. The Tide forced the Louisville into an out-of-bounds possession with one second on the clock, but a quick pass to McCoughtry led to a deep desperation three that beat the buzzer and swished the nets. Louisville used it to go on a 19-3 run over the next seven minutes and led 56-36 with 10 minutes to go.

The Lady Cards play Nevada at 11 o’clock tonight

Candyce Bingham joined Angel in double figures, dropping 12 points and 10 boards on the Tide.  Laura Terry, who injured a knee Tuesday night against Utah did not play for the Cards. How long she’ll be out isn’t certain yet.

With Terry out, Coach Jeff Walz made extensive use of the five freshmen on the roster. Monique Reid gave the Cards eight points and four rebounds in 20 minutes. Janae Howard and Becky Burke added six points each to the Cards effort. Sophomore Dez Byrd logged 33 minutes of playing time for the Cards but managed only two points.

The Cards play Nevada, winner over Northern Iowa, in the final of the Nugget Classic tonight at 11 o’clock.

One More Test Of Louisville Football Loyalty

Before anyone else gets the urge to call, the observer doesn’t want or need any more tickets to the Louisville-West Virginia football game. Season ticket holder here for 40 years. Two tickets are all we need, but thanks.

People giving up tickets is not good. Twice today, individuals have offered them. Gonna be too cold, they say, adding something to the effect that the Cards will get creamed. The encouraging part is they said they want the tickets to be used and will offer them to someone else. That would be a positive thing.

The Louisville football team could very well “get creamed” on Saturday. But even more embarrassing would be an excess of empty seats belonging to people claiming to be ardent UofL fans. The ultimate test of loyalty is a game in which the Cards are sure underdogs, with a coach under fire, with a losing season looming for the first time in over a decade, and with temperatures in the low forties.

People who will show up for game under these conditions are the diehards. Their affinity for the university extends beyond personalities, temporary setbacks, and controversy. A game actually provides relief from the arguments about who did what, for whom, why, who’s right, who’s wrong, who’s smart, who’s dumb and what will happen during the off season. They are more than diehards, they are the foundation, the people you know you can count on whatever the future holds for Louisville football.

They are well aware that this team has nothing to lose. Nothing to lose, unless you count the 22 seniors who will be playing in their final Louisville football game at home. The Cards have compiled a 32-15 record during their time here, including an Orange Bowl win and a Gator Bowl appearance. And, yes, they know the young men will be playing their hearts out for them.

Plus, it’s the last college football game in Louisville for another 10 months. Basketball can help fill the sports vacuum but it’s not football. Plenty of reasons to put those football tickets to good use.

Fan of the Week

Steve Springer
Steve Springer

He was a University of Louisville fan before he was born.

As a two-year-old, he was lifted high in the air by his dad after U of L scored a touchdown in his first U of L football game ever, at the old Fairgrounds Stadium, the dangling binoculars striking his old man squarely in the nose.

The first U of L basketball game he remembers attending was an 72-69 win over Duke in the NCAA Championship at Dallas in 1986. No wonder he has such high expectations for the Cards.

His first dunk came from a strong assist from Darrell Griffith at Male where his mom, Barbara, was teaching summer school.

He hyperventilated when Everick Sullivan hit a three-point shot at the last second to give the Cards a win over Florida State.

He remembers the basket brawl against South Carolina, U of L winning the game in overtime after trailing by 14 points with just over a minute to go.

He read Denny Crum’s mind, calling the play before Brian Kiser hit the winning shot over UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.

He traded U of L baseball caps with Howard Schnellenberger, the coach grabbing his own cap and sticking it on his admirer’s head at a weekly coach’s show.

He endured the frigid rain at U of L’s first Liberty Bowl win, with Jeff Brohm calling the signals against Michigan State.

He enrolled in college, but his head wasn’t in his studies. He became a dad, another U of L fan was born. He postponed his education.

Some time between the Michigan State win and a later frigid loss to Colorado State, in the the same Liberty Bowl, he matured and became a man.

He re-enrolled in college again eight years later, this time fully committed to the process. Made straight A’s his first semester. Stayed on the Dean’s List much of his four years. He graduated cum laude this weekend.

He is Stephen Springer, son of Charlie Springer, and Steve is this week’s U of L Fan of the Week.