Lady Cards In Sweet 16

Sonja exclusive report:

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Jeff Walz has a credo. He asks the University of Louisville women’s basketball team to give him 100% on the court and not worry about the score. Says that they can deal with that when they hit the locker room.

Tuesday night in Bridgeport, Conn., the Lady Cards didn’t worry about the score, never trailing against Kansas State and winning easily 80-63. This marks the Lady Cards first trip ever to the Sweet Sixteen, and they are bound for New Orleans.

Before the game, the Cards really weren’t sure just how much they could get from Angel McCoughtry. A twisted ankle isn’t exactly the best thing to run up and down a basketball court. How’s 24 points sound? McCoughtry showed no ill effects, and dazzled the crowd with her twisting baseline jumpers, layups and blocked shots?

Wondering how Tise Wright would respond after 28 minutes two nights ago? Just fine, thank you…13 points and total paint domination. Could Candyce Bingham bounce back from a subpar performance against the Miami Redhawks? Give her a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double.

Give K-State credit for hitting 10-3 pointers against the Cards. It seemed to be the only way they could score against the aggressive, ball-hawking Cardinal defense. The Cards put together runs of 13-0 and 10-0 in the first half, and
outscored the Wildcats 20-13 during the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Louisville got excellent bench play tonight from guards Courtney Simmons and Dez Byrd…Byrd scoring 9 points, and Simmons flying all over the court with her pressing defense.

Give a big high five to Patrika Barlow as well. The senior guard nailed three nice three-pointers and ended up with 13 points.

Louisville awaits the winner of UNC v. Georgia. Either team should be very worried, because the Cards are streaking right now, and tonight showed the nation that even if Angel’s wings are a bit clipped, there is plenty of ground support for her on this Cardinal team.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.