Tag Archives: connecticut

Photo by Austin Lassell

Louisville men’s basketball defeats UConn on the road

By Sam Draut

The Cardinals did not get caught up in the emotions Saturday night in Storrs Connecticut, and instead, walked out with their first signature win of the season.

The eighteenth ranked University of Louisville men’s basketball team defeated Connecticut 76-64.

Midway through the second half, while in the act of shooting behind the three point line, Connecticut forward Niels Giffey was bumped by Louisville forward Wayne Blackshear, but no call was made, as the ball was deflected out of bounds.

The apparent no call enraged Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie, who was quickly charged with a technical foul, and seconds later, received a second technical foul and ejection.

“I lost my composure. And I told my guys that. In the heat of the moment, you can’t lose your composure,” Ollie said. “I just thought it was a foul. We were down by nine, and Niels is a pretty good shooter.”

While Connecticut was fuming, 16-3 U of L quietly extended its lead to 16, leading 54-38 with less than 11 minutes left to play in the second half.

Connecticut came out resilient to start the second half, going on a 6-0 run in the first eighty seconds to tie the game, but Louisville responded with an extended eight minute 20-4 run.

Russ Smith scored 23 points and hit 12 of 15 free throws, scoring ten points in the final four minutes to close out the game.

Montrezl Harrell commanded the low post, scoring 18 points and adding 13 rebounds.  Luke Hancock added 13 points and five rebounds.

With guard Chris Jones out with a hip injury, freshman guard Terry Rozier played extended minutes, contributing with five points, seven rebounds, and two assists.

Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatwright were the only two Huskies who scored in double figures.  Napier finished with 30 points, hitting five 3 point field goals.  Boatwright added 10 points.

The victory over Connecticut marks the Cardinals first win against a team in the RPI top 25, Louisville was previously 0-3 in match ups against teams rated in the RPI’s top 25.

“We’re really starting to play good basketball. Our defense has picked up, our rebounding has picked up,” U of L head coach Pitino said.

U of L will continue its road trip when it faces South Florida in Tampa Wednesday night at 7:00.

 

AAC Preview

By Sam Draut

Cincinnati

The Bearcats return 13 starters from a 10-3 team that started 5-0 and reached the Top 25 in 2012.

Tommy Tuberville was hired as head coach in the off season after Butch Jones left for Tennessee.

Cincinnati returns both quarterbacks who started last season, seniors Munchie Legaux and Brendan Kay.

Kay appears to be the starter after going 4-1 last year, but Legaux will split time initially. The defense

returns five starters from a unit that ranked in the top 15 nationally in defensive scoring average.

Cincinnati has been as consistent as anyone in the Big East, winning four conference championships in

the past five years, the transfer to the AAC should not alter their winning ways.

UConn

Paul Pasqualoni enters into his third year at UConn with a noticeably warm seat after two consecutive

5-7 seasons. The Huskies offensive returns eight starters from a unit ranking 110

offense a year ago. Junior running back Lyle McCombs battled injuries last season after rushing for

over 1,500 yards his freshman year. On the other side of the ball, the top 25 defense in 2012 returns 5

starters. The Huskies saving grace last year was their defense, this year; more questions open up about

their defense paired with an offensive that struggled a year ago.

Houston

The Cougars offense brought them into the national spotlight, including a 13-1 campaign in 2011. Head

coach Kevin Sumlin left for Texas A&M and Tony Levine was brought in. Houston continued to move

the ball in Levine’s first season, ranking in the top 15 in total offense, but the defense struggled, and

struggled mightily. The Cougars return 14 starters from a 5-7 team a year ago, 10 of those returnees are

on the offensive side of the ball, continuing to leave question marks on defense. Houston plays a soft

non-conference schedule, so returning to a bowl game should seem realistic.

Memphis

Memphis returns 17 starters from a team went 4-8 in 2012, but ended the season on a positive note at

3-0. Second year head coach Justin Fuente has shot some life into a struggling program, though picked

to finish last this season, Memphis plays seven of their first eight games in the state of Tennessee.

Senior quarterback Jacob Karam returns for his senior season, while a commitment to running game will

remain intact with the return of running back Brandon Hayes and five offensive linemen with starting

experience. Seven starters return on defense led by junior middle linebacker Charles Davis. The soft

schedule and momentum could allow the Tigers to surprise some teams.

Temple

The transition to the Big East did not go as smoothly as Temple had planned a year ago. Finishing 4-7

added with the loss of head coach Steve Addazio left the Owls searching for answers. Matt Rhule takes

over a team that returns 15 starters, but plans to switch to the spread offense, a contrasting style from

Addazio’s run oriented offense. The defense returns Tyler Matakevich, the Big East Defensive Rookie

of the Year in 2012. Once again, the Owls will be transitioning, but with games against Notre Dame,

Louisville, and Cincinnati early on, the season could take a rough turn early.

SMU

SMU enters into its inaugural year in the American Conference with early tests and questions

offensively, while trying to rebuild the front four. The Mustangs play Texas Tech, TCU, and Texas A&M

in their non-conference schedule, but do not play AAC league favorite Louisville. A team that finished 7-

6 a year ago returns starting quarterback Garrett Gilbert and four starters in the secondary. The early

schedule is loaded, so for Mustangs to reach their fifth consecutive bowl appearance, they must win

games in conference.

Rutgers

Rutgers started last year 9-1 and was in the driver’s seat for the Big East conference championship

and BCS berth, but the final weeks ended in disasters for first year head coach Kyle Flood. The Scarlet

Knights returns 14 starters from a 9-4 team in 2012, but must replace 11 players drafted or signed by

NFL teams. Quarterback Gary Nova returns, but the stout defense from a year ago returns just four

players. Rutgers was picked to finished third in the AAC this season, but Kyle Flood will begin to define

his program as players from the Greg Schiano era sift out.

USF

Willie Taggart was hired after a disappointing 3-9 campaign led by head coach Skip Holtz in 2012. The

Bulls return 11 starters, but is the only team in the AAC to not return a starting quarterback. Four

players have competed for the starting job at quarterback, senior Bobby Eveld, sophomore Matt Floyd

and Steven Bench, or freshman Mike White. The defense has a core group of returning, including a pair

of talent defensive ends in Ryne Giddins and Aaron Lynch. The Bulls were picked to finish 5

but Taggart will face an uphill battle with games against Michigan State, Miami, and Louisville.

UCF

The Knights finished 10-4 last season and return 11 starters from a year ago. George O’Leary enters

his ninth season at the helm of UCF, the longest tenured head coach in the AAC. The team will be

tested early with matchups against Penn State and South Carolina. The offense returns 6 starters, but

the defense will be missing seven of the top ten tackles from last season. The Knights were picked

to finished fourth in the AAC, and can potentially benefit with the early tests before they enter into

conference play.

The AAC has seven bowl tie ins for the 2013 season.

The league champion has a guaranteed berth in a BCS Bowl. The Russell Athletic Bowl versus an ACC

opponent, the Belk Bowl versus an ACC opponent, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl versus a Big 12 opponent,

the BBVA Compass Bowl versus an SEC team, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl versus a Conference USA or SEC

team, and the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl versus a Conference USA opponent.

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Cardinals’ Magical Run Comes Up Short in New Orleans

By Xavier Bleuel–

Sara Hammond came out with a quick three pointer and Louisville jumped out an early four point lead in the first half but Connecticut’s 19-0 run extended their lead to 29-14 at the 8:48 mark in the first period. This was too much to overcome for the Lady Cards as UConn (35-4) won the eighth national championship in program history, tying the University of Tennessee for first all-time.

Connecticut’s freshman phenom, forward Breanna Stewart was the game’s leading scorer with 23 points in addition to nine rebounds.

“You gotta give credit to her,” sophomore forward Sara Hammond said after the game. “She’s a tremendous athlete. She’s a freak of nature. She’s got the wingspan of Brittney Griner I think.”

Hammond, who had the tough matchup of guarding Stewart, was the only player to finish with double digits for the Cardinals (29-9) with 15 points and only five rebounds in 30 minutes of action.

Louisville was the lowest seed to suit up for the National Championship as a five seed. Their monumental and program-changing victories over Baylor and Tennessee made the loss little more bearable.

The most telling stat of the game was Connecticut’s three-point shooting. The Huskies connected on half of their attempts from behind arc, making 13. It seemed as if the Huskies didn’t miss a shot the entire game. They finished shooting 53 percent (35-66) from the field, including a staggering 63 percent (17-27) in the second half.

“I told our players, we’re going to have to try and make someone shoot the ball that normally might not,” Louisville head coach Jeff Walz stated. “But the problem is when you go 13 and 26 from the three-point line; it makes it tough to defend you.”

Louisville came out with a spark, knocking down a couple of threes but Huskies senior guard Kelly Farris stunted all momentum with two of her own.

“I thought Kelly Farris was great for them,” Walz said. “I think we started off in the second half and made a little run and she comes down and hits back-to-back threes to counter any kind of run we were trying to make.”

Connecticut’s head coach Geno Auriemma’s plan going into the game was to neutralize Cardinals star guard, Shoni Shimmel.

The plan worked flawlessly, Schimmel scored nine points off of 3-15 from the field.
When asked about the familiarity of the two teams and how ready Connecticut was to guard her, Schimmel stated, “Playing in the Big East, you kind of know each other; they knew what to do to stop us, to limit my touches.”

In her last game as a Cardinal, Monique Reid had five points and four rebounds.
“It was a special run and I’m glad I was able to do it with them team in my second national championship,” Reid said after the game. “We beat some great teams, and I’m so glad I was able to do it with these girls.”
Louisville looks to be a pre-season top-10 team next season. The Cardinals return top-scorer Shoni Schimmel, top rebounder Sara Hammond, as well as guard Bria Smith.

The devolvement of Jude Schimmel and Antonita Slaughter is a big plus for this team. Injuries also affected the Cardinals to a certain extent. Louisville lost three contributors of the previous year including starting forward Shawnta’ Dyer.

“I’m really excited about that,” said Walz when asked about the potential his team has next year. “But at the same time I’ve got to make sure my players understand that we just went on a pretty special run.”
Bria Smith added, “I’m extremely excited knowing that so many of our teammates are still going to be there. We are losing Shelby Harper and Monique Reid, but we are just going to have to keep on working and we will be here again, hopefully.”

The city’s celebration of the team’s success has the players feeling greatly appreciated.

“It means the world,” said Smith. “It just shows that everyone back home has been supporting us and it feels great.”

sports@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo by Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal

U of L’s  football team had been undefeated until recently. The loss to UConn marks their second consecutive defeat. Sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater endured a wrist injury and continued to play in Saturday’s game.

Football loses second game in a row to Connecticut

U of L’s football team had been undefeated until recently. The loss to UConn marks their second consecutive defeat. Sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater endured a wrist injury and continued to play in Saturday’s game.

By John Brady–

In the first quarter, the Cards only claimed one first down. However, Uconn’s offense wasn’t much more impressive.

The only points in the first quarter came from a Uconn field goal that hit the upright and banked through like a layup in a basketball game, bringing the score to 3-0. There was a pick six by Uconn at the end of the first quarter that was overturned after review.

The second quarter was a disaster for Louisville’s linebacker core. Uconn sophomore running back, Lyle Mccombs, made it look easy to run the ball numerous times down field for big gains. Mccombs would then set up his teammate Nick Williams for a short, three yard score to extend the Huskies lead to 10-0. Before the first half ended, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater went down with a wrist injury, which would sideline him until halfway through the third quarter. Coach Charlie Strong said he broke his left wrist after the game but that Bridgewater would still play against Rutgers on Thursday.

In the second half, the Louisville defense was energized and stalemated the Uconn offense much like the Huskies had done to the Cards all game long. With senior Will Stein in at quarterback, the Cards had a few dropped balls and were unable to pick up the offense; thus, an injured Bridgewater had to come back into the game. Even with Bridgewater’s return, the 3rd quarter was nothing but a punting duel between the two teams. In the early minutes of the 4th quarter, Louisville finally broke up the shutout when freshman kicker John Wallace’s 36-yard field goal snuck in the left upright, bringing the score to 10-3.

The offenses continued their stale trends until the one minute mark in the 4th quarter, when Louisville’s offense first looked alive. Starting on their own eight yard line, the Cards used big plays from Eli Rogers and Jeremy Wright to get Louisville down to the goal line with twenty seconds left to play.

Then, on second and goal, the Cards finally found the end zone when Bridgewater hit Devante Parker for a five yard score, sending Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium into a frenzy as the score came to 10-10. Uconn then ran out the clock and the teams went to overtime.

In the first overtime, Bridgewater went down with what looked like a serious leg injury, after the game it was diagnosed a small ankle case.

Louisville kicked a field goal to capture the lead at 13-10. Uconn would then go cold and have to settle for a field goal after a near Louisville interception on third down. That dropped interception would have given the Cards the win; instead Uconn drilled the field goal.

The Huskies wasted no time scoring in three plays on their first possession in second overtime. Backup quarterback Johnny McEntee found Shakim Phillips for a short score, making the score 20-13. Louisville in similar fashion scored on their first play when injured Teddy Bridgewater re-entered the game.

On the first play, Teddy found Parker for a 25 yard score 20-20. Louisville would then get the ball to start 3rd overtime and moved quickly down to the goal line. In the play of the game, Bridgewater tried to throw a fade route to Parker much like he did to tie the game in the last minute of the 4th quarter. But this time, the Connecticut defender was ready and intercepted the ball, giving the Huskies the chance to win it with a field goal. They did exactly that on their second play sending the 19th ranked Cardinals into shock with a 23-20 win in Louisville.

After the game, Louisville’s head coach Charlie Strong was very agitated  with his Football team.

“Its tough when you lose one like that,” he said. “We have to play better.”

He did reiterate after the game that even tough the Cardinals lost today they still have a lot to play for on Thursday against Rutgers. Because Rutgers lost to Pittsburgh on Saturday, the Cards and the Scarlet Knights will play for the Big East championship and a spot in the leagues BCS bowl tie in.

“The goal is to finish out the season the right way,” Strong said.

sports@louisvillecardinal.com
Photo: Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal