Tag Archives: reprint

Photo by Michelle Lewis

Will Gardner steps up to the spotlight

By Sam Draut

Waiting in the wings for the past two seasons behind Teddy Bridgewater, redshirt sophomore Will Gardner is now at the center of attention.

Replacing one of the programs greatest quarterbacks will be no easy task, but Gardner directed the offense well on his first big stage without the shadow of Bridgewater.

Gardner looked sharp and in control, completing 32-37 passes for 542 yards and four touchdowns in the Spring Game on Friday night.

“It was good to see Will in command of the offense, I liked the way he carried himself, I like the way he took charge in the huddle,” coach Bobby Petrino said. “He looked comfortable in delivering the football and for the most part, he was very accurate with his throws.”

On the third play of the game, Gardner connected with sophomore wide receiver James Quick for a 62 yard touchdown pass down the sideline.

“That was exciting, we said in the huddle we wanted to set the tone early,” Gardner said.

Quick, who believes Gardner throws a harder ball than Bridgewater, reeled in a team high 152 receiving yards.

“He played a great game, he played a well-rounded game,” Quick said.

Quick wasn’t the only receiver Gardner targeted, seniors DeVante Parker, Gerald Christian, and Eli Rogers all had over 100 receiving yards.

“We have a lot of playmakers, it’s hard to get the ball to everyone because we have so many, and it makes the quarterback’s job easier,” Gardner said.

“We have a very good wide receivers corps. DeVante Parker is a very special player, and there’s a good deal of speed and talent around him,” Petrino said. “That’s really going to help our quarterback. He just has to know that the defense and reads are going to dictate who is open, and then he just has to get the ball to that guy and let him make a play.”

With receptions from seven different players, Petrino was most impressed with the way Gardner distributed the ball and went through his progressions.

But, even with his stellar performance, Gardner was hesitant to give himself praise, remaining humble after a dominating audition as the predecessor of Bridgewater.

“We had good pass protection and guys were getting wide open.  When guys are getting wide open, you can’t miss them,” Gardner said. “I put the ball where I can and they make plays.”

Despite delivering the ball well to receivers throughout the night, Gardner did have one mistake, overthrowing a crossing route that was intercepted by Chucky Williams midway through the second quarter.

Gardner was able to learn from his few mistakes and adjust throughout the game.

“He missed one early in the second half, he kind of forced the ball and threw it out of bounds, over DeVante’s head, and we had a guy open down the middle, but he came back in the second half and hit him twice,” Petrino said. “So, he learned as the game went on, and that is going to be important because he is going to have to learn as the game goes on and not make the same mistake twice.”

After an impressive performance to wrap up spring practice, Gardner’s individual improvement becomes critical as players split from the coaches until summer camp.

“I have to grow into the playbook, become more confident, hit the weight room, get bigger and stronger,” Gardner said.

So now, a quarterback that has appeared in just six games and completed 8 of 12 passes for 112 yards in his collegiate career takes over a lethal offensive scheme and a program headed into its first year in the ACC.

“Will Gardner is getting better. He’s getting his timing down and putting the ball where it needs to be more frequently, but we still have to get better there. He’s a very hard worker, he’s got a great attitude and he’s a natural leader, we just have to get him in the situations that he’s going to see in a game so that it’s not a shock for him,” Petrino said.

And as for being a quarterback without the shadow of Teddy Bridgewater looming in the starting spot, Gardner is ready for his time.

“It’s different, but I enjoy it, I have a great group of support around me, great teammates and they all support me,” Gardner said.

 

Photo by Tricia Stern

Kevin Ware transfers to Georgia State

By Noah Allison

Junior guard Kevin Ware has found his new home and it’s in a familiar place. Ware will be returning to his home in Atlanta, Ga. to play for Ron Hunter’s Georgia State Panthers.

Ware, the six-foot-two guard, only played nine games in the 2014 season before reinjuring his leg against Missouri State.

Ware was granted a medical red-shirt and still has two years of eligibility left to play.

Georgia State is a member of the Sun Belt conference. The Panthers went 25-9 overall with a 17-1 in-conference record. They went on to lose to Clemson in the NIT.

Ware will be joining a number of prominent transfers on Georgia State’s current roster. Most notable is former Kentucky guard Ryan Harrow who along with Georgia State’s R.J. Hunter played as one of the best mid-major back courts.

Along with Harrow Georgia State got considerable contribution from former Virginia Tech transfer Manny Atkins who led the Panthers in rebounds. USC transfer Curtis Washington was second on the Panthers in rebounds.

Ware is starting anew among many teammates who also took the non-traditional college route.

The Panthers of Georgia State return a full roster of talented players who were able to compete adamantly in their respective conference.

The storybook ending to Ware’s story would have had him remain at Louisville, but nothing can be changed now.

Kevin Ware is now a Panther and will finish his collegiate career at Georgia State. After breaking his leg against Duke in the Elite Eight nobody wanted anything more than to bring Kevin home to Atlanta. Now he is home, and hopefully can get back to the court.

Photo by Michelle Lewis

Annual Red v. White scrimmage held

By Annie Moore

The University of Louisville held its annual Red and White Scrimmage April 11 to showcase the team’s preparation in the spring. The offense, headlined by quarterback Will Gardner, and the defense led by veterans like junior linebacker James Burgess were on display, as were new head coach Bobby Petrino’s new system.

Coach Petrino was happy with what he saw from the team, and admitted there is much room for improvement before the season.

“We have a long way to go, but our coaches have done a great job at teaching our new schemes, and the players have worked really hard at learning them,” Petrino said.  “We’ve had some great competition in practice. The practices have been really physical and guys are really competing. I feel really good about our front seven on defense. Our linebackers are physical and fast and are going to be able to play the way we want them to play. We are a little bit concerned with our depth in the secondary and the inexperience at safety. That’s an area where we have to continue to work hard and get better.”

The Red Team, led by Gardner, routed the White Team, 56-13. Gardner was 32- of 37 for 542 yards and four touchdowns.

“We had good pass protection and guys getting wide open, and when guys are wide open, you can’t miss them. We had a lot of guys open when we called plays for them, so that was a good thing,” Gardner said.

Gardner too admitted that there was much work to be done in the time between now and kickoff in September.

“I’ve got to grind in the playbook, become more confident, hit the weight room hard and just get bigger and stronger.” Gardner said.

 Michael Dyer rushed for 99 yards on 10 carries for the Red, and added 51 yards and a 27-yard touchdown on four carries for the White.

The biggest search now will be for a player to step out as the leader for a team heading into its first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“You always worry about leadership, but this team has a terrific work ethic,” Petrino said.  “They grind in the weight room and really get after it at practice. They understand that everything is different, but have been very willing to adapt. We have good leadership and guys who know what it takes to win games, and that has made the transition a lot easier.”

But with regards to the head coach’s overall feeling heading out of the game, he’s confident in his QB and ready to improve in other spots around the ball.

“You couldn’t leave a spring game happier with the way [Gardner] played,” Petrino said. “I was happy with our spring. I think we’re headed in the right direction, but we do have a long, long way to go.”

 

Photo by Austin Lassell

Lacrosse defeats Georgetown

By Derek Brightwell

The University of Louisville Lacrosse team opened up their Big East schedule with a 14-13 upset victory at No. 14 Georgetown on Saturday, improving their record to 7-3 on the season.

The Cardinals were led in goals by junior Faye Brust, who had five, three coming in the second half including the Cardinals final two goals. Her 34 goals on the year are just six less than her total from her first two seasons, with six games still remaining in the 2014 season.

The victory marks the first time in eight games that the Cardinals defeated the Hoyas and was the second win over a Top 20 opponent this season.

Senior Nikki Boltja increased her team high point total with three goals and two assists in the game, giving her 52 points on the year, 40 of which are goals.

One of the biggest keys for the Cardinals all year has been sophomore Kaylin Morissette’s draw control ability; she tied her own school single-game record 11 in the win over Saturday to put her season total at a school record 82.

Despite Georgetown (3-6, 0-1) only having the lead for a total of 15 seconds in the game, Louisville was never able to pull ahead comfortably until Brust gave them a three goal lead in the final 12 minutes that the Hoyas couldn’t overcome.

Louisville continues their five game road trip in Cincinnati to take on the Bearcats on Sunday, Arpril 6th. They’ll return to home to close out their season with three straight home games on April 17th against UConn.

Photo by Austin Lassell

Louisville women’s basketball advances to Elite Eight with win over LSU

By Sam Draut

Louisville cruised to a 73-47 victory over LSU on Sunday to advance to the Elite Eight.

Shoni Schimmel led Cardinal scorers with 19 points and added six assists.  Tia Gibbs hit five three pointers, finishing with 15 points and five rebounds.  The two seniors combined for eight of the Cardinals season-high 12 three-pointers.

“When Tia Gibbs gives you 15 points in 16 minutes off the bench it is pretty special,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said.

The seventh-seeded Tigers were limited to playing just eight players due to injuries, while Louisville’s bench outscored LSU’s reserves 28-0.  In three NCAA tournament games, Louisville’s bench has outscored opponents 84-2.

‘‘They did all that they could consider, and our bench, they came in and they tried their best,’’ LSU coach Nikki Caldwell. ‘’I’m proud of them for that. We didn’t execute as well as we wanted to.”

Antonita Slaughter scored 10 points.  Asia Taylor pulled down 10 rebounds and added 7 points.

LSU (21-13) held a 12-11 lead through the first eight minutes of the game, but Louisville (33-4) closed the half on an extended 30-11 run, giving them a comfortable 41-23 halftime lead.

During the run, Gibbs connected with two threes on back-to-back possessions.

“I was trying to provide a spark to the team.  Coming off the bench, that is our job,” Gibbs said.  “My teammates did a great job looking for me.”

LSU was led by sophomore guard Danielle Ballard, who finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds.  She had 12 of the Tigers 24 field goals.  Minus Ballard, LSU was just 4 of 42 from the field.

“We had a hard time containing her, but I thought we did a good job on the rest of their players,” Walz said.

Taylor and Sara Hammond were able to slow the post presence of Theresa Plaisance, who scored seven points on 1-of-13 shooting, well below her season average of 15.3 points per game.

Hammond was limited to  16 minutes because of foul trouble, but had five points and eight rebounds.

“We have to get Sara going, we are running out of games,” Walz said. “She is in a little bit of a slump, but I would be shocked if she had three games where she struggled on the offensive end of the floor.”

Through three NCAA tournament games, the Cardinals have outscored their opponents by 46, 30, and 26 respectively.

‘’I think we’re playing really good basketball right now,’’ Walz said.

“We don’t play the score.  We won’t let up on people.  We know there is a lot we still have to work on,” Gibbs said.

Louisville will play fourth-seeded Maryland on Tuesday night at the KFC YUM! Center for a trip to the Final Four.

Walz spent five seasons at Maryland under the direction of Terrapin coach Brenda Frese  before coming to Louisville.

“We know we are going to have our hands full.  They are a very talented basketball team, they have great size,” Walz said. “We know what is at stake.”

AAC indoor hurdling champion Calvin Aresnault

By Sam Draut

Whether he is competing in Barcelona, Spain, Ontario, Canada, or Louisville, Ky., Calvin Arsenault has ran well regardless of what sector of the globe he sprints across.

The junior from Kitchener, Ontario competes in the hurdles, running the 60 meter during the indoor season and the 110 meter and 400 meter races during the outdoor season.

Arsenault logged a third place finish with 14.22 seconds in the 110m hurdles last Friday at the Alabama Relays.

In the Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational at Cardinal Park this past weekend, Arsenault finished second in the 110m hurdles and fifth in the 400m hurdles.

Arsenault enters the outdoor season coming off an American Athletic Conference championship in the 60m hurdles event for the indoor season though the season didn’t begin as smoothly as it finished.

“The indoor season didn’t start as well as I wanted to, it was more of a slow start, I didn’t start as fast as I wanted to, but as the season progresses, you learn new things, you fine-tune things,” Arsenault said.

Arsenault said the indoor season can be difficult to gear up for, beginning in January, because athletes are just coming off of the preseason.  Additionally, a change in the fall workouts added a bit of a transitional period.

“We actually had a different weight coach, we worked out with the football weight coach this fall, so that added a lot more strength that I am used to, so that helped my foot speed which made my transition to the hurdles more difficult because that means everything is faster,” Arsenault said. “I wasn’t satisfied on what I was running, I started working harder in practice, trying to fine-tune some things and it finally clicked once conference season came around.”

Winning the AAC championship isn’t the first title Arsenault has won; he bagged the Canadian national title in 2011 for the 400m hurdles.

He qualified for the 2011 Pan Am Junior Championships and was a member of Team Canada that traveled to Barcelona, Spain.

“I made the world junior team over in Spain and that was an awesome experience, I made the semi-finals.  Represented Canada really well, I PR’ed, it was a great experience running for your country on European soil,” Arsenault said.

Arsenault, who holds the school record in 400m and 110m hurdles, had a tremendous freshman year at Louisville.  He qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Round in the 110m hurdles and had four outdoor victories during the year.

Arsenault decided to run in the United States during his college years.  He connected with University of Louisville sprints coach Terry Winston, who contacted him the end of his senior year.  Arsenault came to Louisville for a visit in July and signed, coming to school the next month.

Despite being from another country, the transition culturally has been no different.

“I come from a decent size city in Canada to a large city here.  The biggest difference was the training and the weight training,” Arsenault said. “I came from a program that didn’t lift weights.  So, to come here where you are lifting three times a week and you’re training six times a week on the track that was more than double from what I was coming off in high school.  So, that was the biggest adjustment, allowing your body to recover quicker to come back for workout after workout after workout.”

With the outdoor AAC championships around a month away, Arsenault has his goals lined up already.

“I want to get another conference title under my belt personally in my individual events and for the whole team to win the conference championship.  I think we have the people to do it and I think we have the motivation behind us to do it,” Arsenault said.

“The NCAAs are separated into two separate meets, you’re going into the first round, I think I have already qualified for the first round, go in there and have strong showing because they take the top 12 there for the NCAA finals.  So if I can a great first round I can qualify for the finals in Eugene, Ore.  My ultimate goal is to be an All-American,” Arsenault said.

Photo by Austin Lassell

Softball goes 2-1 in weekend series versus Rutgers

By Dalton Ray

The Louisville Cardinals softball team took on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a three-game series over the weekend in Ulmer Stadium. On a sunny but chilly weekend the Cardinals would prevail 2-1 in the series bringing their record to 18-11 and the visiting Knights would drop to 12-9. This was the first series in conference play for both schools.

In the first game, Louisville won by 10-6, the visitors would rack up five hits and five runs in the top of the first inning and put the Cards in a 5-0 hole before touching the plate. Junior Whitney Arion and company wouldn’t back down as they loaded the bases twice in the bottom of the inning and came away with two runs. After a pitching switch that put Caralisa Connell on the mound the scoring would come, as the Knights would only score one more run to finish the game.

“Our pitching really put us in a whole right off the bat and what I’m really proud of is how the team kept fighting back, that’s a real credit to them for digging in. We just kept wanting to play catch up today,” head coach Sandy Pearsall said.

The “digging in” began in the fourth inning when junior Kayla Soles sent her third homerun of the year over the left field fence and cut the lead to 6-3. After digging in the Cardinals would then explode in the fifth inning ripping off five hits and seven runs in the inning giving them a 10-6 lead heading into the sixth. Senior Katie Keller, freshman Maryssa Becker, junior Brittany Duncan, senior Hannah Kiyohara would all gets hits in the inning. After the Cards would score on a walked batter with loaded bases and then a wild pitch, Whitney Arion would cap off the inning in style with a three run homer.

By the time senior Rachel Le Coq would come into relief for Connell the former 25-game winner struck out four and played very well. Le Coq would use the help of her defense in her two innings; four groundouts and two strikeouts would close the game for the Cardinals.

The second game was won with the same score of 10-6 but Rutgers was victorious this time. It also began in a very similar fashion, as once again the Knights would score five runs in the top of the first. The only difference: the Cardinals couldn’t gather a response in the first three innings. Shayla Sweeney was pitching for the visiting Rutgers and she lead the Knights to a strong defensive effort in the second game. The Cardinals wish they could of said the same thing but minor slip ups in the in-field on liners and ground balls kept adding up for Cards as they kept giving the Knights chances.

Juniors Kayla Soles would hit her second homerun of the day along with an RBI, cutting the lead to 5-2 Rutgers in the fourth. In the fifth inning Rutgers’ Jackie Bates’ triple would drive home Chandler Howard for a 6-2 lead. At the bottom of the inning the Cardinals looked to take advantage of Arion’s RBI triple and base-on-balls Maryssa Becker standing on first, with runners on the corners and two outs Sweeney would strike out the last batter ending the threat. In the next inning the Scarlet Knights would take advantage of their given opportunities as they put together five hits and four runs, expanding their lead to 10-3.

In the final inning the Cardinals would not give up. After two doubles from Kiyohara and Kayla Jones, and Arion’s second homer of the day the score was 10-6. The visiting Knights would then wrap up the game with a ground out, strike out, and a fly out in center. The Knights stingy defense was too much for the Lady Cards, as they couldn’t get a ball past the infield for most of the game.

After starting at pitcher the first game freshman Maryssa Becker was moved to first base. In the second game she started out at first, moved to pitcher, then back to first. Caralisa Connell, Rachel Le Coq, Tiarra Sanabria, and Becker would all pitch for the Cards on Saturday. Becker has really showed her versatility over the course of the year.

“The pitchers definitely work as a staff, all four of us, we all have the same mentality of if when we get put in. We have to know when one of us is having an off day so that the person behind us can get the job done.”

Sunday’s series finale that ended up in a 11-3 rout between the schools stayed scoreless until the top of the third when Jackie Bates’ two-run single gave Rutgers a 2-0 lead. Katie Jones put in a ton of effort at the bottom of the inning as she had a single, stole second, advanced to third on an error and was then sent home by Arion giving the Cards their first run. Brittany Duncan would help give the Cards a 3-2 lead on her two-out double.

Becker got herself out of a jam in the bottom of the fourth as she struck out the last batter with the bases loaded as the game was tied 3-3 heading into the fifth. Arion, Jones, Keller, Becker, Ruckenbrod, Duncan, and McDuffee would all get hits in the last innings as the Cardinals would pull away in a strong way as they scored eight unanswered runs. McDuffee’s double finished off the game, as the Cards would cruise through the last innings. Now 18-11 overall and 2-1 in conference the softball team will be in action again against DePaul March 26th and 27th.

Women advance with opening round win over Idaho

By Sam Draut

The University of Louisville Women’s basketball team opened up the first round of the NCAA tournament with a commanding 88-42 victory over Idaho.

Louisville, 31-4, was led by Sara Hammond, who was one of five Cardinals to score in double figures.  The junior forward finished with 16 points on 8 of 13 shooting.

Idaho, 25-9, played Louisville close through the first eight and a half minutes trailing 12-11, but Louisville responded with a 14-2 run, sparked by six points from senior guard Shoni Schimmel.  She finished the game with ten points and 11 rebounds.

“The first four minutes I thought offensively we just rushed. We never got the ball reversed. We were just trying so hard to make things happen. Then we finally slowed down, we worked the ball around,” coach Jeff Walz said.

Junior guard Jude Schimmel also contributed to the burst, scoring nine points in the first half, ending the game with 14 points on 6 of 9 shooting, and adding four assists and three steals.

“Jude is our spark coming off the bench. I think everybody on our team knows that. At the beginning we were kind of a little flustered,” Hammond said. “We were a little too excited to get out there and play. Jude came in and set the tone on defense. I think that’s what started our run.”

After leading 40-21 at halftime, Louisville extended their lead to 63-30 when Tia Gibbs connected on a three with eights minutes into the second half.

Louisville shot 71 percent from the field in the second half.

After missing the run to the National Championship game last season due to injury, Gibbs and Asia Taylor returned to the NCAA tournament.

Gibbs had seven points, four rebounds, and three steals.

Taylor finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.

Fellow senior Antonita Slaughter connected on all three of her three point attempts, finishing with 11 points.

Stacey Barr, the Western Athletic Conference’s Player of the Year was held to four points on 1 of 7 shooting.  Barr averaged 17.9 points per game.

Third seeded Louisville plays the six seed Iowa on Tuesday night.

“We’re looking forward to it. We’re excited to play every game. Regardless of who we get, we’re going to be prepared mentally and physically,” Shoni Schimmel said. “Today’s game, we got it under our belt. We got the flow of everything. We’re ready to continue and keep playing.”

Photo by Austin Lassell

Game on, one super sweet sixteen matchup of Louisville and Kentucky

By Noah Allison

Last year Louisville won the National Championship, the year before that Kentucky took home the crown. Now this next game may not be the National Championship, but for the epicenter of college basketball, this U of L v. UK Sweet Sixteen is the ultimate best two-out-of-three match.

For a Louisville fan it was hard to watch the round of 32-matchup between undefeated Wichita State and vaunted rival Kentucky without feeling a bit nervous. The game had the intensity, flow and high caliber play of a national championship. Kentucky overcame a tough regular season and was able to shock the Shockers 78-76 to advance. Now the Sweet Sixteen in Indianapolis will play host to another chapter in the Louisville v. Kentucky basketball rivalry, with everything under the sun on the line.

In late December the then one loss Cardinals travelled to Rupp to take on Kentucky where they fell 73-66.  Those few months feel like a lifetime ago though, with both teams finding their identity and classically hitting their strides at the right time.

In the loss at Rupp Kentucky’s length and size gave Louisville trouble, the Cats outrebounded the Cards 44-36. The size of the two teams hasn’t changed since then, Kentucky doesn’t start a person shorter than six-foot-six. Louisville’s backcourt size of Chris Jones, five-foot-eight and Russ Smith, six-foot, could create problems. Not too mention Kentucky’s two seven-foot tall centers compared to Louisville’s six-ten Stephan Van Treese and six-eleven Mangok Mathiang.

But if there is one thing about Louisville v. Kentucky it’s that you can throw common sense and tales of the tape out the window, this is no mere game. The energy of the moment takes over and it’s all about who is going to refuse to lose.

At Rupp the Cards took the lead with just under ten minutes to play. The games leading scorer was Louisville shooting guard Russ Smith with 19 points, but he went totally dry and did not score a point in the last seven minutes of the game.

Smith leads the Cards in scoring with 650 points, assists with 169 and free throw attempts with 207.  He has yet to look excellent in the tournament thus far, but he has done everything the Cards have needed out of him in order to win. Against Saint Louis Smith’s shot was not falling, so instead he relentlessly attacked the basket to draw fouls and get to the line. Smith scored 11 points against Saint Louis, five of which coming from the line. He also had seven assists to get the rest of the team involved.

Louisville cannot imagine beating Kentucky without Russ Smith stepping up, he doesn’t have to play out of his mind and he doesn’t need to try and score forty, that is what Russ has learned. But he does need to play great, whether that is via assists, steals, drawing fouls, or heck Russ, go ahead and score forty.

Kentucky is a veracious rebounding team with seven different players pulling down at least 100 rebounds on the season, and the Cats are led by freshman power forward Julius Randle who has 383 on the season. Randle also leads the Cats in scoring with 542 points. It will be a scheme and team effort for the Cardinals to stop Randle, but the brunt of the load will be put on the shoulders of Louisville’s own phenomenal power forward, sophomore Montrezl Harrell.

During that first matchup the Cardinals still had forward Chane Behanan, he was permanently dismissed from the team following that game. Since then Harrell has more than risen to the challenge of being the team’s big man. Harrell leads the Cardinals in rebounds with 303 and is tied for most blocks with 49. Harrell is quite simply a monster, his drive and work ethic has him an entirely different and far better basketball player than the first time these two teams met. It will be a clash of titans with Harrell and Randle on the court and maybe physicists will be able to watch and study to see what happens when an unstoppable force meets and immovable object.

Perhaps the biggest difference from that game to this upcoming one is the health and play of Louisville forward Luke Hancock. Hancock had yet to get his first start and was still troubled by an Achilles tendon injury during the early season loss. Hancock has since proven to be everything the Cardinals already know him to be, dependable. In the opening round battle with Manhattan Hancock scored the last eight points to break the hearts of the upset hungry Jaspers. He followed it up with scoring the Cards’ first eight points against Saint Louis, he led all scorers with 21 points in that game.

Luke is the MVP of the Final Four and the reason the Cards won the Championship. In Indianapolis when 30,000 people looked away in fright at the sight of Kevin Ware’s broken leg, Luke didn’t hesitate one moment before joining his brother’s side to say a prayer and get him through the horrifying moment. The Luke the Cats saw in December is not the Luke they will see in Lucas Oil Stadium.

But those are the players that have stepped up all year and there is no doubt the Cards can’t win without them. It is going to be Stephan Van Treese bringing the hustle, Mangok Mathiang getting key blocked shots, Terry Rozier bringing stability, Wayne Blackshear bringing the situational plays and Chris Jones bringing his big game potential that is going to make the difference.

Kentucky is playing their best basketball right now and they are knocking down shots at a higher rate then they did all regular season. They feel on top of the world and know that they deserve to be in this situation. They’re young enthusiasm can be their key or their kryptonite.

Rick Pitino is undefeated in Sweet Sixteen games, and these Cards have been there and done that. It’s a tale of NBA talent versus championship experience, but as far as anybody in Louisville and the state of Kentucky are concerned, it’s just game on.

 

Photo by Austin Lassell

Tenth ranked Cardinals’ baseball sweeps Samford

By Annie Moore

Cardinals’ baseball swept Samford University this past weekend, 20-10, 18-2 and 4-2. The 42-run sweep marked the highest-scoring three-game series for the Cardinals since a 1991 series victory against rival Cincinnati.

The sweep started on Friday with sophomore right-handed pitcher Kyle Funkhouser on the mound for the Cardinals. Funkhouser got the win after recording eight strikeouts, and allowing four earned runs on nine hits in six innings, moving him to 3-1 on the season.

Junior infielder Zach Lucas had a big offensive day for the Cards, who put up the first 11 runs of the game. Lucas had two home runs and five runs batted in, and scored four runs himself to lead Louisville. Grant Kay also had a big day, with two runs and five RBI’s, a career-best for the junior. Senior outfielder Jeff Gardner added two runs and two RBI’s, going 3-for-5.

As has been a theme for the start of this baseball season for Louisville, the weather caused the schedule to be rearranged. Sunday’s game was moved to Saturday, making Saturday a doubleheader.

In Saturday’s first game, Jared Ruxer was on the mound for Louisville. He threw seven innings, allowing four hits and one single run. Ruxer also had six K’s.

The Cardinals came out swinging on Saturday, putting up seven runs in the first inning —the highest scoring inning of the season for Louisville.

Leading the dominating Cardinal offense in this game was again, Zach Lucas. Lucas went 3-for-4 with two RBI’s and scored three runs. Also adding to the tally was Sutton Whiting. Whiting went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and a stolen base.

The final game of the series on Saturday saw much less scoring by both teams. The win marked the seventh-straight win for Louisville, its longest streak since closing the 2013 season with 16-consecutive wins.

This was the first time in the series Samford struck first. Catcher Drew McWhorter scored on an RBI grounder in the second to get the 1-0 lead. Louisville answered with three runs in the following two innings to regain the lead, which it would keep for the remaining frames.

“It was a good spring break for us,” Louisville Head Coach Dan McDonnell said. “It was a pretty complete week for the Louisville baseball program.”

Louisville takes to the road for its first road game since Feb. 16, when it travels to Bloomington, Indiana to take on the Hoosiers on Wednesday.