Tag Archives: SMU

Russdiculous

No. 11 Louisville beats No. 18 SMU 84-71

By Sam Draut–

Russ Smith scored 22 points in the second half, hitting six three pointers, leading eleventh ranked Louisville to an 84-71 win against eighteenth ranked Southern Methodist.

The Cardinals second road victory over a ranked team this season was sparked by the senior guard, who finished the game with 26 points, six rebounds, and five assists.  Smith was 6 of 6 from behind the arc.

SMU blitzed Louisville early, going up 18-5 through the first eight minutes.  After falling behind 26-12, the Cardinals finished the final six minutes of the half on a 20-4 run, taking a 32-30 lead into halftime.

Chris Jones kept Louisville afloat in the first half, scoring 13 of his 21 points before the break.

Louisville (25-5) led SMU 43-41 with 13 minutes left in the second half when Smith connected with three three-pointers in 84 seconds.

SMU (23-7) cut the lead to 55-54, but Louisville received another 11 point scoring burst from Smith to put the game away.

Montrezl Harrell scored 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds.  Luke Hancock added 15 points.

The sixth consecutive sellout crowd in Dallas saw SMU’s first home loss of the season, the Mustangs had previously defeated three ranked teams at Moody Coliseum.

Louisville wraps up the regular season with a home finale against UConn at the KFC YUM! Center on Saturday.  The Cardinals are guaranteed at least a share of the AAC Regular Season title with a victory over UConn.

Photo by Austin Lassell

Men’s swim and dive competes at SMU Classic

By Dalton Ray

The number eight University of Louisville men’s swim and dive team traveled to Dallas Friday for the first day of the two-day SMU Classic. Among the competition were four teams ranked in the top eight in the nation including number one Michigan, number three Florida, and number six Southern California. Purdue, who received top 25 votes, and host SMU rounded out the rest of the competitors.

Senior Joao De Lucca and freshman Grigory Tarasevich both posted victories for the Cards on Friday. Heading into the second day the team sat in fourth place with 136.5 points. Michigan lead the way with 175, followed by Florida with 156, and rounding out the top three was Southern Cal with 149.

The 400m-medley relay race was the first event and it saw the four man team of Tarasevich, Kameron Chastain, Pedro Coutinho, and Cryle Blondell place third with a time of 3:11.08. Michigan took the first event with a time of 3:07.76, #3 Florida came in second. Florida’s Dan Wallace took the next event, the 400-Yard IM, while sophomore Nolan Tesone just missed out on a top three finish with a 3:49.03 time.

In the 200-free defending national champion Joao De Lucco once again made it look easy as he posted a time of 1:33.66 and won the third event of the match. A very strong start for the Cards through the first three events that saw a top four finish in each race.

In the 100-back Grigory Tarasevich barely edged out USC’s fellow freshman Dylan Carter. Tarasevich, just out-touched Carter as he bested him by just .31 of a second, the winning time was 47.41. In the very next event Kameron Chastain felt the sting of a close defeat as Michigan’s Richard Funk beat Chastain in the 100-yard breaststroke by a little over a second.

Day two of the Classic would extend this excitement as fans saw multiple very close finishes between all of its participants on Saturday. The Cardinals would miss out on just three top three finishes by less than .45 of a second and a first place finish by a little over a second.

De Lucco would take home the 100-free with a time of 42.98 giving Louisville its lone victory on day two. Florida’s Corey Main just beat out Tarasevich in 200-yard backstroke, as Main’s time was 1:43.18 while Tarasevich’s posted a 1:44.65. The two were the best finishes of the day for the Cards.

In the 200-yard medley relay Chastain, Tarasevich, Coutinho, and Blondell would team up again and place fourth on a 1:27.94 time. Finishing right before the Cards was USC at 1:27.61 and Florida with 1:27.50. Chastain would miss out on a top three spot in the 200-yard breaststroke by .37 of a second with a time of 1:58.12.

Defending NCAA Champion and currently top-ranked Michigan would win with a score of 333, Florida was just behind with 321, USC was third with 298, number eight ranked Louisville scored 266.5 ahead of Purdue’s 244.5 and host SMU’s 210.

Photo by Austin Lassell

Cardinals improve to 14-3 with 71-63 win over SMU

By Noah Allison

After a crushing home loss to conference rival University of Memphis, Rick Pitino’s Louisville basketball team responded with a close but reassuring defeat of Southern Methodist University 71-63.

The win puts the Cardinals at a 14-3 overall record with a 3-1 record in American Athletic Conference play. The loss to Memphis instilled realistic doubts of this year’s team, proving how difficult it is to be the team to follow up a National Championship. Last year’s Cardinals lost three games in a row, yet just the third overall loss of this season was enough to have many fans ready to give up.

Obviously this year’s squad is not last year’s, and part of the problem is they are trying to be. This 2013-14 squad is starting to realize that they can only be themselves; they have to find out how they win games, not how last year’s team won games.

One of the biggest problems the Cards have been facing this year is the play of centers Mangok Mathiang and Stephan Van Treese. Neither has stepped up to the challenge of being the true starting center for Louisville. Van Treese is second on the team with 80 rebounds while Mathiang is fourth on the team with 68. Neither one is rebounding at a high enough level for Pitino or Card Nation to have confidence in them.

On Sunday they both were benched for sophomore power forward Montrezl Harrel. Harrel, a six-foot-eight true power forward, is the teams leading rebounder with 143 rebounds on the year. Although Harrel is not the tallest on the team, he has proven to be the only one with the tenacious attitude that it takes to go down low and grab the rebound. Against SMU he led the Cards with 13 rebounds, the second highest total coming from senior guard Russ Smith who had five.

If the Cards are not able to get more members of the team to successfully rebound then the upside of this team is not too high, but Pitino will continue to mix and match until the production starts coming.

One move he made on Sunday was giving senior small forward Luke Hancock his first start of the season and moving junior Wayne Blackshear to the power forward position. With the smaller, faster and better shooting line-up the Cardinals were able to play their best half of defense all season according to Pitino.

In his first start of the season Hancock produced a career high 23 points hitting four three-pointers. Including the loss to Memphis it is Hancock’s second straight game with at least 20 points. The senior captain had been hindered with an Achilles tendon injury all season that he is just now fully recovered from.

Smith also had 23 points in the win against SMU, the two senior captains combined for over half of the Cardinals total points and it seems that they will have to be able to put up points at will throughout the season if the Cardinals wish to win the AAC.

To the Cards credit they know that they are a good team, and that is what is most important. It is natural for fans and media members to over stress the Cards three losses. The biggest problem most everyone has with the team is that they are not playing as well as they should be. But the optimistic way of seeing it is they are not playing as well as they could be.

For as tough as their three losses were, they legitimately could have won all of them. If these Cards had won all those games there is no doubt they would be one of the most highlypraised teams in the country.

If there is one reason why the Cardinals were able to win last year’s National Championship it’s because they were able to improve on a game-to-game basis. If there is one thing the loss to Memphis did, it’s wake this team up to the fact that the season goes game by game.

Photo by Austin Lassell

Women’s AAC Preview

By Dalton Ray

CINCINNATI

Cincinnati still has most of what it had a season ago. Seven players started double-digit

games for the Bearcats and six of them return. One of the returnees is Dayeesha Hollins,

who took nearly twice as many shots as any teammate and averaged twice as many points as

any other player. On the positive side, Cincinnati went 9-6 at home a season ago, the best

home record under Head Coach Jamelle Elliott.

Kayla Cook also returns and she was the only player to start all 30 games last season.

She also posted a 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio while finishing first on the team in free-
throw percentage (78.4 percent). Bianca Quisenberry was the number 35 best guard in the

country coming out of high school as four star recruit from Ohio and should expect to play

immediately.

CONNECTICUT

The Huskies outscored Big East opponents by nearly 30 points a game with 29.9 points

per game a season ago. The newly shaped American Athletic Conference is not as good a

league as the dismantled Big East. This is bad news for all teams in the conference, especially

new comers to the league. While Breanna Stewart, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Stefanie

Dolson and Bria Hartley are back, depth is the question mark for defending national

champions. Still, Brianna Banks, Morgan Tuck, Moriah Jefferson, Kiah Stokes and the

freshmen might finish no worse than second in the league on their own.

Dolson played and started in 38 of UConn’s 39 games and was third on the team with

13.6 points while leading the squad with 7.1 rebounds per game. A 2012-13 WBCA/State

Farm All-America Team selection, she also earned a spot on USBWA All-American Team

and the AP All-America Third Team. Breanna Stewart played in 36 of UConn’s 39 games

and ended up second on the team at 13.8 points per game and third on the squad with 6.4

rebounds per contest along with leading the team with 74 blocks.

HOUSTON

Houston won’t match last season’s improvement in the win column. The Cougars saw

a 14 win swing last year going from 3-26 to 13-17 in their second season under Todd

Buchanan. Porsche Landry is no longer around, and she did a lot for this team a season ago

so someone new or the team itself will need to step up to replace her contributions. Post

players are not the league’s strong suit so senior Yasmeen Thompson could thrive after she

averaged 8.6 points. 8.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in her first season.

Senior Marrisa Ashton, who averaged 7.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game last season,

is also returning. Someone who should play a large key to the Cougars’ success will be senior

Teo’onna Campbell. She was one of three Cougars to start all 30 contests in her first season

at Houston. She ranked second on the team with 32.9 minutes per game. Averaging 7.8

points and she ranked second on the squad and eighth in C-USA with 8.2 rebounds per

contest.

RUTGERS

This young team will benefit from the AAC’s lack of multiple powerhouses. Freshman

Tyler Scaife is the latest big-time recruit to end up in New Jersey. And with Erica Wheeler

and Monique Oliver no longer around, there should be shots for her to take. Hitting 3-

pointers would also help as the Scarlet Knights return a total of 14 3-pointers from last

season.

Kahleah Copper was named to the Big East All-Freshman Team last season and looks to

pick up a lot more on the work load this season. Transfer Alexis Burke will be able to play

this season and this should give the Knights extra firepower to work with in replacing last

season’s departures. Syessence Davis returns as the team’s leading point guard as she led the

team in assist 13 times last season.

TEMPLE

An impressive string of four consecutive postseason appearances under Tonya Cardoza

came to an end last season. To bounce back the backcourt will be relied on heavily. Raeska

Brown and Tyonna Williams are the team’s two leading returning scorers, while new

arrival Shi-Heria Shipp averaged nearly double digits at George Washington a season ago.

Natasha Thames will return as very experienced player and was second on the team with

eight rebounds per game. Safiya Martin and Taylor Robinson are both freshman that could

provide great size and length if they can step in and learn quickly. Erica Covile being healthy

should help the Owls.

MEMPHIS

The Tigers arrive in the Big East after a fourth consecutive trips to the postseason

under Melissa McFerrin. They lost Nicole Dickson, who led the team in scoring at better

than 18 points per game a season ago, but sophomore Ariel Hearn, the team’s assist leader

and second-leading scorer overall last season, is set to take over. The addition of redshirt

freshman Mooriah Rowser is also a boost.

Pa’Sonna Hope returns and appeared in all 32 games for Memphis, averaging 5.2 points

and 4.7 rebounds a game. Sophomore Asianna Fuqua-Bey had 19 starts in her freshman

campaign. She averaged 6.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game and ranked second on the

squad in rebounding and she will be Memphis’ leading returning rebounder.

SOUTH FLORIDA

Andrea Smith and Andrell Smith finished up their college careers last season and that

means the Bulls need to replace 43 percent of 2012-13’s points. Inga Orekhova, 12.7

points per game, is a good 3-point shooter who does a lot of other things in terms of

ball distribution and creating turnovers, but she isn’t quite the prototypical go-to scorer

yet. Trimaine McCullough arrives with huge expectations for a freshman and expects to

compete for playing time.

South Florida has the height that most teams in the conference can’t match up with. Ivana

Vuletic, Paige Cashin, Akila McDonald, and Katelyn Weber give the Bulls a large advantage

with size. Tamara Taylor looks to provide an extra spark as she was rated the number17

best junior college transfer this season. While the team has its share of upperclassmen they

will rely on freshman and sophomores to step in and play key roles.

SMU

Keena Mays is a proven scorer, who can get others involved and produces beyond her

height on the boards. The Kansas transfer and reigning Conference USA player of the year

averaged 18.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and shot 40 percent from the 3-point line. Three other

starters return. There isn’t much size and rebounding, which could be an issue, but Brittney

Hardy’s return from a redshirt season could be a big plus.

Senior Korina Baker will return in her second season as a starter and will look to

improve her already developed pass-first game, 110 assists last season. Along side her will be

sophomore Kamy Cole. As a freshman Cole played in 30 games with 22 starts as a freshman

and averaged 9.8 points per game and was second on the team with 57 3-point field goals

made. She had a team-high 51 steals and 41 assists and second among starters with a 77.4

free-throw percentage. Cole and Mays will most likely be the leaders of this team but will

need their upperclassmen heavy bench to pitch in.

UCF

The Knights lose leading scorer Gevenia Carter but add redshirt junior Brittni

Montgomery, who sat out last season after transferring from Virginia Tech. Montgomery

isn’t going to shoot as much as Carter did, but she could be a good post complement to

Briahanna Jackson’s backcourt scoring. A preseason all-conference selection in the AAC,

Jackson needs to become more efficient with 32 percent shooting, 123 turnovers, but she is

talented.

Senior center, Erica Jones entered UCF’s top five all-time rebounders last season and

give the Knights a very polished post presence. Along with Yanique Gordon and the shot-
swatting Stephanie Taylor UCF has an intimidating front court. The guards are young but

they will rely on the front court heavily and they will hope Sara Djassi will continue her 10.8

points and 8.5 rebounds per game theat she produced in the C-USA Tournament.