Tag Archives: win


Smith’s last-second shot lifts Cardinals past Bearcats, 58-57

By Noah Allison

The Cardinals of this year have needed a spark, a moment where magic is made possible and adopted as a part of the game plan. On Saturday in Cincinnati it finally came, with 2.2 seconds left senior guard Russ Smith hit the game-winning jumper to seal the deal at 58-57.

            Sophomore forward Montrezl Harrell led the Cards with 21 points and ten rebounds in his double-double effort. Freshman guard Terry Rozier was second with his 11 points, also contributing six rebounds and two assists. Smith overall had 10 points, five assists and three steals and rebounds.

            For the number 11 Cardinals, now 23-4, beating the number seven Bearcats gave them their first win against a ranked opponent on the season. All year long the story of the season has been the Cardinals beating the teams they were supposed, and failing to win the marquis match-ups.

            “It was a great win for us, like Connecticut, like Kentucky this was a very difficult crowd to battle,” Pitino said.

            The Cards jumped out to a 21-9 lead mid-way through the first half. The Louisville defense stepped up throughout the game forcing clutch and timely turnovers and keeping the Bearcats out of the paint. UC hit 16 of 56 shots, shooting at 28.6 percent through the game.

            “I gave them the same speech today that I gave them before Wichita State last year. The better defensive team will win the game tonight,” Pitino said. “

            Louisville shot at 40 percent through the game and saw senior forward Luke Hancock and red-shirt freshman Mangok Mathiang foul out. The game was gritty, the crowd was rowdy and it started to have a familiar feel to the four losses the Cardinals have suffered.

            The Cards saw their 21-9 lead dissipate and their second half lead of 47-37 turn into a 53-51 deficit. In the last moments it seemed as if everything could go wrong for the Cards again, but alas, they won.

            Without the game savvy of Hancock available for the last shot it is undoubtedly a moment of growth for this team. Smith made plays that he may not have made in the past.

            “This is my first game winning shot that I can remember,” Smith said. “I don’t think that I’ve ever hit a bigger shot than this. I’ve always been clumsy with the ball or done something ignorant with the ball. I’m just happy down the stretch I was able to make plays. Not the shot, but finding Montrezl two times down the court to keep us in it. That was the maturity I was looking for when I decided to come back.”   

            Pitino’s Cardinals have now won six games in a row. The energy level is rising and the spirit that this team needs is resonating through The Ville. The facial hair of Louisville shall continue growing for another day.

            Russ Smith is a hero, but this team won as a unit. When heads hung, they picked each other up. When somebody needed to make a play, the play was made. For the first time all year, Cardinal fans saw what they’ve seen in the past. A team that in the end; wins.

            “Luke, one of our captains, before the game said that we are going to face adversity. But we have to stick together no matter what happens,” Rozier said. “And that’s what we did.”

Photo by Austin Lassell / The Louisville Cardinal


austin lassell

U of L women’s team advances to NCAA finals

Photo by Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal

Updated: 4/8/13 9:21 am

By Sam Draut–

The odds were stacked against them; history was not in their favor, thus another average night for the University of Louisville women’s basketball team.

No team higher than a four seed had ever won a game in the Final Four of the women’s NCAA Tournament, but the fifth seeded Cardinals with a 29-8 record upset two seed California Bears 64-57 in New Orleans on Sunday night.

It’s U of L head coach Jeff Walz’s second trip to the women’s national championship game, the first coming in 2009.

In the first half, Cal, with a 32-4 record, controlled the interior, shooting 58.6 percent, leading 37-27 going into halftime.

“Tonight we’re down 10 at half, we come out and execute perfectly to start the second half, and we score the first five…and then we just chipped away,” Walz said.

Junior forward Antonita Slaughter hit three three-pointers in the second half to help the Cardinals erase the 10 point deficit. She finished with a game high 18 points, going 6 of 10 from behind the arc.

“When I shoot the ball, I know my teammates have confidence in me, and that gives me confidence in myself,” Slaughter said.

U of L tied and took a 53-52 lead off two made free throws by sophomore forward Sara Hammond with 3:40 left in the second half. Hammond played the final 7:20 with four fouls and finished with nine points and three rebounds.

“It got to a point where she is one of our better post players and if you’re going to win you have to have your best players on the floor,” Walz said. “I thought she did a great job, she had a couple big time moves, and she finished for us.

Averaging 20 points in postseason play, junior guard Shoni Schimmel struggled, only scoring 10 points, but led the team with six assists and also had a transition pull-up jumper with 2:06 left to give Louisville a 57-54 lead.

Cal guard Layshia Clarendon tied the game with an uncontested three pointer the next possession. She led the Bears 17 points and five rebounds.

The Cardinals then took the lead for good with 1:28 left after a three point play from Hammond.

“Once we took the lead, I could see it in our kids eyes, the excitement, that we could do this,” Walz said.

In the final 20 seconds, sophomore guards Bria Smith and Jude Schimmel hit two free throws apiece to finish off the Bears.
Smith finished with 17 points and six rebounds on 6 of 7 shooting from the field.

Jude Schimmel contributed all of the Cardinal bench points, adding nine points with four rebounds.

U of L was outrebounded 38-26, and only had 7 offensive rebounds to Cal’s 17, but scored 22 points off turnovers.

“We finally started to rebound the ball a little better, because they were abusing us on second chance points in the first half,” Walz said.

The Cardinals outscored the Bears 37-20 in the second half, giving them their second appearance in the national championship game in five years.

“It’s one game, it’s one night, and we’re figuring a way to pull them out and play well at the right time,” Walz said.
Louisville will face UConn on Tuesday night.

“We’re ready to take on anything, and if that means a national championship, then here we come,” Shoni Schimmel said.

Photo by Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal

Freshman Kaylin Morissette earned Rookie of the Week honors for scoring four goals in the season opener.

Women’s lacrosse defeats Ohio State for second consecutive win

By Nick Zelano–

Freshman Kaylin Morissette earned Rookie of the Week honors for scoring four goals in the season opener.

On Saturday at 2 p.m., the women’s lacrosse team won their second straight game to improve to 2-0 on the season. The team defeated Ohio State with a score of 12-11, marking a great start to the season for the team. Led by junior midfielders Colleen O’Malley and Nikki Boltja with four goals each, the team fought hard to edge out the upset.

“Nikki played great,” head coach Kellie Young said. “Two of her goals were perfectly placed, and she was unstoppable.”

After taking the 1-0 lead with Nikki Boltja’s goal, the Cardinals were working from behind the rest of the game. The largest lead in the game was Ohio State leading numerous teams by two goals at 4-2, 5-3 and 9-7. Besides their 1-0 lead, Louisville did not lead at any point in the game until they took the final lead 12-11 with another Boltja goal with seven minutes left.

“It wasn’t her opening goal or game-winning goal, though,” Young said of Bolita’s impact on the game. “It was her defending.”

This marked the team’s fourth win in school history over a ranked opponent.

“You expect the No. 13 team in the nation to score goals, but our defense stopped them when they needed to,” Young said. “Out of a rocky first half, we came out mentally tough ready to dominate the second half.”

Freshman midfielder Kaylin Morissette was held scoreless in her second career game for U of L. She posted a great stat line of five draw controls and also captured two ground balls. This showing took place after a debut earlier this week against Canisius. With four goals, including three in the first half, Morissette forced four turnovers. These stats were historical, and she also tied two others with the most goals in a Louisville debut.

The stat line also proved enough for national recognition, for Morissette earned Rookie of the Week according to Womenslax.com, an Illinois-based organization. A Canadian native, Morissette was a captain on the U-19 Canadian national team coming in.

The women’s lacrosse team will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. The game, held at home, will feature the Cardinals battling Old Dominion at the U of L Lacrosse Stadium.

Photos by Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal

The Louisville Cardinals will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 23 at home.

Pitino notches 650th win against USF

By Randy Whetstone Jr.–

The Louisville Cardinals will return to action on Saturday, Feb. 23 at home.

Coach Rick Pitino who was recently nominated for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame chalked up his 650th win against South Florida. He has coached 28 collegiate seasons to give him a 650-239 record. Coach Pitino has led Louisville to two NCAA Final Four appearances in 2005 and 2012.

Pitino is the first coach to take three different schools to the Final Four. His successful coaching tactics helped to muster another win for the Cards against the University of South Florida as they get ready for March Madness.

Harmony seems to be the focal point for Louisville men’s basketball. The team steam rolled past South Florida Sunday to improve their record to 21-5 and 9-4 in the Big East.

This is certainly the right time for the team to click on all cylinders with only five games remaining in the regular season.

The team played relentless defense, holding the Bulls to 24.5 percent from the field to go along with 10 steals. The Cardinals flattened the offensive strategy of South Florida in the second half, holding them to only 17 points in total.

Defense then turned into offense; the team had a balanced attack offensively led by junior guard Russ Smith who had 15 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Chane Behanan and Wayne Blackshear helped carry the scoring load with 12 points apiece.

Louisville was able to distribute the ball effectively, tallying 15 total assists for the contest.

The Cardinals have been battled tested mentally this season. The hope is that the team will be able to use their experiences to endure the trials come tournament time. Louisville has faced some tough tests that have built their team unity, helping them to reach the goals they planned to accomplish.

This victory for Louisville put them 0.5 games behind the lead in the Big East Conference.

The Cardinals will look to continue their winning ways as they host Seton Hall Saturday, Feb. 23 at noon at the KFC Yum! Center.

Photo by Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal

UofL's head coach described the day, saying, "This was a very good test for us and we passed with flying colors."

Women’s tennis dominates doubleheader, 6-1 and 7-0

By Nick Zelano–

UofL’s head coach described the day, saying, “This was a very good test for us and we passed with flying colors.”

On Saturday afternoon of Jan. 26, the U of L women’s tennis team finished up the second match of their doubleheader against Miami of Ohio, winning 7-0. They swept all three of the doubles matches giving them their first point along with winning all six of the single point matches.

Seniors Mandy Brown and Stephanie Villajaun led the way for the doubles teams, winning their match 8-2. Miami’s closest doubles match of the day was with junior Julia Fellerhoff and sophomore Manuela Velasquez from Louisville, defeating Miami’s No. 1 doubles team, Christine Guerrazzi and Nimisha Mohan, with a score of 9-7.

Standouts from the singles match were Julia Fellerhoff, who beat Miami’s Nimisha Mohan in the No.1 single match in two sets with a score of 6-3 and 6-4. Stephanie Villajuan came back in her singles match after losing the first set, 5-7, to win the next two sets, 6-4 and 10-6, to seal the clean sweep of Miami of Ohio.

Earlier in the day, the women’s team faced Southern Illinois University. The Cardinals claimed victory with a score of 6-1. Starting off hot, the doubles teams swept all three matches to seal the point right off the bat. The doubles sweep included an upset victory in the No. 1 doubles match where Manuela Velasquez and Julia Fellerhoff upset the No. 36 ranked team, Melanie Delsart and Anastacia Simons, with a score of 8-3. This win started the Cardinals off on the right foot and that momentum was carried into the singles matches where the Cards won five of the six matches, including matches No. 1-4.

This capped off a great day for the women’s tennis team as they went 13-1 overall and proved real authority against top quality opponents. The women’s tennis team is next in action on Friday, Feb. 1 at Virginia Tech University at 3 p.m.

Photo:Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal


Louisville baseball defeats No. 1 UK, honors local hero

By Sammie Hill–

Capitalizing on their early lead, the University of Louisville baseball team defeated the No. 1 ranked University of Kentucky 10-2 on Tuesday, April 24. This game, played at home, marked the first time this season that the Wildcats have fallen to the same opponent twice—the Cardinals defeated UK 12-0 earlier this season.

Stephanie Decker kicked off the game by throwing the first pitch. Decker gained national recognition earlier this year after performing a heroic act during the destructive tornados in Henryville, Ind. Decker, a mother of two, sacrificed her legs in order to shield her children from the storm. This selfless deed earned Decker cheers, whistles, and standing ovations as she launched the first pitch to begin this monumental matchup between rival schools.

“Nothing’s going to top this,” Decker said. “This is a dream for my kids and myself. I mean, we love Louisville and its hometown baseball, and that’s what we live for around here.”

Tuesday’s game mirrored the previous meeting of the Cardinals and Wildcats, for Louisville gained the advantage early, scoring three runs in the first inning and leading 5-0 by the end of the third.

“We’re apparently the best first-inning team in the nation,” said sophomore third baseman Ty Young. “Once we get those couple of runs in the first inning, we definitely chill out a little more, and we’re able to score some more runs and our pitchers throw strikes.”

Despite the entrance fee of $5—a contrast to the typical free admission—this event generated season-high attendance with 3,862 fans coming out to Jim Patterson Stadium to display their support and enjoy the rivalry game.

“I don’t want to make it more than it is, but I’ve always promised our fans I’m never going to downplay it,” said head coach Dan McDonnell. “If fans are out here in the rain, the largest crowd of the year, because it’s important to them. If it’s important to our fans, then it’s important to us.”

The Cardinals earned their place in history with this win, being the first team since 1999 to sweep UK in both regular season meetings.

“That’s two games in a row that we had young pitching that has not responded the way that we have throughout the course of the year,” UK head coach Gary Henderson said. “You have to give them credit. They did a nice job against us, and we did not respond well.”

The University of Louisville, ranked No. 2 with a record of 29-17, will play a three-game series at home this weekend starting on Friday, April 27 at 6 p.m.

File Photo


Louisville baseball defeats UK, hosts Patriotic Game

By Sammie Hill–

In front of a record crowd of 3,563 fans, the University of Louisville baseball team shut out the University of Kentucky 12-0 on Tuesday, April 10.

This upset, fueled by an initial offensive intensity with three runs in the first inning and two in the third, caught the Wildcats—ranked among the top three teams in the nation—by surprise. Louisville improved their record to 24-9 and dished UK their first shutout, first nonconference loss and season high for runs allowed.

“We haven’t had a game like this this year,” said UK’s freshman pitcher A.J. Reed. “It’s a learning experience.”

UK currently possesses the best record in college baseball at 30-4; thus, the fact that the Cards defeated the Wildcats, breaking their 21-game nonconference winning streak, demonstrates the strength of this team.

“It shows we’re a good club,” U of L Head Coach Dan McDonnell revealed. “It’s even a little more sweet knowing that they’re playing so well.”

The game showcased the talent not only of the team as a whole but also of several individual players. Sophomore infielder Ty Young nailed a home run in the third inning; sophomore outfielders Cole Sturgeon and Adam Engel had back-to-back doubles in the sixth; freshman pitcher Jared Ruxer sat 18 of 22 batters, throwing 65 strikes from a total of 98 pitches.

“It was a big challenge against a good team,” Ruxer said following the game, “and we played well all around.”

“The focus was about us,” McDonnell continued. “We can’t get caught up with where they’re at, their record and their rankings. It’s about us. We kept our emotions in check and played good baseball.”

U of L returned home on Friday, April 13 at 6 p.m. to battle Seton Hall University in the team’s annual Patriotic game. The players wore special red uniforms with numbers decorated in red, white and blue. Jim Patterson Stadium draped banners and flags from the railings in honor of America’s troops. Numerous servicemen and women were honored throughout the game, receiving special recognition for their duties and even participating in amusing trivia games.

Despite scoring first and outhitting Seton Hall, the Cardinals fell 3-2 to the Pirates. This game dropped Louisville’s record to 24-10 overall and 7-3 in the Big East.

An opportunity for redemption remained, however, when the Cardinals and Pirates faced off again the following day at 3 p.m. Louisville recovered from their loss and bounced back, winning 12-7.

The baseball team will return to action on Tuesday, April 17 in Bloomington, Ind., where they will face Indiana University at 3 p.m.

Photo: Michael Baldwin/The Louisville Cardinal


Softball dominates Longwood, 8-0,7-1

By Ryan Martin–

The University of Louisville softball team was dominant in their performances against Longwood University on Saturday, winning 8-0 and 7-1, respectively. Although the weather was an interfering factor for some parts of the game and even delayed the start for about an hour, the girls managed to play in effortless fashion.

“We have played in the rain before, so I don’t think it had much of an effect on our performance at all,” said pitcher Tara Collins, who threw her first no-hitter in the first game.

Head Coach Sandy Pearsall stated that she was very happy with the way her team performed. “I was kind of thinking it would be more of a close game,” she said, “I knew that it all depended on which team’s offense was going to play better, and luckily that went our way.”

The softball team will return to action on Wednesday, April 18 at Ulmer Stadium against the University of South Florida.

Photos: Eric Voet/The Louisville Cardinal