January 12, 2008

Connecticut Extends Streak against Cardinals

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- If you listen to Connecticut (15-0, 3-0) head coach Geno Auriemma, it's not easy being 15-0 and the undefeated No. 1 team in the nation.

"We know we aren't going to win by 40 or 50 every night," Auriemma said. "It's not realistic."

Even through the Huskies didn't win by 40, they still slowly dismantled a Louisville team boosted by 19,123 fans that set a school and conference record for a women's game by a score of 92-71.

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Angel Flies Away

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- That's it, Angel McCoughtry just fouled out of the game with less than three minutes left in the game.

You can't blame McCoughtry for this eventual loss though, she's scored 30 points and tried everything she could.

Connecticut Cruising

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- With just under four minutes left in the game, the UConn Huskies are slowly cruising to their 15 win of the season here in Freedom Hall.

Louisville's Angel McCoughtry just picked up her fourth foul and if Louisville's Ms. Everything picks up her fifth, it'll just seal a deal that is pretty much already made with the Cardinals down 18, 82-64.

Barring anything crazy, Louisville gave it their best shot but Connecticut is the best team in the land and they are looking to make sure another team realizes that.

Connecticut Shows Depth

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Even without it's two best players on the court, Connecticut is showing that it's more than two players deep, extending their lead to 79-60 over Louisville with six left in the game.

Junior Renee Montgomery hit two threes in a row to put the dagger in Louisville, who is wilting late into this game.

Angel McCoughtry is still carrying her team as best as she can, but Connecticut is proving the addidas commerical's point: It Takes Five.

And right now, Connecticut just has a better five.

Louisville Has New Hope

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- After trading baskets with the Huskies, Louisville may finally have an opening against the Huskies when sophomore Tina Charles picked up her fourth final, midway in the second half.

Both of UConn's best players, Charles and freshman Maya Moore, are on the bench with four fouls and over 11 minutes left in the game.

If McCoughtry can avoid her own fourth foul, the Cardinals have a chance to do the impossible. One thing is for sure, the crowd took notice of the difference and willed their team to a quick six points that forced Huskies head coach Geno Auriemma to burn a timeout.

Things could get interesting here soon in Freedom Hall.

Huskies-Cardinals Trading Baskets

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Like the old commercial, anything Louisville can do, Connecticut can do better. That's what the first five minutes of the second half as looked like as both teams have traded baskets since the start of the half

The crowd at Freedom Hall is treating this like a Vegas crowd watching two boxers trade haymakers, constantly on their feet. That has the Cards throwing everything they've got at the No. 1 team (namely Angel McCoughtry) and yet the Huskies just keep punching back.

Even with UConn up 56-43, this crowd isn't letting this game feel like the game is a lost cause.

Connecticut leads 41-30 at Half

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The No. 1 ranked and undefeated Connecticut Huskies are proving why no other team has even sniffed victory against them as they lead the Louisville Cardinals 41-30 at the half.

The Huskies used a team effort to sustain a lead against Louisville in the first half with freshman forward Maya Moore leading the charge with 14 points. Sophomore center Tina Charles added six points of her own to help balance the Huskies.

Even down 11 points, Louisville hasn't rolled over and died for this UConn team like others have. Junior forward Angel McCoughtry has 18 points in basically carrying her team on her wings with 8 of 12 shooting from the field.

Part of the Cardinals fight is the sold out home crowd that seems to push Louisville everytime UConn threatens to completely put the game away. Every McCoughtry point or UConn turnover has brought everyone in arena to their feet. And the Cardinals have never led once.

While the crowd is pushing it's home team as hard as it can, Louisville is going to need someone to become McCoughtry's sidekick to pull off the upset. Candyce Bingham is only 1-for-9 from the field and Louisville is a sorry 4-for-12 from the free throw line.

Connecticut hasn't won a game by any less than 12 points, but you have to believe that behind this foundation-shaking crowd the Cardinals have a puncher's chance. At least they hope so anyway.

Bad News for Cardinals

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- With just over three minutes left in the first half, one of the worst things to happen to Louisville just occured, McCoughtry picked up her third foul of the game.

With the Huskies keeping a 17-point lead, 39-22, the less McCoughtry plays the worst things will be for those in red.

The oddest thing about the whole situation? McCoughtry picked up her third on a double foul. Both McCoughtry and Connecticut guard Mel Thomas were whistled. Even with three fouls, McCoughtry is staying in the game.

With over half of Louisville points, can you blame head coach Jeff Walz?

Huskies Pulling Away

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- While it hasn't been flashy, the UConn Huskies are slowly pulling away from the Cardinals towards the end of the first half.

After carrying the Cardinals early the first, Louisville junior Angel McCoughtry has been silent in the second part of the half and it's a big reason why UConn has doubled Louisville's score 34-17.

But if an Angel isn't going to carry this Louisville team, it may not have a hope.

Battle for the Post

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The Huskies still have a double digit lead over Louisville, 28-17, but there is quite a battle going on these last couple of possessions in the paint.

I introduce the competitiors, Huskies super-sophomore Tina Charles and Louisville junior Chauntise Wright. Both have four points and are battling for everything on each end of the floor. It's looking like a draw so far, who's going to come out swinging next time?

Huskies Rolling

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Connecticut isn't going to take this one laying down either. The Huskies used a team effort to go on a 10-0 run and are starting to pull away from Louisville midway through the first half, 26-13.

But this crowd seems to rally the Cardinals everytime they start to lose stream. And with the luxury of a timeout, the band and cheerleaders are doing what they are used for-- firing up a crowd. Let's see if Louisville can come out swinging like their famous boxing son.

Angel keeping the Cards Flying

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- After picking up that second foul, Angel McCoughtry is literally carrying her team in this game. Contributing seven points alone, McCoughtry brought Louisville within three points before Connecticut hit two free throws to lead 18-13.

It's looking like this game is going to be decided by an Angel. The Cardinals might want some divine intervention against these Huskies.

Cards fighting Early

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- It hasn't been pretty, but Connecticut leads Louisville 11-6 early in the first half.

Louisville has struggled down low aganst the UConn defense. Maya Moore leads the Huskies with seven points and Angel McCoughtry leads Louisville with four, yet as picked up two fouls already.

If McCoughtry picks up that third, this game turns into a blowout watch. She's going to stay in the game for now.

Packing the Hall

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- In an effort to pump up their spirits before today's game with No. 1 Connecticut, Louisville promoted today's game as "Pack the House" night in Freedom Hall.

It looks like the message got out as the ticket windows just put up the "SOLD OUT" signs. It looks like some sections have entirely empty rows though.

All this in addition to the entire dance team, cheerleaders and even the pep band here in Freedom Hall. If the Cardinals can get this crowd fired up early, they may just have a chance.

Yes, it's official now, the first sellout in U of L women's history and the highest crowd this season.

Louisville looking to unseat Huskies

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- When the Louisville Cardinals take on the University of Connecticut women's basketball team, they hope to do what every other opponent as tried: knock off the undefeated No. 1 ranked Huskies.

But if history is any indication, the Lady Cardinals are more likely to wish that everything doesn't fly south so quickly in what Louisville is billing as "Pack the House" night at Freedom Hall.

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