Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: Women's NCAA Semi-Final

by Ray Floriani

LYNDHURST, NJ -- The local papers headlined and wrote about the ‘beast’ bowing out with the losses by UConn and Villanova on Saturday in Detroit. On the women’s side the Big East is doing quite well. UConn, to little surprise, rolled over Stanford. The surprise was Louisville which continues its fantastic run. The Cardinals came from behind to upset Oklahoma 61-59 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Sunday. The numbers:


How Louisville did it:  Regroup the second half. The Cardinals played awful the first half and trailed by 14 at intermission. Their star Angel McCoughty, one of the nation’s elite players, had four points and was 0-7 from the floor. The second half they regrouped and were a different team. McCoughty led the way finishing with 18 points, 11 boards and 5 steals. Oklahoma size and inside strength gave them a 42-34 rebounding edge. That advantage could not offset the turnover margin. Louisville cared for the ball while the Sooners had a number of costly errors.


UConn led by 13 at the break and cruised the second half to an 83-64 decision. And this was an excellent Stanford team which hadn’t lost a game since mid January. With UConn it’s simply pick your poison. The Huskies had four in double figures and the fifth, Tina Charles, had 12 rebounds to compliment her 8 points in the low post. UCONN enters Tuesday the definitive favorite. At any rate the Big East is the real winner. The conference will have an NCAA champion and South Florida recently captured the WNIT.

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