The Louisville vs. Kentucky rivalry is one of the best in the country, regardless of the sport being played.
The Lady Cardinals will take on the Kentucky Wildcats at home Sunday night in what should be a very physical and exciting basketball game. Both teams come into the game ranked in the top 10.
Louisville comes into the game undefeated after dominating Eastern Kentucky Wednesday night. Eleven different Cardinals scored in the 76-42 victory.
Sophomore Jude Schimmel led Louisville with 12 points, six rebounds and six assists in the win.
Louisville head coach Jeff Walz said of the game Sunday via GoCards.com:
It's a big game. Obviously it's our next so the next one is always a big one. We'll have two top 10 teams here playing and I don't know the last that has happened in women's basketball here in the state. It's an opportunity for a great basketball game and I hope that we can pack this place. I think if you're a basketball fan in general you'll want to come out and see this basketball game. Both teams are playing well right now. It's going to come down to which team can take care of the basketball and who's going to execute. It should be a very, very good game.
Kentucky comes into the game with only one loss, which was to No. 1-ranked Baylor. The Wildcats beat Miami (OH) Wednesday night, 93-53.
Junior guard Bernisha Pinkett had a career game off the bench with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in Kentucky's victory.
Kentucky's head coach, Matthew Mitchell, said of the Louisville game via UKAthletics.com:
Our plan will be to just to prepare as well as we can for a really tough Louisville team. It's very tough on defense to score against Louisville. They are always really prepared and have some really good players. It will be a huge challenge to go on the road against Louisville and earn a victory, so we will just try and prepare and go over and give a great effort. It will be a great atmosphere and a great game. We are looking forward to it.
When: Sunday, December 2 @ 6:00 p.m. ET
Where: KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.
Listen: WKRD Radio (790 AM) in Louisville, Ky.
PG Shoni Schimmel, 5'10", Junior
G Bria Smith, 5'10", Sophomore
G Megan Deines, 6'1", Freshman
F Sara Hammond, 6'2", Sophomore
F Shawnta Dyer, 6'1", RS-Sophomore
PG A’dia Mathies, 5'9", Senior
G Jennifer O'Neill, 5'6", RS-Sophomore
G Bria Goss, 5'10", Sophomore
F Samarie Walker, 6'1", Junior
C DeNesha Stallworth, 6'3," Junior
Matchup to watch: Shoni Schimmel vs. A'dia Mathies
This will be a battle of two of the best guards in the country.
Schimmel is a great ball-handler and plays very tough defense. She leads the Cardinals in scoring with 13.3 points a game and has 17 steals so far this season.
Mathies also leads her team in scoring with 14.5 points a game. She is a very quick guard who doesn't make too many mistakes.
Schimmel and Mathies are on the prestigious Wooden Watch List.
Both guards play with high intensity and have a high basketball IQ. Whoever wins this battle will give her team the best chance to win.
- Both teams allow just 50.8 points a game.
- Kentucky averages 81 points a game; Louisville averages 74.6.
- Louisville has won their 16 straight games at home.
- Kentucky has forced their opponents to 28.3 turnovers a game; Louisville has forced 21.6.
- Kentucky averages 6.2 blocks a game.
Who will win the game?
This will be a war until the end. Both teams are very defensively sound and have deep benches.
Kentucky will be very physical early and will get into foul trouble.
Mathies will have a couple of big threes in the second half to keep the Wildcats in the game.
Louisville senior Monique Reid will have a big game off the bench and will lead the Cardinals in rebounding.
In the end, Louisville will overwhelm Kentucky with their pressure and take control of the game.
Louisville will win 66-61.
You can follow Jon on Twitter @JonKYSportsCo.