U of L women have Final Four bid on the line

Jeff Walz

The University of Louisville women's basketball plays Maryland on Tuesday night at the KFC Yum! Center in the NCAA Tournament with a bid to the Final Four on the line. The game tips at 7 p.m.

Jeff Walz has guided the University of Louisville women's basketball team to a pair of Final Four appearances during his tenure.

Now, Walz is trying for a third.

But this time the Cardinals will be trying for a bid into the Final Four at home, facing Maryland at the KFC Yum! Center. The game will tip tonight at 7 o'clock on ESPN.

"It's a great opportunity for us," Walz said. "It should be a lot of fun and it should be a great environment. Hopefully, we can get 13,000 or 14,000 fans to come out and see a women's basketball game. That's what it's all about, two great teams playing for an opportunity to play in a Final Four."

The Cardinals (33-4) are 18-1 at home this season with the lone loss on Senior Night against No. 1 and undefeated Connecticut.

It will be the last home game for Shoni Schimmel, Antonita Slaughter, Asia Taylor and Tia Gibbs, who are the team's seniors.

And they hope to go out in style.

The Cardinals have been gunning for this game since they found out about hosting a regional the day of the preseason kickoff classic.

"Coach Walz and Tom Jurich stuck their necks out for us," Jude Schimmel said. "So, we had to get back here and we want to win this game."

It's the third meeting between the two schools. Walz was an assistant under Maryland coach Brenda Frese when the Terrapins won the 2006 national title.

The Cardinals beat Maryland in Walz's second season at U of L - 77-60 in the Raleigh Regional final - as the Cardinals made it to the Final Four. Maryland beat U of L two years ago in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

"I haven't scored a point in a long time," Walz joked. "It's about the players on this team. We're just thrilled to still have the opportunity to be playing and we will be ready."

Schimmel averages 17.1 points a game and needs just 10 three-point field goals to tie the NCAA mark for career three-pointers made. She has 372.

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