The good news is that Louisville kicked off their 2019-20 season with a victory. To see the 75-56 score you might think that the Cards rolled into the Yum with its #9 ranking and coasted, but that was not the case. First of all, it’s November and most teams are a little rough around the edges. Second of all, with the departure of the winningest class in school history the team has to do a bit of a reset. They were not a well-oiled machine tonight, but the good news is that there are a lot of talented players on the roster so if they can find their groove then great things could happen.
Dana Evans led all scorers with 19. Georgia Tech transfer Elizabeth Balogun had 15 points on 5-6 shooting. Her former and current teammate Liz Dixon grabbed 13 rebounds. Senior Jazmine Jones added 8 points, 8 rebounds, and 10 assists.
After the game Coach Walz said, “Overall we played well….Our energy level was not where it needed to be on the defensive end of the floor and a lot of that is we have a lot of new faces. First game we’re out they’re playing and trying to get everybody to understand how *we* want to do things.” He added, “Still we have to figure out a rotation, but at the end of the day when you can come out with a win I’m good with it.”
Dana was not pleased with her play. “I stunk it up tonight. I didn’t do good today at the point guard. I didn’t lead my team as good as I should have. Four turnovers for a point guard that’s just unacceptable.” When asked about team chemistry she said, “We had a rough first half, but I think we bounced back. We know what we need to work on and we’re going to be willing to fix it.”
When asked how she felt playing for Louisville for the first time Elizabeth Balogun said, “It was fantastic…I mean the first 5 minutes I was still nervous and thought ‘oh my gosh I’ve never been in this kind of environment before.’ But my teammates were like just play through it and embrace the moment so I did.” Coach Walz said of her play, “I was really impressed with the way she shot the basketball….Her teammates did a really nice job of finding her when she was open and then she stepped up and made them. That’s the hard part.”
Over 8300 fans at our home opener @kfc_yumcenter !! You helped our young squad tonight! #CardNation our @UofLWBB team is so very thankful for YOU! #ThankYou #BestFansInTheCountry pic.twitter.com/OuFA7BgOg4— Jeff Walz (@CoachJeffWalz) November 6, 2019
One player not seeing action tonight was sophomore Mykasa Robinson. She was out with a shoulder injury but they are hopeful she’ll be able to play this Friday. Unfortunately, promising redshirt freshman Molly Lockhart has a leg injury and may be out up to six weeks.
The Cards get another chance to work out some of the kinks this Friday at the Yum. They meet the Murrary State Racers at 7PM. The game is online at ACC Network Extra.