Louisville came out on 90s Night in a blaze of glory and even stayed in an even flow to take a 41-22 lead early in the second half. Unfortunately, the Cards failed to remember that it ain’t over ‘til it’s over. Although the Hoos didn’t get closer than 11 points, they were still 2 legit 2 quit. When you couple that with the fact that there were things that made you go hmmmm from the officiating crew suddenly we were all praying for time to tick off the clock before the game became too close. However, in the end Louisville went the distance and Virginia was the loser.
As always Dana Evans was smooth and gave them something to talk about. She led all scorers with 21 points, 3 assists and steals, and 6 rebounds. Kylee Shook showed she had the power with 7 rebounds and 6 blocks to go with her 10 points. After getting in foul trouble in the first half Jazmine Jones was a ray of light in the second half and finished the game with 13 points and 3 steals. After being in Coach Walz’s doghouse earlier in the season for not rebounding, Elizabeth Balogun finally showed she grasps this is how we do it and grabbed 12 boards.
After the game Dana Evans talked about how the Cards seem to sabotage themselves in the second half. She said, “They stepped up the defense and I think that we got a little careless with the ball with silly turnovers. They were pushing it. I think our transition defense wasn’t as on point as it was in the first half.” She added, “We’ve just got to keep relying on our defense. The shot’s not always going to fall.”
Coach Walz said, “We did a really nice job there in the first half of sideline situations where we were able to press and throw some traps at them. We started off scoring the basketball.” However, he also talked about how sometimes his team is their own worst enemy. “I thought we lost a little focus. We came out and scored the first four points [of the second half] and all of a sudden I was like ok we’re going to put this thing away but that’s kind of been our M.O. this entire season. We get it up to 20 and we just can’t finish it off.”
Coach Walz also talked the good vibrations of getting his 350th win. “I’ve been very blessed to work with a great staff. Steph’s [Coach Norman] been here all thirteen years. She’s a rock. She doesn’t even have to ask me anything when it comes to recruiting.” He added, “Sam Purcell’s been busting his tail and JP’s [Coach Pineda] been good. When you have a great staff it makes things easier. And at the end of the day players win games.”
Tonight was not the end of the road. The Cards say hit me baby one more time and will be in the Yum Center on January 26th at 4PM. The game is on the ACC Network.