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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Brian Smith knows that #girldad life is the best.

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NET Rankings Update: No. 10 (up 2 spots).

—The Louisville women’s team is back in action tonight with a nationally-televised (ESPNews) road test against Notre Dame. Here’s the U of L preview.

—Danielle Lerner recaps Jordan Nwora’s big night in Chestnut Hill.

He didn’t get 40, but Nwora’s 37 points along with his seven 3-pointers were career highs. He also set a record for points scored by an ACC player this season and most points by a Louisville player since the school joined the league in 2014. He was one 3-pointer away from becoming the record-holder for single-game points scored in Conte Forum.

This last factoid was relayed to coach Chris Mack, who responded with a joking gripe about his best player.

“I don’t think he was worried about that,” Mack said. “I think he was worried about 40, which is why he took two bad shots.”

“Yeah, everybody on the team was telling me to do it, so I just kind of listened to them,” Nwora later conceded. “I was right there, so I was like, ‘Might as well try.’”

After shooting 9-of-28 from the field and 3-of-9 from 3-point range over Louisville’s past three games and taking just five shots in the most recent game against Clemson, Nwora shot 11-of-20 from the field and 7-of-14 from deep on Wednesday.

“I can score 20 points every game if I really want to,” Nwora said. “It’s not really about that this year. It’s about winning games. I don’t want to score 20 in a way that’s gonna hurt the team, so I just got to find shots at the right time and try to do my best job to help the team win. That’s the goal right now.”

—BC Interruption recaps last night’s Cardinal victory.

—The U of L women’s tennis team is set to host Furman and Lipscomb this weekend.

—GG Robinson reflects on his Cardinal career with the folks over at Cardinal Sports Zone.

—U of L signee D’Andre Davis continues to have a big senior season for Indianapolis Lawrence Central.

—Five U of L football players picked up All-ACC Academic Team honors.

—Louisville signee Hailey Van Lith continues to reflect on the loss of Kobe and GiGi Bryant, whom she’d just talked to hours before their deaths.

Van Lith had flown to the Mamba Academy to workout with Bryant several times and told Cardinal Authority in November that she had become friends with GiGi Bryant. She said the Bryant’s were “just the best. At first, I was starstruck but they have been amazing people to get to know.”

On Jan. 11, the Bryant’s flew to Cashmere and watched Van Lith score 35 points in a win over Medical Lake. It would be the last time that Van Lith would see her mentor and friend, but she spoke to them on Saturday - one day before their deaths.

”GiGi had games and she played really well,” Van Lith told K5 News. “I sent her a text out and talked to Kobe about how she played. We talked about what we loved to do the most.

”It was a good note to end on.”

Van Lith scored 29 points on Tuesday night as Cashmere won its 17th straight game this season with a 69-27 romp over Omak. Prior to the game, the public address announcer read a passage that Van Lith wrote about the Bryant’s and the other victims.

—The CBS Evening News has a good story on Louisville’s own Barry’s Cheesesteaks.

—This is a nice reminder that we haven’t been in this position as the calendar flips to February all that often. Let’s all make sure we’re enjoying this ride.

—The Boston Herald recaps Jordan Nwora’s big night and Louisville’s win over BC.

—U of L swimming will be taking on Indiana on Friday.

—Eric Crawford has five big takeaways from Louisville’s win over Boston College.

3). KEY STAT – OPPONENT FG PERCENTAGE. This always is a key for Mack’s teams, and a goal of the pack-line defense is to limit good looks and hold down opposing field goal percentages. It’s job No. 1, before ball pressure or steals or anything else.

For Louisville, however, the field-goal percentage race works both ways. Whether the Cardinals beat teams by out-shooting them or by holding down their field goal percentage, they are 17-0 when shooting a better percentage than their opponent, and 1-3 when they don’t.

Because the Cardinals rank sixth in the nation in field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 37 percent shooting before Boston College shot 40 percent from the field on Wednesday, that edge is more likely to be accomplished on the defensive end than the offensive, where the team doesn’t rank in the top 50 nationally.

—Cardinal softball is No. 5 in the ACC’s preseason poll.

—The CJ looks at how Louisville busting out a little 2-3 zone Wednesday night helped them get the best of BC.

—Will Smith takes Dodgers fans on a tour of Louisville.

—Frederick Douglass wide receiver Dane Key (2022) says his recent visit to Louisville was “amazing.”

—Boston College head coach Jim Christian — who I think we may have just squared off against for the final time — had high praise for the Cards Wednesday night.

Following Wednesday’s 86-69 loss to Louisville, Christian spent more time focusing on the Cardinals’ prowess than his own team’s shortcomings. Christian always believes there’s more the Eagles can do to fine-tune their play, but on this night, he said BC (10-11, 4-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) simply lost to a supremely talented opponent.

“I don’t know if anybody’s better than this team,” Christian said. “This team is really good at a lot of different things. The thing about this team that makes them special is that they’ve got like nine starters out there.”

The No. 6 Cardinals (18-3, 9-1 ACC) shot 44 percent from 3-point range and out-rebounded the Eagles 43-29. Jordan Nwora led the way with a monster 37-point performance, coming just two points shy of tying UConn legend Richard Hamilton’s record for an opposing player inside Conte Forum from back in 1999.

—The Notre Dame women are desperate for a signature win, and Louisville coming to South Bend tonight provides them with that opportunity.

—There’s only one “next step” remaining for Louisville baseball, and Dan McDonnell and company are looking to take it in 2020.

—And finally, beat Notre Dame.