It wasn’t the opponent they had planned on, but it was the same outcome they had hoped for. After Middle Tennessee had to cancel because of Covid, Coach Walz reached out to the people at Southeast Missouri to see if they were interested in a game. They accepted and the Cards traveled to Cape Girardeau, Mo. for their season opener.
Hailey Van Lith’s first points as a Cardinal pic.twitter.com/iv2HvkjYc9— Rachel (@snicklefritz35) November 25, 2020
In the first quarter Louisville started off 4 of 12 shooting but they picked up the defensive pressure and rebounding and had a 38-24 lead going into halftime. In the 3rd quarter SEMO made a run and cut the lead to 6. The Cards went on their own run and finished with a 74-53 victory despite only shooting 11.8% from the 3-point line for the game.
Ahlana Smith with the steal to Merissah Russell as the half expires.— Rachel (@snicklefritz35) November 25, 2020
Louisville up 38-24. pic.twitter.com/fKIlrKHZZU
The starters for the game were returning players Dana Evans, Elizabeth Balogun as well as newbies Olivia Cochran, Ahlana Smith, and Hailey Van Lith. Dana Evans had 15 points and 6 assists. Hailey Van Lith had 8 points in the first quarter and finished the game with a silky smooth 13 points and 8 rebounds. Olivia Cochran looked impressive and finished the game with 17 points and 8 rebounds.
After the game Coach Walz spoke with Nick Curran. He said, “It was just great to finally get the opportunity to play against somebody else besides ourselves and our scout team. We learned some things today. We learned some things we did well and learned some things we need to improve on.... things that are easily fixable.”
On rebounding he said, “It’s going to be a team effort. It’s going to be every single one willing to commit to getting better and attacking the glass. We don’t have the size with Kylee [Shook] and Bionca [Dunham] or even Jaz [Jones] that we’ve had in the past.” He added, “I was really pleased with Elizabeth Balogun for about a three minute stretch going to the offensive glass. I thought Norika went to the offensive glass the entire game. Olivia Cochran as a freshman did a really nice job.”
Up next the Cards are supposed to go play Cincinnati this Saturday at 2PM. However, nothing is written in stone this season. Coach Walz is already hustling for new opponents on twitter after UConn had to cancel. Buckle up.