UT-Martin came into this afternoon not having played a game in 274 days so it was expected that they’d seem a little rusty. Instead the Cards seemed like the ones needing to knock some rust off in the first quarter. They only shot 21% from the field and finished the quarter ahead just 15-14.
Former Card Seygan Robins now plays for the Skyhawks and she drove past Dana Evans for a layup on the first play of the second quarter. You could almost see Dana thinking “OK then, game on.” Dana entered the quarter with 3 points but by halftime she had 16 and the Cards were ahead 40-27. UT-Martin made a few runs in the second half but Louisville answered all of them.
Dana finished the game with 26 points. Hailey Van Lith had 10 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 assists. Liz Dixon came off the bench to add 7 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 assist.
After the game Coach Walz said, “I talked to our kids before the game today and told them UT-Martin is not going to come out and play the way that DePaul did. They’re not going to press us for 40 minutes and try to make it a fast-paced game especially after seeing how we handled that. So we had to be prepared for a different style of play. We came out a little shaky there in the first quarter.... but then we let the game continue to play on and we got into a little bit more of a rhythm.”
Dana Evans said, “We’ve got a lot of different weapons.... but I think for me it’s just being a leader. If shots are not falling for us I’ve got to find a way to get to to the basket and get some easy ones going. Or rather that’s jumping in the passing lane and getting an easy bucket. Just doing something to get this team going because we’re young.”
After the DePaul game he was concerned with how much his team fouled and he echoed that concern today. “We are just a fouling machine right now. It’s like we’re trying to lead the country in fouls which we very well could do. They’re just silly nonsense fouls 90 feet from the basket..... It’s not good.”
Coach Walz on Dana Evans: “She made some big shots there to kind of stretch out the lead in the second quarter. I was proud of her. It’s what we know she can do.”
On Hailey Van Lith: “She didn’t shoot the ball great and they did a good job of trying to making it difficult for her. But she ended up with 7 boards, 10 points, and 3 assists, 1 turnover and that’s what we have to have.... we’ve got to have them play through a tough shooting night but still play a good floor game.” Dana Evans added, “She rebounds the ball really well especially for a guard. When she rebounds she starts her own break. She gets me going, she gets Kianna going, she gets Ahlana going.... so that helps us out a lot.”
On Liz Dixon: “She’s been putting the work in and that’s what it all comes down to. I tell them all the time it’s not an accident when you start to play well. It’s just repetition.... That’s what she’s been doing. I’m proud of her.”
On Elizabeth Balogun: “She scores 5 points, 2 of 5, but the number of deflections that she gets in a game... is remarkable. She is a huge key to our success. It’s not about the number of points of scores it’s everything else she does for us. She’s really buying into it and that says a lot about her.”
On Norika Konno: “She’s feeling better [than last year].... She’s back. She’s not 100% but she’s feeling much better physically. I’ve loved her game from day one. It’s not real flashy. She’s not going to blow by you but she’s a really good student of the game.”
The next game is at Duke. It was moved from Thursday to this Wednesday. The game is televised on RSN at 7PM.