Louisville lost two in a row and in characteristic fashion the fanbase remained calm and level-headed while keeping it all in perspec.....LOL sorry I can’t even get through that with a straight face. Just kidding. Almost everyone lost their minds. But the Cards came out and played tonight like they’d been reading everyone’s tweets and comments and had something to prove.
NC State had a raucous, full house and started the game fired up. Louisville got down 1-6 in the first two minutes before settling down. Then the Cards turned up the defensive pressure. Kylee Shook made life extremely difficult for the Wolfpack on defense and seemed to block or alter every shot in the paint.
Louisville held a 10-lead going into halftime and maintained it until late in the 3rd quarter when NC State made their final push. The lead was cut to three and it stayed there for several minutes of game time, but after the Wolfpack made their run and couldn’t tie the game it seemed to break their spirits a little. The Cards made some big shots and big stops and then took the air out of the ball to ensure they held onto the lead until the final seconds ticked off the clock.
Jazmine Jones led all scorers with 19 points to which she added 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Kylee Shook had both 10 rebounds and points as well as 7 blocked shots. Elizabeth Balogun had 9 points and 7 rebounds in her first game back after competing for the Nigerian national team.
After the game Associate Coach Sam Purcell spoke with Nick Curran. He said, “You know what I love about our kids? I call it the Big Game Gene. We got it. We have that look.” He added, “We were able to come into a sold out arena with our backs against the wall. They were in first place they took it from us and guess what we were like no, no, no that’s ours.”
He took a moment to praise his head coach, “I might be out of place here but...here’s why I think we had success...I’m going to fluff my head coach’s pillow. Jeff Walz has poise.... We don’t lose two in a row. Card fans, everybody was like what’s going on? I love what my head coach did. I know some people were upset about Elizabeth Balogun and hey she left but here’s the thing— that young lady had a chance to represent her country....I love my head coach because it’s bigger than basketball.”
Talking about Elizabeth Balogun Kylee Shook said, “She spaces the floor and helps us have driving room and kick to her. Anybody can score on our starting five so it really helps.” Coach Purcell said she, “has the longest wingspan....Her ability to alter shots.....But the best thing about her is she’s a great kid. She just helped her country qualify for the Olympics. For people who are here listening in I can’t tell you how big that is. You are a legend. You are a rock star.”
Next up the Cards come back home for a rematch with Notre Dame. The game is at 3PM on Sunday the 16th and can be seen on the ACC Network. The game is a Pink Out.
“You have great fans in Louisville but it was like the sky was falling”— Rachel (@snicklefritz35) February 14, 2020
That doesn’t sound like us at ALL pic.twitter.com/4e1qsToXIA