I mentioned in the last recap that Florida State has had Louisville’s number in the past. They’ve won 4 of the last 5 games against the Cards including handing them their last heartbreaking loss in the ACC Tournament last season. After the game Dana Evans said, “It still hurts me from last year so I made sure we were ready to play today.”
Her teammates did not disappoint.
After a little sloppiness in the first quarter the Cards got into the flow and tightened up their play. They had only one turnover in the second quarter and shot 68%. In the second half they played like a team who was determined to wipe away any lingering pain from the loss last season and absolutely dominated.
Again the Cards had five players score in double figures. Kianna Smith came off the bench to lead the team with 16 to which she added 6 assists and 5 rebounds. Hailey Van Lith had 15 points and at one point was 6 of 6 from the field including 3 of 3 from three. Dana Evans had 12 points and 8 assists. Liz Dixon had a double double with 10 points and rebounds each.
Coach Walz praised the play of Dana Evans, “She did a great job. I think she showed everyone today on national TV why I think she’s the best point guard in the country. She’s got that explosiveness to get by people and her court vision has gotten so much better from her freshman year to her senior year.”
Dana felt confident in her team today from the start. “It started in warmups and shoot around. We were all dialed in. We were focused. We knew the game plan. We all knew the scout and what we needed to do.” When asked about her team’s 22 assists she said, “Team basketball. We all know we can at three different levels but finding each other and getting each other open shots is what’s most important. If we can continue to do that and move the ball the way we did it’s going to be hard to guard us.”
With this win and a little help from #1 Stanford losing to Colorado the expectation is that tomorrow the Cards will attain their first #1 ranking in program history. Coach Walz said, “It’s a great honor. Obviously it doesn’t do you anything come March.... but it’s something we’re proud of because we have sustained something here for 14 years.” He gave Tom Jurich credit for putting an emphasis on having a consistently good women’s basketball program and added, “I’m very fortunate that Vince [Tyra] has that same vision for our program. Not every women’s basketball program is supported like ours.”
Kianna Smith said being the potential #1, “it means a lot but most importantly it means that teams will be playing their best game against us every single game so we’ve got to give the same effort that we gave tonight.”
Dana’s face upon hearing about Stanford’s loss. Classic pic.twitter.com/lIte8r6cr2— King Fiasco (@LJthaFiasc0) January 17, 2021
Next up the Cards will get Syracuse in the Yum Center this Thursday. The game is at 9PM this Thursday and can be seen on ESPN2.