Winless Bellarmine shot out of the gate and took an early lead on the Cards in the first couple of minutes in the game. Unfortunately for them, Louisville started subbing and their superior womanpower was too much for them to handle especially in the middle. Bellarmine had no answer for Olivia Cochran and Liz Dixon. For all intents and purposes the game was over early but the final score was 97-46.
Twelve players saw action for Louisville and Olivia Cochran led all scorers with 15 points. Liz Dixon was not far behind with 14 points to which she added 6 rebounds. As a team the Cards out-rebounded them 48-18. Dana Evans, Kianna Smith, and Norika Konno all scored 11 points apiece.
After the game Coach Walz said, “I know it’s been less than 24 hours but I thought we did much better today both offensively and defensively. It’s going to take some time. It’s not going to be completely fixed by Tuesday.” He added, “We’re still going to have to make threes. That’s one of the areas we HAVE to get better at. We are a good shooting team we just have not shown it the last few games.”
“We’re doing a really nice job in the post. I’m really impressed with how our post players, Olivia Cochran and Liz Dixon, are finishing around the rim.... Liz the improvement that she’s made from one year to the next is tremendous. I’m really excited for her because she’s put in the work.”
Kianna Smith said, “We have super-talented post players so it’s nice to be able to—if our shot’s not falling—hit them in the post and know that something good is going to come out of it.”
Olivia Cochran attributed the success in the post to the energy of the guards. “They trusted us to score the ball...and we just made fast moves so we could score because we knew that their post was undersized so we knew we had to score fast and just put the ball in the hoop.”
After yesterday’s game Liz Dixon said that playing against Olivia had improved her game. Olivia echoed that sentiment. “I feel like we made each other a lot better because I’m an aggressor and Liz feeds off my aggression. She’s kind of finesse so when I’m over-aggressive she just finesses more. We took each other’s strengths from each other and we try to put them in our game.”
Even though this was a desperation game born of circumstance, Coach Walz expressed interest in meeting Bellarmine in the future. “I think it’s great. I told Chancellor [Bellarmine Head Coach Chancellor Dugan] we’re willing to do this year in and year out. I’ve even talked to her about going over there and playing a game there— make it a home and home series if she would like to do that.... I think it would be a great environment for both teams.”
After being postponed the Cards hope to finally meet North Carolina in the Yum this Tuesday, January 5th. The game is at 2:30PM and can be seen on the ACC Network.