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Cards Survive Against Wake Forest 65-63

NCAA Basketball: TEAM USA vs Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

I began the last recap with “heavy is the head that wears the crown” but today’s game against Wake brings to mind different words by Shakespeare: all’s well that ends well. And ending well was about the only good part of the game today.

With 7 minutes left in the game the Cards were down 46-55 and things were looking bleak. Then Dana Evans Mode engaged. Her calm intensity seemed to settle the rest of the team, and it was like she willed them to the win. After the game she said, “I’m the senior. They all count on me. They all tell me ‘Dana we need you.’... so that just makes me feel good hearing that from my teammates knowing that they count on me and I have to come through for them. And that’s what I did.”

Coach Walz talked about Dana after the game, “We ran a play for Hailey there at the end and she ripped and drove it and scored..... For Dana to be able to embrace that we’re getting a clear out for Hailey.... a lot of times everybody wants to win and you want to be able to do it yourself. I think that’s the biggest asset that she has taken on this year is the ability to get others involved but also to know at the end I’m going to be the one taking the shot.”

Dana led all scorers with 25. Elizabeth Balogun had 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals, and 3 blocked shots. Olivia Cochran had another double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Understandably Coach Walz was not overly thrilled with his team’s performance today. “It was not a very good effort on our part just mentally throughout the whole game. It’s pretty amazing that we even won the basketball game. We really probably did not deserve to. When you give up more offensive rebounds [24] than you get defensive rebounds [19]— I’ve been doing this for 25 years and I think there’s only been one other time that that’s happened in my career. Normally when something like that happens you shoot 60% from the field and we definitely did NOT do that tonight [39.7%].”

The Cards have a quick turnaround and play Miami at home on Tuesday. The game is at 4PM.