Louisville defeated UT-Martin 85-67 back on December 6th and in normal times that would have been their only meeting for the season. But as we all know these are far from normal times. The Cards have been hustling to find opponents all season and the Skyhawks were gracious enough to travel back to Louisville for game 2 this season.
After the game Coach Walz went on a bit of the rant about how frustrating scheduling has been and potential issues in the postseason. “If they’re going to seed people on net ranking and RPI then they all need to have themselves checked out.... For this year you’ve got to do stuff more on the eyeball test. You can’t penalize people for not being able to play games because games were cancelled because of Covid. I can give you a list— but I won’t —of people who I’ve tried to schedule who won’t play. So there’s nothing I can do about it.”
He offered his gratitude and appreciation for those coaches who have said yes but said, “There’s a boatload of people who just won’t play. And I understand it. But at the same time we all need games. If you think you’re going to sit here and wait until the end and get the game you want against the person you want to play.... it’s probably not gonna happen.” He finished with, “Now I’m sure I’ll get reprimanded for saying that but golly it won’t be the first time and it probably won’t be the last but you can’t be sitting here worrying about your damn RPI is when you’re just trying to figure out a way to play games.”
As for the game, Dana Evans had a career-high 29 points. In fact, at halftime the score was UT-Martin 24 and Dana Evans 22. Coach Walz said, “I was really impressed with her. I thought she let the game come to her in the first half and took good shots.... Her teammates did a really nice job of finding her with the extra pass. She moved well without the basketball.”
Dana said, “I knew I wouldn’t continue to shoot that bad at 3 because of the work I’ve put in.” On her career day she added, “I was pretty aware about my career high because Coach pulled me out in the third quarter and told me [that it was in reach].”
When asked about how her team is playing after their shutdown Dana said, “I think we’re getting our groove back.... We shook the rust off but I think we’re back now and we’re able to play better together. Just watching film and understanding the game. Learning each other’s strengths and weaknesses is huge.”
Still, Coach Walz said, “We’re nowhere close to where we were a month ago in terms of timing, rhythm, execution because we did go from December the 10th until December 27th without practice.... So you can’t take that many days off and then expect to be sharp within two weeks. It’s not gonna happen.”
After the game it was announced that the Cards have scheduled a game at VaTech on Thursday at 8PM. It can be seen on RSN.