Louisville played good defense tonight in their win over UT-Martin but they didn’t set the world on fire with their scoring. In fact the bulk of the points came from transfer Emily Engstler [or should I say: 3mily 3ngstler]. She had 13 of the 18 points the Cards scored in the first quarter and she finished the game with 20 points in limited playing time.
Coach Walz praised his team’s basketball IQ in getting Emily the ball when she was hot. He said, “She shot the ball well and I really thought her teammates did a great job of finding her. Of her 7 made field goals all 7 were assisted. It wasn’t like she was out there creating one on one and coming up with some spectacular moves. She moved well without the basketball, her teammates found her, and she knocked down open shots.”
Emily was equally impressed with the guard play and said that she thinks this team will be special. “I really do think we’ll make it to a Final Four and it’s because all of the guards we have can score but also know how to pass the basketball if someone else has a better shot or better opportunity. That’s what going to make the difference in a national championship team.”
Coach Walz talked about how this game was low scoring and said, “Stats can be skewed if you don’t really dive into it.” He talked about how his team only took 52 shots and he told his players, “Don’t look at this game and think man I didn’t get enough shots. There weren’t a lot to be had.” Although he did say, “We still have to better job at shooting a higher percentage around the basket. There’s no question about that.”
He praised the UT-Martin game plan, “We only had 57 possessions in this game. His [Coach Kevin McMillan’s] goal was to keep it under 60. I don’t know how many shot clock violations they had — 4 or 5 — if it’s 4 that’s two minutes of a game that’s wiped out. We didn’t get a ton in transition because when shots were taken they were sending everyone back.to try and make us run some offense.”
The Cards hit the road for the next few games. First up they travel to Seattle to play Washington on Saturday, November 20th. It a bit of a homecoming for Hailey Van Lith and her friends and family are expected to pack the game. It is at 5PM EST and can be seen on Pac-12+.