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Louisville Defeats Kentucky 64-58

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Syndication: The Courier-Journal By Pat McDonogh / USA TODAY NETWORK

I hate complaining about officiating. I really do. Especially in the women’s game because I feel it’s become such a boring cliche. I just wanted to start off by saying that because I also must confess that if we had lost this game today this entire recap was going to be comprised almost entirely of expletives in reference to the calls in this game. Like there are times you think a call is bad but see it on the replay and realize what a fallible human you are because your initial observation was dead wrong. Not this game. In fact every replay only made me think it was much WORSE than I originally thought. Plus the inexplicable technicals. It was absurd. Anyways, I’m done. I’m sure y’all will fill the comments with nothing but tirades about the officiating, but that’s all I have to say on the matter.

Now. On to the game.

Chelsie Hall led all scorers with 15. Hailey Van Lith and Alahna Smith both had 13 apiece. Emily Engstler did not have the big scoring night we’ve seen from her lately but she did grab 10 rebounds (9 of them on the defensive end) and also added 2 blocks and 2 steals.

It looked like Louisville might break the game open several times but Kentucky always managed to swing momentum back their way. It was back and forth down the stretch but the Cards made a few key plays. After the game Coach Walz talked about when Kentucky went up 1 late in the game and said, “[Chelsie] came up with a huge steal there and kind of got things going for us. I thought Alahna Smith’s layup she made in transition was a big bucket. Hailey came up with some big pull ups. It was just a great team effort.”

He also said, “I thought we competed. I thought we did a great job just grinding things out. Offensively it wasn’t the prettiest of nights but we continued to just get down in a stance and try to guard. Especially in that 3rd quarter we held them to 1 field goal.” Of course he added, “It’s not like we tore it up offensively in the third quarter ourselves. But when you’re playing a game like this that’s how it’s going to be. I did not expect a 95 to 90 game.”

Alahna said how happy she was to come off the bench and have a great game. “It’s a great feeling honestly. Last year that’s what I battled with being consistent. That was my main thing to work on going into the summer for this upcoming season. So I’m grateful for it. This makes me so happy. I just scored 13 points which is my highest here but also it’s the trust my teammates have in me. That’s what keeps my confidence going.”

Chelsie also talked about her first time facing the Wildcats as a Cardinal. “Coming from the SEC [Vanderbilt] I’ve played Kentucky quite a few times so it was nothing new. Knowing that I’m on a team that has a rival - it’s a big game. It’s fun. It’s exciting.” Alahna added, “We know that these fans put a lot of time and effort into coming to watch us play and we’ve just got to give them a show and I felt like we did that.”

Louisville was without Olivia Cochran who hit her head in the 3rd quarter. Coach Walz said, “O hit her head and it was more just being cautious and making sure we don’t put her in a situation to where something could go wrong with a head injury. She wanted to play... but like when the music came on she said it kind of gave her a little bit of a headache so we want to make sure we take care of our student-athletes first.”

Next up the Cards take on another in-state school when they take on Eastern Kentucky this Thursday at 8PM. The game is at home and can be seen on the ACC Network.