Louisville came back from their Christmas break looking revitalized and ready. After a close first quarter they used defensive pressure to force Boston College into 21 turnovers. In the 4th quarter the starters went to the bench and the second team came in and got some valuable minutes with solid play.
Five Cardinals finished the game in double figures led by Emily Engstler’s 14 to which she added 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. She was everywhere doing everything. Hailey Van Lith and freshman Peyton Verhulst both had 12 points. Liz Dixon had 10 points and 7 rebounds. Norika Konno had 8 points and 4 assists.
After the game Coach Walz said, “I thought the 3rd quarter we looked really good offensively. We share the basketball.” On the close 1st quarter he said, “We took good shots and a lot of them were in and out it’s not like we were throwing up bricks left and right.... but what I liked is that we continued to defend and then we just started to make some of those shots. We end up going 10 of 16 in the 2nd quarter.”
He also praised Emily’s play, “I thought Emily played as good as I’ve seen her play and that’s going back to our Michigan game. She’s played well all year but the way she passed the ball was really, really impressive. She scored 14 points in 17 minutes. It’s the efficiency that’s impressive to me.”
He also talked about getting the bench more playing time. “It’s fun to see them smile. It’s fun to see all of them have the opportunity to get out there on the floor and play with some joy. That’s one thing as a coach we all like to see. And a lot of these players are fine not getting in in the 4th quarter because they get excited for their teammates.”
Peyton Verhulst also talked about the bench play. “We’re really deep. We play a lot of our bench — up to 9, 10 people. I think at the beginning of ACC play Coach Walz is definitely trying to get us a lot of experience and just make sure that everyone’s getting some playing time so we can get our chemistry together.” She added, “When you have a coach that puts a lot of trust in you it makes it fun and easy to just go out there and play with your team.”
Next up the Cards travel to Atlanta to play Georgia Tech. Coach Walz said to expect an extremely physical and low scoring contest. The game is Sunday at noon and can be seen on the ACC Network.