Dana Evans will never know what it’s like to not have a piece of the ACC regular season title. With the Cards’s win today they clinched their fourth straight title. With many of her family making the trip from Gary, IN Dana came out playing like someone who wanted there to be no doubt who was the champ. She had 12 of her 26 points in the first quarter. In the second half the Irish got no closer than 10 but the Cards closed out the game strong to clinch the win and the ACC title.
Mykasa Robinson came off the bench to deliver another strong performance. Her defense was reliably strong but today she also had 10 points off of 5 of 5 shooting. Liz Dixon had 12 points and 3 rebounds. After struggling to score throughout the game Hailey Van Lith ended up with 10 points.
There were some changes to the starting lineup today and according to Coach Walz he put all of the names of the players in a shopping bag and drew five to decide the starting lineup. He said, “We were going to play rock, paper, scissors but I thought it would take too long.... To be honest with you Dana was not one of the names that was drawn.... After all five were drawn [Merissah Russell] stood up and said ‘Coach, I don’t deserve to start. I want my spot to go to Dana.’ So I’ve got a lot of respect for her because it’s someone who’s been grinding all year and obviously she hasn’t gotten the minutes she wants.”
Dana’s reaction to the name drawing? “It didn’t surprise me. I’ve been here for four years. I know Coach Walz finds ways to motivate you and get you going to light a fire under you. I thought it was good.”
Dana also once again heaped praise upon her teammate after another great game. “Can we talk about Mykasa because she’s like everything for this team.... What impresses me most is how unselfish she is how she’s willing to do what everybody else isn’t willing to do: diving on the floor, I want to say she took like 5 charges.” She added, “I’m excited for her seeing her baskets go in.... I tell her we need you to shoot those shots because then teams have to play us honest.”
The ACC Tournament starts this week with the Cards playing their first game on Friday at noon. Dana Evans finished her remarks with “We’ve got to take care of business down there.”