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Cards Defeat Marist in First Round

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University of Louisville WBB Official twitter

Those hoping to watch the Cardinals come out and dominate Marist in the first round of the NCAA tournament had to wait a half. In fact, for most of the first half Louisville was playing from behind. They did not take their first lead until 2:21 left in the half. However, the Cards went small, turned up the defensive pressure, and then went on a 26 to 9 run in the third quarter. The Cards rode that momentum to win the game 74-43.

Those also hoping to see Dana Evans break out of the shooting woes she had in the ACC tournament would also be disappointed. She did finish the game with 15 points but was on the bench for much of the Cards’s third quarter run. However, Hailey Van Lith picked up the slack scoring 17 points and dishing out 4 assists. Ten other players scored but none in double figures.

After the game Coach Walz said, “They kept us off balance in the first half.... we were just thrilled to be able to turn the pressure and get the tempo of the game the way we wanted it there. We wanted it to be like that in the first half but unfortunately we just didn’t play as hard as we needed to but really got things going there in the second.”

He praised the play of Norika Konno. “Norika is tied for fifth now in school history with steals in an NCAA tournament game with 6. I thought her and Mykasa were fantastic. Norika’s got a really high basketball IQ. She anticipates the next pass. She goes after offensive rebounds as well as any guard that we have on this team. She gave us a lot of extra possessions which is what you’ve got to have in the NCAA tournament.”

Of Mykasa he said, “Mykasa, you know, she does what Mykasa does.... there’s not one game that we’ve ever had that you’re going to question her effort.”

Hailey Van Lith said, “I’ve waited my whole life just to get this opportunity. This is a really great team and I love my teammates and we’ve got a chance to go really deep. I just have fun tonight. I was turning up with the ten fans we had. I was hyping them up. I was hyping my teammates up. It was just a fun game and I love playing in the NCAA tournament.”

Next up the cards meet Northwestern on Wednesday for a chance to go to the Sweet Sixteen. The game is at 5PM and can be seen on ESPN2.