Things were really really great. Then they really really weren’t.
Louisville was firing on all cylinders and playing tenacious defense and several minutes into the third quarter they had a 43-29 lead. Then Stanford brought in freshman Ashten Prechtel who didn’t even play in the first half and they went on a 17-2 run and the wheels just totally came off.
Dana Evans finished her career as a Cardinal with one last strong performance. She had 24 points, 3 assists, and 3 rebounds. Kianna Smith had 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists. Mykasa Robinson had 7 points and 8 rebounds.
After the game Coach Walz said, “I thought we were really, really good defensively in the first half. We got them to play exactly like we wanted them to play.... And then in the second half Ashten Prechtel... what a great substitution that was. She by far changed the entire game. Now you’ve got a post who can pick and pop and shoot the three. We knew that’s what she does and you’ve got to give the kid credit. She goes 6 for 6/3 of 3 from three.... She won the game for them.”
Dana Evans echoed that sentiment, “The difference was No. 11 [Prechtel] coming in the game. She came in, and she was 6’6”, 3 for 3 from three, and she had four assists. So she came in, and she changed the game for them. It was some assignments we didn’t capitalize on, some things we didn’t talk on, communicate on, like we were in the first half. I feel like they came out third quarter with just urgency, and we just didn’t match that intensity.”
Coach Sam Purcell said, “Tara [VanDerveer] is a Hall of Fame coach and when she went with a freshman— she doesn’t want to post up she wants to shoot threes— that really spaced the floor for them and you could see them getting momentum off of our missed shots.”
Dana confirmed that she plans to enter the WNBA Draft and finished her remarks by saying, “I had a great senior year. Some things didn’t go our way, but I want to thank those girls. I want to thank our staff and everybody that’s helped us get to this point because this wasn’t an easy year. I could only imagine coming here as a freshman and having to go through a COVID year. It was different for everyone, but I think we adjusted well. I think we fought hard. We adjusted to a lot of things being changed. It is what it is.”
Coach Walz said of his senior, “Dana’s worked her tail off in the four years since she’s been with us. She came in the gym every single day and stayed late, got in early, and continued to get better and better and better. It’s a tribute for her work ethic and her desire to want to continue to get better. It’s a tough way to go out... our goal was to get to a Final Four and unfortunately for us we just fell one ballgame short. Actually one half short.”
He added, “You’ve got to tip your hat to Stanford.”
In a season unlike any other, you were our constant #CardNation.— Louisville WBB (@UofLWBB) March 31, 2021
We can't thank you enough for your support this year... we couldn't have gotten this far without you. #GoCards pic.twitter.com/ZxaruvEdkR