Well everything was fun until it really wasn’t. Louisville flustered and frustrated NC State all night and had a nice 14 point lead in the third quarter but then the wheels totally came off the bus. The Cards started making turnovers (7 of our 12 were in the 4th quarter) and missing shots which means that they were unable to press. The Wolfpack went from going 1 of 13 from three to knocking down everything they threw up. They went on a 31-8 run and instead of celebrating a win over a top 5 team the Cards find themselves on the wrong end of a 68-59 final.
Olivia Cochran had her best game of the year. In the first half she shut down NC State star Elissa Cunane. Olivia finished with 19 points and 7 rebounds. Emily Engstler had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Hailey Van Lith had 13 points.
After the game Coach Walz said, “We turned it over back to back times and then they really got into a rhythm. We had executed so well for three quarters... and then we just kind of got away from that. Everybody wants to do so well and everybody wants to contribute and help and we just got sped up and out of what we were doing so well.” He added, “We just lost a little bit of composure there in the fourth quarter and that’s kind of what got them going. We’re better than that and we know that.”
He praised Olivia, “I thought she played a whale of a ball game. I thought she was fantastic. She offensive rebounded for us, got put backs, guarded extremely well against Cunane. Just really, really pleased with how she performed. She’s been working on her game and working on extending her range to 15-18 feet. So I hope she’ll keep that drive like she’s been showing and continue to get better.”
He closed with, “I just thought it was a really, really good basketball game between two really good teams. You’ve got to tip your hat to Wes [Coach Moore] and his kids. I’m not going to concede and say we’re not right there with them. We are a top five team for a reason. We still have room to grow and will we? Yes. I’m really excited about what this team can be in a month and half.”
Next up the Cards meet Wake Forest in the Yum Center this Sunday the 23rd at 2PM. The game can be seen on the ACC Network.