This game mirrored the men’s game against Duke yesterday in some ways except it was the Cards who got the 20 point lead and who managed to hold onto it despite a Duke run to come away with the victory.
Hailey Van Lith led Louisville in scoring with 17. Peyton Verhulst came off the bench with a hot hand to score 13. Kianna Smith added 11 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists.
After the game Coach Walz praised Peyton’s play. “I was really pleased with the way she played and it wasn’t just because she scored. She did some good things defensively. She was being active. She was being physical.” He went on to say, “I had told her I was going to put her in during the 1st quarter and then she’s going to stay in there as long as she continues to show me that she deserves to be out there, and she did.”
Peyton said, “Our coaches have put a lot of emphasis on our bench going in and making an impact and having a lot of energy so I think that’s the biggest thing our bench wants to come in and do. If our starters get a lead we want to go in there and have that same mindset and go in there and do the best we can.” She also pointed in that the bench would be important in the tough stretch the Cards have coming up with 3 road games in the next 7 days. “I think our bench coming in and being able to take a lot of minutes off of our starters’s legs is a big help... anytime you’re on the road for that long it’s tiring.”
Hailey also talked about how she would have to adjust her workouts with this road stretch. “For me personally no extra shooting workouts for me. Last year I tried to fit them in and my legs were dead. As much as I want to work hard I also want to perform for my team.”
Coach Walz also wasn’t pleased with the 3rd quarter officiating. An excessive amount of foul calls helped the Blue Devils narrow Louisville’s lead. “You can’t blame the officials. They’re just told what to call but god almighty it’s got to change. Our game’s brutal. I don’t even know why people come and watch it. There’s no flow to it. There’s stuff they call which has no impact on anything. Both sides. It’s not just us.” He added, “I’m going to try and get on that rules committee to get some things changed but I really doubt they want me on that.”
Next up the Cards travel to Miami. They play on Tuesday at 7PM and the game can be seen on ACC Network Extra.