It was a tale of two halves. In the first half Louisville was using Ohio State’s press against them. They were moving the ball well and getting open shots. The Cards held a 50-37 a minutes into the 2nd half and then the OSU pressure got to Louisville. As Coach Walz broke it down, “We did a much better job in the first half attacking to score. In the second half it looked like we were just trying to get across half-court.” The momentum swung totally in favor of the Buckeyes and they took a two point lead into the last quarter.
Then they just beat the brakes off of Louisville.
Louisville fans are well aware of the advantages of being a pressing basketball team and Ohio State wore down the Cards, flustered them into forcing shots, and every mistake seemed to compound exponentially. At the 9:00 mark the game was tied 65-65. Two minutes later the Cards found themselves down 10 and they could never regain their composure. OSU kept their foot on the gas [and their starters in the game] until the final second ticked off the clock and handed Louisville their 3rd loss of the season.
Hailey Van Lith led the team in scoring and finished the game with a double-double: 20 points, 10 rebounds. Chrislyn Carr had 14 points. Olivia Cochran had 9 points and 7 rebounds.
Coach Walz talked about the 2nd half, “Defensively we just collapsed.... We are 296-23 here when we scored 70 or more points. We scored 77 tonight. We scored enough points to win we just did not defend.... you ain’t gonna beat anybody if you allow somebody to shoot close to 60% from the field.” However he did point out that on the offensive end “we missed either 17 or 19 layups. You can’t beat a good basketball team by missing 19 layups.”
He said, “It’s our 8th game into the season and it’s not where we had anticipated to be but I promise you I’m not going to go to the bridge and jump off. I like this team. I like these kids. We’ve just go to get tougher. We’ve got to understand it takes all of us.”
Next up the Cards travel to Murfreesboro to play Middle Tennessee. The game is Sunday the 4th at 5PM and can be seen on ESPN+.