This was a game of runs. In the first quarter Louisville was the one playing catch up but they managed to tie it going into the 2nd. However even when the Cards managed to get a double-digit lead they never put Syracuse away decisively. Still this was another game that when things got a little disjointed they managed to regroup instead of falling apart like they might’ve done a month ago.
Coach Walz said, “It’s a win. We’ll take it. I thought we played extremely well at times. At times I thought we looked really, really good. We’ve just got to get to a point where we don’t have so many self-inflicted wounds..... We stretched it to 18 in the 4th quarter and then boom before you know it it’s back to 12.” He added, “We had 18 turnovers and I’m willing to bet 5 or 6 were off of rebounds when we weren’t strong enough and it gets ripped from us.”
Hailey Van Lith led Louisville in scoring with 24 to which she added 5 rebounds and 6 assists. Olivia Cochran and Morgan Jones both had 15 points and 7 rebounds apiece. Freshman Nyla Harris had 10 rebounds and 8 points. Norika Konno saw 8 minutes of action in front of her family who were visiting from Japan.
Coach Walz praised Nyla’s play however he talked about her going 2 of 8 from the free throw line, “She’s just got to get in the gym and make free throws. She’s got to be confident because she is going to get fouled because the kid plays as hard as anybody we’ve had in here in a long time.”
Hailey also sang Nyla’s praises, “Nyla came in and she’s a really hard worker and I respect that in her. I love having her out there. I’ll take Nyla’s freshman mistakes any day because she plays hard for us and she rebounds and that’s all you can ask for. She’s willing to accept her role and I think that’s really cool.”
Next up the Cards head to Durham to play Duke on New Year’s Day at noon. The game can be seen on RSN.