In the first quarter neither team was playing like a well-oiled machine. Then in the second quarter the Cards seemed to settle down and play better defense and went into halftime with a 32-21 lead. However, as Kianna Smith pointed out after the game, “Previously we’ve had some bad third quarters and that was an emphasis for us to come out and just play well coming out of halftime and I think we did that.” They did indeed. Louisville’s lead ballooned to over 20 points, and today they kept their foot on the gas until the very end.
Kianna led all scorers with 17 points. Hailey Van Lith had 16 points. Chelsie Hall had 13 points and 5 rebounds. Emily Engstler was a few missed free throws away from another double-double and finished the game with 12 rebounds, 9 points and 5 steals and assists.
After the game Hailey said, “We stepped up at all parts of the game. Shots started going in. We started finishing through contact. It was a physical game so we got used to that in the second quarter.... We made them take shots they don’t want to and that turned the game for us.”
Coach Walz said, “I was just really pleased with how we all played. We followed the scouting report. [Coach] Steph Norman did a fantastic job on the scout preparing the kids.” Kianna Smith echoed that, “Our coaches take pride in giving us a good scouting report and watching a ton of film on each player.... I also think it’s our winning culture within our program. We have captains who are like ‘Everybody watch the film by tomorrow.’ This is just who we are.” Hailey added, “We’re really blessed with the assistants that we have.”
Everyone took turns praising Emily Engstler. Hailey said, “She’s a jack of all trades. You can hit at the three and she’ll knock down a three. You can hit her in the mid-post and deep post. She can defend all positions. She’s a great rim protector for us. I think adding her to the roster made everyone around her better.” Kianna added, “People like Emily are a shooter’s dream. Love ya, Em.” Coach Walz said, “Emily has a motor, and it’s always going.... Her court vision is off-the-chart too.”
Next up the Cards travel to North Carolina to play UNC. The game is Thursday at 6PM and can be seen on RSN.
Jeff Walz with his best quotes of the year when talking about Louisville going to Jeff Ruby's on Thursday night after Virginia forfeited. "It's the first time in the history, I believe, of Louisville women's basketball that we held someone scoreless. And we wanted to celebrate." pic.twitter.com/f0g4BLlvFG— Tyler Greever (@Tyler_Greever) February 13, 2022