I mean.... wow.
Notre Dame came into this game ranked, playing at home, and ready to get a little revenge for the beating they took in the Yum Center. Louisville wasn’t having any of it. The first half of this game was an absolute clinic. At the end of the first quarter the score was 31-3 and the Cards were shooting 73.6% as compared to Notre Dame’s 7.7.%. At the end of the first half Louisville was out-rebounding Notre Dame 26-8 and had a 54-15 lead.
Hailey Van Lith and Kianna Smith both led all scorers with 20 points apiece. Hailey added 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Stop me if you’ve heard this before but Emily Engstler had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds and added 6 assists and 3 blocks.
After the game Coach Walz said, “It’s by far the best first half that we’ve had since I’ve been here against a top 25 team.” He added “Even when we were up 35 or 40 we continued to run the offense.” [flex]
He gave the bigs a lot of credit for the win. “Our effort on the glass was remarkable. It starts with Olivia Cochran and Liz Dixon. O comes up with 2 [rebounds] that’s it. Liz comes up with 4. But their assignment was to keep Maya Dodson off the glass. She has 0 offensive rebounds in 35 minutes of play and only comes up with 2 total and that was the difference in the game in my opinion.”
He also praised the play of Hailey Van Lith. “You come in your sophomore year with a lot of expectations and a lot of pressure and people are throwing more on you and now she’s just playing free. She’s really enjoying it. I thought she had a great ball game.”
Another pleasant surprise today was the return of Norika Konno. Coach Walz said having her back was great. “I was really excited for her. She goes 1 for 1 from the field and made her first shot. I was happy. She’s been battling with some things and she taken as much time as she needs to get herself in a place where she’s comfortable again being out on the floor.” He added that Alahna Smith was not with the team today because she was attending the funeral for her grandfather. “There’s a lot more to life than just basketball and family is first and foremost.”
The Kuric dunk, but for an entire game— doctorofdunk (@doctorofdunk) February 27, 2022
That concludes the regular season. Next up is the ACC Tournament. Louisville will play on Friday, March 4th.