The last time these two teams met in the Yum the Cards were just coming off a Covid situation and played a little sloppy. Even though Syracuse played valiantly for only having six players in their rotation, today the Louisville bench proved too much for them. The game was still in reach for the Orange through the third quarter but eventually they just ran out of gas whereas the Cards put their foot on the accelerator.
A big catalyst for Louisville in the 3rd quarter was Liz Dixon. She finished the game with 18 points on 8 of 8 shooting to which she added 7 rebounds. Emily Engstler traveled back to her old stomping grounds and nearly got a triple double - 11 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists. Kianna Smith finished with 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists.
After the game Coach Walz talked about the contributions from the bench. “That’s what we talk about with our team. We might not have someone who’s going to go for 25 or 30 every night but we’ve got about 4 or 5 who are capable of doing that on any given night. When you’ve got 5, 6, 7 players who can score it’s hard to guard.”
Coach Norman talked about Liz’s performance, “Everybody loves Liz. Liz is kind of that quiet one. She’s always got a smile on her face. I was just really proud not only of her stat line but of her talking tonight. I heard her a lot on screens which we’ve been emphasizing communication as one of our goals... She was the captain of our ship on defensive calls.” However, she may have communicated a little too much on one play. Coach Norman was surprised when Liz got called for a technical foul on a blocked shot. She asked and Liz admitted that she did. Coach said, “We were just laughing and everyone was so proud of her because she’s super quiet so to see that little emotion out of her so even though you don’t want to get a technical our team was like ‘yeah Liz!.’”
On Emily’s homecoming she said, “She gets as much joy from passing the ball as she does scoring. She’s always going to bring you the rebounds that’s a no brainer.... She’s a stat filler. No matter what task you ask from her she’s going to give you positive productivity numbers.”
Emily Engstler (@em__baller) discussed Louisville's depth and its diversity in scoring after beating Syracuse 100-64. "I think it's what allows our team to consistently beat teams. And it's what's going to get us to a Final Four and national championship." pic.twitter.com/sssy1IF814— Tyler Greever (@Tyler_Greever) February 6, 2022
“One thing you see about our team is that they really do love each other. No matter what the outcome they can get on each other. They can have their moments of course but at the end of the day they truly do care about each other and as a fan that’s fun to watch.”
Louisville finally comes back to the Yum for a home game this Thursday against Virginia. The game is at 7PM and can be seen on ACCNX.