Tonight Louisville took on cross-town opponent Bellarmine and walked away with the final score being the largest margin of victory under Coach Walz. There are still a lot of questions about this team, and this victory did little to answer them, but they took care of business and kept up the intensity throughout the game so that’s a good start. The Cards held Bellarmine scoreless from the 7:35 mark to the 7:00 mark.... only it was from that point in the second quarter until all the way in the third.
The Cards had a whopping EIGHT players finish in double figures. Sydney Taylor led the way with 15. Nyla Harris was right behind her with 14. Kiki Jefferson had 11 points and 8 defensive rebounds. Freshman Elif Instanbulluoglu got her first double-double as a Cardinal with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Coach Walz said, “I thought we did a lot of good things I thought we passed the ball extremely well. I thought we were more patient on offense than we have been. We didn’t take as many quick outside shots.” Nyla Harris said, “We knew we were going to win, right? We knew that was the expectation. But again how do we win? How do we show the rankers and everyone else that we are a team that should be ranked higher than 19?”
Coach Walz said, “We’re going to have a big stretch here in the next weeks that I think I’ll be able to get more of an idea of who’s really going to be able to play. Am I going to be able to go 9 or 10 deep or is it going to be a 7 player rotation?.... It’ll give us an idea of what we need to work on and what we’re going to be good at.” He added, “O [Olivia Cochran] only played 13 minutes tonight because it’s all she needed to play. I’m fortunate because O’s a great kid and understands. I looked at her and she said, ‘Coach I’m good.’ I appreciate that because that’s not always the way it is with players. Some players think they should keep playing... and they’re a pain in the ass.”
One player who showed she has the potential to earn a lot of minutes was Elif Istanbulluoglu. Coach Walz praised her saying, “I’m really impressed with her. She understands the game. You can tell she’s played a lot of international basketball with some really talented players. She doesn’t get sped up. She’s very patient.” Alexia Mobley said, “I love E. She works really hard. She came in two months ago and fit right in.” Nyla Harris added, “I’m not even going to lie, me as a sophomore looking at her game I learn a lot from how she plays.”
Next up the Cards take on Bucknell at the Yum Center on Sunday, November 19th at 4PM. The game can be seen on the ACC Network.