Louisville won this game by double digits but make no mistake they had to fight for this win. In the first quarter they were once again plagued by foul trouble. The Cards had three players with two fouls before Gonzaga got called for their first foul with 4:24 to go. At one point the differential was 9 to 1. [In the end Gonzaga would shoot 23 free throws to Louisville’s 7] Still, Louisville was just down 2 going into the second quarter.
Still the fouls kept piling up but just when you thought their instinct might be to start playing tight and tentative instead they seemed to say “well every time we move they call a foul so if we’re going down we’re going down swinging.” They forced Gonzaga into turnovers and finally—FINALLY— found their shooting stroke. The Cards shot 58.6% for the game and 7 of 19 from three.
Gonzaga outscored the Cards 20-12 in the 3rd quarter so the game was 59-56 going into the 4th. Louisville then held the Zags scoreless for 5 minutes and 27 seconds. By the time they broke that cold spell the Cards had put the game out of reach. Louisville won the Betty Chancellor classic with the 81-70 victory.
Kiki Jefferson got the start today and put up big numbers. She led Louisville in scoring with 21 to which she added 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Nina Rickards had 13 points and 5 assists. Sydney Taylor finished with 8 points but it was her big 2nd quarter that kept the Cards fired up.
Next up the Cards stay on the road and travel to Oxford, Mississippi to meet Ole Miss in the ACC/SEC Challenge. The game is Wednesday night on ESPNU at 9:15.