The first quarter of this game was not a thing of beauty. In fact, let’s allow Coach Walz to break it down, “We were bad. We missed layups. We actually did a good job in the first half we only turned the ball over three times in the entire half. We got shots we just couldn’t make them. We’re learning how hard you have to play the entire time.” The Cards held a meager 16-14 lead going into the 2nd quarter but then as Olivia Cochran said “Coach Walz got on our butts” and the Cards started playing with a little more focus and outscored Morehead 25-8 to go into halftime with a 41-22 lead.
After being outrebounded in the first quarter the Cards ended up with a 47-39 edge in boards. Olivia Cochran had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Nyla Harris also had 16 points but was 1 rebound shy of a double-double. Kiki Jefferson had 12 points and 4 rebounds.
Coach Walz was concerned about the defense, “That’s our Achilles heal right now we’re just not a very good defensive team which is a little surprising because that’s something we always been really good at here. If you look at overall season stats, teams are shooting 40% from the field on us. I think it’s the first year EVER that I’ve been here that through Christmas that we have opponents shooting 40+ percent. That’s something we’ve got to get fixed in a hurry.”
Olivia said, “We were sleeping on the scout…. So we had to adjust and stay positive because a lot of us can get in our heads. So me being a veteran I was like ‘I got you and you got me so let’s just play that’s what we’re here for’.” Kiki said, “Sometimes Coach Walz is yelling at us about not taking a possession off or sprinting every time. The transfers coming in or even the freshmen we’re not used to playing as hard as Louisville women’s basketball plays…. Having Louisville across your chest means you’re going to get every team’s best shot.”
Coach Walz praised Olivia’s game. “In the first half she had maybe 6 boards but it felt like she had 10 because she was around the basket getting each one and clearing it out for us. She started off struggling from the field—she missed one or two—but then she ends up 6 for 10.”
The next three games will really show what this team is made of. This Saturday the Cards travel to Connecticut to take on perennial powerhouse UConn at noon. The game can be seen on Fox Sports.