The first half of this game the Cards were a well-oiled machine that just rolled over the Tigers. The score going into the second half was 51-22. However, Clemson kept fighting and the Cards tightened up a little and midway through the 3rd quarter the Cards were still stuck on 51. In the 4th quarter Clemson cut the lead down to 10 but Louisville hung on to win.
Hailey Van Lith led all scorers with 19 points and she added 5 assists. Norika Konno had a strong day scoring 12 points (all from 3) and grabbing 5 rebounds. Olivia Cochran had 12 rebounds and 7 points.
Coach Walz said, “I thought we defended extremely well in the first half and obviously we shot the ball very well.... in the second half we weren’t as dialed in at the defensive end which then in turn we weren’t able to get things off of our defense and score. But it’s a win. At this time of year you’re just trying to stack wins. How many wins can you get. I don’t care if they’re ugly, if they’re pretty, it does not matter. A win’s a win.”
Hailey Van Lith said, “We made shots today and we had energy so it was fun. We made the extra pass and our people knocked it down [fist bumps Norika].” She talked about Nora’s play, “Norika just does a really good job of doing her role for us and she knows that for us to be successful she has to be able to knock down threes for us. I think it was great that she was able to do that for us tonight.” Coach Walz added, “I was really excited for her. She really stepped up and shot the ball well. She helped us extend that lead in the first half to 30. It was really impressive.”
Norika talked about her ups and downs here and how she’s leaned on her support system, “It’s close to the end so I started remembering everything and feel gratitude.” She added, “I was struggling but at the same time it felt like a family atmosphere for the team. I could overcome everything thanks to my teammates and coaches, fans... I am very grateful for them.”
Next up the Cards travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame. The game is Thursday at 7PM and can be seen on ESPN.