Hook that on your home court, ye Horns.
Inside Austin City Limits, the final tally in the Round of 32 read: Louisville 73, Texas 51.
It wasn’t that close.
Top Ten early on, Jeff Walz’s Cards dropped out of the Top 25 early in the campaign.
Now, they stand among the Sweet Sixteen. Familiar territory.
Ole Miss, upset victor over Stanford, awaits surging U of L in the Seattle Regional.
* * * * *
As is often the case during Walz’s reign, Louisville rushed out to a 7-0 advantage from the tip.
The Longhorns steadied. 16-16 after the 1st.
Then the hammer came down. The game turned.
Morgan Jones tallied on a fastbreak layup. Assist to Chrislyn Carr.
Olivia Cochran canned a J.
Josie Williams scored in the paint. Assist to Jones.
Williams again. This time a triple from straight away. Assist to Hailey Van Lith.
The 9 nil run put the Cardinals up 25-16.
At 33-22, the losing Longhorns started to get frustrated. They knocked down Cardinals — literally — on consecutive possessions. Tsk, tsk.
U of L outscored the home team, a significant favorite, 12-7, to end the half. At which juncture, Louisville was +14, 37-23.
Averaging 15+ turnovers/ game on the season, the Cardinals coughed it up only twice in the opening half. They bashed Texas with 22 points in the paint.
* * * * *
Bothered — for a moment anyway — by the Burnt Orange’s press, U of L wobbled a smidge early on in the 3d. Texas cut their deficit to 9 at 40-31.
That was as close as they got.
Two HVL FTs halfway through the stanza served as ballast.
Liz Dixon netted a 3d chance follow a minute later. +1. The converted charity toss pushed Louisville safely ahead by 13.
U of L, in total command, roared.
The advantage was 21, 56-35 with 10:00 to play.
Texas, broken by smothering Cardinal D and Cardinal steadiness, never threatened.
* * * * *
It is that time of year when you only play whom you play.
Whether that’s the team, or the players on the team.
Texas leader Rori Harmon didn’t play when U of L beat the Longhorns in the Bahamas, 71-63. She had 10 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals before being carried off late with a leg injury Monday.
The Longhorns’ leading scorer/ rebounder that night back in November was Aaliyah Moore with 21/8. She didn’t play Monday night, having suffered an ACL awhile back.
Her presence simply would not have mattered.
The Master Jeff Walz had his troops ready.
And advance the Cardinals shall after a captivating performance.
HVL led the way with 21. Morgan Jones was also in double figures with 10, and 6 rebounds.
Carr and rock solid as ever Mykasa Robinson went for 9 apiece. Dixon, who also led on the boards with 10, Williams and Merissah Russell each scored 5.
Nyla Harris was big on the boards, with 6.
* * * * *
Thus Jeff Walz’s Cardinals shall do again what they do.
Dance the second weekend of the tourney.
— c d kaplan