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Louisville Tourney Run Ends with 97-83 Loss to Iowa

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament Seattle Regional-Louisville vs Iowa Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In the Elite 8 sometimes you boom... sometimes you get boomed. Tonight the Cards got boomed.

After a hot start by Louisville, Iowa settled down and came back and took the lead and didn’t look back. The Cards kept it close, and even made it a 1-point game early in the second half, but then it was all Iowa the rest the 3rd quarter. Louisville made a late push in the last few minutes to cut the lead to 10 but it never felt like they were seriously challenging the Hawkeyes. At the final buzzer the Cards’ season was finished.

Hailey Van Lith led the Cards with 27 points. Olivia Cochran had a great game and got a double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Mykasa Robinson in her final outing as a Cardinal had 10 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals.

Mykasa said, “Here at Louisville we’re a family so we do everything for each other. So even though we didn’t get the outcome we wanted here tonight we had a helluva season.... I’m just super proud of this team.”

Hailey talked about Olivia’s game, “I’m really proud of Olivia. She’s one of my best friends on the team.... I’ve just seen her grow every single year. She is a fighter. Whatever obstacle— in regular life or in basketball— comes her way she’s just always on top. She’s been challenged in this post-season with elite post matchups and she’s a dog. She’s a competitor. She went out and fought.... You just want to play with people who have heart and I couldn’t ask for a better person who has heart than Olivia.”

Olivia was emotional as she reflected on her season. “I’m just trying to get better every day. My teammates helped me a lot to do that. I was fighting demons all year and they kept my head high even when I was low, and I thank them for that. And I appreciate y’all.”

Jeff talked about what he shared with Coach Bluder for Iowa after the game. “I congratulated Lisa. I told her that this is a lot harder to accomplish than a lot of people think it is and she should enjoy every second of it. Enjoy the moment. Make sure to take time to take a step back and actually look at what you’ve done. Because it is really, really hard.”

Coach Walz concluded the season by saying, “It’s what Kas said... we’re a family. They gutted it out for each other.... It’s what the kids do. We try to put them in positions to be successful but they’re the ones who do it. I’m just blessed to be able to do what I’ve done for 28 years and 16 years as the head coach here at Louisville. I’ve had just wonderful people— not just great basketball players— wonderful young women. I told them that I couldn’t be prouder of what they’ve done.”