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Cards Come Up Short Against NC State

Syndication: The Courier-Journal Scott Utterback/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

In the 1st quarter NC State came out shooting lights out scoring 28 points [62% from 3] but despite some defensive shortcomings Louisville held their own offensively and were just down 6. However the wheels came off in the 2nd quarter and State went on a 15-0 run. Coach Walz had to call two timeouts trying to refocus the team but they played shaky defense, not getting rebounds, and were 1 of 9 in shooting. By halftime the Cards were down 17. However in the second half Louisville showed more fight and found themselves down only 6 with under three minutes left to play. Still, in the end the Wolfpack was able to fend off the run and come away with a 77-67 victory.

Olivia Cochran fought hard all night and came away with a double-double, 17 points/12 rebounds. Kiki Jefferson had 16 points and 6 rebounds. Jayda Curry had 12 points but was only 3 of 17.

Coach Walz said, “I thought the first five minutes of the game we played well because we scored. We didn’t guard the entire first half. It was our worst effort defensively we’ve had this season. It’s hard to explain knowing you’re coming into a place against the 3rd ranked team in the country and you’ve got such an unbelievable opportunity on ESPN2 to showcase what we’re all about and we really just did not defend at all.”

He said at halftime he told them, “Guys, this is a pride issue now. We didn’t score in the first half. We didn’t defend. We didn’t do anything we worked on for two solid days.” He added, “In the second half it’s not like all of a sudden we put in a new game plan... we actually executed the game plan that we put in. Defensively we were much, much better but unfortunately it’s a game of two halves.”

Coach Walz did have praise for Olivia Cochran. “I think O has really grown as a player. She’s worked on her 8 to 12 foot shot. That’s something she takes a ton of pride in. I’m happy for her because she put that work in during the spring and the summer and the fall and you’re seeing it. The consistency of being in the gym is something she put forth this off-season and her game is blossoming. Her ball handling has improved which has also made things easier for her when she’s on the floor.”

Next up #12 Notre Dame comes to the Yum Center. The game is Thursday at 6PM and can be seen on ESPN.