The Louisville Cardinals handed the struggling Notre Dame Fighting Irish a 30-point loss in an 86 – 54 contest.
The depleted Irish fall to 7 – 14 on the season. This is arguably the worst season for Notre Dame under head coach Muffet McGraw. A season ago, the Irish were the National Runner Up in the NCAA Tournament. However, the team lost all five starters to the WNBA draft. The Cardinals entered the game 6 – 16 against the Fighting Irish, but after a strong offensive performance, Louisville notched its 7th win against Notre Dame.
In the first frame, Louisville junior guard Dana Evans scored 11 points, equaling the Irish’s point total in the first 10 minutes. The Cardinals led wire to wire and at the end of the first half, Louisville was on track to score about 100 points.
Late in the third quarter, Coach Jeff Walz, with a 32 point lead, pulled the starters. With the starters on the bench, the Cardinals – led by Yacine Diop, Elizabeth Dixon, and Lindsay Duvall – maintained the 30 point lead, even expanding it to a 36 point lead late in the final frame. Every Louisville player that took the court saw more than 10 minutes of valuable playing time.
Despite the blow out, the Cardinals turned the ball over 16 times. On the season, Louisville is averaging 14 turnovers per game and forcing its opponents into 16 turnovers.
The Cardinals saw four players notch double-figures and six score at least 8 points including Yacine Diop; she nearly got a triple-double on 9 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists. Evans led Louisville with 17 points, 6 assists, and 3 steals. Meanwhile Jazmine Jones added 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists. Kylee Shook racked up 12 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Elizabeth Balogun chipped in 11 points.
The Cardinals return home to take on Team USA on Sunday at the KFC Yum! Center at 2 PM.