Good afternoon Card Nation. It is championship Sunday for Coach Walz and the Louisville Cardinals, as they look to clinch their 4th consecutive regular season title. They are taking on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. With a win today, Louisville will win the conference based on their conference win percentage. The Cards are 20-2 and 13-2 in conference. The Cards won the last meeting 71-65 on February 7th, 2021.
Dana Evans (20.8ppg, 4.3apg)
Hailey Van Lith (11ppg, 5.5rpg)
Ahlana Smith (2.9ppg, 0.9rpg)
Elizabeth Balogun (7.3rpg, 4.1apg, 1.7bpg)
Olivia Cochran (11.2ppg, 6.8rpg)
The Cards clearly showed they were able to put the scoring struggles they had against FSU behind them. Dana Evans had 12 points in the quarter, all of which came in the first 5 minutes of play. Both teams exchanged baskets in the final 40 seconds and the Cards took a 28-18 lead into the second quarter.
Louisville turned up the defense in the quarter and gave Notre Dame fits all quarter. The Cards were able to capitalize on the Notre Dame turnovers early in the quarter. Olivia Cochran had a big block that led to a bucket for Louisville and a 14-point lead. A pair of Mykasa Robinson mid-range jumpers and a Mykasa assist to Kianna Smith gave Louisville their biggest lead of the ball game (20). The Cards held Notre Dame to only 4 points for almost 8 minutes in the quarter. UofL took a 44-28 lead into intermission. Louisville scored 17 points off of Notre Dame turnovers.
Halftime Stats At A Glance:
FG%: 19-33 (57.6%)
3PT%: 4-11 (36.4%)
FT%: 2-3 (66.7%)
Total Rebounds: 14-18
Leading Scorer: Dana Evans(14)
Both teams struggled a bit to begin the quarter. Credit Notre Dame for making the defensive adjustments during halftime. Notre Dame found Dana Evans early and often in their zone and made life a little difficult for Dana and the Cards in the quarter. Notre Dame was able to cut the Louisville lead to 10, but Louisville went on a mini-run and was able to extend their lead back to 14. The Cards led 59-45 going into the final quarter.
Elizabeth Dixon got the scoring started for Louisville in the quarter, pushing the lead to 16. The Louisville defense just stymied the Notre Dame offense for the better part of the fourth quarter, as Louisville was able to push the lead back to 20 with under 4 minutes remaining. A Hailey Van Lith corner 3 on an assist from Dana gave the Cards a 21-point lead. Louisville ends up leaving South Bend with a 78-61 win and the ACC regular season title.
FG% 32-62 (51.6%)
3PT% 6-21 (28.6%)
FT% 8-9 (88.9%)
Total Rebounds: 28-35
Offensive Rebounds: 7-11
Bench Points: 32
Post Game Notes and Leaders:
Louisville clinched their 4th consecutive ACC title. Coach Walz was very animated during a timeout in the 3rd quarter and I believe that was the tone he wanted to set for his team. The Cards had 5 players score in double figures. Dana Evans led Louisville with 26 points and 5 assists. Mykasa Robinson had 10 points, 3 steals, 4 assists, 2 rebounds, and took 5 charges. Kianna Smith added 10 points and 5 rebounds.
The Cards have locked up a double bye for the ACC Tournament and will await their next opponent.