The Lady Cardinals are thankful for a return to the states. After dropping a couple of games in the Bahamas, Louisville was ready for a good old-fashioned thrashing of an opponent. Longwood came to the Yum and played hard, but they did not have the goods to challenge. At the end of the first quarter, Louisville was up 35-10, and they kept their foot on the gas. Star player Hailey Van Lith was out with an injury. Lith could have played if needed, but UofL head coach Jeff Waltz decided to give her a few extra days of rest.
Photo Cred: Courier Journal
The 35-point period was the Cardinals’ most productive since notching that many in the fourth quarter of a 100-64 victory at Syracuse on Feb. 6. That’s also the last time Louisville broke triple digits in a game. Louisville blitzed Longwood to a quick 7-2 lead and built it to a 14-2 advantage. Strong defense, great movement, and knockdown shooting led to an easy day for the ladies in red. It was apparent from tip-off that Louisville had too much size from the undersized Longwood Lancers to handle.
Louisville dominated with 16 rebounds and 12 points on turnovers. Louisville shot 63%, 83% from 3, and caused five turnovers in the first quarter. It was more of the same in the second quarter as Louisville reached the half-century mark with 1:55 left in the quarter. Longwood scored ten points in the first and second quarters, leading to a 54-20 Louisville lead going into the locker room. The Cardinals increased their lead in the second half due to continued execution on both ends of the floor, and they would ride their consistent play to the victory.
Photo Cred: Card Chronicles
Six players scored in double figures. In only 24 minutes of play, Chrislyn Carr led all players in scoring with 17. Olivia Cochran had another double-double with ten rebounds and points apiece. Payton Verhulst had 16 points. Norika Konno returned to play in the Bahamas, but she played her best overall game today. She finished with 10 points.
Photo Cred: WDRB
Coach Walz said, “IQ-wise, Rik is without a doubt the highest basketball IQ player in terms of knowing where her teammates are she sees the next pass before she gets the ball.” He added, “Hailey is by far our best scorer, Kas plays the hardest, O is our best rebounder, and Rik has our highest basketball IQ she makes others better.”
Photo Cred: Louisville Athletics
Louisville shot a season-best 55.9% and had six players score double figures. Payton Verhulst had a career-high 16 on 7 of 9 shooting, while Morgan Jones added 15 points in 18 minutes. The Cardinals are looking for more consistency from players other than Van Lith. Friday’s performance looked promising, but tougher tests loom.