Happy Friday to all of our awesome Cardinal Couple readers! Hopefully everyone is staying safe as we deal with some pretty unpleasant weather and road conditions.
I'm typically not a fan of Louisville Women's Basketball playing on the road because I would rather be at games in person, but yesterday was one of the few times I'm glad it was a road game.
HVL Scores Career High in Win at Clemson
Well, Clemson was ready to go for this game, at least for a while. The Tigers kept things close for a good portion of the first half and tied the score early in the second half before Louisville was able to pull away for a 93-71 win.
Delicia Washington posted a strong showing with 28 points, but most of her damage was done in the first half with 18 points. The senior, who is not known for her three-point shooting, went 5-6 from beyond the arc. Amari Robinson went well over her season average with an 18-point performance. Eight of those points came from the charity stripe for the junior guard.
Clemson shot 40.0% from the field and 38.9% from three-point range, quite a bit higher than what the Cards' were allowing on the year. A healthy chunk of their scoring came from the free throw line, where Clemson shot 20-24.
Although Clemson shot well from the floor, Louisville shot better. The Cards shot 58.2% with a flat 50% mark from deep. The 25 assists on 39 made shots is an excellent mark and the 25-14 assist-turnover ratio is something to be proud of.
It was the Hailey Van Lith show in Littlejohn Coliseum, especially in the second half. The sophomore went off for a career-high 34 points and crushed her previous best of 24 points. HVL shot a perfect 6-6 from three-point range and her six long bombs match her career best. Even more impressive, she did it all in 33 minutes.
Liz Dixon had a strong showing off the bench with 12 points on a perfect 6-6 shooting. Emily Engstler was the only other Card in double figures with 10 points. The transfer from Syracuse also posted a team-high eight rebounds. Despite a poor shooting night, Kianna Smith flirted with a double-double with eight points and eight assists.
Q1: Louisville 25, Clemson 16
11-15 73.3% UofL
7-16 43.5% Clemson
2-4 50% UofL
2-8 25% Clemson
After a slow start, it was Kianna Smith and her six assists propelling the Cards forward. Washington was perfect from the floor with 10 points and was the only Clemson player doing much early.
Q2: Clemson 23, Louisville 19
8-21 38.1% UofL
6-11 54.5% Clemson
1-4 25% UofL
4-5 80% Clemson
This was the only quarter that the Tigers won. Washington and Robinson combined for 17 points and Clemson was red hot from three-point range. With Engstler on the bench with foul trouble and K Smith going scoreless in the second quarter due to a shooting slump Clemson was able to claw back into the game.
Q3: Louisville 29, Clemson 15
12-16 75% UofL
4-16 25% Clemson
4-6 66.7% UofL
0-2 0.0% Clemson
After Clemson tied the game early in the third quarter, HVL decided she had had enough and went off for 16 points in this quarter alone. The Tigers struggled to score and Louisville's defense had made halftime adjustments to try and slow Clemson's shooting threats.
Q4: Louisville 20, Clemson 17
8-15 53.3% UofL
5-12 41.7% Clemson
3-6 50% UofL
1-3 33.3% Clemson
No starter for Louisville saw more than five minutes in the final quarter as the Cards found themselves up by as much as 26 late in the game. It was a great chance for some of the bench players to see some extra minutes including Sydni Schetnan scoring her first field goal of her young Louisville career. The Cards forced Clemson into as many turnovers as made shots this quarter.
|The late Fred Wiche posing on a day we all wish was out there today|
Free Throws- Despite the discrepancy in free throw attempts (Louisville 10, Clemson 24), the Cards did next to nothing with their opportunities from the line. They shot 5-10 on the night and 50% is well below our minimum standard. No letter.
Rebounding- The Cards won the rebounding battle 35-31 with each team recording 12 offensive boards. Louisville's individual rebounding numbers are skewed a tad as the box score credits the team with six rebounds. Eight Cardinals logged two or more rebounds. Capital R.
Effort/Execution- Hailey alone deserves a capital E+ based off her performance. UofL is in the midst of a pretty tight stretch with several games so we expected to see plenty of reserves see enhanced minutes. Liz Dixon and Payton Verhulst both had strong games off the bench and even Mykasa Robinson had a surprisingly good offensive game. The Cards halted the Clemson run and hit the gas and never let up. Capital E.
Defense- Yeah, giving up 71 points isn't good. Letting a player go off for 28 points also isn't good. Nor is allowing an opposing team to shoot 40%. But, UofL forced Clemson into 17 turnovers and was able to make halftime adjustments to quiet down Clemson's offense. The Tiger's top two scorers were only able to muster up a combined 15 points in the second half. Due to a strong second half, Louisville did enough to earn a lowercase d.
_-R-E-d isn't horrible but there is plenty of room for improvement.
Louisville improves to 20-2 on the year (yay, 20 wins!) and 10-1 in the ACC. The one loss keeps them in the running for the ACC regular season title. Meanwhile, Clemson drops to 7-15 on the year with a 1-10 conference mark.
The Cards stay on the road for one more game when they visit Syracuse this Sunday at noon. Earlier this season, Louisville defeated Syracuse 84-71 in a shootout.
Happy Friday and Go Cards!