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Monday, January 2, 2023




Sometimes, things come back to bite you. 

When Jeff Walz went after Elizabeth Balogun and Liz Dixon when they decided to leave Georgia Tech, most saw it as a nice move to make the prospects of the 2019-20 Cardinals team even stronger. After all, Balogun was the reigning ACC Freshman of the Year and had averaged almost 15 points a game. But, after two years, she felt the need to move again and Kara Lawson and Duke brought her aboard. 

The first player in ACC history to play for three different ACC teams went off on her old teammates Sunday in Cameron Indoor Stadium with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Duke kept their ACC slate unblemished with the 63-56 win over Louisville, 

An 8-0 run in the fourth quarter was the deciding factor. After Louisville got a three from Olivia Cochran with 4:38 to go, the Cards had managed to trim a seven point deficit to two at 51-49 . Louisville would not score again, though, in the next three minutes and see the Duke lead grow to 59-49.  Although, the Cards would manage to get back within three with 42 seconds to go, four straight Blue Devil free throws to close out the contest (two by Balogun) allowed the Durham squad to get the "W" and go to 13-1 overall and 3-0 in the ACC so far in the 2022-23 season. 

The Cards jumped out to a 5-0 lead to begin the game, but found themselves behind 18-11 after 10 minutes. It was 32-24 at the half and the Cards went into the fourth quarter on the short end of a 43-38 score, thanks to a late Balogun three that turned a 40-38 contest to the five-point home team advantage The Cards used a 7-0 run late in the third quarter to knock a 11 point Duke lead to four, but when they needed a run to pull out a win on the road, UofL fell just short. 

Coach Walz pointed to the 12 first half turnovers by Louisville in the first half as a deciding factor in the contest in post-game remarks. The triumvirate of Van Lith, Carr and Robinson had nine of those miscues, but the Cards still managed to find their way back into the contest after being down by 14 with about four minutes left in the second quarter.  

It figured to be a tough test on the road for Louisville and the Cards certainly didn't get any assistance from the refereeing --Duke made 14 of 16 free throws and Louisville got just two -- making both

Hailey Van Lith kept the Cards in this one, despite Duke's best efforts to deny her the ball and make life rough for her when she got it. Duke did shut down Carr, though, to just eight points and UofL probably needed both of them to be at top-notch to take this one Sunday. 

Kara Lawson:  "This is a great week for go to NC State and win and now to beat the team that was picked to win the league. That's a good start for us, to go 3-0 in ACC play. 

The stretch ahead doesn't get much easier for the Cards (11-5, 2-1) this week...Georgia Tech comes to town for a 8 p.m. game Thursday night...but...the Yellow Jackets did get shellacked by FSU by 41 points Sunday in Tallahassee.


(It was "Nightmare in N.C for the Cards) 

FREE THROWS -- The "free ones" weren't much of a factor in this one for Louisville, except for the huge discrepancy in the attempts. Olivia Cochran got one attempt and made it and so did Nyla Harris.  (Fill in your own thoughts on this ---Duke got 16 unguarded attempts to score a point and made 14). Still, 100% is better that 70%, so we'll award THE CAPITAL "F".for accuracy, if not quantity.

REBOUNDS -- 32-28 in favor of the Cards. Dixon and Cochran combined for 13. I'd normally award a CAPITAL letter here , but with the loss, we'll make it a small case "r"

EFFORT/EXECUTION -- 17 turnovers is way too many, even if it was the best defensive team in the ACC that you were playing. Seven assists on 25 baskets is low and 4-16 three-point shooting is just abysmal. 11 first quarter points wasn't the start that inspired much confidence or displayed stellar execution. No letter.

DEFENSE -- Holding Duke to 63 point isn't all that bad, but the defense collapsed at times in the second half and was substandard in the first half. Six steals is about average for the Cards. Duke did shoot 40%...but the big factor here is that the defense gave up more points than the offense scored and that equals loss. No letter


So, it was great to see Kasa back out there and she'll only get better the more she plays, after the concussion inactivity,  but to get just nine points out of Dixon, Williams and Harris in a  combined 43 minutes is troubling. 

A tough loss, Jeff Walz will tell've got to be at your best any time you take the court against an ACC foe, or you're going to take an "L" or be extremely lucky to win.  Let's hope Louisville learns from this one and comes out playing better Thursday night, 




  1. Yes, we want the Cards to win and to be what we know they can be this season. However, I hear a lot from some fans about Hailey missing more shots than others take.

    In basketball, you go with who has the hot hand at the time. In most cases on our team that is Hailey, so she is going to take a lot of shots. I don’t think it’s as if she is being a gun and shooting it every time down. She is taking shots within the flow of the offense. She looks for other people as well, but she can’t pass the ball and hit the shot for them too…that’s why it’s a team game. I AM GETTING WEARY of people who call out Hailey. Other players need to be held accountable, too.

    Let's call it what it was. Duke got a great game out of Balogun, they made their free throws and this ref crew was downright pitiful. Of course, in Cameron, you'll never get a break on officiating.

    Tear off the rear view mirror and move on. You lost an ACC game on the road. It'll happen again. Lawson has built a nice team. I doubt they lose many the rest of the way.

    Curtis "Bee Kind" Franklin

    1. We needed EVERY Hailey one on one basket yesterday, Duke played great passing lane defense.

  2. This Dude squad has eight transfer so Lawson and her staff put lot of work and research into building a squad. She's an opportunist, remember they had Nyah Green too before she left. Maybe that's what college hoops have turned into. I sure hope not. Balogun was out for payback sand she got it.

    Nick O

    1. I agree with you Nick O, she got Vindicated in her mind.

  3. The way I saw it was we were our OWN worst enemy. The live ball to's that led to easy transition baskets for Duke was the difference.
    What makes me LOVE this program is they battle to the end, I thought they left it on the court.
    Gonna be a wild ACC season!!!

  4. I agree with everybody's assessment of the game and I also want to point out that Liz Dixon sometimes loses confidence when she misses easy shots around the rim.
    Liz balogun was The X Factor in that game the person Duke needed to step up, I think Liz balogun is good player when she plays under control.
    Imho the Cards did compete and almost pulled out a road victory.
    Go Cards.

  5. Cards lost that game in the first ten minutes. They played Duke even the rest of the way


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