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Monday, February 6, 2023

Cards Guards Shoot Way to Win over UNC 62-55


We've seen a lot of good things.  this season,  out of the Cards guard contingent Hailey Van Lith, Chrislyn Carr and Mykasa Robinson . In Van Lith and Carr's case, it was a combined seven threes and  seven assists in leading the scoring punch. In Kasa's case, it was unyielding defensive pressure (add a black eye to her stats for today, too) and a team high four assists in the Cards win over a stubborn, un-willing to go away #11 UNC squad. 

This one had a lot of twists and turns, and, in the beginning...not much offense. Halfway through the opening quarter, it was a frigid 8-7 UNC lead, and then both squads decided to take a two minute hiatus from scoring. It was Nyla Harris leading the Louisville effort, with four points, but Louisville needed some additional boosts in the arm. 

Hello, Hailey Van Lith.

She'd changed from the prior-game, fan controversial blue shoes, she had the look in her eyes that said, "Let's Go!" and she went off on a two and one half minute, eight-point scoring run to take Louisville from a 10-7 deficit to a 15-10 lead as the end of the quarter drew near. It was vintage Hailey and the 10,000+ in attendance roared their approval. Louisville had a 15-12 end-of-quarter lead, and the Cards had avoided any stalls, sputtering or stop of offense so far. 

As in the first quarter, the second quarter didn't feature a lot of scoring early. Threes by Norika Konno and Carr helped the Cards to 21-14 lead with 5:46 until half, but the UofL scoring suddenly stopped..UofL would add just two points the rest of the half and UNC responded with a 10-0 run, led by Anya Poole and Paulina Paris' four points each. The Cards trailed 24-21 with 28 seconds left. Fortunately, Morgan Jones was there to put back a missed Van Lith shot to end the half. It wasn't an offensive clinic, but at least the Cards only trailed by one at 24-23. 

27% shooting by each squad for the half was less than inspiring. Louisville's 12 turnovers and 4-18 three-point efforts were less than encouraging.

The third quarter eventually took the Cards down the road to redemption. They scored two more points in the third quarter than they did in the entire first half. And. slowly but surely, Louisville caught up with UNC, took the lead and build upon it...after the Cards stumbled out of the gate.  

It was, as mentioned, a painful beginning to the second half, with UNC going on a 9-0 run that was aided by a phantom foul called on Norika Konno following a Deja Kelly three-point attempt. How can you call a foul on a defender for just standing there and getting crashed in to after the shot? It also drew a Walz technical for the protest, so UNC sank four of five free throws and scored a basket all in a 24 second stretch to go up by nine at 32-23. 

Louisville went to work, though. They had decreased the UNC lead to four just 30 seconds later after scores by Cochran, Carr and Robinson. It was a two-point game at 36-34 after a Carr three and tied with 4:27 to play in the quarter after a fast break Jones. Carr and Jones has Louisville's next six points and the Cards had assumed a 44-40 lead wit a little over two minutes to go in the quarter after a Van Lith free throw. Two Robinson free throws built the Louisville lead to 48-43 at the end of the third. 

How would the fourth go for Louisville was the question on a lot of Cardinals fans minds. 

UNC would make it an interesting one. A Paris three after a Cards turnover cut the Louisville lead to 51-50. Carr still had the hot hand, though, and her three made it 54-50 with half the quarter still to play. Free throw shooting was proving to be a dicey situation for Walz' squad, though and 1-2 efforts from Harris and Robinson had the Cards holding on to a 56-50 edge with 2:26 to play. UNC's Kelly would get the TarHeels within four with a jumper at 56-52, but, Merissah Russell sank two free throws in a row to push it back out to six.

And that's the way most of the quarter was played. The Cards were just 2 for 4 from the floor, but 9-12 from the stripe in the fourth. Carr's three at the 5:03 mark was UofL's last basket. The Cards went up 62-55 on two Van Lith free throws for the final scoring of the game.

A hard fought win that ended a eight-game UNC win streak, call it an upset of sorts if you want in this crazy Atlantic Crisis Conference, but the Cards took UNC's best shot several times and did not go down. 

(The question is, would Freddy Farm Bureau have considered it a huge win, given his stature?) 


FREE THROWS -- 16-24 equals out to 66.7% which is a bit under our acceptable standards OF THE 70% MARK., We won't "name names" but one Cardinals' 1-5 performance indicates to us she needs a little time at the stripe. NO LETTER

REBOUNDING -- 46-35 in Louisville favor and the Cards got huge performances from Van Lith (12) and Robinson (8). Neither girl is over 5'7". The clear winner for the Cards, though, was Nyla Harris and her 12. and, she's just a freshman. She just doessn't give up on any ball or chance. CAPITAL "R" earned.

EFFORT/EXECUTION -- Shooting was nothing to brag about at 33.9% nor was Louisville's lack of points in the paint (14). They also had a "head-held-in-the-palms-of hands" 22 turnovers. UNC had 11 steals, also. A strong bench scoring effort (28-11 edge) and second-chance points domination (18-8) make up for some of that, so we'll allow a small case "e".

DEFENSE -- The Cards did hold UNC to a lower shooting percentage than UofL and shutting down Paris, Todd-Williams and Kelly to 10 of 39 shooting is impressive. The defense was not dominating but it got the job done and that's worth a small case "d"


The ACC WBB girls on the network made a big deal of the Card win, calling it an upset...but when you get this UofL team on their floor in front of 10,000 + , I guess I have a hard time calling this an "upset". After all, both teams are now 8-4 in conference and two of four teams that are at 8-4. With Duke knocking off Notre Dame, let's call second place in the ACC standings a wide open affair right now.  Seven teams are within two games of each other for the top conference spot. 

We're in for a heck of a ride, folks. Strap in, hold on tight and take nothing for granted..  



Carr and Robinson post game presser:  KASA AND CC

Jeff Walz post game presser:  JEFF WALZ



  1. Thanks for the great coverage of the game. You give the visiting team fan so much more detail than any of the local Cardinals sites. I discovered you several years back and check you out anytime we play you in women's sports.

    Fan of UNC

  2. Knew we could do it, now can't let up.
    And shocked that win didn't move us up in the net rankings. HUH???

    1. Great game ,The unranked Cardinals team is tuff I think we have to beat Notre Dame twice to get ranked.

  3. I love this team it's different from the past teams. Is it me or Mykasa seems like five people out there . She's everywhere on the court amazing.

  4. Stopping a win streak like theirs is impressive. Let's see how they respond to the loss.

  5. NCST is the squad that needs to sound the panic alarm right now with two straight losses. Diamond Johnson trying to be Dana Evans but not filling the role. VT is the real deal. They scare me.

    Curtis "Be Kind" Franklin

    1. Perplexing how we took Va Tech to the last possession at their place and lost to NC State at home🤷


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