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Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Cards comeback leads to 69-66 win at Miami -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


For awhile it looked bleak for Louisville women's basketball against Miami Tuesday night. 

UofL trailed Miami 59-50 with 6:13 to play in the game. How would the Cards respond? Louisville showed they weren't in Miami just for the weather, and powered back to take a 65-62 lead on a Chelsie Hall three-pointer with 36 seconds to play and an Olivia Cochran bucket and two Kianna Smith free throws allowed the Cards to keep the lead and get their 19h win of the season against a determined Hurricane squad. 

Jeff Walz predicted a close one pre-game, our Daryl Foust saw it that way, too in Tuesday's preview column. It was an exciting one in the Watsco Center in Coral Gables. Until Kelsey Marshall's desperation three as time expired missed the mark, it was anyone's game. 

The Cards started slowly, falling behind 4-0 early, but rallied to grab an 11-10 lead with 5:49 left in the first quarter. It was 15-15 with 4:42 remaining but the Cards held a 19-18 lead after one, And, Louisville failed to score in the final 2:55 of the quarter, after Liz Dixon's put-back.


The Cards maintained the lead for almost the entire second quarter, holding a 23-19 edge after a minute of play, 26-24 with 6:50 left in the half and going on a three minute 6-0 run to hold a 32-24 advantage with 3:43 left in the half. UM wasn't tossing in the towel, though. At 35-30 Cards with 34 seconds left in the quarter, the Canes used a 5-0 run to close out the half and knot the score at 35-35 on a Kelsey Marshall three with, uh, 3 seconds left? Our 2.5 seconds left or 1.9? -- no one seemed to know, so the officials huddled and then motioned for both teams to head to the locker room -- the half was over. An interesting decision -- maybe the refs were thirsty or something?

A huge first half for Kianna Smith with 15 points on 6-9 shooting and four Cards had four points each (Van Lith, Hall, Engstler and Cochran).

The Cards came out slowly to start the second half and Miami took a 39-35 lead in the first 90 seconds. it was a lead they'd hold until Hall sank a three for the Cards with 3:52 left in the third to put UofL up 42-41. Not intimidated, Miami countered with 6-2 run over the next two minutes to go up 47-44 and a Maeva Djaldi-Tabli layup with 20 seconds to go gave the Canes a 49-46 lead after three. 

The fourth quarter was an epic one. The Cards climbed within two after a Kasa Robinson steal and pass to Cochran for a layup. Then, the tide turned in Miami's favor. Seven straight points by the Canes over the next 70 seconds had UofL in a 56-48 hole. A UM three created a 59-50 Miami lead. Engstler countered with a three but the Cards weren't making up any ground and the Canes led 61-55 with 4:52 to play.

It was time for UofL to respond. A huge Van Lith three cut the lead to three. And, with 2:05 to go, K. Smith nailed a jumper to make it 63-62 -- the Cards had pulled back to just a one-point deficit. Hall's three with 56 seconds to play put the Cards up 65-63, but Marshall countered with a three just nine seconds later to give Miami the lead back at 66-65.

How would it end? Cochran to the rescue with a jumper that gave the Cards a 67-66 lead with 32 seconds to play. Then, Kasa, with a huge steal got the ball back in the Cards possession with 20 seconds to play. The Canes fouled Kianna Smith and the red-shirt senior calmly sank both free throws for the 69-66 final score. A desperation Marshall three fell short and the Cards prevail.

 A Tuesday night thriller that Louisville pulled out by sinking five of their final six shots.

Hunt successful for Fred and Jed...another skin for the Cards


FREE THROWS  --  Louisville went 5-9 from the line (by comparison, Miami got 17 attempts and made 13). 55.6% isn't spectacular and we can't award a letter here. The attempts significant.

REBOUNDS --  The Cards took the boards war 35-29. Emily Engstler a big night with nine. That's good enough for a CAPITAL "R" by me...the old adage, win the boards win the game held true. 

EFFORT/EXECUTION -- 23 assists on 28 made baskets, which is fantastic and 8-20 three point shooting, which was another plus, especially at the end. The team effort was the key, though, at the end that won this one for UofL, overcoming that nine-point deficit was a thing of beauty...there is no quit in these Cards.  CAPITAL "E" here.

DEFENSE -- Holding Marshall to 11 points was huge and the Cards won the points off turnovers battle also. Limiting UM to just three points in the final three minutes was a key to the Cards win...defense does it again and we'll bestow a CAPITAL "D" for the defense. 


The Cards return to action Thursday, plying at Clemson in a 6 p.m. scheduled start.



  1. What an effort for the Cards to come back, on the road and get the win!

    Cochran may be the best center in the league (although NC State and Virginia Tech might argue that). She seems to have the drive and desire that sparks the rest of the squad. And, Kianna Smith is tough to stop when she's in the zone.

    I noticed Engstler got her hand taped up during the contest, hope she's OK for us Thursday.

    A great night with you winning and NCST losing at Notre Dame. The only bad thing about Notre Dame winning is that Stuffy McGraw will still be smirking about it Thursday.

    Your Friend
    #1 Clemson Fan
    Greer, Sc

    1. I agree,if she (Olivia)get more consistent with her 15ft Fade Away shot she'll be unstoppable.

  2. Huge win against a very good team. I guarantee you that if Miami makes the big dance, no one wants to face them in the first round.

    Nick O.

  3. It's like Walz says, opponents fear us because they don't know just who is going to torch you. Glad that O was on and being aggressive. We needed her.

    Curtis "Be Kind" Franklin

  4. Gutsy.
    Don't know WHAT it is with Miami, but seems like they ALWAYS bring it against us.
    Not gonna lie, thought we were done, but, WOW!
    That three from Chelsie came at the right time!
    And Kasa, that girl just makes plays!
    Olivia, just keeps getting better.
    A force, and we have a nice one-two punch with Liz.

    On with the next game, and sorry Arthur, but this game couldn't be at a better time, hopefully we can get plenty of minutes for Ahlana and Payton, hope we even see Parker play extended minutes.

    1. I agree more PT for the bench.

  5. Miami was quite well prepared for us and that's what their coach does really well, getting her teams ready.

    Kianna was first half and Olivia was second half stars for us, but give credit to Hall and Van Lith, their late threes saved us.

    Let's hope Clemson is a little less nerve racking and blood pressure spiking Thursday.

    Good recap Paulie. I always like your "take" on games.

    Blue Lou.

  6. cards have become a fourth quarter team and that won't fly so well in the acc and ncaa tournaments walz has no leader out there

    1. HVL HVL HVL clutch 4 Quarter get her open looks.


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