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Monday, March 21, 2022



Many expected a close game against the #9 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs for Louisville women's basketball but for awhile it looked like it just might be a Louisville blowout instead. 

The Cards jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first 4:27 of the game, utilizing a suppressing full court press and Gonzaga missed their first seven shots. Four different Cards hit the first four baskets for UofL and the Zags didn't score their first basket until the 4:39 mark of the quarter.


The Zags quickly righted that, though and proceeded to go on their own 12-0 run on Louisville over the next two and a half minutes. Olivia Cochran put in a second chance attempt to break the GU run and Kianna Smith nailed a jumper 30 seconds later to build the Cardinals lead back to 18-12, but the Zags made the final basket of the quarter to trail UofL by just four at the end of the first quarter 18-14. Smith led UofL in the first 10 minutes with seven points, Cochran had six and Emily Engstler had nine of Louisville's 14 rebounds.

Our favorite Yorkie of all time Jess at the game ! 

The Cards would stretch the lead back out to 22-14 early in the second quarter after buckets by Kasa Robinson and Hailey Van Lith's first score of the game, but, in what had become a game of runs, Gonzaga retaliated with a 9-0 run to grab a 23-22 led with  four minutes until half time. The squads stayed within two points of each other until Engstler hit two free throws to make it 33-30 Louisville. The visitors from Spokane cut it back to one before Smith nailed a three with two seconds left in the hlf to create a Cardinals lead and a halftime score of 36-32 Cards. .

Neither team was exactly burning things up behind the arc in the first 20, UofL going 3-12 and Gonzaga 2-12. the Zags were outrebounding UofL 21-18, keeping Engstler without a grab in the second quarter and Gonzaga's bench had outscored Louisville's 13-2. Smith had 10 points for UofL and Leigh Truong had 10 for Gonzaga.  

The third quarter was when Louisville finally began to create some distance from their opponent. And Van Lith was a huge part of it. She had Louisville's first eight points of the third quarter and the Cards had a 44-36 lead with 5:54 left in the quarter. Two Van Lith free throws stretched the lead out to 51-39 with three minutes left in the  quarter and most ot the 10414 in attendance started breathing a bit easier. An Engstler free throw made it 56-44 to end the quarter and it looked like Louisville would be heading to Wichita to face .either Belmont or Tennessee, barring one of their not-too-popular final quarter crash and burns. .

Gonzaga would get no closer than nine points, though in the final quarter and a 6-0 run had the Cards comfortably ahead 68-53 with three minutes to play. Engstler, Smith and Van Lith were still scoring and the Zags were beginning to look a little tired and frustrated. Louisville didn't score in those final three minutes, missing the only two shots they attempted, and the Zags managed a bucket and four free throws to make the final 68-59. 

Van Lith led all scorers with 21 points and three other Cards reached double figures. 12 each for Smith and Engstler and 11 for Cochran. Hall barely missed double digits with eight points. For Gonzaga, Cierra Walker led the way with 14 points.  


(Cards still dancing like Fred Astaire)

Free Throws -- Louisville went to the charity stripe 13 times and sank 10 of them. Engstler saw the most action on those and went 6-7. 77% is good enough to get Louisville a .CAPITAL "F" in this category.

Rebounding -- Despite Engstler's 11 grabs in 33 minutes, Louisville lost the battle of the boards 40-31 to the Bulldogs. A team effort for GU, no one had more than six for them. No letter here. 

Effort/Execution -- UofL had only eight turnover and 13 assists on 26 made baskets. The dominating third quarter turned the tide forthe Cards and Van Lith sank three of Louisville's six three pointers. 40% shooting is acceptable for the 40 minutes and the Cards got the win, so I'll award a CAPITAL "E" for turning away a pesky foe . 

Defense -- Gonzaga shot 38% against Louisville and the Cards had 10 steals (Engstler five), forced 18 turnovers and had five blocks. They also held the Zags to just 4-20from behind the arc. Defense has done it all season for the Cards and it did again Sunday night. I'll give the a CAPITAL "D" for the winning effort. 


The Cards took Gonzaga's best shot and prevailed before a very loud, supportive and appreciative crowd. It's survive and advance this time of year and it takes a win streak of six in a row to take down the title. Louisville is 1/3 of the way there and, with Baylor losing to South Dakota,  I guess we now have proved we deserved the #1 seed in the Wichita region and have done the work to convince the rest of the NCAA WBB world that we are to be feared and respected. .

Onward and upward...

(Photos by Jared Anderson) 



  1. Helluva crowd, helluva game, gotta LOVE it 💯

  2. 1 gripe about today's games, why in the world would they have a 10:00pm (or possibly later) start for ANY game???
    That's effing RIDICULOUS.

    1. Agree. It is the NCAA though. Enuf said. NCAA = No Clear Accurate Agenda.


  3. The Gonzaga team gave UofL a good battle but the Cards did have superior talent. And, the crowd!

    The deeper you go, the tougher games get but Louisville is primed and ready for a Final Four trip. Baylor getting eliminated will aid that. Mainstream media is still all crazy over NCST, Stanford, Uconn, South Carolina and Notre Dame but don't ignore the Cards or count them out. Too talented, best coach on WBB and on a mission.

    Thanks for the recap! And, no Peacocks or Ivy League Tigers can stop them.

    Blue Lou

  4. Good game, loved the outcome.Go Cards!
    Show down liz Dixon take you time.


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