U of L women’s basketball takes down ranked Duke Tuesday, Feb 1 2022 

By Daniel Rankin —

On Jan. 30, the No. 5 ranked Louisville Cardinals beat the Duke University Blue Devils in an ACC showdown. With their fifth ranked-win of the season, the Cards improve to 18-2 and 8-1 in conference play.

Sophomore guard Hailey Van Lith had another stellar performance, leading the way with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Freshman guard Payton Verhulst, having earned significant minutes off the bench, backed it up with a career-high 13 points.

In the first half, the Cards dominated much of the action with an impressive shooting performance and a highly pressured defense, forcing Duke to take poor shots and turnovers. Louisville started the second half with a 20-point lead and was well-positioned to win.

However, Duke closed the gap, making it an extremely competitive and close game thanks to substantial three-point shooting in the third quarter.

After struggling during the middle part of the game, Van Lith made 8 of her 17 points in the fourth quarter, which was crucial with Duke continuing to apply pressure late in the game. Freshman guard Shayeann Day-Wilson stood out for the Blue Devils with 25 points, keeping them extremely close. However, she fouled out of the game late in the fourth.

There shouldn’t be too many negative takeaways after extending a three-game winning streak and beating a tough-ranked ACC opponent. However, the usually elite defense from the Cardinals struggled at times, allowing an uncommonly high .488 field goal percentage and over .500 3 point percentage by the Blue Devils.

“I thought we did some good things offensively in the first half,” stated Louisville Head Coach Jeff Walz, but he took issue with the officiating in the second half. In reference to the referees, Walz said, “There’s no flow to it; they make calls that have no impact on anything, both sides.”

Up next, the Cardinals, now ranked No. 4 at the time of writing, will hit the road for three games starting with the University of Miami on February 1. The next home game for the Cards will be on February 10 against the University of Virginia.

Photo by Daniel Rankin // The Louisville Cardinal

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Chris Mack leaving post as men’s head basketball coach Wednesday, Jan 26 2022 

By Daniel Rankin —

Jan. 26 marks the end of an era, as the U of L Board of Trustees and U of L Athletic Association announced the departure of men’s head basketball coach Chris Mack.

The decision comes as the Cards are about to miss the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row with an 11-9 record this season. They also currently have an 8th place 5-5 record in the ACC.

“Coaching transitions are always difficult, especially during the course of the season, but Chris and I agreed that it is in the best interests of our student-athletes that he step aside immediately,” said Interim Athletic Director Josh Heird. “We will always prioritize our student-athletes and do all that we can to ensure that they have an incredible experience at Louisville. I want to thank Chris and his family for their service to the University and we wish them the very best in their next chapter.”

Mack finishes his tenure at U of L with an overall record of 68-37 and without any NCAA Tournament victories.

During Mack’s first year as head coach in 2018, the Cards entered the Tournament with a No. 7 ranking, but took a loss to No. 10 Minnesota in the first round.

In the 2019-20 season, expectations were high for the team, as their pre-season ranking was No. 5, and achieved the No. 1 spot midseason for two weeks. However, the NCAA Tournament was cancelled in March due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020-21 season saw multiple game cancellations for the Cardinals and they were the first team without an invitation to the tournament.

After some staff turnover, which included an extortion attempt by former assistant coach Dino Gaudio, Mack was suspended six games without pay by the University last November.

Assistant Coach Mike Pegues will be taking over as interim head coach.

Now U of L will begin the national search to find the next coach of the U of L men’s basketball team.

Photo Courtesy of Jeff Reinking // Louisville Athletics

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U of L men’s basketball loses their ninth game this season Tuesday, Jan 25 2022 

By: Hannah Walker–

On Jan. 24, Louisville men’s basketball played an away game against the Virginia Cavaliers, and lost with a final score of 64-52.

This is the second loss in a row.Tthe team has lost nine game already this season.

During the first half of the game, U of L was already off to a rocky start. Virginia received the ball at tipoff, and scored five points before the Cards could get on the scoreboard.

U of L started to pick up on offense, when freshman guard/forward Dre Davis made four points for U of L with his driving layup and jumper during the first half.

Before halftime started, U of L continued to score when graduate guard Jarrod West made an impressive three-point jumper, but it wasn’t enough to put the Cards in the lead. U of L went into the second half with a score of 35-23.

During the second half, Louisville tried to catch back up. U of L came out strong when West made a driving layup during the first 30 seconds of the game. However, Virginia continued to battle with the Cards to keep their lead.

West continued to make three point jumpers, and remained the star player of the night, but it wasn’t enough for the Cards to take home the win. U of L lost with a final score of 64-52.

Louisville men’s basketball will be back at KFC Yum! Center on Jan. 29 at 12:00 p.m. to play against Duke University.

 

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Women’s Basketball Rebounds In Win Against Wake Forest Tuesday, Jan 25 2022 

By Daniel Rankin–

On Jan 23, The Louisville Cardinals rebounded after their NC State loss by beating the Wake Forest Deacons 72-60.

The Cards are now 16-2 with a 6-1 ACC record on the season. Sophomore guard Hailey Van Lith impressed with a 17-point game and a career-high six assists.

The game started extremely tight, with both teams shooting well, including a few critical threes from Wake Forest that kept them ahead for most of the first quarter. Freshman guard Payton Verhulst, who  has started to earn some vital minutes on the team,  knocked down a three late in the first to keep the Cards within range, 22-21 going into the second.

Both teams continued to trade baskets back and forth starting the second quarter. Eventually, the Cardinal’s defense found a way to shut down the Deacons, prompting a massive 19-0 run to end the first half. The Cards shot a staggering 10-13 behind the 3 point line taking control of the game.

Coming out of the locker room, the Cards picked up right where they left off, extending a 32-0 run.

“Mykasa Robinson came into the game and changed our defensive mindset,” said head coach Jeff Walz, who credited the senior for sparking the big run. “She’s as tough of a kid as I’ve ever coached, and she just makes things happen.” Robinson forced multiple turnovers on defense  in addition to her 2 points and a season-high seven assists

The Cards slowed down offensively in the fourth quarter allowing more players down the rotation to receive playing time.

Overall this was a good win coming off a tough ACC loss; the Cardinals put together a complete game on both sides of the game against a quality conference opponent. The defense was able to shine as usual, but the offense and 3 point shooting, in particular, stood out the most and will hopefully propel the Cards forward as we grow closer to tournament season. Next for the Cards is Florida State this Thursday, Jan 27, at the KFC Yum! Center.

Photo by Daniel Rankin / / The Louisville Cardinal 

 

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U of L men’s basketball wins against Boston College Thursday, Jan 20 2022 

By Hannah Walker —

Louisville men’s basketball beat Boston College 67-54 at the KFC Yum! Arena on Wednesday.

After losing the last three games, U of L men’s basketball pulled out a win at home against the Eagles.

During the first half of the game, the teams were neck and neck. With 00:27 left in the first half, redshirt sophomore forward Jae’lyn Withers made a layup and gave Louisville a two-point lead.

Senior guard Noah Locke and junior forward Sydney Curry were the star players of the game. Their performances allowed the Cards to go into halftime with a score of 30-28.

At the beginning of the second half, both teams battled to get ahead. However, U of L started to keep a steady lead 12:26 into the second half.

Fifth year forward/center Malik Williams defended the team by making consistent rebounds, and the team’s offense continued to improve as the game came to an end. This gave U of L the final win for the night.

Louisville men’s basketball will be back at home to play Notre Dame Jan. 22 at 4:00 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Lucas Niemi // U of L Athletics

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Women’s basketball picks up win against Syracuse at home Monday, Jan 17 2022 


By Daniel Rankin —

On a Jan 13 ACC Battle, the UofL Women’s Basketball team faced Syracuse University and won with a final score of 84-71. With this win, the Cards now move to 14-1 on the season and an undefeated 4-0 in conference play.

Though Louisville had the lead for most of the game, the two schools were extremely tight as Syracuse stayed neck-and-neck with the Cardinals. Sophomore guard Hailey Van Lith started the game with an impressive 9-point shooting performance in the first quarter.

Running into some early foul trouble, Syracuse struggled to keep up with the Cards. However, late shots by Syracuse closed the gap and kept the score close going into the second quarter at 23-18.

In the second quarter, Louisville could not increase their lead as both teams were tied with 17 points. With some close and intense battles in the paint, the game started to get more aggressive. Forward senior Emily Engstler, a recent U of L transfer, received a technical foul after having verbal conflict with the referees.

The Cards’ defense started to struggle in the second half, allowing multiple 3-point shots. The team also made some costly turnovers in the paint, allowing Syracuse to catch up and even take the lead late in the third quarter.

However, the fourth quarter saw a much improved and dominant Louisville team outscoring the Orange 25-15 to finish the game. The Cardinals forced multiple turnovers, allowing Van Lith and redshirt senior guard Kianna Smith to score and put the game out of reach.

After returning from a brief pause caused by a COVID-19 outbreak, Louisville excelled offensively but seemed to struggle defensively. However, Head Coach Jeff Walz noted that he expected some struggles with less practice recently.

The Cards will play next against ACC title contender NC State on Thursday, Jan. 20.

Photo by Daniel Rankin // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L men’s basketball takes loss against Pittsburgh Monday, Jan 17 2022 

By Hannah Walker–

On Saturday, Jan. 15, Louisville men’s basketball lost in an away game against Pittsburgh with a final score of 65-53.

During the first 11 minutes of the game, U of L took the lead. Junior guard El Ellis and sophomore guard/forward Dre Davis gained a total of five points each during the first half of the game and the team’s offense was off to a great start. However, with 4:56 left in the first half, Pittsburgh took the lead with a score of 28-24 going into halftime.

During the second half of the game, Louisville made an attempt to catch back up. Senior guard Noah Locke was able to score seven points during the last half and fifth year forward/center Malik Williams scored eight points before the game ended. However, it was not enough to catch up to Pittsburgh. U of L travelled home with a loss to the Panthers.

Louisville men’s basketball will be back on their home court to play against Boston College on Jan. 19 at 7:00 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Adam Creech// U of L Athletics

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U of L men’s basketball falls short to DePaul Monday, Dec 13 2021 

By: Hannah Walker–

On Dec. 10, U of L men’s basketball faced DePaul University on their home court, and lost with a final score of 62-55.

During the start of the game, Louisville took the lead. Fifth year forward/center Malik Williams was one of the top performers with 13 points during the first half, with sophomore forward Matt Cross following with an additional 7 points. DePaul tried to take  the lead with 05:06 left on the clock, but U of L managed to stay ahead with a score of 29-26 going into the break.

At the start of second quarter, the Cards continued to score, and stay ahead of DePaul. However, DePaul took the lead with 05:44 left on the clock. U of L began to lose reach of the win, and ended the game with a final score of 62-55.

Louisville men’s basketball will be back for another home game on Dec. 14 at 6:00 p.m against Southeastern Louisiana.

Photo courtesy of Lucas Niemi// U of L Athletics

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U of L men’s basketball takes home another win against North Carolina State Wednesday, Dec 8 2021 

By Hannah Walker —

On Dec. 4, Louisville men’s basketball played against North Carolina State, and won with a final score of 73-68.

At the end of the first half of the game, Louisville had the lead with a score of 43-29. Fifth year forward/center Malik Williams was a top performer of the night, with 12 points and three rebounds during the first half of the game. Junior guard El Ellis was another top contender during the first half of the game who scored seven points, and was able to help keep Louisville in the lead until halftime.

During the second half of the game, Louisville continued to take the lead by scoring an additional 30 points. Sophomore forward Matt Cross scored nine points and four rebounds, and graduate student guard Jarrod West scored five points and had one rebound. This is what ultimately led Louisville to the lead for the night.

U of L men’s basketball will be back at the KFR Yum! Center on Friday, Dec. 10 at 8:00 p.m to play against DePaul University.

Photo Courtesy of Lucas Niemi // U of L Athletics 

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U of L Volleyball finish regular season undefeated, enters tournament as no. 1 seed Monday, Dec 6 2021 

By Daniel Rankin —

The University of Louisville Volleyball team finished off the regular season just as they started: beating Notre Dame and finishing with a perfect record. En route, the Cards picked up their second straight ACC Title.

Though they dominated their opponents in most cases, Louisville faced challenging ACC opponents in the University of Pittsburgh, a top 5 team, as well as 18th ranked Georgia Tech. The out-of- conference schedule was even better when they defeated the 2020 National Champion Kentucky Wildcats and top 10 teams like Purdue and Nebraska.

“We look back on those experiences and matches and reflect on what we did well,” said ACC Coach of the Year Dani Busboom Kelly. “Those gave us the life that we earned this spot have the pieces to get it done.”

Even with the demanding schedule, Louisville was clearly the best team in the nation all season, in many cases sweeping their opponents.

Being undefeated is an incredible accomplishment, and yet head coach Dani Busboom Kelly and her team remain focused on their primary goal and what lies ahead.

“Obviously, we’re very excited about getting the No. 1,” said Kelly. “Every draw is tough this year, and it feels like 20-25 teams can reach the final four. It’ll definitely not be easy to reach Freedom Hall.”

Freedom Hall is a reference to the Cards hosting the NCAA Regional Finals (Sweet 16 – Elite 8), thanks to their partnership with Bellarmine University. The U of L Volleyball team is scheduled to take on #16 Florida in the Sweet 16 at Freedom Hall this Thursday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m.

Should the Cards advance, they will play the winner of the Ohio State and Georgia Tech match in the Elite 8.

Photo Courtesy of Adam Creech // U of L Athletics

 

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