U of L women’s basketball wins home opener Wednesday, Nov 17 2021 

By: Daniel Rankin–

On Nov. 16, the No. 15 Louisville women’s basketball team won in a dominant 82-25 rout against the Bellarmine University Knights.

Senior Forward Emily Engstler was the standout player of the night with 12 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks and 4 steals. With the ability to score inside the paint and from the 3 point range, Engstler is a player that many Cards fans should keep an eye on this season.

“I was really pleased with how Emily played,” said head coach Jeff Walz during a post-game interview. “She pursued the ball, she rebounded the ball, she knocked down shots.”

In the first quarter, Engstler and senior guard Kianna Smith made a combined 18 points and pushed the Cards to an early lead. Finishing the quarter strong, Louisville went into the second quarter with a score of 28-10.

Junior guard Norika Konno started the second quarter with a three-pointer, and the game began to fall out of reach for the Knights. With a successful defensive press led by senior guard Mykasa Robinson, the Cards held the Knights to just 2 points in the second quarter. Up 48-14 at halftime, Louisville was in complete control of the game, including Engstler, who already recorded her first double-double of the season.

By the third quarter, Louisville added another 16 points to the board and secured their win by the fourth quarter after a stellar defense done by the Cards.

Although the Cards won comfortably, there were still some struggles, most notable being the lack of three-pointers and the 14 turnovers during the second half.

“We have to be smart enough to stop firing them up when they’re not going in,” said Walz. “They have to make that evaluation themself.”

Walz said the team needs to read each other on the court and know when to make a three-point shot or recover from a turnover.

The Louisville women’s basketball team will be back at the KFC Yum! Center Nov. 17  at 7 p.m. to take on the UT Martin Skyhawks

Photo Courtesy of Taris Smith // U of L Athletics

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U of L women’s basketball will not advance to the Final Four Wednesday, Mar 31 2021 

By: Hannah Walker–

The No. 2 Louisville women’s basketball played against the No. 1 Stanford women’s basketball on March 30 for a shot at the Final Four. U of L lost with a final score of 63-78 and will be closing out their 2020-2021 season.

During the first quarter of the game, Louisville came out with great defense. Senior guard Dana Evans was able to make 10 points and one turnover to put Louisville in the lead. Freshman guard Hailey Van Lith also came out strong, making three points and two rebounds. Louisville went into the second quarter with an eight point stretch over Stanford.

U of L continued to compete hard on defense during the second quarter. Redshirt-junior guard Kianna Smith scored six points during the second quarter and had a total of six rebounds during the first and second quarter. Louisville went into halftime with a 12-point lead.

After halftime though, Stanford came out as a different team. They were stronger on offense and their star player was making consistent three-point shots. Senior Stanford guard Kiana Williams made it tough for Louisville to score against, and it wasn’t long before Stanford started to catch up. Louisville went into the fourth quarter with only a 2-point lead.

During the fourth quarter, Louisville lost their lead to Stanford. Nonetheless, Evans continued to fight and was able to make 11 points. However, this was not enough to catch up before time ran out. U of L took a 15-point loss and will not continue on to the Final Four.

Photo Courtesy of Taris Smith // U of L Athletics

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U of L women’s basketball advances to the Elite 8 Monday, Mar 29 2021 

By: Hannah Walker–

After a win against the Oregon Ducks on March 28, Louisville’s women’s basketball team will be advancing to the Elite 8. The Cards won yesterday’s game with a final score of  60-42.

During the first quarter, Louisville had a great start on offense and scored 10 points. Forward freshman Olivia Cochran, guard redshirt-junior Kianna Smith and freshman guard Hailey Van Lith are just a few of the players that contributed points during this quarter.

By the second quarter, senior guard Dana Evans came back on top after having several off games. She was successfully able to score 13 points, make one turnover and one rebound during her time out on the court. With her help, Louisville held a 15-point lead over Oregon going into the third quarter.

Evans continued to be the star player of the night during the final minutes of the game. She was able to make another seven points during the third quarter, which continued to put Louisville in the lead.

Lith also came out hot during the third quarter when she made two points and two rebounds. Her defense kept Oregon from scoring for most of the quarter and put Louisville at a 10-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

During the fourth quarter, U of L continued to take the lead the entire time on the court. Evans scored another nine points and made one rebound against the Ducks. This led the Cardinals to their win of the night and advanced them to the Elite 8.

“I would just say I played with a poise,” Evans said in a post-game interview. “My teammates are the best and they are always there for me to keep me going.”

She also said she’s excited to play against Stanford during the Elite 8. “I’m excited. They are a really good team with a really good coach, so we’ve got to come in ready to play.”

Louisville women’s basketball will be playing their Elite 8 game against Stanford University on March 30 at 9:00 p.m.

Photo Courtesy of Adam Creech // U of L Athletics 

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The U of L women’s basketball team advances to Sweet 16 Thursday, Mar 25 2021 

By: Hannah Walker–

No. 2 seed University of Louisville women’s basketball team advanced to the Sweet 16 yesterday. They won against Northwestern University on March 24 with a final score of 62-53. Now, they are preparing to play against Oregon University on March 28 at 7:00 p.m.

After a successful season of 24 wins and only 3 losses, the team is ready to take on their final match ups for this year’s March Madness tournament. This will be the first time they have attended as the No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, and they are more excited than ever to make history.

Thanks to the top players they have had this year, the team has been able to have a successful season. Senior guard Dana Evans, freshman guard Hailey Van Lith, junior guard Mykasa Robinson, redshirt junior guard Kianna Smith and freshman forward Olivia Cochran have all been some of the top players. Because of their efforts, the team has been able to have a record-breaking season.

Photo Courtesy of Taris Smith// Louisville Athletics

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Walz Named to Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year Watch List Wednesday, Feb 17 2021 

By Nick Evans–

University of Louisville women’s basketball head coach Jeff Walz has been named to the Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year Late Season Watch List.

Walz is one of 15 coaches named to the list and one of two from the Atlantic Coast Conference – joined by NC State’s Wes Moore.

Despite losing five seniors from last year’s team and returning just two starters, Walz has led the Cardinals to a 19-1 overall record, 12-1 in ACC play. Louisville won its first 16 games and reached No. 1 in the Associated Press and USA Today polls for the first time in program history.

The Cardinals enter this week ranked No. 3 in the AP and No. 2 in the USA Today polls.

Louisville travels to play at Pittsburgh on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on the ACC Network.

For the latest on Louisville women’s basketball, visit GoCards.com, follow the team’s Twitter account at @UofLWBB or on Facebook at facebook.com/UofLWBB.

Story and Photo Courtesy of GoCards

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The Cardinal previews U of L’s women’s basketball season Monday, Sep 7 2020 

By Cole Emery– 

After a 28-4 season with the first outright ACC regular season title in school history, the women’s basketball team is looking to repeat last year’s success. 

With Jazmine Jones and Kylee Shook being selected 12th and 13th in the WNBA draft, the Cardinals will have some big shoes to fill. Both players were members of the All-ACC First Team, and Shook was the first player since 2009 to win a conference “Defensive Player of the Year” award.

Reigning ACC “Player of the Year” Dana Evans is entering her senior year with a lot of confidence. After transferring last year, Elizabeth Balogun and Elizabeth Dixon will be looking to make a bigger impact. Evans and Balogun started many games in the back court, so this experienced backcourt will be very helpful to next year’s squad. 

Three players were on the roster last year  but did not play a game. Nyah Green, a 6-foot-1 guard, redshirted her freshman year, but came to Louisville as a McDonald’s All-American and 12th ranked prospect by espnW Hoop Gurlz in the Class of 2019. Remani Parker, a 6-foot-4 forward, redshirted last year and was the 99th rated prospect by espnW Hoop Gurlz in the Class of 2019. Kiana Smith, a 6-foot guard, sat out last season after transferring from CAL due to NCAA transfer rules. 

The Cards are bringing on Hailey Van Lith, who was the top-ranked guard in the 2020 recruiting class according to espnW HoopGurlz. Van Lith was a member of the under 19 USA squad that won gold in the FIBA World Cup in 2019. She was also named 2019 FIBA 3×3 under 18 World Cup MVP and 2018 USA Basketball under 18 National Championship MVP.

Another big recruit coming next year is Olivia Cochran, a 6-foot-1 forward, who is ranked as the fourth-best forward in the 2020 recruiting class. She was also on the FIBA 3×3 under 18 World Cup team that won gold in 2019. 

Louisville is bringing in a new transfer as well. Ahlana Smith, a 5-foot-9 guard, played for UCLA during her freshman year then played for Gulf Coast State during her sophomore season. During her season at Gulf Coast State, she was named the 2019-2020 National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Women’s Basketball Player of the Year. 

Even with some Louisville greats moving on from their collegiate career, the Cardinals continue to work towards success and are looking to have a talented squad entering the 2021 season.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Women’s basketball defeats Murray State 76-40 Saturday, Nov 9 2019 

By Mariam Prieto and Gabriel Wiest–

Louisville won  76-40 against Murray State in their second game of the season at the KFC Yum! Center on Nov. 8.

Coming off of a win against Western Kentucky, No. 9 Louisville secured another win against an in-state team. These state wins early in the season could foreshadow in-state dominance for the Cardinals. Louisville’s deep roster contributed to the big win, Murray could not match the strength of Louisville’s players.

The first half saw an aggressive start. During the first two minutes of the game, Louisville made it to the scoreboard first. Murray did not make it on the scoreboard until the last three minutes in the first quarter. Louisville ended the first quarter leading 16-4.

The second quarter saw the biggest play of the game, with back-to-back scores by junior Dana Evans. Evans forced a turnover after scoring a three, following up with a lay up. The first half ended with the Cards almost tripling Murray’s score 38-13.

The second half saw the Racers play with a more aggressive offense. They tripled their score, but were not fast enough for the Cardinals. The Cards made two layups made in less than 25 seconds. The first was a second chance layup made by senior Kylee Shook, and the second made by freshman Norika Konno.

Senior Jazmine Jones led the offense with 14 points and two assist, alongside Shook with 13 points and one assist. Shook led the defense with sophomore Seygan Robins and freshman Bionca Dunham, each finishing the game with seven stops. Louisville finished with 21 turnovers, while Murray finished with 24.

Against major teams, having over 20 turnovers would do significant damage against Louisville. Murray State was not able to make points off of turnovers, however, top 25 teams would have taken advantage of this. The Cardinals will look to bring turnovers down before competition rises further down the schedule.

Without a heavy scorer like Asia Durr, who graduated last year, the Cardinals came together collectively to secure the win. Four players including Evans, Shook, Jones and sophomore Elizabeth Balogun entered double digits during the game. This possibly shows that scoring will be more of a group effort during the new season as opposed to in the past.

Head coach Jeff Walz commented on the team’s performance, “We aren’t playing as good as I know we can, which is a good thing.” He added, “We got to get [turnovers] down to around 11 or 12, and we had 11 turnovers in the first quarter.”

Louisville will be back in action against Central Michigan University on Nov. 14 at the KFC Yum! Center at 6 p.m.

Photo by Gabriel Wiest // The Louisville Cardinal

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