U of L women’s basketball beats Virginia Tech Monday, Feb 21 2022 

By Daniel Rankin —

On Sunday afternoon in an ACC Matchup, the No. 3 ranked Louisville Cardinals beat the No. 23 Virginia Tech Hokies by a dominant score of 70-56.

With the win, the Cardinals move to 23-3 on the season and a second-place ACC record of 14-2.

Sophomore Guard Hailey Van Lith led the way with 20 points and forward Emily Engstler finished her 8th double-double of the season with 19 points and 15 rebounds.

Engstler was one of three graduating seniors honored before the game as part of the Senior Day festivities, along with guards Kianna Smith and Chelsie Hall.

Three other seniors were missing from the pregame festivities as Liz Dixon, Mykasa Robinson and Ahlana Smith announced earlier this week that they’ll be returning to play another season in Louisville thanks to the NCAA’s extra year of eligibility.

Coming off a surprising one-point road loss to North Carolina, the Cardinals started the game hot by grabbing a quick 8-0 lead. The Cards’ physical play and tough defense forced the Hokies to turn the ball over and fall behind.

After a 22-14 first quarter, Virginia Tech was able to pick up the pace. However, the Cards still extended their lead by 3 points heading into the locker room.

Good ball movement inside and outside the paint and impressive Van Lith jumpers pushed the Cards to a 14-4 run to start the second half. Kianna Smith capped off a successful senior day scoring 4 of her 11 points in the third quarter.

Early in the fourth quarter, Louisville had its largest lead at 24 points, but the Hokies managed to get it down to 14 by the end of the game. Although the starters had fewer minutes in the final quarter, the Cards will undoubtedly need to keep the pressure on late in games come Tournament time.

Overall, a comfortable ranked win after a heartbreaking loss on the road is a positive moment for the Cardinals.

However, early foul trouble, unforced turnovers and allowing a late run from Virginia Tech highlight areas of concern that need to be addressed before elimination games begin.

“We’re a good team, good enough to make the final four,” stated Head Coach Walz after the game. “But we could also be eliminated in the second round,” he said, referring to the NCAA Tournament.

But before the Tournament, the Cards will compete for the ACC Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina. After tonight’s win, Louisville has secured a double-bye for the ACC Tournament, with their first game starting in the Quarterfinals on Fri., March 4.

Up next for the No. 3 ranked Cardinals are two road games to finish out the regular season with Pittsburgh on Feb. 24 and Notre Dame on Feb. 27.

Photo by Daniel Rankin // The Louisville Cardinal

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Evans Named Kay Yow Scholar-Athlete of the Year Wednesday, Mar 3 2021 

By Nick Evans–

After being named ACC Player of the Year for the second consecutive season on Tuesday, University of Louisville senior guard Dana Evans has been named the Kay Yow Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

The ACC women’s basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year award is named in memory of the legendary Yow, who won 737 games as a head coach while directing NC State to four ACC Tournament championships and the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team to a gold medal. Yow, who passed away in January of 2009, is also remembered for her leadership and courage in her fight against breast cancer.

“I am thrilled that Dana Evans has been named the Kay Yow Scholar-Athlete of the Year,” said head coach Jeff Walz. “Beyond Dana’s obvious talent on the basketball court, she has been named to the Dean’s List multiple semesters, has been on the ACC Honor Roll every year and will be the first in her family to earn a college degree. I know Coach Yow would be proud, as are we. Congratulations Dana!”

Evans is the second Louisville player to win the Kay Yow award, joining Asia Durr who won the award in 2018 also after winning back-to-back ACC Player of the Year awards. Evans headlines a group of five Cardinals who were named to the All-ACC academic team, as she is joined by Elizabeth Dixon, Mykasa Robinson, Kianna Smith and Hailey Van Lith. Louisville and NC State tied for the conference lead with five selections each.

Evans is averaging 21.0 points per game this season, which ranks first in the ACC and 19th in the country, while leading the league and ranking second in the country with a 93.8 free throw percentage.

She is averaging 4.3 assists per game, which ranks sixth in the ACC, and in the win at Notre Dame on Sunday she became the sixth player in program history to eclipse 500 career assists.

Evans will graduate in the spring with a degree in sport administration and a minor in communication. She has a 3.493 cumulative grade point average, along with a 3.721 GPA in fall 2020. She is a six-time member of the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll and four times has been named to the Dean’s List. Three times she has been named to the ACC Honor Roll and a Red & Black Scholar Athlete. She was also named to the Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society in 2020-21.

She was also named to the ACC All-Academic team following her sophomore and junior seasons.

Dixon is pursuing a degree in management. She had a 3.512 GPA last semester and a 3.355 GPA for her career. Three times she has been named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll, she was named a Red & Black Scholar Athlete in 2020-21 and to the ACC Honor Roll in 2019-20. She was also named to the Dean’s List in the fall 2020.

A candidate for the ACC Most Improved Player, Dixon has improved in several statistical categories. Her scoring average has moved from 4.4 to 8.7 points per game, while her field goal percentage has improved from 49.6 to 59.3 percent. She is also averaging 5.9 rebounds per game after averaging just 3.6 per game as a sophomore.

Robinson is pursuing a degree in exercise science, with a minor in sport administration. She had a 3.006 GPA last semester and a 3.281 GPA for her career. Five times she has been named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll, twice she was named to the ACC Honor Roll and a Red & Black Scholar Athlete, and she was named to the Dean’s List in spring 2020.

Yesterday, Robinson was named to the ACC All-Defensive team, cementing her spot as not just one of the best defenders in the conference, but in the country. In the win at Notre Dame, she drew an impressive five charges and has drawn 19 charges in 16 ACC games.

Smith is pursuing a degree in marketing. She had a 3.812 GPA last semester and a 3.71 GPA for her career. She has been named to the Dean’s List and the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll three times and was twice was named a Red & Black Scholar Athlete and to the Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society. She was also named to the ACC Honor Roll in 2019-20.

One of the best shooters in the league, Smith ranks fifth in the ACC with a 39.1 3-point field goal percentage, 11th with 45 made 3-pointers and 12th with 2.14 3-pointers made per game. She ranks second on the team with 11.7 points per game.

Van Lith is pursuing a degree in business and has a perfect 4.0 GPA. The freshman was named a Dean’s Scholar, a Red & Black Scholar Athlete and to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.

A member of the ACC All-Freshman team, Van Lith ranks sixth among ACC freshmen with 11.0 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game. Her 35 made 3-pointers rank third among ACC freshmen. Early in the season, she had 20-plus points in back-to-back games against Eastern Kentucky and DePaul, becoming the first UofL freshmen with consecutive 20-point games since Myisha Hines-Allen did so in January of 2015.

ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards were established in September 2007 to be awarded annually to the top junior or senior student-athlete in their respective sports. Candidates for the awards must have maintained a 3.0 grade point average for their career as well as a 3.0 for each of the last two semesters. The award is based 60 percent on academic achievement and 40 percent on athletic accomplishment.

Minimum academic requirements for selection to the All-ACC Academic Team are a 3.0 grade point average for the previous semester and a 3.0 cumulative average during one’s academic career. Athletic achievements during the most recent season are also considered in selecting the All-ACC Academic Team.

The ACC Honor Roll, which recognizes all conference student-athletes with a grade point average of 3.0 for the current academic year, will be released in July.

After claiming its fourth straight ACC regular season title, No. 5 Louisville (21-2, 14-2) will be the 1-seed in the 2021 ACC Tournament in Greensboro, NC. The Cardinals open play on Friday, March 5 at 12 p.m. against either 8-seed North Carolina or 9-seed Wake Forest.

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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Cardinals blowout Pittsburgh for twelfth straight win Monday, Jan 27 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

It was a scoring frenzy at the KFC Yum! Center Jan. 27 as the No. 5 Louisville Cardinals blew out the Pittsburgh Panthers 83-49. This marked the Cardinals’ twelfth straight win of the season.

The Cards (20-1, 9-0) got off to a slow start early on but led 21-13 after the first quarter. They weren’t looking back either, going on a 9-0 run in the second quarter to head into the half with a 17-point lead.

Six players contributed to the win, scoring in double digits against the Panthers (3-16, 0-8). They also posted an impressive 23 assists among eight players and 15 steals from seven Cards.

Sophomore Elizabeth Balogun, senior Bionca Dunham, junior Dana Evans and senior Kylee Shook led the team in scoring with 12 points each. Senior Jazmine Jones added 11 and sophomore Elizabeth Dixon 10 points toward the win.

Dunham was on fire from the field, shooting 5-7 and perfect at the free throw line. She also managed to pull in the second most rebounds with three offensive and defensive, for six total.

The Cards dominated the glass on defense with 29 rebounds on that side of the ball. Balogun and sophomore Mykasa Robinson topped the team with the most rebounds grabbing eight all together.

In addition to her 12 points, Shook had five rebounds and one block and steal. Evans finished shooting 4-9 and with three rebounds, four assists and one steal.

Redshirt senior Yacine Diop helped the Cards with eight points, two rebounds and assists and one steal. Robinson made her stamp with eight rebounds, five assists and three steals while scoring four points.

As a team, the Cardinals shot 47 percent from the field, going 7-24 from three-point range. The bench was also a big factor, scoring 24 points in their victory over the Panthers.

This win marks U of L’s tenth-straight 20-win season, and their twelve game winning streak is their best since the 2018-2019 season when they won 14 in a row.

Louisville’s coach Jeff Walz said after the game how happy he was with the Cardinals consistent scoring across the team. He praised his players for their ability to share the ball.

“We needed a game like this at home,” said Walz. “We haven’t played extremely well here [this season], like we have in the past.”

The Cards are headed on the road to South Bend, Ind., to take on Notre Dame Jan. 30. The game is set to tip-off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

File Photo Anna Claire Will // The Louisville Cardinal 

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