February 19, 2017

Myisha Hines-Allen: The difference maker for women’s basketball

By Jordan Shim–

Heading into the 2016-2017 season, junior forward Myisha Hines-Allen was expected to be a major contributor to women’s basketball success.

The New Jersey native enjoyed a successful sophomore campaign, earning ACC Player of the Year honors and received All-American honors by College Sports Madness and ESPNW in 2015. Last fall, Hines-Allen was tabbed as the ACC Preseason Player of the Year.

Hines-Allen’s scoring dropped off from 17.6 points per game last year to 12.9 this season. Had Hines-Allen built off of last season’s success, the dynamic inside-outside combination would have been trouble for any team to match.

U of L has taken a step down from last season, when they finished the regular season in the top 10 and entered the ACC tournament as the No. 2 seed. Currently, the No. 14 Cards sit fifth in the ACC standings.

“There are spurts where we look really good,” coach Jeff Walz said. “But we just have to work on consistency. We get good looks. We just need to continuing to work on knocking them down. If we can shoot 46 percent or higher, we have a chance to be in a lot of basketball games.”

Hines-Allen struggled offensively after returning from injury, shooting 9-of-25 in her past two games.

When U of L struggled to get baskets in the first half against North Carolina, Hines-Allen, despite her shooting woes, carried the offense. In the first half, she scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds while rest of the team shot 8-of-26 from the field.

Hines-Allen recognizes the importance of her presence on the team, but she doesn’t focus much on herself. Instead, she focuses on what the team can do as a whole before looking ahead.

“We need to play hard for 40 minutes,” Hines-Allen said. “We have lapses on defense where we’re not doing what we need to do. And offensively we need to execute better.”

With 19 points and 14 rebounds against UNC, Hines-Allen could be back on track as the player she was last year. If the Cardinals are going to make a postseason run, they’ll need their reigning ACC Player of the Year to play like it.

Photo by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal

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