By Matt Bradshaw —
The Louisville Cardinals won back-to-back in a doubleheader on Saturday to defend home court at the KFC Yum! Center. Women’s basketball (11-0) cruised past Northern Kentucky and men’s basketball (8-3) followed with an easy victory over Kent State.
The women tipped off at 11:30 a.m. for a brunch-time matchup against the Norse (1-6). U of L had a double digit lead minutes into the first half and never let up in a 92-59 win.
Sophomore Dana Evans posted a career performance and led Louisville in points (21), assists (6) and steals (4). Junior Kylee Shook recorded a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Sam Fuehring added 15 points of her own.
Along with the current No. 4 team remaining undefeated, the University marked the occasion by honoring the 2008-09 national runner-up squad halftime. A majority of the team, which reached the first national championship in program history, attended the ceremony. Head coach Jeff Walz addressed the crowd of 8,000 and thanked his former players for their devotion to U of L.
“They wanted to do something different,” Walz said. “They wanted to win on a national stage and they did that.”
Four-time All-American Angel McCoughtry, the program’s all-time leader in scoring, added her voice to put the team’s success into perspective.
“That was the ultimate career goal, going to the Final Four, because nobody believed in us,” five-time WNBA All-Star McCoughtry said, “Nobody thought we could be there. So to accomplish that, it’s amazing.”
Women’s basketball will finish 2018 at Central Michigan on Thursday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. They begin the conference slate at home against North Carolina on Thursday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m.
The men continued to build on a successful start to their season with a 83-70 dub versus Kent State. Louisville controlled the court throughout and held a 24-point lead at one point, but the Golden Flashes continually fought back and outscored the Cards in the second half.
“We did a great job against a pressure-defensive team, keeping our turnovers down,” head coach Chris Mack said. “I feel really good about what our team accomplished today against one of the best teams in the MAC. We’re excited with the win, we know we have to continue to get better, and it’s great that we have a few days off.”
Graduate guard Christen Cunningham guided the offense with a career-best 17 points. Junior Dwayne Sutton notched 16 points. Sophomore Jordan Nwora had a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, and fellow sophomore Malik Williams also had 13 points.
Up next, U of L hosts Robert Morris on Friday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. The storied rivalry with Kentucky approaches on the 29th.
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File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal