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