By Daniel Rankin —
On Saturday, March 26, the No. 1 seeded Louisville Cardinals took down the No. 4 Tennessee Volunteers, 76-64.
With the win, the Cardinals move one win away from advancing to the Final Four held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and three away from a program’s first National Championship.
Sophomore Guard Hailey Van Lith lead the way with 23 points, her third game in a row with 20+ points. Emily Engstler also hit 20 points capping off another double-double performance.
Kianna Smith and Chelsie Hall also contributed a solid on both sides off the ball. Like most of the season, the Cards’ elite defense was the night’s story holding Tennessee to a 22.2% field goal percentage in the second quarter and forcing 18 turnovers on the night.
After the Cardinals took the lead early in the game, the Volunteers never gained back the lead. However, the game remained close until the last minute.
In the final minute, the Louisville crowd who made the journey to Wichita filled the arena with sound as the time expired, and Louisville confirmed its fourth straight trip to the Elite 8.
After the game, Coach Walz was visibly pleased with the win. However, the expectations for this team are much higher, “It’s nice to still be playing.” The mood around the team yesterday was “energetic,” as described by Emily Engstler. Still, the sights quickly move to Monday night when the Cards face the University of Michigan at 9 pm on ESPN.
The two are no strangers after the Cards’ picked up a 70-48 win back in December. Jeff Walz and his team will undoubtedly be looking to repeat their appearance to return to the program’s Final Four since 2018.
Stay tuned for more coverage as we preview and recap the upcoming Elite 8 matchup.
Photo by Daniel Rankin // The Louisville Cardinal