By Derek DeBurger

A decisive senior night victory over the Florida State Seminoles keeps No. 22 Louisville in a great position for the postseason.

Seniors Nina Rickards, Kiki Jefferson, and Sydney Taylor were honored in a pregame ceremony. Olivia Cochran, Merissah Russell, and Eylia Love all have an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19.

Once the game started, Louisville jumped out like all five starters’ hair was on fire, with an 8-0 lead in just over a minute. The run forced FSU to call a timeout. The Seminoles settled down and got back into the game, but Louisville kept up their intensity and held onto an 18-16 lead at the end of the first quarter.

O’Mariah Gordon looked to take over the game with a quick three-pointer and an and-one to give FSU a four-point lead—their first of the game. After falling behind, the Cards went on a 25-4 run to end the second quarter, including 10 points from Taylor.

The Cards led at halftime 43-26.

The Seminoles tried to adjust to the outside attack of the Cards in the third, but Louisville did their damage inside instead. No one player excelled on offense as the Cards spread the wealth.

FSU made a slight push to start the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 16, yet it was just too insurmountable, especially with the Cards just killing the clock.

Louisville would win 70-55.

The Cards held FSU to the second-lowest point total of the season, forcing them to shoot 32.4% from the field and 10% from three.

The Cards also controlled the boards for the full 40 minutes, getting 57 rebounds in the game and outrebounding FSU by 25. Nyla Harris led all rebounders with 15 and Cochran had 11. The two also scored in double-figures making them the first duo for the Cards to record double-doubles in the same game since 2019.

Cochran and Taylor had 16 points each, with Jefferson adding 12 and Harris 11. While the Cards did move the ball around, they finished the game with 18 turnovers. It didn’t bite them Saturday, but it’s something that still looms over the team going forward.

Louisville advances to 23-7 on the season and 12-5 in the ACC.

Photo Courtesy // Chris Carter, Louisville Athletics