Louisville Cardinals women’s basketball continues their five game opening home stretch Thursday night with the UT-Chattanooga Mocs coming to the KFC Yum! Center. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. as the 3-0, eighth-ranked Cards look to continue preparing for a showdown with top-ranked Oregon in the Virgin Islands on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Louisville is coming off of a dominant performance against Central Michigan that featured record-setting scoring from both Dana Evans and Jazmine Jones. Kylee Shook notched a double-double and with five blocks in the game now sits just 17 shy of Angel McCoughtry’s school record of 162.

The Chattanooga Mocs are 1-4 and come to Louisville just two days after falling to the Bearcats in Cincinnati. Long-time assistant and now first year head coach Katie Burrows hopes to round out the long road trip with a good showing against the Cards but the odds are assuredly stacked in Jeff Walz’ favor.

Game Info:

DATE: Thurs 21 Nov 2019
TIME: 6:30 p.m. EST
SITE: KFC Yum! Center (Louisville, KY)
WATCH: ACC Network
LISTEN: 790 AM WKRD

Chattanooga Outlook

Mocs’ head coach Katie Burrows steps into the lead role at her alma mater after many years of tutelage under longtime Chattanooga coach and WBB hall-of-famer Jim Foster. UTC and Louisville tussled in Chattanooga last season with the Cardinals coming out on top 49-75. Typically a mid-major powerhouse, the Mocs are coming off a couple of down years but still aren’t ready to shy away from a challenge. Tuesday night in Cincinnati the Mocs put together a third quarter run that drew them to within four of the Bearcats but faded in the fourth quarter, eventually losing 53-72.

#33 G Lakelyn Bouldin

Fading will be an issue for this Chattanooga team considering a remarkable lack of depth. The starting five are averaging 164 of 200 minutes on the court, with three of the five starters accounting for 65% of all scoring. The offense is led by 6’2” sophomore forward Abby Cornelius who had back-to-back 20 point games against Hampton and Liberty before being almost completely shut down by the Bearcats. Most of Cornelius’ production comes from the post but neither she, nor her teammates, are afraid to step out for threes.

Leading from the point is 5’8” senior guard Lakelyn Bouldin, who represents the chief Mocs three-point threat. Joined by leading rebounder Eboni Williams, the trio of Cornelius, Bouldin, and Williams represents two-thirds of the Chattanooga offense. Against Central Michigan the Cardinals struggled throughout the first half in keeping the smaller Chippewas squad in front defensively. It’s possible that another bout of flat-footed defense could endanger Louisville, but a clear Cardinals length advantage coupled with Chattanooga’s lack of depth should prove to be overwhelming for the Mocs.

Big Weeks

Cardinals head coach Jeff Walz comes off a big week in which he rounded out his 2020 recruiting class with a commitment from top-10 prospect Hailey Van Lith out of Washington. Other top accolades go to Kylee Shook, who with back-to-back-to-back double-doubles has proven herself worthy for a starting gig. While kudos go to Kylee, there may be other factors involved with calculating the starting five.

Jeff Walz was quick to point out the effectiveness he found in bringing Keshia Hines off the bench so many years ago, even to the point that she’d sub in just 30 seconds into the game. While credit is due to Shook for her performance, it’s clear that Walz is hoping a different perspective will help Liz Dixon fine tune her game. And besides this, the Cardinals coach has been clear that he won’t feel comfortable with his lineups and rotations until at least eight or nine games into the season. By that time he’ll have more weapons in his arsenal with the return of Seygan Robins (bone bruise) and Molly Lockhart (leg).

Five focus points for the Cardinals:

  • Stay between the opponent and the basket
  • Communicate on defense; call out switches
  • Finish shots close to the basket
  • Move the ball; create opportunities for teammates
  • Push the ball in transition to wear down Chattanooga

The Cardinals finish the week against a tough Boise State team, one which they nearly faced in Albany but for an Oregon State OT win over the Broncos in last year’s NCAA second round. Then it’s off to the Virgin Islands and a date with the Ducks along with equally imposing Oklahoma State and Univ. of Texas Arlington squads.

Game Info:

DATE: Thurs 21 Nov 2019
TIME: 6:30 p.m. EST
SITE: KFC Yum! Center (Louisville, KY)
WATCH: ACC Network
LISTEN: 790 AM WKRD

PROBABLE STARTERS:

#8 Louisville (3-0)
G #1 Evans
G #4 Balogun
G #23 Jones
F #33 Dunham
F #21 Shook

Chattanooga (1-4)
G #12 Dial
G #13 Burks
G #33 Bouldin
F #03 Williams
C #25 Cornelius

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Your source for UofL Women's Basketball + Men's/Women's Soccer news via the The Crunch Zone. If I'm not at a UofL game you can find me at a Louisville City FC game, or doing Men's Basketball post-game on ESPN680/93.9 The Ville with my man Joe Kelly. Husband, cat owner, sports consumer.

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