Out of the Virgin Islands and into The Ohio…State University for the Louisville women as they travel to Columbus for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Cards are coming off a three day stretch in paradise, namely the Paradise Jam, where they capped the tournament with a demonstrative win against then #1 Oregon that jumped them to a consensus #2 ranking.

Whereas the season started with a five game home stretch, the Cards now embark on a series of four road games with the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and rival UK as bookends. Jeff Walz is never one to overlook an opponent, especially a Buckeyes team that ran with Connecticut until late in the game.

Game Info:

DATE: Thurs 05 Dec 2019
TIME: 8:00 p.m. EST
SITE: Value City Arena (Columbus, OH)
WATCH: Big 10 Network
LISTEN: 790 AM WKRD

The ACC has there work cut out for them with all five of the Wednesday games in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge going in favor of the Big Ten. While stats and record comparisons might make it seem like Ohio State should be a pushover it’s important to note that the Buckeyes have had one of the tougher early schedules in the country. Against UCONN they played a nearly perfect game but the Huskies were just too much and pulled away late.

6’4″ Hungarian product Dorka Juhász sets the pace for the Buckeyes in the post with a team best ten points and eight rebounds per game. Both she and the 6’3″ Aaliyah Patty will prove to be quite the test for Kylee, Liz, and Bionca down low. Juhász was named to the pre-season All Big 10 after leading Ohio State in scoring and rebounding last year as a true freshman.

The Cards have faced Oregon but until then hadn’t really faced a team that had both high caliber starters and bench players. At Ohio State they’ll match up against a well-rounded team with ten different players contributing seven points or more per game. The downside is that only two of those players (Juhász and Bell) are averaging double figures. Scoring by committee does have its advantages and the Cards will have to put their best defensive effort on the floor.

That kind of effort may have been lacking against Boise State but Louisville certainly showed what it can do against Oregon. Ohio State has had the most success when able to control the ball well, so if the Cardinals can force turnovers they’ll have an easy night. As for matching the Buckeyes’ depth, that shouldn’t be a problem. Jeff Walz is generally pleased with the rotations he’s able to make but would like some additional contributions from his bench offensively.

As for keys tonight, the aforementioned turnover ratio should be a focus for the Cards. But look for Kylee Shook to have another big night in the paint to ensure a Louisville win. The Cardinals’ guard play has been both consistent and awesome to date, so we should once again be able to expect Dana and Jaz to keep things going offensively. If we haven’t already seen the true mettle of this Louisville team against Oregon then any remaining questions should be answered by the end of this four game road stretch.

Game Info:

DATE: Thurs 05 Dec 2019
TIME: 8:00 p.m. EST
SITE: Value City Arena (Columbus, OH)
WATCH: Big 10 Network
LISTEN: 790 AM WKRD

PROBABLE STARTERS:

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

Ohio State (4-3)
G #3 Crooms
G #10 Miller
G #24 Bell
F #14 Juhasz
F #32 Patty

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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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