Louisville pulled out a win over Drake in what was a true testament to the “survive and advance” statement made each year during the NCAA tournament.
In an 83-81 win there were 14 ties, 12 lead changes, and the Cards’ largest lead was only 7. Louisville was 33-64 from the field but Drake was 47% from the three and that proved to be a dagger more than once throughout the night. This is a Drake team that can hit a three from any position and tonight we saw Dinnebier go 3-3 for Drake. Louisville’s half court defense was struggling to guard the three and guard pretty much anything else. They were giving up the cut and were giving Drake too many second chance opportunities.
Hailey Van Lith and Merissah Russell found themselves in some foul trouble by the third quarter and the Cards found themselves without Hailey Van Lith for the majority of the first half. Regardless, she still finished the night with 26 points and Merissah Russell tallied 9 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists. Mykasa Robinson stepped up, as per usual, with a career-high 14 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, and a block that came with a shoulder shimmy celebration.
All of us agree that you could pick apart everything Louisville did wrong in this game, regardless of all the things they did right. They’re now 14-0 in the first round of the tournament and as Coach Stephanie Norman said during the post-game, “it doesn’t matter what you’ve done wrong, it matters if you get to keep playing.”.. and Louisville gets to do just that when they face either Texas or East Carolina on Monday.
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