The Cardinals spent an afternoon in Lexington today and came home with their sixth consecutive win over rival Kentucky. 

In the 86-72 victory, Louisville went just 1-15 from the three-point line with their only successful three-point shot coming from Merissah Russell, who played 17 minutes and was very effective on the defensive end with 6 of her 7 rebounds being defensive boards. Although Russell had 7 rebounds today, it was Olivia Cochran who led the team in boards with 9. She also had 9 points, and 1 each in assists, blocks, and steals. 

As I’ve stated many times before, Mykasa Robinson brings a lot to this team. Although her stat line reads odd for a player of her caliber, her most impressive stat was that she had 0 turnovers through all 18 minutes played. For a team that has been plagued with turnover issues this season, I can only imagine that Coach Walz will give the 5th year a gold star for handling the ball well today.

Hailey Van Lith, who was the leading scorer today with 21 points, saw most of those points come from free throws where she would go 13-15. The story of her and Chrislynn Carr today (6 points) is one that is not typical of two players who usually make a lot of their shots. They were both getting good looks, they just didn’t see many of their shots land. Where they showed their maturity was in the self-awareness of those shots not landing and their action in kicking it out to someone who was landing shots. The two had a combined 8 assists and 7 defensive rebounds.

I think it’s obvious the player of the game award goes to Morgan Jones. The transfer had 12 points, 8 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 1 steal. She was playing with a purpose today and allowed her size to help her dominate in the paint. It’s easy to look at her game play over the last two games and come to the realization that she has settled into her role on this squad. 

It’s surprising to see a team that went 1-15 from the three get a double-digit win over their rival, but this Louisville team pulled it. Not only did they add a quality win to their resume, but they also gained confidence in what I would consider a nearly complete game before heading into conference play later this month.

The Cards are back in Louisville on Wednesday, December 14th but they’re not playing a true home game. They’ll be back in historic Freedom Hall for a matchup against Bellarmine. You can find that game on ESPN+ and 970-AM at 6:30p.m. est. 

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Chrissy Banta

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