The Force is strong, Louisville women zap Pittsburgh

starwars 2271 copyDarth Vadar, Princess Leia and Kylo Ren, aka Mike, Theresa and Aspen Schmidt, were among the 11,641 fans watching the Louisville women demolish Pittsburgh on Star Wars Day at the KFC Yum! Center.

The Force fully embraced the University of Louisville women’s basketball team three days earlier when the Cardinals dissected 17th-ranked Miami on the Hurricanes’ home court, giving UofL sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Characters from the seven different Star Wars movies arrived Sunday at the KFC Yum! Center to see the UofL women conclude the regular season, Darth Vadar was everywhere it seemed, usually in the company of Princess Leia, or Yoda. Boba Fet here, Chewbacca there, Yoda here, and Storm Troopers everywhere. The visiting Pittsburgh women never had a chance, The Force so prominent, so pervasive, so obviously leaning UofL’s way.

Yoda, in the person of Noah Tiwari, won best costume.
Yoda, in the person of Noah Tiwari, who won best costume, poses with the Cardinal Bird.

The Louisville women erupted early, claiming a 14-0 lead, stretching it to 27-4, and and 42-10 at the end of the first half.  When it was all over, UofL had prevailed 65-36, improving its overall record to 24-6 and claiming the runner-up spot in the ACC with a 15-1 record.

Leading the charge again was Myisha Hines-Allen, scoring nine of Louisville’s first 10 points after tipoff. She would score 13 points in the first quarter, going on to achieve her ninth double-double of the season and 10th of her career, with 25 points on 11-of-14 shooting and 13 rebounds.

“We had a lot of energy coming out,” said sophomore Myisha Hines-Allen, in a possible thinly-veiled reference to The Force. Whatever, Hines-Allen has been imposing her will on ACC opponents with regularity of late.

Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 4.54.04 PM“She’s just a really tough matchup right now for a lot of people,” said UofL Coach Jeff Walz, “and if she continues – you’re getting 25 points on 14 shots – that’s pretty darn good.”

Briahanna Jackson continuing to feel The Force as well, an inexhaustible source of energy, the player nobody wants defending them. No breathing while she’s around. She’s a marvel to watch around the basket, sometimes getting ahead of herself but always entertaining to watch. Notching 12 points, three rebounds and four assists.

Taja Cole coming around, notching six points and five assists in this one.

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Courtnee Walson left midway in the first quarter and didn’t return after injuring a pinky finger. She should be ready to go again in the ACC Tournament.

The second-seeded Cardinals will play at 6 p.m. on Friday against the winner of No. 7-seed Georgia Tech and No. 10 Wake Forest/No. 15 Clemson.

Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.