Shawnta Dyer had started at center the last three games for the University of Louisville women’s basketball team but she wasn’t comfortable being a starter. After scoring only one point in the loss at Duke, she told one of the assistant coaches she preferred coming off the bench.
“If she’s more comfortable coming off the bench, then that’s what we’ll do with her,” said Coach Jeff Walz, following UofL’s 48-35 win Sunday over Pittsburgh before a crowd of 13,656 at the KFC Yum! Center.
Dyer was on the bench for the tip-off, sitting behind Sherone Vails until the 15:26 mark. Over the next five minutes, she would pull down five rebounds, make a steal, and score four points. While she was on the floor, her team would overcome a four-point deficit to claim a four-point lead. The Cards would never relinquish it.
It was one of those games where every basket is critical, Louisville owning a 25-18 lead at the half. Dyer would wind up with a second-best 11 points, eight rebounds, an assist and a steal. One of her better performances this season so she has probably made her case.
Vails would add four points and three rebounds in her new starting role. Myisha Hines-Allen, the freshman who has started at center until losing the position four games ago, could manage only four points and a rebound. Overall, the center-by-committee approach was good for 19 points and 12 rebounds on the day.
Meanwhile, Sara Hammond was pulling down 13 rebounds and adding 11 points as UofL improved its record to 20-3 overall and 8-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.