Another big Atlantic Coast Challenge in string of them. Another high-scoring phenom coming to town.
The University of Louisville women’s basketball team needing to bounce back from a disappointing loss at North Carolina State. They would have their hands full.
Hannah Hidalgo of Notre Dame averaging 25 points per game, setting all kinds of Irish records, guiding the visitors to the No. 12 spot in the Associated Press’ national rankings. Hidalgo getting all of the pre-game billing from ESPN, lavish praise from the broadcasters, the ultimate kiss-butt treatment from sideline celebrity Holly Rowe. This was going to be Hidalgo’s night, Louisville just needed to accommodate the latest flash in the pan.
Problem for Hidalgo was the University of Louisville women’s basketball team was not going to roll over for her. She would score 30 points to lead all scorers, yes, but she held in check for only 10 points in the first half. Most of her points would come late in the closing minutes when the game had all but been decided. Louisville would defeat Notre Dame 73-66 before a crowd of 9,417 at the KFC Yum! Center. The win improving UofL’s record to 20-4 overall and 9-2 in the conference play.
Another sterling performance from UofL sophomore Nyla Harris, unafraid, inserting herself in the thick of the action of each end of the court. Just a sophomore, folks, a 6-foot-2 talent from Orlando, Florida. Again, the spiritual and physical leader. She would score a career high 19 points while pulling down 10 rebounds. Making nine of her 11 shots from the field and recording her team-leading fourth double-double this season.
Sydney Taylor contributed 13 points, four assists, and two rebounds. Kiki Jefferson added 12 points on top of eight rebounds, four assists, and a 6-for-6 night from the free throw line. Nina Rickards, bless her, pulled down nine rebounds and collected six points.
A nice win over a highly rated program, just kind of boost in confidence the Louisville women needed.
A bee’s nest awaits them in Syracuse on Sunday, the Orange hornets still buzzing after a stinging 12-point loss to the Cardinals last week.