Louisville seniors finish big despite loss to Irish
Senior Day for the University of Louisville women’s basketball team should have had a happier ending. Too much talent, too much good people in seniors Mykasa Robinson, Liz Dixon, Noriko Konno, Morgan Jones, Chrislyn Carr, and Josie Williams to go out on a losing note.
Unfortunately for the UofL women and their fans, this year’s Notre Dame edition is the slightly better team. Outlasting the Cardinals for the second time in a week, the latest by a score of 68-65 in front of 12,215 fans at the KFC Yum! Center. The Irish doing it this time without the services of Olivia Miles who beat the Cards on a buzzer beater in the previous game. Miles was injured in the second quarter this game and never returned.
Some would say Notre Dame was better without her, with the Irish shooting over 50 percent from the floor in the second half. Sonia Citron, a 6-foot-guard, was more than capable of running the team. She was almost unstoppable, even for UofL senior Mykasa Robinson. Citron scored 27 points on 13 of 26 from the field, including three two-pointers, and 10 of 14 from the free throw line.
Mykasa, who will surely go down as the ACC’s defensive player of the year, finished her final home game with nine rebounds, four points, five assists and three steals. She also is doing well with her Mykasa T-shirts, which we prominent throughout the arena.
Haily Van Lith led the way for the Cardinals with 23 points to go with seven rebounds and three assists. Van Lith has scored 17 points or more in each of her last seven games. Merissah Russell tied a career high with five made field goals and had 12 points.
“Unfortunately for us, our fourth quarter offensively was not what we needed it to be, but I can’t fault our effort. I thought our kids competed,” said Coach Jeff Walz. “I thought they played hard. They gave it everything they had, but it sucks … to lose on a senior night, a senior day, whatever you want to call it. Especially with a group of kids that are pretty special.”
The afternoon did have a positive ending, with Clemson beating Florida State in South Carolina to give UofL the fourth seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament at Greensboro, NC. The Cardinals’ first game will be in the quarterfinals on Friday at 11 a.m. Facing the winner of the No. 5 seed and the winner from the 12/13 seed matchup, which will take place at 11 a.m. on Thursday in the second round.