Nina Rickards gets some friendly advice from Jeff Walz (top photo) and Olivia Cochran takes care of business in the paint (bottom photo)(Mike DeZarn photos).

A scary start for the University of Louisville women’s basketball team, with DePaul jumping out to a 15-6 lead, then stretching it to 24-11 midway through the first quarter. What’s going on here? This is not supposed to happen.

Not to worry, the Cardinals will reverse course, with Olivia Cochran scoring eight points to lead the rally. UofL will go on an 18-5 run to tie the game at 29 after the opening 10 minutes. Coach Jeff Walz’ team would lead 42-38 at the half.

Cochran would, in fact, go on to a career-high 21 points and five rebounds, hitting 9-of-14 shsots from the field. Eylia Love and Nyla Harris joined her in double figures, with 16 and 13 points, respectively. Harris would also notch 11 rebounds.  Nina Rickards came off the bench, contributing eight points, seven rebounds and three assists.

Cochran scored seven of the first nine Cardinal points in the fourth quarter as Louisville extended the lead to 72-62. The Blue Demons came within eight at 76-68, but the Cardinals would ice the game with 10 free throws in the fourth quarter for an 81-74 win.

The Cardinals will remain home as they are in the middle of a three-game homestand. They will host in-town foe Bellarmine this Thursday at the KFC Yum! Center. The Cardinals and Knights will square off at 7 p.m. ET and the game will be streamed on ACC Network Extra.

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By Charlie Springer

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

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