Not enough Dana Evans to go around, but she had 29 points (UofL photo).

Louisville women relent to fired up NC State

Fun while it lasted, Louisville’s perch at No. 1 atop the women’s college basketball world.  Over now, the 16-game winning streak snapped 74-60 at the hands of an inspired North Carolina State team.

I’m no coach. I’m not going to call Coach Jeff Walz and say, “Hey, you need to do this. You need to do that. Why didn’t you play more zone? Why didn’t you change the offense?” No, thanks, not going anywhere near him for a couple of days.

On this day North Carolina State (12-1, 7-1) was better. The Wolfpack shot better, rebounded better and defended better. Not surprising, NC State was coming off its first loss of the season, was playing the No. 1 team. All the motivation in the world, with Louisville feeling the weight of being the top-ranked team. Plus, UofL had won the last nine games against NC State. More than a little motivation for the fourth-ranked team. Trade places and the results could be easily reversed.

Classy Tim Sullivan, a Courier-Journal columnist, tweeting that the UofL women were outclassed (Charlie Springer photo).

A comment tweeted by Courier-Journal columnist Tim Sullivan was perplexing. “Louisville outplayed, outclassed. North Carolina State clearly the better team,” he tooted. Outclassed? I didn’t understand the comment nor did the pro Louisville crowd with whom I was watching the game. Lots of people at the CJ not happy unless they’re offending their readers.

It was  close most of the game until a 16-3 run by NC State in the fourth quarter. Louisville was still scrapping and clawing, trailing 65-47 with over four minutes to play. Walz went to a full court press and that caused some havoc. Dana Evans and Mykasa Robinson forced some turnovers and Louisville cut the lead to 69-60. This is where I have trouble with the “outclassed” comment. The Cardinals could have just said this is not our night and given up.

Louisville does seem to have trouble defending bigger inside players. Freshman Olivia Cochran hasn’t adjusted to defending post players in the college game. Cochran turned the ball over five times. Redshirt junior transfer Kianna Smith, a great 3-point shooter, but not so good at defending. I could go on.

Evans, a candidate for National Player of the Year, scored 29 points, doing everything she could do to try and rescue the Cardinals. However, she was 10 of 22 from the field, had one assist while committing three turnovers. The Wolfpack defense was that good, at least this night, holding Louisville to 38.3 per cent field goal shooting.

A good run is over. We’ll see if this young team and Evans, the only senior, can put together another streak and climb back to the top.

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Ed Peak

Ed Peak has covered UofL sports since 1973, as a student reporter, as a correspondent for the Courier-Journal, a freelancer for the Associated Press and United Press International, as well as ScoreCard, Fox Sports and CBS radio.

2 thoughts on “Louisville women relent to fired up NC State

  • February 2, 2021 at 11:35 am

    Very saddened to watch this great team upended by another great team but I feel their “good run” is not “over” – just interrupted. Too many terrific players with terrific potential to quit. Dana won’t let them. Van Lith won’t let them. Neither will any of the others just throw in the towel. And Coach Walz is tasked with directing the expected reaffirmation of drive and determination. Take a breath, Cards fans, this train has made a brief stop at a station and is about to depart for Destination Championship. Go Cards!!

  • February 3, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    Count on Tim Sullivan to pile on whenever something bad happens to anyone or anything. The poor guy can’t help it, it’s the way his mind works. Makes him uniquely qualified to work at 6th & Broadway.

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