Four years of injuries and pain for Palacios, with all the after effects that will last well into his middle age and the senior years.
Senior Day, the last game he would ever play for U of L at Freedom Hall, making the most of his final opportunity.
Palacios would put the first points on the board for the Cards, hitting a three-pointer to give U of L its first lead. Then he would go on to hit four more of his next seven shots, including two more three-pointers, to lead all scorers with 13 points. Equally important, he seemed to have regained confidence and self-control, something that had been missing in recent games.
His performance against Villanova brought back memories of a younger Palacios, who during his freshman year had 11 points in the first half against Kentucky before getting poked in the eye. That same season he had a 12-point, 11-rebound performance against Georgia Tech in the NCAA tournament. A couple of games later, his three-pointer in the closing minute helped to seal a comeback win over West Virginia and a trip to the Final Four.
As a sophomore, he was a double-figure scorer in 17 games, grabbing seven or more rebounds on 14 occasions. His junior year was plagued by injuries throughout, with Palacios finally missing five of the last seven games with back spasms.
Palacios’ confidence and agility had to be severely affected by all the injuries, missed practices and rotten luck. But there was no evidence of that in the win over a good Villanova team. If Palacios is back for good, this team will only continue to get better in the days ahead.
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Senior Night for Lady Cards — Seniors Patrica Barlow and Courtney Simmons will play their final home game tonight. See
Sonja's exclusive report.