No secret as to why Louisville won its opening game of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament with a 65-53 win over Wake Forest on Friday. But we’ll give you a clue. Mykasa Robinson breathing down Ivana Raca’s neck. Never letting her out her sight.
Robinson holding the Wake Forest senior to only 13 points. No breakouts this game, sorry Raca. Denying Raca the ball for almost the entire second half, allowing her only four points. The Cardinals finishing with a flourish, smothering the Demon Deacons 19-7 in the fourth quarter.
Besides shutting down Raca, Robinson also had nine rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Wake Forest could manage only 16 of 52 shots from the game, hanging close because they were making 18 of 23 shots from the free throw. Louisville would not get its first free throw shot until 5:36 in the fourth quarter. Those were their only free throw chances in the game.
Louisville really had no choice. Dana Evans, bearing little resemblance to the ACC Player of the Year, managing only eight points. Her teammates would have to step up … and big.
Hailey Van Lith, on the other hand, may have had her best game ever as a college player. She would make nine of 15 shots, including six of 10 3-point attempts for a total of 24 points. She also would add five rebounds and make four steals for good measure.
“Hailey shot the ball really well,” said Coach Jeff Walz. “Ramani Parker came in and gave us some depth in the post which we can use.”
“They are really physical with us,” said Van Lith. “We have great players around her (Evans). We found each other today. We’ll keep moving from here.”
Challenging day from the field for Dana but she still had seven assists and four rebounds. Nice to know, though, that her teammates could win when she was not the offense.