Paradise Island, BAHAMAS– The trip to paradise did not go as planned for the Louisville Cardinals. Heading into the matchup against the Gonzaga Bulldogs, Louisville had moved up a spot in the AP Top 25 from #7 to #6 and the vibes were immaculate for Coach Jeff Walz’s squad.
Hailey Van Lith has picked up where she left off last season and has continued to prove why she is such a valuable asset to this team and the addition of graduate transfer Morgan Jones has proven to be a valuable asset to the Louisville offense.
Jones has such a fluid jumpshot and can get to the basket with ease. Her length and her experience helped her record 12 points on 6-of-7 field goals against the Bulldogs. The only Cardinal who recorded more points than Jones was none other than Hailey Van Lith with 18.
Olivia Cochran proved to be a force on the boards with a team-leading seven rebounds, but Gonzaga proved to be too much for the Cardinals. The game was back-and-forth all game long and neither team could pull away with a serious lead.
The close battle could have been expected because Gonzaga entered this game with a 4-0 record and Louisville entered this game with a 3-0 record. It was the battle of the unbeatens in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
The Zags were led by graduate student Brynna Maxwell who netted 21 points in a quick 20 minutes. The Truong sisters, Kaylynne and Kayleigh totaled 77 minutes between the two and came away with 19 points. Gonzaga finished the game with four players in double digits to Louisville’s three.
Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith was getting frustrated with the lack of foul calls she wanted but it could have been due to the fact she played a total of 45 minutes, which was more than any other player on the floor. She was able to hold the Cardinals in the game until overtime.
Once overtime started, the Zags outscored the Cards 18-6 ending the game with a 79-67 win. Not an ideal start on Paradise Island for Coach Jeff Walz and company, but Louisville has a lot of talent to help them bounce back from this loss.