(WAVE) - #2 seed UofL outscored #15 seed Marist 26-9 in the third quarter to pull away for a 74-43 win in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in San Antonio, Texas.
The Red Foxes (18-4) actually led 15-12 after the first quarter, and it was only close because the Cards Norika Konno hit a three-pointer just before the buzzer. Konno finished with five points and six steals.
“We are just thrilled to be able to turn the pressure and get the tempo of the game the way we wanted it there,” UofL head coach Jeff Walz. “We really got things going in the second.”
Freshman Haley Van Lith led the Cards with 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists in her first NCAA Tournament game.
“I was just able to make reads, shoot it when the defense was giving me a shot, drive when they were pressing up, get my teammate a shot,” Van Lith said. “I think it was a great game for everyone on our team, we set our feet, hit open shots, so we got it rolling a little bit.”
“We’re a two seed, you’re expected to win,” Walz said. “We have players that have never been in that position before in the NCAA Tournament, and it showed, but I was really proud of the way we battled and fought through it.”
All-American Dana Evans finished with 15 points.
The Cards improve to 24-3 and will face #7 seed Northwestern (15-8) in the second round on Wednesday. The Wildcats beat #10 seed Central Florida 62-51.
Jeff Walz improves to 12-0 in NCAA Tournament first round games.