Van Lith’s 21 Leads Cards to Sweet 16

Louisville celebrates after clinching Sweet 16 birth.
Louisville celebrates after clinching Sweet 16 birth.(Kent Taylor)
Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 12:27 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) -#1 seed University of Louisville jumped out to a 14-0 lead. Lost that lead, but regrouped to knock off the nine seed Gonzaga 68-59 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

UofL head coach Jeff Walz said his team would treat this second round game like a national championship game. The Cards came out flying. Kianna Smith’s jumper caps a 14-0 run to start the game. The Zags storm back. McKayla Williams’ jumper ties the game at 22 in the second quarter. The Bulldogs would take a one point lead on an Abby O’Connor free throw. Louisville recovers, they end the half on a 14-9 run...capped by a Smith three that bounced high off the rim and through. Cards led 36-32 at the half.

Third quarter...Louisville sophomore, Hailey Van Lith goes on a personal 8-0 run. She finished with 21. Fourth quarter, Cards in transition, Van Lith with the dish to Emily Engstler, who even she admits traveled, but scores on the spinning layup. She finished with 12.

The Cards had never had an undefeated season at home until now. “We got it up to 14-0 and then we started to take some shots that if they go in, it’s the haymaker, but unfortunately when they don’t, now you let them claw back into it, and that’s exactly what took place. But just really proud of how we came out in the third quarter and then competed in the fourth, as well,” said Walz. “I’m very passionate about basketball and I really love to play, and this is the tournament that you live more. I care about my teammates a lot, and so I want to win,” said Van Lith.

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