Nov. 1, 2009
Louisville, Ky. - The Louisville women's basketball team defeated the Norse of Northern Kentucky 79-54 in their only exhibition game of the season, despite having only seven players available for action and starting three freshmen in their first collegiate game.
Leading the way for the Cardinals was junior center Keshia Hines, who led the team in scoring with 22 points in the game, along with nine rebounds and a team-high four steals. In her first collegiate appearance, freshman Ashley Rainey showed why she was a highly touted recruit registering a double-double for the game with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Louisville came out in the first half with a high intensity on defense pressing NKU on several of the first possessions and throughout much of the game, despite having so few bodies on the bench. The Cardinals used a 47.2 shooting percentage and a stingy defense that caused 14 turnovers to go into halftime with a 42-30 advantage. Hines started the game going 5-7 from the field with 10 of Louisville's first 17 points. The Norse started the game going basket for basket with the Cards before Louisville pulled away with an 8-0 run putting them ahead for good.
Coming out in the second half, the Cardinals used high effort and vigor, especially on the boards collecting 10 rebounds before the first media timeout. After that first media timeout, Louisville used a 15-4 run to expand the lead to 24. Coming off the bench, lone senior Chauntise Wright provided a big spark, returning to action after missing all of last season due to an ACL injury, drawing the attention of most of the Norses' post defenders at times being double and triple teamed. Wright finished the game with eight points, four rebounds and three blocks. The largest lead of the game for the Cards came at 4:43 in the second half with Louisville leading by 29 points.
The Cardinals finished the game shooting 45.8 percent from the field while holding NKU to just 31.0 percent. Louisville forced NKU into 20 turnovers for the game using their press and jumping the passing lanes, while giving up 17 themselves. Despite being their first game as a Cardinal, Rainey and fellow freshman Nikki Burton, who finished with 11 points and a team-high eight assists, proved they are going to be nice assets for Coach Walz heading into the regular season.
Louisville tips off the regular season on November 15th on the road against Dayton at 1:00 p.m.