It was the Dana Evans show from start to finish in the No. 2 Louisville Cardinals’ 73-49 dismantling of the Duke Blue Devils in Durham, NC, spoiling Kara Lawson’s first game against a ranked opponent as a collegiate head coach.
Dana Evans embodied senior point guard leadership in the No. 2 Louisville Cardinals’ 73-49 dismantling of the Duke Blue Devils on Wednesday, spoiling Kara Lawson’s first game against a ranked opponent as a collegiate head coach.
Evans scored a game-high 24 points and recorded three steals, two assists and one rebound.
Highlights: Dana (Evans) does it all
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Her masterful execution of the Louisville offense began at the opening tip and helped the Cardinals to 35 points at the half, 13 of which where scored by Evans herself on 50 percent shooting from the field. She also recorded three steals through two quarters — helping to hold the Blue Devils to 22 points on 30.6 percent shooting from the field (and a striking 0 percent shooting from the beyond on the arc on 11 attempts) at the break.
As a team, the Cards shot 44.8 percent from the field, 71.4 percent from 3-point range and 80 percent from the free throw line; the Blue Devils did not get to the charity stripe in the first half.
Duke got going in the second half, shooting 40 percent from the field, improving to 20 percent shooting from beyond the arc, getting to the free throw line and completing 57.1 percent of those attempts. Although the Blue Devils managed a 14-14 third-quarter tie, the Cards harnessed their experience and depth to execute a fourth quarter in the image of the first two. Evans cooled to 40 percent shooting from the field and, as a team, the Cards dropped to 22.2 percent shooting from 3-point range on 2-of-9 attempts.
Yet, the Cards were a perfect 6-of-6 from the free-throw line in a second half they won, 24-13, with significant contributions from freshman Hailey Van Lith, who scored 11 points in the third and fourth quarters and 14 for the game. Van Lith also recorded four rebounds, three assists and one steal. Other double-digit scoring contributions came from Kianna Smith (15 points) and Olivia Cochran (11 points), who also hustled for 12 rebounds — six on the offensive side and six on the defensive side — in just 19 minutes of playing time.
Remember when we said Olivia would have many more double-doubles?
— Louisville WBB (@UofLWBB) December 10, 2020
Smith also recorded three rebounds and two steals.
Jade Williams recorded nine rebounds and three blocks in Duke’s losing effort, but her team-high 13 points — with Vanessa de Jesus (11 points) as the only other Blue Devils scoring in double figures — underscore the difficulties with which Lawson’s team had generating offense. Duke forced its opponent into 12 turnovers but converted them into just four points while Louisville transformed the Blue Devil’s 18 turnovers into 23 points.