The Louisville Cardinals and Tennessee Lady Volunteers both advanced to the Sweet Sixteen on Monday. Here are our recaps of their second round games:
No. 5 seed Louisville Cardinals over No. 4 seed texas longhorns73-51
Louisville and Texas both lost in the championship game of their conference tournaments, but Louisville won two blowouts to get there, including an impressive-missing Olivia-Miles over a very good Notre Dame team, while Texas battled at times against Kansas State and Oklahoma State before losing to Iowa State.
In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, fortunes changed, as Texas dominated No. 13 seed East Carolina 79–40, while Louisville barely overcame No. 12 seed Drake 83–81.
Through a quarter of their second round matchups against each other, Louisville and Texas were tied at 16. However, Louisville pulled ahead from there, winning the second 21–7 and the third 19–12, en route to a 22-point victory.
It was an impressive win for the No. 5 seed over the No. 4 seed and also the preseason No. 7 team, defeating the preseason No. 3 team. So disappointing for the Longhorns not even making the Sweet Sixteen after starting the season. Meanwhile, the Cards have salvaged their season after falling to the No. 5 seed and have a good chance to advance to the Elite Eight with the No. 1 seed they will face. On Friday, they will face No. 8 seed Ole Miss. The Rebels shocked No. 1 seed Stanford on Sunday.
Helly van Lith, who was so holding in the first round against Drake, posted 21 points on Monday to give her 47 points through two tournament games. Sonya Morris of Texas didn’t take the loss well, as she had something to say to Van Lith in the handshake line:
I don’t know what was said here. But here’s Hailey Van Lith crossing the handshake line with Texas. Sonya Morris was the first in line for the Longhorns to talk to Van Lith. pic.twitter.com/YqvnmwiRdn
— Tyler Greever (@Tyler_Greever) March 21, 2023
For more on what Morris said, see Card Chronicle’s breakdown.
Van Lith added three assists and two steals to his stat line. Morgan Jones backed her up with 10 points and six boards, while Chrislyn Carr was good for nine points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals and Liz Dixon had five points and 10 boards. Rory Harmon was Texas’ top performer with 10 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals.
The Cards held the Longhorns to 1-of-10 shooting from distance and won 38–20 points in the paint.
No. 4 seed Tennessee Lady Volunteers over No. 12 seed Toledo Rockets, 94-47
Tennessee posted its biggest blowout win of any team on Monday. Yes, they were facing the No. 12 seed, but one that had recently defeated the 5th seeded Iowa State team. The Lady Vols won 45 in the first round.
On the season, Tennessee is led by Rickia Jackson (19.3 points per game) and Jordan Horston (15.5 points per game), while its third-leading scorer (not counting Tamari Key who is now out for the season), Tess Darby, down to 7.5 points per game. The Lady Vols are known for their Big Two and will expect them to shoulder the bulk of the scoring load.
Still, they got an incredibly balanced scoring attack on Monday. Eleven players scored for them, with seven scoring at least eight and Jillian Hollingshead and Sarah Puckett leading the way with 13 each.
Hollingshead added four rebounds and three assists, while Jackson recorded 12 points, six boards and four assists, and Horston posted 10 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Jordan Walker also had a notable performance with nine points, eight boards and three assists.
While Tennessee was incredibly balanced, Toledo was all about the quintessence locket. He scored 19 points in the first round after his 24 points, 13 rebounds and four assists, 10 points ahead of the next Rockets scorer.
The Lady Vols held the Rockets to 29 percent shooting, made 11 of four 3-pointers and won 3-point percentage 50 to 25. He also won the battle on the glass 58-30, offensive rebounds 21-8 and second-chance points 17-7. They won the bench point 52–13.