Carr leads No. 10 Cardinals in 100-37 rout without Van Lith
LOUISVILLE. Ky. (AP) — Chrislyn Carr scored 17 points to lead No. 10 Louisville in a 100-37 rout of Longwood on Friday.
The Cardinals (5-2) were without Hailey Van Lith, who did not play because of an unspecified injury. The star junior guard, whose 21.2 scoring average was tied for 24th nationally entering Friday, was not needed against the Lancers (1-4) as her teammates jumped out to an 18-2 lead in the first 4:04.
Nine Louisville players scored in the first quarter, when the Cardinals shot 63.2% and led 35-10. The 35-point period was the Cardinals’ most productive since notching that many in the fourth quarter of a 100-64 victory at Syracuse on Feb. 6. That’s also the last time Louisville broke triple digits in a game.
Louisville outrebounded Longwood 57-23, and that was a point of emphasis for coach Jeff Walz as the Cardinals came back from a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas.
“For the past eight or nine years, we’ve had physicality. We’ve had shooting. We’ve had ballhandling, and now we don’t have all of that yet,” Walz said. “We’re still trying to get there. We’re trying to get the physicality part, which then in turn will help with the rebounding.”
Carr, a graduate transfer from Syracuse, scored nine points in the first quarter. She made 5 of 8 shots, including 5 of 7 3-pointers, and finished with a season-best seven rebounds and five assists.
Louisville shot a season-best 55.9% and had six players score in double figures. Payton Verhulst had a career-high 16 on 7 of 9 shooting, while Morgan Jones added 15 points in just 18 minutes.
Walz said it was good for Verhulst to see the ball go in after going 4 of 20 in the Battle 4 Atlantis, and the sophomore guard added that she talked with her coaches upon returning.
“I knew coming in this year that I was going to have to play a bigger role, but I think after the Bahamas, it was a reality check for me,” she said. “It’s going to be not bigger than I thought, but I’m going to have to work harder than I thought.”
Merissah Russell scored a career-high 11 points, and Olivia Cochran posted her second double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Norika Konno also scored a season-high 10 and finished with eight rebounds and seven assists, both career highs.
Adriana Shipp-Davis scored 14 points to lead the Lancers, who shot just 23%.
“I just wanted our team to come out and compete,” Longwood coach Erika Lang-Montgomery said. “I knew size was going to be a factor.”
VAN LITH LIKELY FOR WEDNESDAY
Walz did not provide details about Van Lith’s injury in his postgame news conference, although he indicated it was not serious.
“She could have played if she would have needed to play, but (with) an extra few days of rest, we’ll just make sure it’s not something that’s nagging in there,” he said. “So she will be fine for Wednesday night.”
Louisville hosts No. 4 Ohio State on Wednesday in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.
Louisville has been a top-10 mainstay since the 2017 preseason poll, a stretch of 97 straight polls. Monday’s 65-55 loss to South Dakota State in the Battle 4 Atlantis fifth-place game likely will end that streak.
Longwood: The Lancers lost nearly half of the players from last season’s NCAA Tournament team. First-year coach Lang-Montgomery has tried to install an up-tempo playing style this season, but her squad could not keep up with the Cardinals.
Louisville: The Cardinals are looking for more consistency from players other than Van Lith. Friday’s performance looked promising, but tougher tests loom.
Longwood travels to No. 11 Virginia Tech on Sunday.
Louisville hosts No. 4 Ohio State on Wednesday.