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 Longhorns, 73-51
Louisville and Texas both lost in their conference tournament’s championship game, but Louisville won two blowouts to get there, including a still-impressive-with-Olivia-Miles-missing one over a very good team Notre Dame team, while Texas struggled at times against Kansas State and Oklahoma State before losing to Iowa State.
In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, fortunes changes, as Texas dominated No. 13 seed East Carolina 79-40 while Louisville barely snuck past No. 12 seed Drake 83-81.
Through one quarter of their second-round matchup against each other, Louisville and Texas were tied at 16. However, Louisville cruised from there, winning the second 21-7 and the third 19-12 en route to the 22-point win.
It was an impressive win for a No. 5 seed over a No. 4 seed and was also the preseason No. 7 team beating the preseason No. 3 team. So disappointing for the Longhorns to not even make the Sweet Sixteen after starting the season ranked that high. Meanwhile, the Cards have salvaged their season after falling to a No. 5 seed and have a good chance of advancing to the Elite Eight with the No. 1 seed they would be facing eliminated. They face No. 8 seed Ole Miss on Friday. The Rebels shocked No, 1 seed Stanford on Sunday.
Hailey Van Lith, who was so clutch in the first round against Drake, posted 21 points on Monday to give her 47 through two tournament games. Texas’ Sonya Morris didn’t seem to 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 is Hailey Van Lith going through the handshake line with Texas. Sonya Morris was 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 may have been said by Morris, check out Card Chronicle’s breakdown.
Van Lith added three assists and two steals to her 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. Rori Harmon was Texas’ top performer with 10 points, nine rebounds, three helpers and three swipes.
The Cards held the Longhorns to 1-of-10 shooting from distance and won points in the paint 38-20.
No. 4 seed Tennessee Lady Volunteers over No. 12 seed Toledo Rockets, 94-47
Tennessee recorded by far the biggest blowout victory of any team on Monday. Yes, it was facing a No. 12 seed, but one that had just defeated a great 5th-seeded Iowa State team. The Lady Vols won by 45 in the first round.
On the season, Tennessee is led in scoring by Rickea 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, is all the way down at 7.5 points per game. The Lady Vols are known for their big two and expect them to carry the bulk of the scoring load.
Yet, on Monday they received an incredibly balanced scoring attack. Eleven players scored for them, with seven scoring at least eight and Jillian Hollingshead and Sara Puckett leading the way with 13 apiece.
Hollingshead added four rebounds and three assists, while Jackson registered 12 points, six boards and four helpers 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 helpers.
While Tennessee was incredibly balanced, Toledo was all about Quinesha Lockett. She followed up her 24 points, 13 rebounds and four assists in the first round with 19 points, 10 ahead of the next Rocket scorer.
The Lady Vols held the Rockets to 29 percent shooting, won 3-point makes 11 to four and won 3-point percentage 50 to 25. They also won the battle on the glass 58-30, offensive rebounds 21-8 and second-chance points 17-7. They won bench points 52-13.