Van Leith No. 10 Lewisville beat Belmont 80-66

LOUISVILLE, CA: Haley Van Leith had a bit of a struggle for Lewisville earlier this season, but she believes she’s moving on now.

Sophomore Guard, considered one of the best players in the country, scored 16 points for the No. 10 Cardinals, who beat Belmont 80-66 on Sunday.

It was the highest score after 19 drops in a season-opening defeat against Arizona. Despite the Cardinals (7-1) recovering from the loss, Van Leith struggled to find her offense, entering only 34.8% of Sunday’s shooting and an average of 9.4 points per game.

She was arguably her best game of the season. After missing her first two shots, she scored 7 of 15.

Patience, she said, has been the key.

I tried not to get too upset over my head, because it’s a young season, and I have confidence in myself and I have confidence in my skills. So, I was ready to get out of here, and my team can trust me a little bit more now that I’ve got my flow back, ”she said.

Louisville coach Jeff Wallace said he was never worried about Van Leith’s outrageous production.

It’s coming, he said. He works hard. He’s pretty good as a player, and he does other things on the floor. So, it was just a matter of watching a few of them go in and then gaining that confidence.

Thursday no. After defensively dominating 12 Michigan, the Cardinals faced a formidable challenge from the Bruins (4-4) team that returned all five starters and 11 players from the team that reached last season in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The mid-main force trailed just 22-20 with eight minutes left in the first half.

The 11-0 second quarter gave Lewisville a 37-22 lead. The lead increased to 64-41 in the final seconds of the third quarter. However, Destiny Wells hit a half-court buzzer-beater to give the Bruins momentum in the final period.

Belmont made 5 3-pointers out of 7 in the final quarter and came close to 72-61 with 4:47 left, but the hole was too deep. Bruins shot 45.2% but only 9 of 29 from outside the arc.

Belmont coach Bart Brooks said Louisville’s length and athleticism challenged his team.

They cover the space so well, so effectively, so quickly, and they’re really defensively disciplined, Brooks said. So, it was difficult for us. Some of our appearances were initially a bit hasty, a little out of rhythm. We found our rhythm abusive in the second half, and really, I think our kids relaxed a bit.

Wallace said he was disappointed with his team’s defense in the final quarter. The Cardinals finished second nationally on the day, allowing just 43.6 points per game. Belmont scored 42 in the second half.

We just had some terrible crashes, Wallace said. We somehow got a little shaken up from there and stopped doing what we did for the last seven and a quarter games.

Offensively there was a different story, however, as Lewisville shot better than 50% (54%) for the third time this season. Nine players scored for the Cardinals, six with at least eight points.

Kiana Smith scored 14 runs and completed the 1,000-point mark for her career.

Wales scored 19 points and was ahead of the Bruins. They all came in the second half because the Ohio Valley Conference’s Precision Player of the Year played only 10:43 in the first half due to two fouls.

Voting implications

No. 1 at the start of the week with a 70-48 defeat to the Wolverines of Louisville on Thursday and Sunday. The damage done by 6 Indiana and No. 9 Iowa should help the Cardinals get to at least two spots when a new poll comes out on Monday. .

Big picture

Belmont: Despite being on the wrong side of the score, the Bruins showed the ability to hang out with the Cardinals with a formidable frontcourt, scoring 28 points in the paint and joining 19 of 33 shots inside the arc. This should be a team to watch in March, if they exit the OVC as expected.

LOUISVILLE: The Cardinals feared a late reminiscence of some games last season, but the defense made major plays and Belmont had a big enough advantage to miss out on missing 18 of his first 21 3-point shots.

Now the next

Belmont returns home to play Auburn on Wednesday.

Louisville gets a week off to prepare to host rival No. 16 Kentucky.


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