Inside Women's Basketball: Weekly notebook

Shawnta Dyer

The eight-ranked University of Louisville women's basketball team heads on the road this week and will play at undefeated Colorado on Friday night. Here are a few notes from the women's program that has a 9-1 record.

DYER PLAYING HER ROLE

Sophomore Shawnta Dyer is averaging 6.7 points and 5.6 rebounds, but is coming off one of the best games in her career.

Dyer had 12 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and three steals in a blowout victory over Valparaiso on Saturday night.

"Everyone on this team has a role and I know my role," Dyer said. "I have to defend and rebound and do that to the best of my ability."

And when Dyer is doing that she gets opportunities on the offensive end. She had five offensive rebounds in the Valpo game.

U of L coach Jeff Walz said the "exciting thing about" Dyer's performance against Valpo was the six assists and no turnovers. He's been stressing the inside players needed to pass the ball better to create more easy buckets.

"She did a great job," Walz said. "The kid practices hard every single day we are out there and it's showing for her."

Dyer has started in nine of 10 games and is averaging 18.4 minutes a game.

CARDS USING DIFFERENT STYLES

The Cardinals have now scored 90-plus points in four games this season, while also scoring less than 50 in two games.

U of L beat Texas A&M 47-45 but suffered its only loss to Kentucky, 48-47. Two other games the Cardinals scored 75-plus points.

Walz said don't expect the different styles to change much.

"I know the fans want us to press and run against every opponent," Walz said. "But we just can't do that, we're not in that situation now.

"We have to figure out how to win games. If we can win 96-40, that's what we'll do. But if it's 47-45, then that's what we're going to do. I have to figure out what is best position for us to win games."

WALZ STRESSING FREE THROWS

Walz has been stressing free throws with the Cardinals, especially since missing 3 of six in the final minutes of a one-point loss to Kentucky.

The Cardinals responded with an 18 of 20 performance against Valpo.

"It's a great start," Walz said. "It's nice to know that we can make them. Now, we have to get in a situation when the pressure is on and we make them.

The Cardinals are hitting 68.2 percent as a team this season, with only five players on the roster hitting 70 percent or higher.

SMITH SITS OUT MOST OF VALPO GAME

Sophomore Bria Smith has started nine of 10 games and averaged 6.9 points for the Cardinals this season.

But she only played a few minutes against Valpo. Walz said her knees had been "bothering her" and he wanted to make sure she had some rest.

"She should be fine," Walz said. "We're going to need her."

CARDS HEAD ON THE ROAD

U of L is on the road for its only game of the week – a 9 o'clock start against Colorado in Boulder, Colo., on Friday night.

The Buffalos are 7-0 heading into Tuesday's game with Denver. Colorado is receiving votes in the AP poll this week.

"Colorado is going to be a tough game," Walz said. "They're a team that should be ranked in the top 20. They are not for some reason.

"But it's a big challenge for our team to go on the road. It's without a doubt our toughest road test of the season. We're going to have to come ready to play."

ATTENDANCE UPDATE

U of L finished second nationally in attendance last season and after five home games this season, the Cardinals are averaging 9,714 fans.

The figure is just behind Tennessee (10,908) and us ahead of UConn (8,468).

The Cardinals have three more non-conference home games.

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