Bionca Dunham is Louisville's defensive voice


Bionca Dunham’s best contributions don’t always show up on the stat sheet. The senior for Louisville women’s basketball has started all 17 games, playing 25.2 minutes per contest for the fifth-ranked Cardinals.

The 6-foot-2 forward is averaging 5.4 points and 5.6 rebounds, but does more than score in the low post. Dunham is Louisville’s vocal leader on defense and helps set up shots for teammates on offense with screens and movement.

Louisville coach Jeff Walz said it’s important for players to contribute to their team beyond scoring, which Dunham has done.

“What she is doing for us, on defense she guards her man and three others,” Walz said. “She is always talking and putting people in the right spot, she has embraced that. And when her time comes to score, she is scoring. She understands what she can do for this team to help us win.”

She has scored in double figures three times this season, finishing with 10 points against Western Kentucky, Ohio State and Kentucky. Dunham doesn’t let her scoring, or lack thereof, to affect her mentality.

Walz thought Dunham played as well as she played in the first half of Louisville’s victory over Wake Forest, despite going 0 of 4 from the field.

“I told her “B, two years ago, you’d be pissed like ‘I didn’t score’ but she came in with a smile because you can contribute a lot more to a basketball team than just scoring points,” Walz said.

Dunham has grown immensely from her freshman to senior year, Walz said. She averaged 7.6 points and 5.6 rebounds a year ago, shooting 56.3 percent from the field. Although her offensive numbers have decreased in her final year, Dunham is still able to impact to game.