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Louisville rising in the polls, looking for 10th straight

Big game for the visiting Cardinals as they look to keep their streak alive and continue to climb up the rankings; Louisville returns to the polls at #23. Virginia will look to halt Louisville's streak, while protecting their home court.

Photo by Sam Upshaw Jr./The Courier-Journal

Moving On Up

The Cardinals return to the rankings after nearly a month on the outside. Louisville earned the No. 23 spot in the AP Poll and No. 22 spot in the USA Today Poll after defeating the then No. 15/13 Florida State on January 1st and then No. 18 Duke on January 10th.

Last Time Out

Louisville picked up their ninth consecutive win, their third victory over an AP top-25 team on the season, as they defeated the No. 18 Duke Blue Devils, 65-48.

The Cardinals converted 22 Duke turnovers into 27 points while holding the Blue Devils to 39.1% from the field.

Louisville had three players score double-figures: Mariya Moore and Asia Durr lead the team putting up 15 points apiece. Moore connected on 4-of-12 from the field, 2-of-8 from beyond the arc and 5-of-7 from the charity stripe. The sophomore dished out four assists and pulled down five boards.

Asia Durr tallied up 15 points while grabbing two steals in 28 minutes played. Myisha Hines-Allen rounds out the trio with 14 points going 6-of-10 from the field while grabbing five boards and finishing with a team-best five assists.

The Fantastic Four

Louisville primarily relied on scoring from Myisha Hines-Allen, Mariya Moore and Briahanna Jackson at the beginning of the season. Since hitting conference play, a fourth player has emerged: Asia Durr.

Durr has collected double-digits in four of the last six contests. She's averaging 9.6 points per game while connecting on 37.4% from the field.

Myisha Hines-Allen leads Louisville in scoring putting up 15.4 points and pulling down 7.7 rebounds while connecting on 52.3% of her shots. Mariya Moore sits at second racking up 13.9 points while dishing out 81 assists on the season. Rounding out the top scorers is Briahanna Jackson. Jackson is tallying 13.8 points and collecting a team-best 44 steals.

Keeping Up with the Cavaliers

The Cavaliers are coming off a come from behind victory over Wake Forest, 52-50. Virginia shot a smoldering 29.8% from the field, but converted 31 Demon Deacons turnovers into 22 points. Trailing 49-42 with less than eight minutes left in the contest, the Cavaliers posted 6-of-6 from the charity stripe to emerge victorious.

Mikayla Venson posted 20 points in the match, marking her fifth 20 point game of the season. Venson connected on 5-of-15 from the field while grabbing four steals. Lauren Moses added 10 points and grabbed six boards.

The Cavaliers were without their second leading scorer, Faith Randolph, who is out with a broken thumb. Randolph averages 13.3 points a game while dishing out a team-high 50 assists.

Venson leads the team in scoring putting up 15.3 points per game firing off 38 shots from beyond the arc. Lauren Moses is a force on the glass pulling down a team-best 7.2 rebounds per game while racking up 10.8 points. Aliyah Huland El rounds out the top three scorers tallying 10.1 connecting on 46.3% from the field.

Keys for the Cardinals

Nationally, the Cavaliers rank 14th in turnover margin (+5.46), 21st in turnovers forced with 20.76 and 32nd in steals with 159 on the season. The Cardinals have to have smart possessions and control the ball while continuing to get defensive stops.

Louisville will need big points from the Big Three (Hines-Allen, Moore and Jackson) and big rebounds from Cortnee Walton. If the Cardinals can win the battle for the glass and limit their turnovers, Louisville could pick up their tenth consecutive win, fifth consecutive in the ACC.