Charlottesville, VA -- The No. 23/22 Cardinals improve to 5-0 in ACC play as Louisville dismantled the Virginia Cavaliers, 59-41.
The Cavaliers won the tip, but neither team scored for the first minute and a half. The first points of the game came from Cortnee Walton free throws. The Cardinals took an early 5-0 lead after Mariya Moore connected on a three. Louisville held the Cavaliers scoreless for the first six minutes.
The Cavaliers ended the drought as Lauren Moses hit one-of-two from the charity stripe. Both teams struggled to find their identity in the first period. Louisville shot a crushing 18.8% from the field while the Cavaliers connected on 25%. The Cardinals converted seven Virginia turnovers into eight points and took the lead in the first period, 12-6.
The Cardinals broke out in the second period sailing past the Cavaliers. Virginia struck first in the period as Aliyah Huland El drove to the basket for two. However, it was the Cardinals who controlled the court. Louisville went on an 11-0 run holding the Cavaliers scoreless for nearly three minutes.
Louisville saw scoring on layups from Mariya Moore, Taja Cole and Myisha Hines-Allen forcing a Virginia timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Louisville extended the run as Asia Durr fired off a three. But Virginia's Mikayla Venson answered with a three of her own. The Cardinals outscored and outlasted the Virginia Cavaliers in the second period. Louisville entered the half with a comfortable 33-18 lead.
The Cavaliers were without a key player for a few minutes in the second as Lauren Moses went down with a minor injury. Moses took a break on the bench, but returned to the game after a Virginia timeout and appeared to be okay.
Louisville connected on 12-of-28 in the first period hitting 42.9% from the field and 37.5% from beyond the arc. The Cardinals forced 13 turnovers. Virginia hit 7-of-20 from the field connecting on 35%. Mikayla Venson and Breyana Mason led the Cavaliers in scoring posting 6 points and 5 points respectively.
The Cavaliers entered the third period with a sense of urgency. Virginia's Breyana Mason knocked down a three while Mikayla Venson drove to the hoop for two, bringing the Cavaliers within 12.
However, the Cardinals responded as Mariya Moore and Myisha Hines-Allen connected on layups. Briahanna Jackson had an off night connecting on two from the charity strip as she picked up her only points on the evening. Louisville outscored Virginia 15-12 and led 48-30 heading into the final period.
Both teams struggled at the beginning in the fourth period. The first points came after nearly three minutes on a Myisha Hines-Allen jumper. Mikayla Venson tried to respond taking in a layup, but she missed, and Virginia native Taja Cole grabbed the rebound.
Cole got the ball in Mariya Moore's hands who dished it out to Hines-Allen for a layup plus one. The Cardinals went up 53-30 as Hines-Allen banked the free throw shot. Mason was able to respond with a layup of her own that sparked an 8-0 run for the Cavaliers that held Louisville scoreless for four minutes. Louisville's drought was ended as Cortnee Walton drove in a layup.
Despite Virginia's efforts to mount a comeback, the Cardinals crushed the Cavaliers, 59-41.
Louisville connected on 21-of-50 (42%) from the field and posted an impressive 93.3% from the charity stripe hitting 14-of-15. The Cardinals held the Cavaliers to a mere 33.3% (15-of-45) from the field. Louisville was able to convert 19 Virginia turnovers into 25 points, while the Cavaliers could only pick up seven points on 13 Louisville turnovers.
The Cardinals had four players post double-figures: Myisha Hines-Allen paced Louisville racking up 16 points and grabbing seven boards. Cortnee Walton fell at second tallying 12 points and pulling down six boards. Mariya Moore racked up 11 points connecting on 4-of-10 from the field while and dishing out five assists. Asia Durr rounded out the leading scorers chipping in 10 points.
One of Louisville's leading scorers, Briahanna Jackson, posted a season-low two points in the victory. Jackson went 0-of-5 from the field, 0-3 from beyond the arc. Jackson grabbed her only points connecting on two from the charity stripe.
Coach Jeff Walz discussed Jackson's scoring funk in the post game interview, "She's mentally struggling right now. She checks herself out. She's dictating everything she does on made shots, and you can't do that at this level."
The Cardinals improve their streak to ten consecutive wins, five straight in ACC play.
Coach Walz praised his team on their defensive effort, "I was really really pleased. Defensively I thought we were outstanding."
The Cardinals continue their three-game road stretch as they take on the Wolfpack of NC State on Sunday.