Louisville, KY – The No. 5 Louisville Cardinals surged to the first home victory of the season behind freshman Ciera Johnson and Asia Durr.
While the game started out slow with Belmont taking an early lead, the Cardinals came back in a dominating fashion.
The Cardinals won the tip, but a foul on Myisha Hines-Allen put the ball in Belmont's possession. Mistakes on offense kept the Cardinals down at the beginning of the first period as Belmont started out hot, outscoring Louisville 4-0.
But a steal by Asia Durr led to a jump shot by Mariya Moore, putting the Cardinals on the board after going scoreless for nearly a minute and a half. Moore connected on a layup and tied the game at four. However, a layup by Sally McCabe put Belmont back in control.
However, a foul by McCabe sent Ciera Johnson to the line to hit one-of-two. The foul seemed the spark the Cardinals, as Durr hit back to back treys to put the Cardinals on a 7-0 run. Roy broke the scoring drought for Belmont, to pull the Bruins within seven.
But the damage was done. Louisville's team effort pushed the Cardinals ahead, 26-16 at the end of the first period.
Louisville locked in defensively in the second period, holding Belmont to just 9-points. The Cardinals held the Bruins to 25% shooting from the field, only allowing Belmont to connect on 4-of-16 from the field. The Cardinals forced six turnovers, grabbing four points.
Despite Belmont's game plan to load the paint, the Cardinals penetrated the Bruins' defensive grabbing 14-points in the paint. Ciera Johnson dominated the post in the second period, picking up six points and one block., while Durr added seven points.
The Cardinals led 47-25 at the half. Louisville connected on 26-of-36 from the field, while limiting Belmont to 11-of-33.
At the half, Durr led the Cardinals with 18-points in 16 minutes and Moore tallied eight points with five boards.
The Cardinals came out in the third period with all the momentum. Louisville continued to overwhelm Belmont's offense, limiting the Bruins to 12-points. Belmont connected on 5-of-15 from the field, shooting an abysmal 33.3%. However, the Bruins controlled the boards, out-rebounding the Cardinals 12-6.
Louisville was again led by Ciera Johnson's six points. The Cardinals, behind Johnson, connected on eight shots and two free throws to account for 19-points.
The Cardinals led the Bruins, 66-37, entering the final period.
Despite Belmont's last period surge, outscoring the Cardinals 13-7, the Bruins could not make up for the first half deficit. The Cardinals picked up their second win of the season, defeating the Belmont Bruins, 73-50.
“Belmont came in with a plan,” Coach Jeff Walz told the media. “They were going to have a plan defensively. They really did a great job clogging the paint, were going to make us take outside shots, and they did that.”
Coach Walz went on to critique the Cardinals performance, “Overall, I was very pleased with how we passed the basketball. I thought we took care of it well, which is something that we've talked about. Free throw shooting, again, it's something we have to continue to improve on.”
Louisville had three players post double-digits: Asia Durr and Ciera Johnson racked up 18-points apiece. Durr connected on a team-best seven shots from the field, including an impressive four treys. Mariya Moore rounded out the top scorers tallying 13-points. Moore dished out a team-high six assists and pulled down five boards.
Belmont was paced by Kylee Smith's 13-points. Smith also tallied three rebounds, two assists and one steal. Despite going 0-of-2 from the field, Frankie Joubran attacked the boards pulling down 12 rebounds, nine of which were on the defensive end.
The No. 5 Cardinals travel back to the Volunteer State to face Middle Tennessee on Wednesday, November 16th.