Springfield, Mass. — Turnovers and fouls plagued the No. 4 Louisville Cardinals in the final match up of the Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge.
South Carolina struck first as Kaela Davis drove to the bucket for two. But Asia Durr countered with a layup of her own. Davis added another two for the Gamecocks; however, Louisville pulled ahead as Durr fired off a three-pointer.
Durr controlled the first period racking up 10-points on 4-of-4 shooting, including a pair of threes. The Cardinals and the Gamecocks battled for the lead, but at the first media timeout, the score was tied at 13.
The Cardinals shot 71% from the field connecting on 5-of-7. However, Louisville was perfect from beyond the arc, going 3-for-3.
The Gamecocks forced three turnovers and converted the turnovers into four points.
Out of the timeout, Myisha Hines-Allen picked up her second foul, sending Alaina Coates to the line to hit 1-of-2. Hines-Allen was pulled to the bench and would not see the floor for the remainder of the first half.
Despite the absence of Hines-Allen, Louisville finished the first period with a 20-18 lead over South Carolina.
The Cardinals and Gamecocks were neck and neck at the beginning of the second period once again. Coates picked up the first points for South Carolina. But Cortnee Walton put the Cardinals back ahead with a layup.
That was the last time Louisville would lead, though. A’ja Wilson grabbed a quick bucket, while a foul committed by Taylor Johnson sent Mikiah Herbert-Harrigan to the line to hit two.
Briahanna Jackson brought the score back to even at 24, but Coates countered.
The Cardinals struggled with fouls, sending the Gamecocks to the line six times, allowing South Carolina to rack up nine points.
Louisville was unable to connect on a field goal for more than seven minutes. Luckily, Mariya Moore was able to get to the line to add five points for the Cardinals.
The Gamecocks outscored the Cardinals 19-9 in the second period to hold a strong 37-29 lead into the half.
Louisville shot 42% from the field in the first half connecting on 10-of-24 from the field. But the Cardinals had 14-turnovers that the Gamecocks converted into 14-points. South Carolina dominated the paint, outscoring the Cardinals 22-6. The Gamecocks were also able to get out and score in transition picking up nine fast break points.
Louisville’s offensive lulls carried over into the third period as South Carolina surged out of the half with a 14-2 run, forcing a Louisville timeout.
Kylee Shook picked up two for Louisville as the Cardinals tried to establish a rhythm, but Gray countered with a triple.
Hines-Allen picked up her third foul, sending Coates to the line to hit two and put the Gamecocks u 53-34.
Louisville was able to grab five quick points after a steal and jumper by Jackson and a triple by Moore. However, the Gamecocks came back with full force adding eight points.
The Gamecocks raced past the Cardinals in the third period behind a 20-point lead. The Cardinals entered the fourth period trailing, 64-44.
Once again, the Cardinals were unable to win the fourth quarter. Louisville added 15-points, but the damage was done. South Carolina overpowered the No. 4 Cardinals, handing them a soul crushing, 83-59 loss.
The Cardinals shot a season-low 38% from the field, hitting only 23 shots. While South Carolina capitalized at the charity stripe, connecting on 24-31.
Despite a heartbreaking loss, the Cardinals had three players post double-figures: Mariya Moore paced Louisville racking up 17- points, including three triples. Asia Durr tallied 13-points as she connected on 5-of-10 from the field. Durr also added three triples. Briahanna Jackson rounded out the top scorers as she picked up 10-points.
For the Gamecocks, Allisha Gray, Alaina Coates and A’ja Wilson added 17-points apiece. Coates picked up a double-double pulling down a game-best 14-rebounds. Kaela Davis racked up 13-points on 5-of-10 shooting, while Mikiah Herbert-Harrigan added 11-points.
The Cardinals have no time to dwell on the demoralizing loss as Louisville is set to face the No. 5 Maryland Terps on Thursday, Dec. 1 for the ACC/B1G Challenge.