Louisville, KY — In an all-out battle to the finish, the No. 5 Maryland Terrapins arose victorious as they defeated the No. 7 Louisville Cardinals, 78-72.
The matchup between the Cardinals and the Terps was nothing short of entertaining. The game provided an extraordinary amount of drama in just 40-minutes.
From the tip, Maryland’s Shatori Walker-Kimbrough set the tone for the Terps as she struck on a three-pointer. But, Myisha Hines-Allen asserted her dominance and connected on a jumper. Not to be outdone, Walker-Kimbrough showed Hines-Allen she could hit a jumper as well.
A shot by Asia Durr put the Cardinals up 6-5, until Brionna Jones added two for the Terps. Durr struck back, followed by a three-point play by Mariya Moore and in the blink of an eye, Louisville held an 11-7 lead. Brianna Fraser connected for Maryland, but another bucket by Durr sparked a 7-0 run by the Cardinals and forced Maryland to burn their first timeout.
The Cardinals held Maryland scoreless for more than two minutes prior to the time out. However, a foul sent Walker-Kimbrough to the line to connect on two. The Terps’ fired on all cylinders as, shot-by-shot, they cut into Louisville’s lead. At one point in the first period, the Cardinals held an 18-9 advantage. However, by the end of the first 10-minutes, Louisville only led by four, 24-20.
Durr controlled the first period for the Cardinals, tallying 11-points.
Maryland showed their intensity in the second period as the Terps turned a four-point deficit into a four-point lead. The Terps held the Cardinals scoreless for more than three minutes as Maryland saw scoring from B. Jones and Walker-Kimbrough. The Cardinals were forced to call a timeout to slow Maryland.
Maryland’s offense was too much for Louisville, outscoring the Cardinals 22-14 in the second period. The Cardinals could not stop B. Jones and Walker-Kimbrough from scoring. The duo added nine and eight points apiece respectively.
Louisville continued to struggle on offense as the Cardinals experienced scoring lulls. But, Briahanna Jackson and Durr were determined to bring the Cardinals back into reach as they both grabbed buckets before the half.
Despite a late surge from the Cardinals, the Terrapins led 42-38.
Out of the half, Maryland continued to dominate Louisville offensively. The Terps saw balanced scoring from Kaila Charles, Kristen Confroy and Walker-Kimbrough whom each added six points apiece.
Midway through the third period, Charles went off grabbing six fast points and giving the Terps the biggest lead of the evening, 53-43. However, Hines-Allen and Moore battled back for the Cardinals as they brought the score within five.
Maryland ultimately outscored Louisville, 20-15, in the third period, which allowed the Terps to take a 62-53 lead heading into the final period.
For the first time this season, the Cardinals controlled the fourth period. Louisville came out hot as Durr fired off a three-pointer. Jazmine Jones and Hines-Allen added a combined four points to cut the lead to two and force a Maryland timeout with 6:38 remaining.
Louisville continued the hot streak as Hines-Allen and Jackson grabbed four quick points to put the Cardinals ahead, 64-62. Louisville held Maryland scoreless for nearly five minutes. However, Walker-Kimbrough was not letting her Maryland team give in so easy as she drove to the bucket for two.
A foul by Jackson put Destiny Slocum on the line to hit 1-of-2 and pull the Terps ahead by one. But, as Hines-Allen drove to the bucket for a layup, she was fouled by Charles and converted on the three-point play.
Louisville led 67-65 with 2:45 remaining. Maryland did not bow down. Behind Stephanie Jones, Charles and Slocum, the Terps scored seven unanswered points, giving Maryland a 72-67 advantage with 1:53 left.
Louisville tried to mount a spectacular comeback to defeat the mighty Maryland Terrapins. However, Maryland won the battle and the game, 78-72.
Louisville finished just below their season average of 80.1 points in the loss to Maryland. The Cardinals connected on 31-of-79 (39%) from the field and 4-of-23 (17%) from beyond the arc. Louisville has 15-assists on 31 made field goals.
Despite the dismal shooting, the Louisville defense forced 18 Maryland turnovers and converted the turnovers into 20-points.
Maryland, who has been outscoring opponents by more than 40-points this season, was challenged by the Louisville defense. The Terrapins are averaging 52% from the field, but against the Cardinals shot 48% (26-of-54) from the field.
The Terps capitalized on Louisville’s tendency to foul, going 23-of-28 from the charity stripe. Maryland also dominated the boards, holding a 48-35 advantage over Louisville.
The Cardinals had three players grab double-digits: Asia Durr paced the Cardinals tallying 20-points. Durr connected on a team-best three from beyond the arc. Myisha Hines-Allen racked up 16-points on 7-of-16 shooting. Hines-Allen pulled down seven boards and dished out two assists in 32-minutes played. Mariya Moore rounded out the top scorers adding 13-points.
Briahanna Jackson dished out a team-best eight- assists while putting up nine points. While Cortnee Walton pulled down a team-high nine boards, she also added eight points.
For the Terrapins, Shatori Walker-Kimbrough posted a game-high 26-points. Brionna Jones picked up a double-double as she notched 16-points on 7-of-8 shooting and 12-rebounds. Rounding out the top scorers for the Terps was Destiny Slocum who added 13-points.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Cardinals. Louisville will face arch-rival Kentucky at the KFC Yum! Center on Sunday, December 4th in the annual Battle for the Bluegrass.