Louisville, KY — The No. 8 Louisville Cardinals’ shut down defense stifled the College of Charleston. Behind Asia Durr and Myisha Hines-Allen, the Cardinals defeated the Cougars, 86-58.
“I thought we did a really nice job in the first 24 minutes,” Louisville head coach Jeff Walz told the media. “I was really proud of the effort. I thought we followed a game plan.”
The Cardinals put on a second defensive clinic in just three days. Louisville limited the Cougars to only seven made field goals and 19-points in the first half.
The College of Charleston struggled against the Louisville defense, turning the ball over 18 times and shooting only 23.3-percent from the field.
The Cardinals, however, surged offensively behind Myisha Hines-Allen and Asia Durr, whom each racked up 14-points apiece. Hines-Allen picked up her third double-double on the season (14-points, 12-rebounds) in just 12-minutes played.
“I play a team sport, so it’s not all about me,” Hines-Allen told the media. “I love to see my other teammates get out there and play, too.”
Louisville came out hot, firing on all cylinders as the Cardinals took an early 7-0 lead. Hines-Allen struck first for Louisville, driving to the bucket for two. Briahanna Jackson grabbed a steal and dished it out to Durr for the three-pointer. Cortnee Walton grabbed her first bucket of the game as she laid it in for two.
But, Dajah Logan fired off a three-pointer for the Cougars, cutting into Louisville’s lead.
Another three-pointer by Durr followed by a Hines-Allen layup gave the Cardinals a nine-point lead.
A steal by Durr put the ball back in Louisville’s possession, and a foul committed by Logan sent Durr to the line to connect on two.
Charleston’s leading scorer, Breanna Bolden, drove to the bucket for a layup to bring the Louisville lead back to nine points at the first media timeout.
Louisville’s smothering defense kept the Cougars off the board for the final five minutes as the Cardinals picked up eight more points.
Hines-Allen could not be stopped as she racked up 9 points, 6 boards and 3 steals in the seven minutes she was on the court in the first period.
Louisville led the Cougars, 23-8 after the first 10-minutes.
Turnovers plagued the College of Charleston in the first period. The Cougars turned the ball over nine times, which the Cardinals converted into 10-points.
Louisville continued its hot streak into the second period as Mariya Moore connected on a three-pointer.
The Cardinals’ defense continued to stifle Charleston. Louisville scored nine unanswered points, holding the Cougars scoreless to begin the second period. Brianna Boyd struck first for Charleston at the 6:55 mark. However, the Cardinals fired back with back-to-back scoring from Durr and Moore.
Louisville went on a 13-2 run in the first four minutes, forcing a Charleston timeout with 6:04 remaining in the half.
Out of the timeout, Bolden fired off a jump-shot as she tried to spark the Cougars’ offense. However, Charleston could not shift the momentum. Again, the Cougars’ were plagued by turnovers, as the Cardinals forced another nine.
Louisville limited the Cougars to only 11-points in the second period, while the Cardinals added 26.
At the half, Louisville held a comfortable 49-19 lead.
Hines-Allen led the way for the Cardinals as she picked up a double-double with 14-points and 10-rebounds in a little more than 10-minutes played. Durr also added 14-points.
But it was the Cardinals’ shut down defense that headlined the first half.
“We know defense is how we’re going to win,” Hines-Allen told the media. “If we start now and focus on possibly holding teams to 10-points, and under 10-points each quarter, it’s going to help us in the long run.”
The Cardinals came out of the halftime break strong. Moore struck first for the Cardinals. But a foul at the other end gave Tanisha Brown the opportunity to connect on a three-point play.
Louisville countered scoring 10 unanswered points as Durr connected on back-to-back three-pointers, while Moore and Jackson both added two apiece.
Bolden broke the scoring drought for the Cougars and sparked a Charleston run. Darien Huff fired off a three-pointer to bring the score to 64-27 with 4:55 remaining in the period.
Charleston scored seven unanswered points as Brown and Boyd found ways to get to the bucket.
Sydney Zambrotta tried to swing the momentum back in Louisville’s favor as she fired off a trey. But, two defensive breakdowns by the Cardinals led to back-to-back three-pointers from Huff.
The Cougars scored 21-points in the third period alone, topping their entire first half score of 19-points.
Huff paced Charleston in the third period connecting on 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, while Brown and Boyd each added five points apiece.
Charleston capitalized on Louisville’s mistakes, turning four Louisville turnovers into eight points.
Despite the late surge from the Cougars, the Cardinals still held a 67-40 advantage.
Louisville’s offensive struggles continued into the final period as Charleston continued to turn missed opportunities from Louisville into points. The Cardinals struggled to connect on a bucket, going 7-of-20 from the field.
Luckily, the Cardinals had freshman Bionca Dunham on the court. Dunham had her breakout game, leading the Cardinals in the fourth period with six points. Dunham’s ferocity gave Louisville the spark needed to close out the game.
Despite the Cougars outscoring the Cardinals in the final period, 18-17, Louisville came away with the win. The Cardinals picked up their tenth win of the season, defeating Charleston, 86-58.
“I think we played great, in a way. In the fourth we didn’t play too well,” Asia Durr said. “But we started out strong, and I was really proud of my team.”
The Cardinals had four players hit double-digits: Asia Durr paced Louisville racking up a game-best 20-points. Durr fired off four treys for the Cardinals. Myisha Hines-Allen picked up her third double-double on the season with 14-points and 12-rebounds.
Hines-Allen also grabbed 3 steals and 2 assists on the evening. Mariya Moore tallied 12-points for the Cardinals, while also pulling down 4 rebounds. Rounding out the top scorers is freshman Bionca Dunham. Dunham went 5-of-7 from the field, racking up 10-points.
For the Cougars, Brianna Boyd led the way with 14-points and 10-rebounds, while Darien Huff added 11-points.
The Cardinals return to action on Sunday at the KFC Yum! Center as they face Evansville at 2 PM.