Louisville, KY — A monstrous first half gave the No. 9 Louisville Cardinals a 40 point win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 91-51.
The No. 9 Louisville Cardinals entered the evening looking for its 100th victory in the KFC Yum! Center on Denny Crum Court. Fresh off a 63-59 win against the No. 14 Miami Hurricanes.
While the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are riding the momentum of a huge upset over No. 24 Syracuse, the Yellow Jackets came in ready to grab another upset and first program win against the Cardinals.
Asia Durr set the pace for the Cardinals, firing off a three-pointer to put Louisville on the board. A foul on Myisha Hines-Allen sent Zaire O’Neil to the line to hit one of two, but Mariya Moore followed up with a three-pointer of her own.
Midway through the first period, the Cardinals went 3-for-3 from the field to take a 14-6 lead behind a 6-0 run. Both Kylee Shook and Durr fired off three-pointers. The Cardinals held the Yellow Jackets scoreless for nearly 2:00 minutes while sprinting out to an 8-0 run and a 22-8 point lead. Georgia Tech was forced to burn a timeout with 2:07 remaining in the first period.
Out of the timeout, the Jackets found some offense as Francesca Pan fired off a three-pointer. But, Moore countered with a triple of her own.
Led by Durr’s 13 points, the Cardinals dominated the first period, outscoring the Jackets 27-13.
The Cardinals shot 63% from the field on 10-of-16 shooting. Louisville went 7-of-10 from beyond the arc as Durr and Moore fired up. The Cardinals dominated the board with an 11-6 advantage, 10 of which came from the defensive glass.
Louisville’s defense locked in during the second period. The Cardinals’ shut down defense stunned the Georgia Tech offense in the second period. Louisville limited the Yellow Jackets to one made field goal at the 7:40 mark. Georgia Tech scored a season-low 2 points.
Louisville came into the second period hot, as Hines-Allen kicked off a 6-0 run. Chelsea Guimaraes scored Georgia Tech’s one bucket in the second.
And then the Cardinals responded by scoring 17 unanswered points. Durr and Shook led the charge, each with 4 points.
“I think it was just everyone buying in,“ Moore told the media on the second-period effort. “I think we all bought in at the same time and we were able to have a really strong defensive effort and stop them in the second quarter.”
Durr added, “It all falls back to practice.”
The Cardinals entered the half with a huge, 50-15 lead.
At the half, Louisville’s defensive effort held Georgia Tech to only 20% from the field on 6-of-30 shooting. While the Cardinals were able to knock down 18-of-29 for 62% from the field and 73% from beyond the arc. Louisville played fantastic team ball in the first half with 14 assists on 18 made field goals.
Louisville forced 5 Yellow Jacket turnovers, converting the turnovers into 9 points.
The Cardinals were led by Durr, who knocked down 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, 6-of-9 from the field for 17 points.
For the Yellow Jackets, Chelsea Guimaraes picked up 4 points.
UL: 14 assists on 18 made field goals. Louisville shot 62% in the first half, connecting on 18-of-29 from the field. The Cardinals connected on 8-of-11 from beyond the arc, hitting 73%.
The Cardinals held the Yellow Jackets to only 6-of-30 from the field. Louisville held the Jackets to its lowest first half of the season.
Out of the locker room, Louisville came out sloppy turning the ball over twice to begin the third period.
Georgia Tech was able to capitalize on the Louisville mistakes as Imani Tilford grabbed 4 quick points.
The Yellow Jackets were able to find offensive momentum in the third period, racking up 21 points behind Pan and Tilford.
With 3:42 remaining in the third, Pan fired off a jump shot and was fouled by Moore sending her to the line for a three-point play. Moments later, a turnover committed by Jazmine Jones led to a made three-pointer by Pan. The Jackets were able to grab 6 points to cut the Louisville lead to 32.
The Louisville starters were sent to the bench midway through the third period.
Despite jumping out to a hot start in the third, the Jackets were unable to continue the momentum. The Cardinals outscored Georgia Tech 25-21 to take a 75-36 lead into the final period.
Sam Fuehring struck first for the Cardinals in the fourth period as she fired off a jump shot to extend Louisville’s lead, 77-36. However, a foul sent Zutorya Cook to the link to hit one.
The Cardinals were able to put together a 6-0 run behind a three-pointer from Sydney Zambrotta and three points from Bionca Dunham to put Louisville up by 47 points.
The Jackets fought back in the second half, but could not dig themselves out of the first half deficit.
The Cardinals picked up win number 100 at the KFC Yum! Center, defeating the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 91-51.
The Cardinals finished the game connecting on 31 shots (58%) from the field, 9-of-16 from beyond the arc. Louisville’s bench came in handy scoring 37 points in the win. The Cardinals also dominated inside posting 40 points in the paint.
Georgia Tech came out with 17 made field goals, connecting on 28%. However, the Jackets were able to pick the ball off 5 times.
“We came out defensively and really followed the game plan,” Coach Jeff Walz said. “If you allow them to get out in transition, their guards drive the ball really well.”
He added, “I thought we did a great job of making them score over us, making them take outside shots, not letting them get into the paint and score.”
The Cardinals had three players post double-digits: Asia Durr paced Louisville, racking up 20-points. Durr connected on a team 4 shots from beyond the arc. Mariya Moore tallied 13-points and 8 rebounds, while Hines-Allen added 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
For Georgia Tech, Kaylan Pugh and Francesca Pan tallied 9 points apiece. Zaire O’Neil led the team in rebounds, pulling down 5 boards, while Chelsea Guimaraes led the team with 2 assists.
The No. 9 Louisville Cardinals fly south to take on the No. 23 South Florida Bulls on Sunday, Jan. 22, while the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will head to Winston-Salem to face the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest.