Charlottesville, VA — The Virginia Cavaliers had NO answer for reigning ACC Player of the Year, Myisha Hines-Allen. Hines-Allen led the Cardinals to an 86-81 victory behind a career-high 31-points and 17-rebounds.
Fresh off a loss to the Duke Blue Devils on Tuesday, the Cardinals entered a hostile environment at John Paul Jones Arena, where Virginia is undefeated. Both teams entered the game looking to avoid a second straight loss.
“You have to figure out how to win games on the road, and we figured this out,” stated head coach Jeff Walz.
The Cardinals came out strong as Mariya Moore kicked things off connecting on a three-pointer and Hines-Allen drove to the bucket for a layup. Louisville jumped out to an early 5-0 lead.
For Virginia, the Cavaliers struggled to gain momentum, missing their first four shots.
Louisville’s lead did not last long. After a hot start, the Cardinals struggled to connect on shots, going nearly 2:30 without scoring. Jazmine Jones broke the drought for Louisville, and she connected on a layup.
Into the media timeout at 4:39, Louisville had hit 1-of its last-7 shots, and Moore picked up her second foul, which was a huge hit for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals went scoreless for nearly 3:00, while Virginia sprinted out to a 12-7 lead behind a 12-2 run. Louisville’s drought was snapped by a three-pointer from Asia Durr.
But Virginia countered as Aliyah Huland El fired off a three of her own.
At the end of the first period, the Cardinals trailed 17-11.
Louisville struggled offensively in the first period, turning the ball over seven times. Virginia capitalized on Louisville’s mistakes, turning Louisville’s seven turnovers into 11 points. The Cardinals only connected on 5-of-18 from the field.
Hines-Allen led the Cardinals with 4-points, while Huland El added six for the Cavaliers.
Despite having a streaky first period, Hines-Allen came in the second hot. Hines-Allen added four quick points for the Cardinals connecting on a layup and a jump shot.
Again, Huland El countered adding two of her own. Hines-Allen drove to the bucket for another layup, but Breyana Mason fired off a three-pointer to put the Cavaliers up, 22-17, and forcing a Louisville timeout with 7:31 remaining in the half.
The Cardinals were able to gain some offensive momentum as Moore, and Hines-Allen added 2-points, and Durr hit a three-pointer, forcing a Virginia timeout.
Out of the timeout, Louisville continued to struggle turning the ball over four times and allowing Virginia to sprint ahead behind a 7-0 lead. The Cavaliers took a 10-point lead, 34-24, before a foul sent Hines-Allen to the line to connect on 1-of-2.
Unfortunately, back to back fouls committed by Louisville put Virginia on the line twice at the end of the half to add four points and take a 38-25 lead.
Again, Hines-Allen led the Cardinals with nine points in the second period, while Huland El added six points for Virginia.
Despite the lackluster offense, the Cardinals connected on 6-of-13 from the field, connecting on 46.2% from the field.
Virginia outscored the Cardinals 21-14 in the second period to take a comfortable 38-25 lead into the half. The 13-point deficit is the largest of the season for the Cardinals.
On the first half play, Coach Jeff Walz said, “The bakery is open because we’re passing out turnovers.”
It’s no surprise, out of the half, Hines-Allen struck first. However, Lauren Moses was able to get out in transition and add two for the Cavaliers.
The Cardinals would trail as much as 15, but with less than 4:30 remaining in the third period, Louisville began to chip away at Virginia’s lead by locking down defensively. Louisville forced 4 straight turnovers to surge on an 8-0 run and cut the Virginia lead to 7 and forcing Virginia to burn a timeout with 1:36 left in the third.
Out of the timeout, the momentum continued to sway in Louisville’s favor as the Cardinals extended their 8-0 run to a 12-0 run.
Huland El, as she had been doing all night, broke the Cavalier drought as she added two, but Hines-Allen fought back for a three-point play. All of a sudden, Virginia’s 15-point lead had diminished, and the Cardinals only trailed by 2-points.
Virginia nearly doubled their turnovers in the third period alone, committing eight, while Louisville cleaned up on offensive only turning the ball over twice.
At the end of three, Virginia led 52-48.
In a high octane fourth period, Virginia struck first, but Louisville countered with seven quick points to take the lead for the first time since early in the first period.
Louisville and Virginia played a game of cat-and-mouse for part of the final period before Louisville pulled away with a five-point lead with 3:00 remaining in regulation.
Moore was crucial for the Cardinals’ comeback, adding 12 points in the final period, including two crucial three-pointers to make it a two-possession game with under 2:00.
But, Virginia fought back as Mason fired off a three-pointer to bring the game within reach for the Cavaliers.
As the clock hit 0:00, the ball left the fingers of freshman Dominique Toussaint, who was clearly behind the arc, and swished through the net, tying the game at 71 and sending it into overtime.
Louisville entered overtime with Hines-Allen and Moore both with four fouls.
As the pair had been doing all night, Hines-Allen and Huland El struck first for the Cardinals and Cavaliers, respectively. Moore drove to the bucket for a layup, but quickly after picked up her fifth foul.
Hines-Allen followed suit and fouled out. With two crucial Cardinals out, Louisville had to depend on Durr and freshman Jazmine Jones to make big plays.
Louisville was clutch in the final seconds, closing out the game at the line. Taylor Johnson and Jones hit two big free throws apiece for the Cardinals to put Louisville up, 84-78 with less than 30-seconds remaining.
J’Kyra Brown fired off a three-pointer with seconds remaining to bring it to a one possession game. Virginia quickly fouled, sending Durr to the charity stripe to hit two.
The Cardinals picked up their first road victory in ACC play, defeating the Cavaliers, 86-81.
The Cardinals had three players post double-digits: Myisha Hines-Allen notched her seventh double-double on the season behind a career-high 31-points and 17-rebounds. Mariya Moore connected on 40-percent from beyond the arc, going 8-of-17 from the field to add 23 points for Louisville. Asia Durr rounded out the top scorers racking up a quiet 16-points.
The Cavaliers had four players notch double-figures: Aliyah Huland El led Virginia with 23-points and eight rebounds. Lauren Moses racked up 19-points on 9-of-15 shooting, while pulling down eight boards. Breyana Mason added 17-points, firing off a team-high four three-pointers, while Dominique Toussaint added 11-points, including one crucial three-pointer to send the game into overtime.
“I was proud of the outcome, but I am really concerned about our ball club. To come out and play a first half like we did is just completely unacceptable,” stated Coach Walz.
The Cardinals return home to face the Pittsburgh Panthers on Sunday, Jan. 8. As for Virginia, they’ll hit the road to face North Carolina on Sunday as well.