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Analysis: 4 keys to Louisville’s dominating win over Virginia

Louisville’s defense has continued to improve throughout the season. Tonight, the Cardinals held the Cavaliers to two single-digit quarters in a battle for first place in the ACC.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Notre Dame at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Charlottesville, VA — The No. 4 Louisville Cardinals cruised to an easy 77-41 victory behind a huge third period.

The Cardinals kicked off the match behind an 8-0 run. But, Virginia stormed back. At the end of the first 10 minutes, Louisville and Virginia were tied at 15.

The Cavaliers took a three point lead early in the second period, but it was short lived as Asia Durr and Arica Carter led the Cardinals to six unanswered points and forcing a Virginia timeout.

The Cavaliers would never get closer than four points.

Louisville completely overwhelmed Virginia in the third period, outscoring the Cavaliers, 24 - 6. Midway through the quarter, Louisville had scored 16 unanswered points to take a 51 - 31 lead.

At the end of four, Louisville sailed to victory behind a 77 - 41 advantage.

In a game that ended up being completely lopsided, the Cardinals showed glimpses of greatness.

Here are a few key takeaways from the match:

Louisville’s Defense is Locked In

Louisville’s defense overwhelmed Virginia. The Cardinals converted 22 Virginia turnovers into 20 points. Louisville’s defense held Virginia to single digits in both the third and fourth quarters. Although, this is nothing new for the Cardinals. In 23 of Louisville’s las 24 games, the Cardinals have held its opponents to single digits in a quarter.

The Cardinals zoned in on Ailyah Huland El, the Cavaliers leading scorer. Louisville did not let the senior, who averages 13.4 points, get any easy buckets. Huland El managed to notch her 1,000 career point in the final minutes of the match, but she was still held to a team-best nine points.

Louisville also kept Dominique Toussaint and Jocelyn Willoughby well below their double-digit scoring average.

Bianca Dunham is a Rising Star

In her last two outings, the junior has notched double-figures. Her tenacity under the bucket has proven to be beneficial for the Cardinals. Against Virginia, Dunham was stellar, going 5-of-9 from the field and pulling down five rebounds.

In her last outing against Wake Forest, Dunham had her second best performance of the season, putting up 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting.

Myisha Hines-Allen is a Double-Double Machine

Myisha Hines-Allen notched her 40th career double-double in a seemingly quiet night in Charlottesville. The senior forward had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Louisville Isn’t Just Hines-Allen and Durr

The dynamic duo that is Myisha Hines-Allen and Asia Durr may lead the Cardinals in points, but they are not the only scoring threats for Louisville.

Louisville had five players grab double-figures against Virginia. It’s no shock that Asia Durr paced the Cardinals with 21 points on 50% shooting.

As previously mentioned, Bianca Dunham is improving with every game. She finished the evening with 13 points.

Arica Carter, who missed last season with an injury, continues to show her value on the court. The red shirt junior guard has a high basketball IQ and can see the floor extremely well. Carter is Miss Fundamentals for the Cardinals. Against the Cavaliers, Carter had 11 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Sophomore Jazmine Jones is having a breakout season. She’s averaging 8.7 points per game, but she’s had 12 outings in which she scored double-figures on the season. Against Virginia, Jones notched 10 points and six rebounds.

Again, it’s no surprise to see Myisha Hines-Allen earn a double-double.

Next Up:

The No. 4 Louisville Cardinals continue its road stint heading north to face the Syracuse Orange on Sunday, February 4th at 1 PM EST.

Virginia travels south to take on the No. 10 Florida State Seminoles on February 8th at 7PM EST.