Lexington, KY -- The top-seeded Louisville Cardinals dominated the Lexington Regional to earn a spot in the Women’s Final Four.
Junior guard Asia Durr was named the Region’s Most Outstanding Player while Sam Fuehring, Arica Carter and Myisha Hines-Allen were named to the All-Region team.
Despite his team’s amazing season, Louisville head coach Jeff Walz says he more proud of his team’s accomplishments off the court.
”When my daughters were out there in the yard, and Lola tells me she’s Lola Hines-Allen today, and Lucy, you’re going to be Lucy Durr, and then she tells Mom, you’re going to be the official, and Dad can still be the coach, you know, it’s the impact that they have on their lives that means everything to me.”
Walz, who is in his 11th year coaching at the University of Louisville, has led the Cardinals to three Final Four appearances.
”I think a program that had never been to a Sweet 16 until 11 years ago can now say every player that’s finished four years has had the opportunity to play in a Final Four. I think that’s pretty impressive.” Coach Walz said.
Perhaps, just as impressive was Louisville’s balanced attack against the Beavers. The Cardinals played a tough, lockdown defense with a quick offense on the other side against Oregon State, forcing 19 turnovers and tallying 24 points off turnovers.
Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck said that he warned his players about Louisville’s quick and stealthy offensive attack.
”We talked about the speed,” Coach Rueck said. “I mean, that’s the last thing I said to the team. Remember how fast this is going to come at you offensively. Be ready. That’s the last thing I said before the tip.”
The Cardinals were able to dismantle every strategy the Beavers threw their way. Louisville, in particular, kept Maria Gülich from playing her A-game. Gülich came into the contest averaging 23 points and 12 rebounds to go along with six blocks and only three turnovers in tournament play. However, Sam Fuehring kept Gülich in check. The senior from Germany fouled out early in the fourth quarter and was held to only 14 points and eight boards with seven turnovers and two assists.
”For me, it was to limit her touches and to keep her off the boards,” Louisville junior Sam Fuehring said. “She’s a big girl, so I mean, she’s got like three inches on me, two inches, so I’ve got to use my strength to keep her off the boards.”
With Gülich struggling, Oregon State was unable to keep up with the Cardinals. Oregon State had to look to freshman Taya Corosdale - who averages 6.7 points - to step up and knock down shots. Corosdale collected 11 points going 3 - of - 6 from beyond the arc and 2 - of - 2 from the charity stripe.
The Cardinals also held the two of Oregon State’s top scorers well below their season averages. Pivec - who averages 11.3 points and 7.2 rebounds - was held to five points and four rebounds, while Kat Tudor - who averages 12.1 points - was held to only seven points.
After upsetting two giants in Tennessee and Baylor, the Beavers’ Cinderella-like run stopped at the Elite Eight.
The top-seeded Louisville Cardinals advance to its third Final Four in 11 seasons behind a 76 - 43 decision.
Louisville had four players score in double-figures: Asia Durr led all scorers with 18 points, including a game-best four triples. Myisha Hines-Allen collected 16 points, but only three rebounds. Sam Fuehring added 14 points, five rebounds, and four assists, while Arica Carter notched 10 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
For Oregon State, two players hit double-digits: Marie Gülich tallied 14 points and eight boards while Taya Corosdale added 11 points and six rebounds.
The top-seeded Louisville Cardinals move on to the Final Four in Columbus, Ohio, where they will face the winner of Mississippi State vs. UCLA.