Women’s basketball explodes in second half, defeats No. 25 Syracuse

By on December 29, 2016

By Dalton Ray–

The No. 8 women’s basketball team kicked off ACC play against No. 25 Syracuse, using a 36-point third quarter to win 91-76. The Cardinals trailed by 12 during the first half but outscored the Orange 55-38 during the second half.

Asia Durr led the way for Louisville after catching fire in the third quarter, adding 36 points and five rebounds. The sophomore gave credit to her teammates for her big night.

“My teammates found me on the court. I was very disappointed in myself in the first half. I just tried to come out and play hard. I knew if I played hard, it would take care of itself,” Durr said.

Mariya Moore is only the fourth player in U of L history to register a triple-double, with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Myisha Hines-Allen nearly registered a double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds.

Syracuse’s Alexis Peterson scored 31 points and dished out nine assists. Brittney Sykes added 20 points and 10 assists.

Twenty-two percent

U of L went 4-of-18 from the floor in the first quarter. Syracuse took advantage of Louisville’s poor shooting and quickly gained a 22-10 lead after the first.

Louisville also turned the ball over seven times. The Syracuse press forced multiple pick-ups while advancing the ball, which caused U of L to hurry their half-court offense. Once U of L got the ball up court, the Orange defense gave Louisville headaches by swarming the ball.

Saved by the line

In the first half, not too much went the way coach Jeff Walz planned. Trailing by as much as 12, Louisville stayed in the game through the free throw line. Through 20 minutes, the Cardinals hit 11-of-12 free throws.

The U of L defense allowed multiple open shots and Syracuse didn’t waste their chances. The Orange didn’t hesitate to pull shots from deep as they shot over the Cardinal defense, knocking down 42 percent of their 3-point attempts.

At the half, U of L cut the lead to seven and scored the final five points. Trailing 40-33, Moore led Louisville in scoring.

Twenty points in six minutes

All memories of lackluster first half were quickly erased in the third quarter. U of L pulled off a 22-2 run six minutes into the third quarter, taking a 55-42 lead.

Failing to knock down a three in the first half, Durr caught fire quickly and buried three in the third. The Orange ended the quarter on a 13-3 run, bringing the score to 69-59.

“It was a pretty impressive quarter of basketball and it all started on the defensive end,” Walz said. “It’s hard to get out and run in transition if you’re not getting stops. At one point, we got four or five stops in a row. Then you’re able to attack Syracuse in transition.”

The Durr show

Scoreless in the first 20 minutes, Durr made 10-of-13 in the second half, draining 7-of-9 threes in the final 20 minutes.

File photo / The Louisville Cardinal

About Dalton Ray

Sports editor (2016-2018) that is technically award winning.Email: dray@louisvillecardinal.com

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