By Dalton Ray–
With a trip to Oklahoma City on the line, four seed women’s basketball punched their ticket to the Sweet 16 by downing Tennessee 75-64.
Junior Mariya Moore led the Cardinals with 19 points, nine rebounds and four assists. The All-ACC Second Team member carried U of L out of the cold stretch of the third quarter and connected on all five of her 3-pointers.
“My mindset (entering the fourth quarter) was: We’ve come so far and we can’t give up now. I wasn’t only trying to hit big shots but take advantage of their mistakes,” Moore said. “Coach has stressed so much since the ACC tournament to be in the gym and I have been as much as possible. It felt great to see the hard work pay off.”
Asia Durr scored 23 points on a cold shooting night, 8-for-22, and became the 28th member of the 1,000 point club in program history. Jame Nared led Tennessee in scoring with 28 points.
A pair of threes from Durr and freshman Kylee Shook help Louisville to take a 12-7 lead during an 8-0 run. Durr started hot, but began to start pressing her shots and the Cardinals went cold. In a balanced opening quarter, Louisville led 22-21 after one.
To start the second quarter, U of L’s centers Cortnee Walton and Ciera Johnson picked up two quick fouls. Behind Moore and Briahanna Jackson facilitating the offense, Louisville used a 7-0 run to regain the lead at 33-27.
Both teams struggled to find the basket ending the half, combining for 2-of-14 shooting.
The Cardinals used threes, 4-of-8, to take a lead into halftime while Tennessee used free throws, 7-of-14, to stay close.
Opening the third quarter, the Lady Vols took a quick lead, but missed their next four shots. Another poor shooting stretch ensued as the teams combined for 2-of-14 shooting. UT took a 45-44 lead with under 90 seconds to play in the quarter.
With Louisville trailing 47-46 entering the fourth, Moore registered a quick eight points to swing momentum in Louisville’s favor.
Durr went 1-for-5 from the field during the third quarter, but connected on three attempts during the opening minutes of the fourth to balloon the Louisville lead to nine.
With under two minutes to play, Nared’s three-point play cut the Louisville lead to five. Jackson’s lay-up with 53 seconds left proved to be the dagger for the Volunteers as the Cardinals went back up nine.
Junior Myisha Hines-Allen capped the game with a lay-up as she finished with 14 points, 15 rebounds and five assists.
Photo by Laurel Slaughter / The Louisville Cardinal