By Dalton Ray —
A defensive-minded outing from No. 4 women’s basketball led to a 51-39 win over Virginia. The Cardinals recorded 12 steals and are now 28-2 (14-1).
Louisville scored 27 points off turnovers, allowing them to survive their cold stretches in the game.
Junior Asia Durr had 13 points and seven rebounds and sophomore Jazmine Jones pitched in 10 points.
The Cardinals held off the Cavaliers despite an usual offensive performance from senior Myisha Hines-Allen (3-for-9, six points).
U of L held Virginia to 27 percent shooting, including 2-for-18 from three.
Coach Jeff Walz chalked up Louisville’s bad offensive performance to poor tempo.
“We’re like Spalding ball testers. We dribble to see if there’s air in it and then move the thing,” Walz said. “When we move the ball, we’re really good. We just have to find a way to get back to where we were two weeks ago.”
Virginia held a 5-2 lead in the opening minutes, but a three from Durr by followed by a steal and layup from Jones gave Louisville the lead.
Physical defense from Virginia slowed the Cardinal offense. To counter, Louisville forced eight turnovers, leading to 11 points in the opening quarter.
With a 15-11 lead after one, quick buckets from Durr and Hines-Allen pushed the lead to nine.
Louisville’s three-minute scoring drought let Virginia pull within four, but U of L quickly went up nine.
Eight Cardinals scored in the first half, but only Durr had more then four points.
Hines-Allen had a poor first half of shooting, but opened the second with a steal and found Durr for the 3-pointer.
Virginia called time after redshirt junior Arica Carter’s 3-pointer that put U of L up 34-19.
Neither team scored for the next four minutes.
Despite the cold shooting (5-for-12) in the third quarter, Louisville held a 40-25 lead.
Poor shooting leaked into the fourth quarter for both teams as they combined for 7-for-25.
The Cardinals can clinch the ACC regular season title with a win over Pittsburgh on Sunday, Feb. 25.
“It’s a huge game for us. There’s an ACC championship on the line,” Walz said. “(Pittsburgh) plays hard, they’re well coached … they’re going to come in here and fight. If our kids think we just won an ACC championship, shame on us because we’ll get beat on Sunday.”
You can follow Dalton Ray on Twitter @dray5477.
Photos by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal