By Dalton Ray —
No. 1 seed women’s basketball kicked off the NCAA tournament with a 74-42 win over No. 16 Boise State. Louisville had a ho-hum first half, but pulled away in the second and out-scored the Broncos 42-20.
The question surrounding Louisville all season is whether can they win without Asia Durr’s scoring. The ACC Player of the Year shot 4-of-14 in the win over Boise, scoring nine points.
The Cardinals won convincingly without Durr’s typical performance and coach Jeff Walz isn’t batting an eye at the off-shooting.
“She had some good looks that just didn’t go in. I’m not concerned about it. Shooters have to shoot,” Walz said. “She took a few tough shots and then passed down some ones she usually takes. That’s what I’ll show her.”
Louisville’s other star, Myisha Hines-Allen, only added four points on 2-for-7 shooting. Louisville picked up her end on what Walz said was the bench’s best post-play of the year.
Kylee Shook and Bionca Dunham combined for 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Shook also grabbed 10 boards in her 21 minutes.
“You have to have depth. Someone is going to have a bad night and if that’s all you rely on, you’re going to have problems,” Walz said. “We need contributions from everybody.”
Walz said the lineup might not tighten up as U of L goes deeper in the postseason, but the player determine their playing time.
“I’ll give them all a chance, but the amount of time they’re out there depends on what they do. There is no ‘Let me play through a few turnovers.’ That’s not how it works at this time of the year,” Walz said.
Boise State (23-10) isn’t a second-weekend caliber team, but they are a conference champion. Receiving a strong bench performance against an NCAA tournament team is something to get excited for if you’re rooting for the Cardinals.
Walz said the difference between this team and previous is everyone puts winning first.
“They all care about winning, that’s all they care about doing. If they play three minutes and we win, that’s great. If they have to go in and play 20, that’s great,” Walz said. “They’re genuinely excited for each other.”
Louisville now moves on to play the winner between Marquette and Dayton. Here are a few quick facts on the two:
No. 8 Marquette (23-9)
- Junior guard Allazia Blockton leads the team and Big East in scoring with 18.7 per
- Big East regular season champions
- No. 40 strength of schedule, 5-7 against RPI 50
- The Golden Eagles average 80.3 points per and allow 70.3
- No. 17 in the nation in scoring offense
No. 9 Dayton (23-6)
- Four starters average double-digit scoring
- Senior guard Jenna Burdette leads in scoring (16.1) and assists (3.9)
- Leading rebounder JaVonna Layfield is from Louisville (Ballard High School)
- Atlantic 10 regular and conference champs
- The Flyers average 73.6 points per and allow 61.4
You can follow Dalton Ray on Twitter @dray5477.
Photo by Taris Smith / The Louisville Cardinal