By Dalton Ray —
No. 1 seed women’s basketball is headed to their fifth Sweet 16 in six years after their 90-72 win over No. 8 Marquette.
The Cardinals now move to Lexington to play in the Sweet 16 and potentially the Elite Eight. Louisville will play the winner of No. 4 Stanford and No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast Friday, March 23.
Senior Myisha Hines-Allen, 24 points and 13 rebounds, and junior Asia Durr, 19 points, pioneered the Cardinals in the second round win.
Hines-Allen played her final game inside the KFC Yum! Center. After the final horn, she kissed the logo at center court, received a standing ovation and interacted with fans before heading to the tunnel.
“I’m just so thankful to make it here this far, have great teammates around me and actually have fans come out to the game,” Hines-Allen said. “From my freshman year all the way up to now, the fan support has been amazing … I consider everyone I’ve met here family and I hope I made a good impression.”
Junior Sam Fuehring added a career-high 19 points and hauled in eight rebounds.
Louisville scorched Marquette with their shooting, knocking down 63 percent. Marquette couldn’t overcome their poor first half shooting (29 percent) as Louisville led for 39 minutes.
Marquette couldn’t handle Louisville’s play inside, allowing the Cardinals to outscore them 60-32 in the paint. Louisville’s size played a huge role in the discrepancy, but coach Jeff Walz said the team entered the post well.
“Even though you have size advantage, it doesn’t always make it easy to throw the ball in (the post). I thought we did a great job of reversing it,” Walz said. “Instead of throwing the ball in off the first pass, we got the ball worked around so the defense had to shift.”
First quarter Fuehr-y
Fuehring opened the tournament with 14 points and 11 rebounds. She rode the momentum into the second round, scoring 13 points in the opening quarter.
Durr bounced back from a cold shooting night in round one (4-of-14) and hit her first four shots.
Behind Durr and Fuehring’s combined 23 points, the Cardinals gained a 34-16 lead in the opening quarter.
Louisville’s hot start offensively didn’t flake in the second quarter as Louisville hit 21 of their first 30 shots. The U of L defense forced Marquette to take contested shots, but the Golden Eagles even struggled knocking down open looks.
Marquette’s poor shooting in the second quarter (3-of-18) allowed Louisville to push their lead to 25 at the break.
Hines-Allen dominated in the quarter, scoring eight and grabbing four rebounds.
Weather the storm
Marquette came out of the break hitting their first seven shots and cut the lead to 19 midway through the quarter.
The Cardinals knocked down timely shots to keep the lead around 20 points.
Marquette shot 85 percent in the quarter (11-of-13) but trailed 71-53 going to the fourth quarter.
Ripe for a run
Louisville finished off Marquette with a large thanks to their big first half lead. The Cardinals jumped up early and didn’t give the Eagles a chance.
The Cardinals cruised by their first two opponents by a combined scored of 164-114.
Scoring on the break and in the paint has been a recipe, totaling 33 on the break and 102 in the paint.
You can follow Dalton Ray on Twitter @dray5477.
Photos by Taris Smith / The Louisville Cardinal