By Sam Draut–
It wasn’t the start Louisville wanted on its nationally televised game against 22nd-ranked South Florida, but a strong second half performance earned the Cardinals another win over a ranked team.
Myisha Hines-Allen finished with a team-high 25 points and 10 rebounds as Louisville defeated USF 67-50 for its 17th win in 18 games. Mariya Moore added 19 points, five assists and four rebounds. Moore limped off the floor late in the fourth quarter with a calf cramp, but the sophomore appeared fine after the game.
Louisville (20-6 overall, 11-1 in the ACC) led 43-41 with 3:27 left in the third quarter before taking control of the game. Hines-Allen hit a midrange jumper and Arica Carter followed on the next possession with a three-pointer at the end of the shot clock to start a 15-2 run.
“I knew the shot clock was running out and I saw Mariya drive it to the basket,” Carter said. “I had to find an open area for the ball and I knew I was going to shoot it.”
Carter set a career-high with 15 points on 6 of 9 shooting from the field.
“It comes from the team having confidence in me, knowing I can knock shots down,” Carter said.
Carter’s performance gives head coach Jeff Walz another option for a third scorer. He said he can rely on Moore and Hines-Allen every night as potent scoring threats, but has yet to find an important third scoring threat.
“When she is aggressive and plays strong with the ball she gives us another scoring option,” Walz said.
The Cardinals scored 23 points off of 20 USF turnovers. Briahanna Jackson had four steals despite shooting 0 of 10 from the field. USF head coach Jose Fernandez said the live-ball turnovers were a difference in the game, with his team scoring six points off of 12 Louisville turnovers.
Though Jackson struggled on the offensive end, Walz said he was proud of the guard’s defensive effort.
“She is maturing as a player, she is not allowing missed shots to effect how she plays on the defensive end of the floor,” Walz said.
Walz believes Jackson’s shooting struggles will eventually end, saying “she is too good of a player to stay in a slump.”
The late season non-conference win is Louisville’s fourth over a top-25 team this season. Three of the Cardinals final four ACC games are against teams in the bottom fourth of the league.
“It was a test to see where we are,” Hines-Allen said.