By Matt Bradshaw–
Fourth-ranked women’s basketball (9-0) demolished UT Martin (3-5) 91-56. The Cardinals shot 52 percent from the field while dominating in the paint and on defense.
The 9-0 start is U of L’s second-best start in program history. Their best is 15-0 in 2006-07.
“We’ve had the opportunity to play some tough teams so far,” coach Jeff Walz said. “Starting 9-0, I would have been excited if we were 7-2 right now.”
Senior Myisha Hines-Allen led the team with 16 points and eight rebounds. Junior Asia Durr added 14 points with two from deep. Jazmine Jones and Sydney Zambrotta scored 14 and 13 off the bench.
“Jazmine’s quickness and athleticism can change the game when she comes in,” Walz said.
The Cardinals shot out to a 15-7 lead in the first quarter. Durr and Zambrotta each nailed two from behind the arc early in the contest.
U of L held UT to 33 percent shooting with a full-court press and high-pressure defense. They controlled the flow of the game by forcing turnovers and following with fast-breaks, and finished the first quarter leading 29-9.
In the second quarter, Hines-Allen and the Cardinals controlled the paint on both sides of the floor. Louisville ended with 43 rebounds and 44 points in the paint to the Skyhawk’s 20.
Louisville’s high pressure-defense began to take a toll on UT Martin late in the second quarter. The defense stole 12, forced 22 turnovers and scored 35 points-off-turnovers by the end of the game. They led 47-26 at the half.
“Our goal was to disrupt by pressing and getting them out of their pattern,” Walz said. “We forced them to turn the ball over.”
Durr and Hines-Allen cooled off in the second half, but Louisville was still able to maintain a 20-point lead for most of the third quarter.
Redshirt junior Arica Carter totaled 10 points, five rebounds and four assists to guide the offense at point guard.
“The biggest adjustment for me has been giving my teammates shots and playing defense,” Carter said.
Zambrotta hit her third 3-pointer and made a fast-break lay-up to end the third quarter 72-43.
U of L maintained a 30-point lead for most of the fourth quarter and won the game 91-56.
The team faces Vanderbilt at home on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.
“We’re going to have to defend in the half-court much better on Thursday against Vanderbilt,” Walz said.
“We have to get better on defense,” Jones said. “We learned that from the game with South Dakota State.”
You can follow Matt Bradshaw on Twitter @bradmatt8
Photo by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal