By Matt Bradshaw–
Third-ranked women’s basketball (19-0, 5-0) dominated second-ranked Notre Dame (15-2, 4-0) during an electric match at the KFC Yum! Center.
With a full house roaring, the Cardinals put on a midseason show and claimed a significant victory. Here are the biggest takeaways from the game.
Final Four caliber
U of L’s 19-0 start is the team’s best start and longest winning streak in program history. They remain one of four undefeated teams and their 19 wins are the most in the country.
Moreover, the Cardinals’ demolition of the second-best team in the country is telling. Notre Dame’s only loss prior to Louisville was to. No. 1 Connecticut by nine.
This point differential between the Huskies and the Cardinals does not necessarily give Louisville the edge, but it certainly bodes well for Louisville’s match-up at Connecticut on Feb. 12.
Time will tell if the Cardinals can continue their hot streak, but for now they remain clear contenders for the National Championship.
Asia Durr is a monster
With 36 points against the Irish, it was Durr’s second-highest scoring game of the season.
The junior shot 72 percent from the floor and a ridiculous 80 percent from 3-point range. She played the second-most minutes on the team and had no competition from any other player on the floor, other than Myisha Hines-Allen.
The Georgia native pestered Notre Dame from behind the arc the entire game, pumping up the crowd to the loudest it has been all season. Her fade away, buzzer-beater 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter was worthy of a SportsCenter Top Play.
Hines-Allen sets this team apart
Durr controlled the game from behind the arc, but Louisville’s lone senior owned the paint.
Myisha Hines-Allen recorded 31 points and 12 rebounds. With her intimidating presence down low and versatile handling of the ball, the New Jersey native easily puts herself in contention for most dangerous front court players in the NCAA.
What’s more, Hines-Allen nailed a three in the first half. A forward with mid- to deep-range scoring ability should make any team nervous.
If she continues her magnificent play for the Cardinals, not even first-ranked Connecticut will stand in her way.
Depth is the key
It’s easy to forget about the rest of the team when Durr and Hines-Allen match the entire Notre Dame team. Behind their star players, Louisville hides a complete team with experience, talent and depth.
Point guard Arica Carter played a steady game for the Cardinals, shooting 2-of-3 from the 3-point line and dishing out six assists. The redshirt-junior is extremely reliable, as she played the most minutes out of everyone on the team against the Irish.
Sam Fuehring adds another dangerous presence in the paint next to Hines-Allen. The forward scored 10 and assisted six, playing with great vision and passing in the paint.
Jazmine Jones is quick and athletic at wing, often apart of Louisville’s fast breaks. The sophomore scored 10 points and rebounded eight.
Against ND, the bench totaled 16 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and two steals.
#L1C4 is alive and thriving
Women’s basketball has perhaps never played under such a lively and thundering crowd.
Following the 33-point victory, coach Jeff Walz picked up a microphone and talked to the crowd directly. He thanked the crowd of 12,000 for coming out, and encouraged them to keep attending and watching his special team.
“I just want to thank all 12,000 who came out tonight,” Walz said. “If you don’t want to come back after that, I don’t know what to tell you.”
You can follow Matt Bradshaw on Twitter @bradmatt8.
Photo by Mike Henderson / The Louisville Cardinal