By Dalton Ray —
Tabbed as one of the biggest games of the season, No. 3 women’s basketball busted No. 2 Notre Dame 100-67 on Thursday, Jan. 11. Louisville is now 19-0 and atop of the ACC conference.
Junior Asia Durr scorched the nets for 36 points, nailing 8-of-10 from three. Senior Myisha Hines-Allen scored all over the court, adding 31 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Sophomore Jazmine Jones attacked the rim all night, leading to 10 points and eight rebounds. Junior Sam Fuehring pitched in 10 points and a career-high six assists.
With the KFC Yum! Center rattling all night, Louisville shot 65 percent from the field, made 11-of-17 from three and out-rebounded the Fighting Irish 35-25.
U of L made the Irish pay with big runs at the end of quarters. Louisville ended the first with a 12-5 run, the second with an 11-0 run and third with a 6-0 run.
Coach Jeff Walz says the 33-point win over the nation’s second-ranked team is one the best performance he has seen.
“There was no question this was the most dominant team performance I’ve ever had,” Walz said.
Notre Dame opened the quarter with a pair of threes, but that didn’t phase U of L.
Tied at 7-7, Durr’s 3-pointer sparked a 21-4 run over the next five minutes. The Cardinals seemingly couldn’t miss, making 11 of their first 13 shots.
While on the run, Notre Dame called two timeouts, but the Irish couldn’t cool the Cards with their time stoppage.
The Yum! Center rocked as Louisville ended the first quarter with a 33-16 run. Dominating the glass aided the lead as U of L out-boarded ND 11-2.
Notre Dame started the second quarter by cutting the Louisville lead to 14. Just as ND started to pick up momentum, Louisville ripped it right back with an and-one from Jones and bucket from Hines-Allen.
Leading by 21, Durr gathered the defensive rebound, pushed the ball up court. With Notre Dame defenders filling the transition lanes, Jones flanked Durr’s left and Fuehring flanked the right. Durr hit Fuehring on the no-look pass, who then found Jones for the layup and the Yum! exploded.
Louisville closed on a 11-0 run, leading to a 56-28 halftime lead.
Notre Dame came out of the break and once again cut into the Louisville lead, but again the Cardinals snatched the momentum.
Including a pair of threes from Durr and jumper from Hines-Allen, Louisville pushed the lead to 70-38.
With the teams trading blows, sophomore Kylee Shook recorded a pair of blocks on one possession. At the other end, Durr knocked in another 3-pointer.
To finish the quarter, Durr drilled a fall-away 3-pointer, leading to a 85-46 lead.
Pushing the lead to 41, Louisville then allowed a 5-0 run that was ended with a Durr jumper.
Despite reserves being on the court, Louisville kept their lead intact.
The crowd of 12,614 stayed intact for the final minutes of the blowout, cheering on as the Cards cracked 100 points.
Walz expressed his appreciation for the fans after the game.
“I just want to thank everyone, all 12,000 that came out,” Walz said. “I’m hoping we had a lot of first time people that came … that was some fun basketball.”
After such a dominant game, rumblings of the No. 1 ranking spread among the media before Walz entered the press conference.
When asked if they should be ranked No. 1, Walz had a simple response: No.
“Leave that to UConn,” Walz said. “You don’t want poke the bear.”
You can follow Dalton Ray on Twitter @dray5477.
Photo by Mike Henderson / The Louisville Cardinal