By Dalton Ray —
Fourth-ranked women’s basketball (29-2, 15-1) earned their first ever ACC championship with their 81-49 win over Pittsburgh on senior day. It’s the first conference title for coach Jeff Walz and the team’s first since 2001.
“It’s 11 years in the work … I have to thank Tom (Jurich). I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Tom Jurich believing in me 11 years ago,” Walz said. “It’s something we talked about, building a program and not just a team.”
U of L recognized their lone senior in Myisha Hines-Allen prior to the game. On the court, she recorded her 43rd career double-double, going for 18 points and 16 rebounds.
Juniors Asia Durr (20 points) and Sam Fuehring (13 points) were the other two Cardinals in double-digits.
Louisville led from start to finish and dominated the front court. Louisville out-rebounded Pitt 40-24 and out-scored the Panthers 38-18 in the paint.
Four quick points from Jazmine Jones aided a 8-2 Louisville lead. A pair of threes minutes from Durr bumped the lead to 10.
Pitt’s four turnovers in the open four minutes of the second quarter allowed U of L to get ahead 32-14.
The Panthers put together a 6-0 run, but couldn’t come within 14 before the break. Hines-Allen nailed a jumper just before the buzzer, making the lead 38-22.
Louisville only hit three of their first 10 shots out of the halftime, but still led by 16.
With the game seemingly out of reach, Durr nailed a falling away 3-pointer at the third quarter buzzer.
Louisville shot 50 percent in the fourth quarter while holding Pitt to 29 percent.
The Cardinals have a double bye in the ACC tournament as the top seed. Durr says the break is big for the team.
“It gives you the chance to sit back and watch. You get more time to rest and practice too,” Durr said.
The ACC tournament begins on Feb. 28 and finishes March 4. The Cardinals will play their first game on March 2.
Photos by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal
Photos by Taris Smith / The Louisville Cardinal
You can follow Dalton Ray on Twitter @dray5477.