By John McCarthy–
The No. 5 Louisville Cardinals took down Virginia 75-50 Jan. 23 at the KFC Yum! Center.
The Virginia Cavaliers arrived in the Derby City having played the toughest schedule in the nation.
Senior Kylee Shook made the first bucket of the game when she netted a three-pointer off an assist by senior Bionca Dunham. Shook had a fiery first quarter with eight early points, two blocks and two rebounds.
Junior Dana Evans added to the total by sinking three three-pointers, extending her already impressive sharpshooting season.
Louisville (19-1, 8-0) led the Cavaliers 25-13 after the first quarter.
Louisville’s defense was the highlight of the second quarter. The Cardinals held Virginia (7-12, 2-6) at nine points for the quarter.
Without their defense, Louisville would not have been able to keep a comfortable lead going into halftime. They finished the second quarter only making two of their 12 attempts from the field.
Regardless of their shooting drought, Louisville led the Cavaliers going into the locker room 39-22.
Senior Jazmine Jones made the first basket of the second half via a right-handed layup. The Cavaliers began to settle in after Jones’ bucket. Senior Dominique Toussaint swished a jumper to start a Cavaliers scoring drive.
With Louisville’s scoring struggles trickling into the third quarter, the Cavaliers were able to decrease the deficit to 12 heading into the final period.
Jones again put the Cardinals on the board first with an and-one jumper. She made the free-throw to convert the three-point play and put the Cardinals lead back to 15.
Virginia replied with a strong offensive rebound by freshman Shemera Williams that led to a made free-throw.
Sophomore Elizabeth Balogun kept the Cavaliers at bay with a lengthy three-pointer assisted by Evans. Jones and Evans followed up Balogun’s three-pointer with jumpers inside the arch. Williams stringed another three-pointer for Virginia to keep the deficit within 15.
In the end, the late shooting improvements for the Cardinals outshined the Cavaliers’ passion.
Louisville shot 44 percent from the field despite their second quarter woes.
Dana Evans said, “We have to put together a full game, especially when we’re playing teams like this.” Evans tallied up 21 points in the Cardinals win.
The Cardinals will host Pittsburgh Jan. 26 at 4 p.m.
Photo by // The Louisville Cardinal