--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Seth Spalding
Virginia women’s basketball typically plays decent defense. The Cardinals still scored above 90.
Jeff Walz’s team won big on Jeff Walz bobblehead night, obliterating the Cavaliers 91-43. It was the highest scoring total, and worst margin Virginia had allowed this season. Entering the game, Virginia allowed less than 65 points per contest, while scoring 59.
Asia Durr had a big night, scoring 20 points and hitting four threes. Sam Fuehring was strong off the glass, nabbing eight rebounds.
The game was close for just one period. Virginia was within two with 4:34 left. Each team shot within one percentage point of each other- 38.9 percent for the Cardinals, and 38.5 for the Cavaliers. Virginia kept responding, after nearly every Louisville bucket. In fact, Louisville had just two unanswered buckets. At the end of the period, Louisville led 15-11.
“I thought Virginia in the first quarter did a really good job of controlling the tempo of the game.” Walz said, “We just couldn’t really get things going. Part of that was our fault, because we missed some shots.
The Cardinals began to rip into the Cavaliers in the second.
“I think it was really rebounding.” Sophomore guard Dana Evans said after the game, “We didn’t get out on the brakes, and couldn’t get any easy layups. Once we started to rebound we got a couple easy buckets, and it opened the game up for us.”
Virginia guard Erica Martinsen hit a three within the first 15 seconds, but then Louisville went on a 24-3 run. Louisville’s lead kept on widening. The Cardinals were up to a 13-point lead before the midway point of the period. They led by double after Bionca Dunham made a jump shot with 3:55 left.
Louisville led 46-20 at halftime. The Cardinals hit 52-8 percent for the first half, and were 5 of 12 from beyond the arc. Virginia, meanwhile, hit 27.6 percent. Louisville outscored Virginia 31-9 in the period.
The Cardinals continued their dominance in the third period. Virginia had a pair of buckets before Louisville went on a 17-0 run. Asia Durr kicked it off with a three-pointer. Kylee Shook hit a pair of layups. Jaz Jones made a basket. Dana Evans made two consecutive three-pointers. And on and on. Louisville’s lead extended to above 40 with over three minutes left to play in the period.
Louisville shot 60 percent in the fourth quarter, and outscored Virginia 20-13. The Cardinals shot 57.1 percent for the game, and hit 50 percent of three-pointers.
“Overall I was really pleased with how we shot, and the area of the floor we got shots in.” Walz said.
Louisville moves 16-1, and are 4-1 in the ACC. They travel to Wake Forest on Sunday, to face the Demon Deacons at 1pm. The Cardinals return to the KFC Yum! Center on Sunday, January 27th at 2pm for a bout with the Pittsburgh Panthers.