FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Ahlana Smith and Kianna Smith led hot-shooting No. 10 Louisville with 11 points apiece as the Cardinals won their fifth straight by beating Colorado State 71-56 on Sunday.
The Cardinals (5-1) shot 52.8% from the floor in a contest they never trailed. Emily Engstler drained a 3-pointer 1:37 into the game and the Cardinals steadily pulled away, leading by as many as 21 points.
Engstler finished with 10 points and eight boards. The Cardinals out-rebounded the Rams by a 39-22 margin.
Colorado State (5-1) was led by Sydney Mech and Karly Murphy with 12 points apiece. Cali Clark added 10 points as the Rams hosted a ranked nonconference team for the first time since No. 8 Connecticut visited Moby Arena in 2004.
Louisville shot 58.6% in the first half to take a comfortable lead into the locker room. But Colorado State made things interesting in the third quarter by cutting the deficit to 10 points on a layup from Mech. Cardinals coach Jeff Walz quickly sent five new players to the scorer’s table to check in and help settle things down.
The Cardinals improved to 2-2 against Colorado State. This was the first meeting between the two since Dec. 15, 2001, when the Rams beat the Cardinals 82-72 in the championship game of the Women’s Sports Foundation Tournament in Columbus, Ohio.
Louisville: Since an overtime loss to No. 9 Arizona on Nov. 12, the Cardinals have won five games by an average of 30.4 points.
Colorado State: The Rams couldn’t find their touch after a week between games. They were 5 of 15 from 3-point range against Louisville after hitting 16 in an 81-55 win over Lipscomb. The Rams haven’t knocked off a ranked nonconference opponent at home since beating No. 11 Colorado on Nov. 28, 2001.
WHAT TIME IS IT?
The Cardinals have played in four different time zones to start the season. They were on Central time in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, against Arizona, then had home games in the Eastern Time Zone before taking off to face Washington and Cal Poly in the Pacific. On Sunday, they finished their odyssey on Mountain time.
Louisville: Starts four in a row at home against Michigan on Thursday.
Colorado State: Faces Harvard on Saturday as part of the Arizona State Classic.
(Photo of Louisville Players: Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports)
You can follow Louisville Report for future coverage by liking us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
You can also follow Deputy Editor Matthew McGavic at @Matt_McGavic on Twitter