No. 7 Louisville women rout No. 22 Iowa 86-52
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Louisville started fast and never let up, no matter who was playing.
Sara Hammond scored a season-high 19 points, Myisha Hines-Allen added 16 and No. 7 Louisville ran away quickly from No. 22 Iowa for an 86-52 rout Thursday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Seeking a good tuneup before Sunday's Bluegrass showdown with No. 13 Kentucky, the Cardinals (8-0) never trailed in racing to their first win over a ranked team this season. Hammond's 9-of-13 shooting led Louisville's 35-of-66 performance from the field, its fifth 50-percent shooting effort this season.
On the other end, the Cardinals held the Hawkeyes (6-2) to 30 percent, including 1 of 17 from 3-point range.
''It was just not letting them get their 3s off because that's what they rely on (with) their offense,'' Hammond said. ''They kind of went away from that and it was like, `What do we do?' We could read it all over their faces.''
Freshman forward Mariya Moore had 12 points and six assists, and senior guard Bria Smith added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Cardinals, who dominated the Hawkeyes 58-32 in the paint and outrebounded them 50-38.
Bethany Doolittle scored 12 points for Iowa, which fell to 0-2 against Louisville, with both meetings coming this year. And like the Cardinals' 83-53 drubbing of the Hawkeyes in the second round of last spring's NCAA tournament, Louisville succeeded in taking Iowa's scorers out of the game.
Louisville's defensive effort was particularly impressive considering this Iowa squad featured a starting lineup of double-digit scorers, with Ally Disterhoft (16 points per game) leading the way. But the sophomore guard tallied just nine points and senior guard Samantha Logic eight in a game in which the Hawkeyes committed 20 turnovers leading to 21 Cardinals points.
Then again, Louisville's goal was making opportunities and baskets difficult to come by for Iowa, and the Cardinals opened strong in holding the Hawkeyes scoreless over a 5-minute stretch that included 11 straight misses. The Hawkeyes went on to shoot 24 percent (9 of 38) in the half and improved just slightly in the second.
''Their defense just took us out of it and we lost our confidence,'' Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. ''A team that's had as much success as we've had and (with) four veteran starters returning, we should not lose our confidence that easily. Shots just weren't falling for us.
''I think we played worse tonight than we did last year in the tournament.''
The Cardinals, on the other hand, were quick and accurate thanks to the inside presence of Hammond and Hines-Allen, who combined to shoot 11 of 14 through 20 minutes and 14 for 20 overall. They keyed Louisville's 53 percent first-half shooting and edges in rebounding (27-21) and assists (11-6), with Moore feeding both post players and adding seven points.
Iowa kept pace for a few minutes before Louisville's 12-0 run over 3:19 provided a 26-9 lead that grew to a 46-23 halftime edge and steadily increased after that.
''We did exactly what we needed to do,'' Cardinals coach Jeff Walz said. ''When you play that hard and share the basketball as well as we did, good things are going to happen.''
Louisville won by the largest margin in ACC/Big Ten Challenge history, surpassing Michigan's 33-point win over Wake Forest in 2010.
Smith jumped high to make a two-handed block of Whitney Jennings' 3-point shot, grabbed her own deflection and raced for a layup to give the Cardinals a 35-15 lead.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes didn't have a double-digit scorer until Doolittle's layup with 15:18 remaining.
Louisville: Emmonnie Henderson had 10 points had seven rebounds as the bench outscored Iowa's reserves 29-17. Shawnta' Dyer had seven rebounds and six points.
Iowa: Hosts Colorado on Sunday.
Louisville: Hosts No. 13 Kentucky on Sunday.