No. 8 Louisville cruises past Boston College 77-60
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) The Louisville women's senior class has won more games than any other in school history.
And the No. 8 Cardinals' 77-60 win against Boston College on Thursday night showed that the future is in good hands as well.
Freshman Mariya Moore scored 18 points as the Cardinals honored five seniors before their regular-season home finale.
Louisville's Shawnta' Dyer, Sara Hammond, Jude Schimmel, Bria Smith and Sheronne Vails have 109 victories and all five started.
Dyer scored 13 points and Smith and Schimmel each had 11. Freshman Myisha Hines-Allen added 12 points for the Cardinals (24-4, 12-3 Atlantic Coast Conference).
The Cardinals forced 27 turnovers, including 18 steals, to overcome 12 3s from Boston College (12-16, 4-11).
Nicole Boudreau led the Eagles with 12 points, hitting four 3-pointers.
Louisville's seniors won 33 games last season and went to the NCAA title game in 2013, losing to Connecticut.
''I never would have dreamed being where I'm from to be able to play for a national championship or go out to L.A. for the ESPY Awards,'' said Hammond, a Mt. Vernon, Kentucky native and the school's first McDonald's All-American. ''Things like that have changed my life.''
The sentiment of senior night didn't slow the Cardinals. Louisville scored the first eight points, six by Dyer, and then quickly went on a 14-3 run to lead 22-9 after eight minutes, with all five seniors scoring by that point.
''We all thought we were going to be a little more emotional than we were, but it happened so fast,'' Dyer said.
Louisville shot 55 percent in the first half, outscoring the Eagles 30-8 in the paint, but Boston College hit seven 3s to stay within 46-31 at halftime.
Emilee Daley and Kelly Hughes each made 3-pointers in the first minute after the break to cut Louisville's lead to single digits, and Alexa Coulombe's layup with 18:32 left again cut the Cardinals' lead to nine at 48-39.
Boston College hit 10 of its first 19 3s and trailed 55-44 before Louisville went on a 12-2 run midway through the second half. The Cardinals led by 26 with five minutes left before Boston College scored the game's final nine points.
''We shot 47 percent to their 42 percent,'' Boston College coach Erik Johnson said. ''We had 19 assists; they had 19 assists. We just had too many mistakes.''
Schimmel and Smith both had all-around performances before a crowd of 10,488. In addition to scoring 11 points apiece, Smith had seven steals and five assists while Schimmel added seven assists, five rebounds and four steals.
NATIVE AMERICAN NIGHT:
Louisville's senior night doubled as Native American Heritage night for the second straight year. The school drew 22,163 to the event last year, held largely to recognize the outpouring of support surrounding the Schimmel sisters, members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla in Oregon.
Shoni Schimmel, WNBA All-Star and former Louisville star, returned for her younger sister's senior night that saw at least 14 tribes from the U.S. and Canada in attendance.
''The fact that they support us and the fact that they come clear across the country just to watch my senior night and Shoni's senior night last year, that's an inspiration to us,'' Jude Schimmel said.
Louisville: The Cardinals are off to their third-best start in school history. Last year's team made it to the NCAA tournament's Elite Eight and the 2008-09 squad lost in the national title game.
Boston College: The Eagles will honor their two seniors, Shayra Brown and Victoria Lesko, in their regular-season finale against Virginia Tech on Sunday.
Louisville travels to Virginia on Sunday.
Boston College hosts Virginia Tech on Sunday.