Sharp shooting spurs No. 13 Louisville past Chattanooga
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Fourth-seeded Louisville entered the NCAA Tournament looking like a different team.
Asia Durr scored 27 points to lead the Cardinals to an 82-62 victory over Chattanooga in the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament on Saturday.
Durr credited her teammates, who set a school record with 28 assists in a tournament game, for her to get 16th 20-point game of the season.
''They just did a great job of finding me on the court,'' Durr said. ''Coach (Jeff) Walz called a few plays for me as well, and I was able to knock the shot down.''
The rematch of a regular season contest played out a little differently. The Cardinals (28-7) didn't have anyone score in double figures in their 63-47 victory here on Nov. 21. On Saturday, they had four who did and were led by their sophomore guard.
Myisha Hines-Allen added 16 points and 12 rebounds while Jazmine Jones came off the bench to get 14. Along with Durr, those three made 25-of-35 shots to fuel an offensive attack that shot a season-best 61 percent.
In beating the Mocs in the regular season, Louisville only shot 43.9 percent. Saturday marked just the seventh time all season the Cards made at least half their shots.
The assists mark also set a season high for Louisville, four more than they did against Bowling Green on Nov. 19. Mariya Moore dished out 10. Hines-Allen and Briahanna Jackson added five each.
Walz said his team did a good job of finding open shots for each other, but that's only half the equation.
''If you want to continue to advance, you've got to be able to take open shots,'' Walz said. ''It's not the contested shots, the tough ones, it's the open ones that you have to make. We did that tonight.''
Louisville used a 15-0 run over a nearly four-minute stretch in the first quarter to take the lead for good and eliminate the Southern Conference champions. Moore's 3-pointer with 1:09 left in the opening period ended the run and gave the Cardinals a 20-8 lead.
The Mocs (21-11), though, refused to go away completely and kept the game within 10 points for most of the contest. However, the Cards pulled away in the fourth quarter, with a Durr four-point play making it 78-55 with 3:57 remaining.
Lakelyn Bouldin led the Mocs with 16 points.
Chattanooga: The Mocs entered the tournament ranked fourth in the nation with six blocked shots per game. However, they didn't register a block until late in the game against the Cardinals, who racked up 46 points in the paint. That's despite going up against Jasmine Joyner, the nation's top shot blocker this season.
In November, the Mocs had eight, seven by Joyner. Foster noted the Cardinals used a different lineup on Saturday, starting three post players to attack the lane.
''That's a big difference relative to who we are,'' Foster said. ''I think we matchup better with guards obviously.''
Louisville: From the opening tip, Walz shouted one word at his players on the court: ''Tempo!'' From the start, the Cardinals played with pace all game, especially on defense, where they utilized a full-court press often against the Mocs.
Walz said he was pleased with the pace the Cardinals played. They forced 15 turnovers and held the Mocs to just 37.5 percent shooting.
''We knew they were going to be really patient,'' he said. ''But, I thought we did a really good job defensively on them.''
Durr made 5-of-9 3-point shots Saturday. In doing so, she set the school record, making a trey in her 37th straight game. Durr now has 113 this season and needs just five more to tie Shoni Schimmel's record set in the 2013-14 season.
Jackson, a fifth-year senior guard, entered the game early in the second quarter. It marked her first action since playing five minutes in the loss at Notre Dame on Feb. 6. She began experiencing back spasms in that game and Jackson missed the next eight games. Besides the five assists, the 5-6 Jackson also pulled down six rebounds in 19 minutes. She also showed she wasn't afraid to get physical by trying to draw a couple charges in the lane.
The Cardinals face Tennessee in a second round game Monday night.