No. 3 Louisville routs Kentucky 87-63 in Bluegrass rivalry
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Asia Durr’s shot fell right away, helping set the offensive tone for No. 3 Louisville in a rivalry game that required many things going right to beat Kentucky on its home floor.
The Cardinals succeeded by providing their junior scoring leader and teammates plenty of looks with an aggressive effort that earned Bluegrass bragging rights rather easily.
Durr scored 32 points, Myisha Hines-Allen added 18 and Louisville outscored Kentucky 24-9 in the second quarter in an 87-63 blowout Sunday in the annual rivalry showdown.
“They find me on the court, (and) Coach (Jeff) Walz calls great plays,” said Durr, who made 12 of 22 from the field with six 3-pointers for her second-highest scoring total this season. She scored a school-record 47 points at Ohio State on Nov. 12.
“If I don’t have the shot there, I know I have my teammates to count on. They always helped me get hyped. They get me going.”
Louisville (13-0) was intense throughout against the rebuilding Wildcats (8-4).
The Cardinals never trailed and broke it open in the second quarter to lead 47-25 at halftime. Durr followed three straight baskets by Hines-Allen early in the third with eight consecutive points, including back-to-back 3-pointers, for a 63-37 cushion.
Louisville led by as many as 28 early in the fourth quarter and didn’t let Kentucky get closer than 21 from there. The Cardinals earned their first series win in Lexington in 10 years and second in a row overall.
“It’s a big one,” said Hines-Allen, who overcame early foul trouble to finish 9 of 15 from the field and grab nine rebounds. “We know what it means to Kentucky and know what it means back home, so it was good that we were able to get that win.”
Forward Sam Fuehring (10 points, 10 rebounds) and reserve guard Dana Evans (11 points, 10 assists) each had double-doubles. Arica Carter posted 11 points and 8 assists as Louisville had at least five players score in double figures for the second game in a row.
The Cardinals were complete all around.
They owned the boards (36-25) and the paint (36-26), made 33 of 68 shots (49 percent) and 10 of 23 from long range (44 percent). Then again, Walz has come to expect that kind of balance.
“You look at the stats and I tell people all the time that we are one rebound away and two assists away from having four players with double-doubles,” he said. “It’s not one player. We execute.”
Maci Morris had 16 points and Tatyana Wyatt 10 for Kentucky. The Wildcats dropped their third straight and fourth in six games.
Louisville: Though Walz has insisted that this game won’t make or break a season, he acknowledged its importance for fans and players. He had a lot to like about his team’s performance on their arch rival’s home floor: the Cardinals consistently pushed the tempo, outrebounded Kentucky by a 2-to-1 margin at one point and forced 16 turnovers. Their latest Power Five win follows victories against Oregon, Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana and Vanderbilt.
Kentucky: The Wildcats were outscored just 40-38 after halftime, but couldn’t match Louisville’s quickness and pace before that. They struggled against a defense that closed off lanes to Morris and Taylor Murray (eight points), and surpassed their season average of 12.5 turnovers per game in just three quarters. The Cardinals turned those miscues into 22 points.
“We let it get away in the last 12 minutes of the first half,” Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell said.
Kentucky men’s basketball players Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PJ Washington and Jarred Vanderbilt watched the game from one corner of Memorial Coliseum.
Louisville visits Air Force on Wednesday to begin a three-game road swing that includes Atlantic Coast Conference contests against Georgia Tech and North Carolina State.
Kentucky faces another ranked school on Thursday when it hosts No. 24 California before getting a week off.