Durr helps No. 3 Louisville beat Central Michigan 72-68
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — Asia Durr has taught a lot of lessons to opponents during her decorated four years at Louisville.
The All-American also has learned a few things along the way, like the virtue of patience.
Durr scored 26 of her 31 points in the second half and No. 3 Louisville held off Central Michigan 72-68 on Thursday night to improve to 12-0 for the second straight season.
“I really wasn’t too focused on scoring,” Durr said. “One thing I’ve learned over the past three or four years is whenever you’re patient, it’s still going to come back to you. That’s all I was trying to do.”
Durr held off the charging Chippewas late, scoring 11 straight Louisville points down the stretch, capping off her 10-for-11 night at the free-throw line with five late to clinch the win.
“We treated this game like it was any other game,” Central Michigan coach Sue Guevara said. “We just happened to be playing against a good, athletic basketball team who had an All-American.”
Durr finished 10-of-18 shooting from the field and 10 for 11 on free throws, adding four assists and playing all 40 minutes.
Sam Fuehring added 14 points for the Cardinals, who had played six straight home games before traveling to meet the defending Mid-American Conference champions, who advanced to the Sweet 16 last season.
Reyna Frost had 22 points and 13 rebounds for Central Michigan (8-2). Micaela Kelly added 19 points, and Presley Hudson had 13. Frost and Hudson, both seniors, played the whole way for Guevara.
Louisville led 32-28 at halftime, and opened a 44-35 lead after a 12-5 lead early in the second half.
But the Chippewas went on a 12-2 run as a Gabrielle Bird 3-pointer gave them their only lead at 47-46 with 2:25 left in the third quarter.
Durr would score a layup with the foul, converting the three-point play to take the lead back, setting up her dominant fourth quarter.
“Her 3 wasn’t falling but she drove and attacked,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said about Durr, who was 1 for 7 on 3-pointers. “So I was really proud of her because she made an adjustment. Overall just a really good ball game for her.”
CLEANING THE GLASS
Central Michigan outrebounded Louisville, 37-32, including 23-14 in the first half.
The Chippewas were led by Frost, who needs 27 rebounds to tie the all-time MAC record for career boards.
“Our butts are getting kicked on the glass,” said Durr, who did not have a rebound. “There has to be improvement on that.”
In a meeting of the sixth-best scorer and 13th-best nationally, Central Michigan’s Hudson (23.3 average) had three first-half points and Durr (21.7) had five at halftime.
While Durr led her team to victory, Hudson scored 10 of her 13 points in the fourth quarter. Hudson has the most made 3-pointers in MAC history, a record she broke Saturday.
Walz brought the Cardinals to Mount Pleasant to play in a hostile environment and found it with 2,833 loud fans at McGuirk Arena.
“It’s good for our game,” Walz said. “I think it’s good for our kids to have the chance to play in this environment.”
Louisville: The road win should help Louisville prepare for a tough road ahead. Eight more wins would even last season’s 20-0 start.
Central Michigan: The Chippewas will need more efforts like Thursday to get back to the NCAA Tournament for consecutive seasons for the first time since 1983-84.
Louisville: Opens Atlantic Coast Conference play by hosting North Carolina on Jan. 3.
Central Michigan: Vs. Tulane on Dec. 29 in the Miami Holiday Classic.