No. 5 Louisville pounces on UT Martin in 102-62 blowout
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville proved its potent combination of defense and offense was no aberration as the No. 5 Cardinals rung up another impressive blowout.
Asia Durr scored 25 points, Arica Carter had 16 and Louisville’s defense stifled UT Martin in a 102-62 rout on Tuesday night.
The Cardinals (9-0) picked up where they left off from Sunday’s 107-52 shellacking of Tennessee State, leading 58-23 at halftime behind intense play on both ends. Louisville didn’t let up and finished shooting 53 percent from the field while holding the Skyhawks (5-3) to 33 percent from the floor. The Cardinals also forced 27 turnovers for 24 points.
To hear Louisville assistant coach Stephanie Norman, the Cardinals just beat the Skyhawks at their own game.
“They’re a team that plays with a pace and if you want to run, we’d love to run,” said Norman, who ran the show while head coach Jeff Walz stayed put on the bench. “Whatever the other team presents, we try to have enough weapons in our arsenal to play that style and do well under those circumstances.”
Durr provided Louisville’s initial boost with 16 first-half points, while Carter added 12. The margin quickly reached 40 in the third quarter as the Cardinals hit the century mark for the second game in a row.
Sam Fuehring had 10 rebounds and nine points, Bionca Dunham scored 14 and Dana Evans 11 as Louisville improved to 8-0 against UT Martin.
Chelsea Perry had 12 points and eight rebounds for UT Martin, which had won two of three coming in.
“I thought early we were shell shocked and then I thought our kids kind of pouted,” said Skyhawks coach Kevin McMillan, whose 16-player roster features 13 freshmen and sophomores. “In the second half, when they realized we’re going to keep doing this, they started competing better.”
Two days after posting a school-record eight blocks with a career-best 14 rebounds, Louisville junior forward Kylee Shook did not play after nagging knee pain flared up during pregame. She is expected to be ready by Sunday.
Norman learned beforehand that she’d be in charge, giving Louisville a chance to see how things work before Walz serves his one-game NCAA Tournament suspension for comments made to NCAA committee members and staff during last spring’s Final Four.
“It wasn’t bad,” Carter said of the different voice. “Coach Norman is always leading us. You guys might not see it because she does it a lot of times in practice. She lets him (Walz) have his shine during the games.”
Louisville’s ranking won’t be threatened until it faces unbeaten Kentucky on Sunday.
UT Martin: The Skyhawks’ press helped them stay close for a few minutes before Louisville’s pressure and pace quickly built a double-digit deficit that steadily grew larger. They were only outrebounded 45-39, but committed at least 20 turnovers for the third time in four games. That gave the Cardinals too many easy chances.
Louisville: The Cardinals once again clicked in all phases in their final tuneup before facing rival Kentucky. They pushed the pace they wanted and dominated almost every statistical category. It wasn’t perfect, as they committed 17 second-half turnovers after giving it away just once before halftime.
UT Martin visits Lipscomb on Sunday in the first meeting between the schools since 2009. The Skyhawks lead 3-1.
Louisville hosts archrival and No. 19 Kentucky on Sunday, seeking its third straight series victory over the Wildcats.
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