The No. 4 Louisville Cardinals converted 22 Wake Forest turnovers into 28 points in the 89 – 52 beatdown.
After a crushing 50 – 49 loss to Florida State at home last Sunday, the Louisville Cardinals were determined to move past the lackadasial offensive effort.
Louisville did not disappoint. Sophomore Jazmine Jones scored the first eight points for the Cardinals, including back-to-back layups in less than 15 seconds. Louisville put on a fantastic offensive showcase in the first period, outscoring Wake Forest, 24 – 13.
Wake Forest was plagued by fouls. The Demon Deacons put the Cardinals on the line five times in the first period. Louisville racked up an easy 10 points from the charity stripe.
The Deacons’ offense was stagnant. Not only did Wake Forest struggle with fouling, the Deacons turned the ball over seven times, allowing Louisville to grab eight points off the turnovers.
Perhaps, Wake Forest’s biggest first period blunder was the lack of scoring from the Deacon’s leading scorer, Elisa Penna. The Cardinals’ defense kept Penna guarded forcing the junior forward to put up contested shots that she could not hit.
Despite a lackluster offensive effort, the Demon Deacons controlled the glass pulling down 12 rebounds to Louisville’s nine.
Wake Forest and Penna woke up in the second period. Penna, who connected on a triple followed by a jump shot, brought the Deacons within striking distance, 27 – 18, forcing an early Louisville timeout.
Wake Forest came within seven points as Raegyn Branch knocked down a couple of free-throws. But, Louisville stormed back behind a 14 – 2 run. The Cardinals went from being up only seven points to a 41 – 24 advantage.
The Deacons foul trouble carried over from the first period. Ona Udoh picked up her third foul early in the second period. Ariel Stephenson picked up her third, fouling Durr on a three-pointer. Demon Deacon’s head coach Jen Hoover was visibly upset with the call, earning her team a technical. Stephenson finished the first half with foul personal fouls.
Durr’s dominance in the second period was key for the Cardinals. The junior guard picked up 14 points, hitting 20 points for the 32nd time in her career.
The Cardinals headed into halftime with a 48 – 30 advantage over the Demon Deacons.
Louisville shot 47% from the field in the first half on 15-of-32 shooting. The Cardinals were led by Durr’s 20 points. Louisville’s ability to dominate in the paint was crucial. The Cardinals picked up 18 of its 48 points in the paint.
The Deacons, on the other hand, struggled in all facets of its game. Wake Forest shot 31% from the field, 14% from beyond the arc and committed 15 personal fouls and nine turnovers.
Being down to Louisville at the half is a tough place to be. The Cardinals are 19 – 1 this season when leading at the half.
Despite her first period scoring woes, Penna led Wake Forest in the first half with seven points.
Out of the half, Louisville look energized. The Cardinals sprinted out to a 12 – 2 run. Wake Forest’s only points in the first five minutes out of the half came from a Udoh layup.
Louisville buried the Demon Deacons behind a phenomenal third period. The Cardinals closed out behind an 18 – 3 run. Its dominant defense stunned Wake Forest, holding the Deacons to only five points.
Louisville took a 72 – 35 lead into the final period.
With Louisville’s big players on the bench, the Demon Deacons found its offense. Penna notched 11 of Wake Forest’s 17 points in the fourth period. The Deacons, who looked tired in the third, were able to mount up a 9 – 0 run.
However, Louisville’s hefty bench stepped up. Sydney Zambrotta connected on two triples for the Cardinals, while Bianca Dunham added six points.
Louisville proved why its one of the best four teams in women’s college hoops with a dominating performance, defeating the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 89 – 52. The Cardinals move to 22 – 1 on the season, while the Deacons suffer its sixth consecutive loss.
Louisville had four players notch double-digits: Asia Durr lead all scorers with 26 points on 80% shooting. Bianca Dunham came off the bench to add 16 points. Jazmine Jones racked up 15 points and four rebounds, while Arica Carter grabbed 11 points and four assists.
For Wake Forest, Elisa Penna was the only Deacon to grab double-figures. The junior forward earned her first double-double on the season, sixth career, on 20 points and 12 rebounds.
The No. 4 Louisville Cardinals travels to Charlottesville to face the Virginia Cavaliers on Thursday, February 1 at 7 PM EST.