The No. 2 Louisville Cardinals snapped an 18 home game win streak as the No. 20 Miami Hurricanes blew back from a 14 point deficit to grab its second top-5 win on the season in a 79 – 73 decision.
“They challenged our players that are great shooters to shoot,” Coach Jeff Walz explained.
Unfortunately, for the Cardinals, the great shooters could not get their normally great shots to fall. The Hurricanes held Asia Durr scoreless for the entire first frame. The senior, who is averaging 21.1 points per game and shooting 45% from the field, went 0 – of – 4. However, Durr hit her stride in the first 26-seconds of the second quarter. She was able to pick up 7 points before halftime.
“They challenged us to hit shots,” Asia Durr explained. “Today, we didn’t shoot the ball well at all. Defensively we had a lot of breakdowns.”
Kylee Shook credited Miami’s coaching, “They’re a great team, with a great coach who knows what to do to put the players in successful spots.”
Louisville’s ability to get paint touches was crucial in the first half. The Cardinals went 4 – of – 6 in the paint for 8 points in the first quarter. But, the Hurricanes adjusted and limited Louisville’s paint scoring to only 2 points (1 – of – 4) in the second frame.
Bionca Dunham carried the Cardinals in the first half knocking down 5 – of – 6 from the field and collecting 5 rebounds.
Kylee Shook was able to keep the momentum in Louisville’s favor as she knocked down two crucial 3-pointers. Shook also had a monster block that brought the crowd to its feet.
Defensively, the Cardinals did a fantastic job keeping Miami’s leading scorers from scoring in the first half. Beatrice Mompremier – who averages a double-double (16 ppg/11.8 rpg) – was limited to only 4 points and 2 rebounds. Louisville’s defense threw the redshirt junior off her game, forcing her to miss shots she typically makes.
But, Louisville could not find an answer for Hof. The 6’3 post player hit 50% of her shots in the first half and led the Hurricanes with 7 points.
The Cardinals led 37 – 29 at the half.
Out of the half, the Cardinals could not connect, going 0 – 7 from the field. Miami took advantage of Louisville’s offensive issues sprinting out on a 6 – 0 run to come within 2 points before Sam Fuehring grabbed a bucket.
The Cardinals were outscored 8 – 2 in the first 5:00 of the second half, shooting only 10%. Emese Hof led the charge for Miami’s comeback as she collected 6 points. At the end of three, the momentum had shifted to the Hurricanes.
Miami Coach Katie Maier credited Hof’s basketball IQ for the comeback, “She said her first half wasn’t her best and I agree with her. But, then the third quarter she was just a grown woman on the basketball court, taking care of business.”
Louisville’s defense gave up 32 points in the final frame. Louisville held a 3 point advantage with 4:25 remaining, but a shooting foul on Emese Hof put the senior on the line to hit a free throw and tie the game at 66. The Cardinals turned the ball over three times between 4:25 and 1:55, which kept Louisville from scoring to go ahead late and secure the win.
Miami, on the other hand, looked to redshirt junior, Laura Cornelius, to close out the match. Cornelius knocked down 6 – of – 7 from the charity stripe in the final minute. Louisville was outscored 18 – 10 in the final 5:00.
Hof would finish the match with 25 points on 10 – of – 16 shooting. She also collected 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 1 block and 0 turnovers.
Coach Walz credited Hof for her dominant post play, “If she gets two feet in the paint, I don’t care if you double or triple her, she’s going to score.”
Shook added that she had not faced a double force in the post like Mompremier and Hof in her time at Louisville.
The Cardinals picked up its second loss on the season in a 79 – 73 decision.
“We aren’t used to losing,” Coach Jeff Walz said. “We’re 59-5 in the past 64 ball games, so this is a team that’s not used to losing. I feel pretty confident that we’re going to come back.”
The Cardinals had four players notch double-figures: Asia Durr paced Louisville with 16 points, while Dana Evans added 14 points. Bionca Dunham collected 12 points on 6 – of – 7 shooting along with 8 rebounds. Kylee Shook also contributed 12 points, knocking down four 3-pointers, while pulling down 6 rebounds.