The Louisville Cardinals have earned its third consecutive trip to the Sweet Sixteen behind a complete domination of the Michigan Wolverines in a 71 – 50 decision.
“That was a great team, so we knew we were going to have our hands full,” Louisville senior, Asia Durr, said. “We knew that we were going to have to play hard for the whole game. So we were just trying to have fun, too. Focus all-in and just play hard.”
The Cardinals honed in on two of the Wolverine’s leading scorers, Nicole Munger and Hallie Thome. The two seniors are averaging 10.3 points per game and 12 points per game respectively. Today, Louisville held the duo to only 14 points combined.
It was clear from the tip off that Louisville’s speed was going to present issues for Michigan. The Wolverines struggled to hold on to the ball in the first half, and the Cardinals capitalized. Louisville converted 17 first half turnovers into 23 points.
Michigan had dug itself into a hole by halftime. Despite shooting 50%, Michigan trailed. 38 – 26.
“So they kind of came out and pushed us into doing things we didn’t want to do and turned the ball over,” Michigan senior Hallie Thome said. “But I think we did a great job the second half coming out and handling that. Second half we only had five turnovers total.”
While Michigan certainly didn’t turn the ball over nearly as much in the second half, the Wolverines were outplayed in the third frame. The Cardinal outscored Michigan, 17 – 6, behind Jazmine Jones and Asia Durr. Louisville limited Michigan to only 23% from the field. The Cardinals took a 23 point lead.
Michigan would not get closer than 21 points for the remainder of the game.
The most winningest senior class in program history picked up its 31st victory on the season in its last game at the KFC Yum! Center.
“Playing here for four years with such great fans, great people who follow you everywhere, literally, everywhere,” Durr said. “I can’t really put it into words because it’s a feeling that you’ll never forget, and years down the line, you talk to your kids, your grandkids, your friends about these four years, and I mean, it was just so much fun playing here, playing in front of the best fans in the country.”
Louisville finished with four players in double-figures. In her last home game, Asia Durr led all scorers with 24 points, 5 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Jazmine Jones tallied 15 points and 4 assists. Senior Sam Fuehring collected 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, while Dana Evans added 10 points and 3 assists. Kylee Shook notched 10 rebounds and 8 points.
For the Wolverines, Akienreh Johnson notched 12 points, while Kayla Robbins added 10.
The Cardinals are headed to the Sweet Sixteen in Albany, New York to face the winner of Gonzaga vs Oregon State on March 29th.