No. 2 Louisville women stay undefeated, top Pittsburgh 77-51
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Once Myisha Hines-Allen and No. 2 Louisville recognized how they were being guarded, the rest came easy.
Hines-Allen got 13 points and a career-high 18 rebounds as the Cardinals stayed undefeated, beating Pittsburgh 77-51 Thursday night for their NCAA-leading 20th win of the season.
Pitt stretched out its 2-3 zone defense, determined to stop Asia Durr. The guard was the preseason pick as ACC Player of the Year and came into the game averaging 21.1 points.
Durr was held to nine points. But Louisville’s interior players dominated, with Sam Feuhring scoring 12 points to complement Hines-Allen.
“We expected them to play some zone,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. “I thought they did a really nice job of extending it. We missed some shots we normally make.”
When Fuehring saw the Panthers’ focus on Durr, she knew that a big game in the post was there for the taking.
“We’re looking to go inside-out, anyway,” she said. “It should open up the paint a lot more to get touches. We’ve just got to do the work.”
Hines-Allen shot 5 for 11 and also had four assists. Louisville (20-0, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) pulled away by scoring the first 16 points of the fourth quarter.
Louisville outscored Pitt 36-18 in the paint and held a 36-26 rebounding advantage.
Pitt (9-10, 1-5 ACC) was led by redshirt junior Yacine Diop, who scored 26 points to tie her career high.
“Yacine had a great performance scoring the basketball and was our most consistent offensive weapon throughout the night,” Pitt coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said.
Louisville: Other than the Cardinals’ 100-67 drubbing of then-No. 2 Notre Dame on Jan. 11, most of the rest of Louisville’s 20 victories have come in relatively close games, despite the Cardinals’ overall dominance. That trend continued through three quarters, as the Panthers kept the game in reach.
Pitt: Diop has 109 points over her last five games. Always considered a talented defender, she has increased her points per game scoring average from 10.4 as a sophomore in 2015-16 to 16.2 this season. She redshirted with an injury in 2016-17.
Diop committed an offensive foul for her fourth personal with 2:02 left in the third quarter. With Pitt’s most dynamic scorer on the bench, the Cardinals took off and went on a 21-2 run that lasted until the 3:17 mark of the fourth quarter and put the game away.
“Louisville is a team that just wears you down over the course of a game but our players fought and competed so hard for three quarters I think they just wore us down by the fourth quarter,” McConnell-Serio said.
Louisville: Will return home to face No. 12 Florida State on Sunday. The Seminoles were one of just four ACC teams to record a conference victory over the Cardinals in 2016-17, a 72-65 win in Tallahassee last Jan. 12.
Pitt: Heads to Syracuse to play Sunday. The Panthers have lost 12 straight games against the Orange, dating back to 2009. Syracuse is 9-0 at home this season.