In the highly-anticipated game between No. 2 UConn and No. 3 Louisville, the Cardinals shut down 11-time national champion Huskies to earn a gritty 78-69 win.
Asia Durr hit a hot streak in the second quarter that carried her through the remainder of the game, and she led all players on the court with 24 points. Her team came through with defensive work as well to help secure the win, with Sam Fuehring and Jazmine Jones picking up 12 rebounds and Bionca Dunham adding two blocks. The complete team effort also played a critical role in her team’s Top-3 win.
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UConn’s Napheesa Collier and Crystal Dangerfield led the Huskies with 20 and 19 points respectively, but their offense was not enough. The Huskies led for the majority of the first quarter, but Louisville fought back after every play. The teams remained tied 21-21 after the first 10 minutes.
The Cardinals, though, found a rhythm in the second quarter. They pulled ahead by two to end the second quarter, and the second half was all Louisville. The Cardinals surged ahead by eight in the third quarter, lighting up the floor with their scoring. They held this lead through much of the fourth quarter, but the scoring accuracy dropped off. With five minutes remaining, UConn worked to end a 4:47 scoring drought. The Huskies notched two, but still couldn’t contend with the Cardinals, who led by nine with three minutes to go.
Missed shots became the story of the game, as UConn went 8-for-21 from behind the arc while Louisville found 33 of its points in the form of 3-pointers. Both teams hit under 40 percent of their field goals, with UConn posting a 38.1 field goal percentage and Louisville with a 39.7 percentage. The Cardinals' balanced offense, however, still proved too much for the Huskies.
The loss, combined with UConn’s loss to Baylor earlier this season, marks the first time the Huskies have dropped two games since the 2012-2013 season. UConn falls to 18-2, while Louisville improves to 20-1. The Cardinals also improve their all-time record against UConn, earning only their second win against the legendary program. Louisville is now 2-17 against the Huskies. The last time Louisville beat the UConn women's basketball team was on March 17, 1993 and came in the form of a 74-71 victory in the NCAA tournament. That only previous Louisville win came before UConn's and head coach Geno Auriemma's 11 national titles. But it also came well before Jeff Waltz guided the Cardinals to three Final Fours and two title game appearances (losing both to UConn).
Last year, UConn won at home 69-58. This time, the Cardinals took down the former Big East rival Connecticut at the KFC Yum! Center.
Louisville (20-1 overall, 7-1 ACC) has won six in a row since falling to then-No. 1 Notre Dame on Jan. 10 in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown.
UConn (18-2, 7-0 American Athletic Conference) had won its last seven since falling to now No. 1 Baylor on Jan. 3, 68-57, but that streak ended tonight.
This was the statistical breakdown heading into the game:
|No. 2||AP ranking||No. 3|
|Coach record||Jeff Waltz
|.334||FG percentage defense||.370|
|.259||3-point percentage defense||.273|
|41.9||Rebounds per game||36.8|
|19.3||Assists per game||16.7|
|11.6||Turnovers per game||13.8|
|7.8||Steals per game||9.4|
|3.7||Blocks per game||4.3|
|Katie Lou Samuelson (18.8)||Scoring leader||Asia Durr (21.1)|
|Napheesa Collier (10.0)||Rebounding leader||Sam Fuehring and Kylee Shook (6.2)|
|Crystal Dangerfield (5.7)||Assists leader||Dana Evans (3.8)|
NATIONAL STATS: Individual and team leaders in the 2018-19 season